You Got a New Camera, Now What? 5 Easy Steps to Mastering Your New Camera

by | Beginner, Technical, Top Tips


Have you recently purchased a new camera? Or are you looking into buying a new camera? If so, you are going to want to read this article. Chances are once you get your new piece of equipment, get it all charged up, and are ready to take photos, you may get stuck trying to figure out what to do next!

All of the buttons, settings and modes are confusing. If you want to get an amazing photo, turning the camera on and just snapping isn’t going to result in the best photos and you may get frustrated.

That’s okay, I’ve put together some steps to prevent your frustration and help you know what you need to do now that you have your brand new camera!

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Step 1: First things first, charge that battery.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure the battery is fully charged before putting it into your new camera.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told the students of my Beginners Photography Essentials Class to make sure the battery is charged before heading out to practice their photos. I would even suggest carrying an additional charged battery so that you are never left without one!

Step 2: Snag some extra SD cards.

I have quite a few SD cards. I usually have 5 with me. I shoot a lot of sessions and don’t always upload the photos to my computer right away, so having a lot of cards is essential. There’s nothing worse than running out of space on your card, so either buy a large one or a few to have handy. I keep mine in this little case for convenience.

Step 3: Pick up an equipment bag.

You need to have a good bag to keep your new camera and all of your goodies in, and you need to make sure that the bag will keep it all safe. Camera bags aren’t just for convenience, they are built especially to keep your equipment safe from the elements.

I have the Think Tank Lily Deanne Mezzo bag, and I love it! It’s sleek, full of pockets, and big enough for all of my equipment. There are plenty of camera bags out there to choose from. Backpacks, bags, you name it, you can find it.

Step 4: Brush up on-camera vocabulary and techniques.

ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focus, bokeh, aspect ratio, depth of field… it’s like learning a whole new language!

You’re trying to learn how to use your new camera on your own, but it’s daunting, between searching YouTube for information and reading lengthy articles on how to use your camera…The TRUTH is, when you’re new to photography, you don’t know what you don’t know – so all that time you’re spending searching Google and YouTube could be the very thing that’s keeping you STUCK and running in circles. You want to learn the secret to taking control of your camera today.   

If you want to start out on the right foot, check out my Beginners Photography Essentials Class. I break learning photography down in a simple, easy-to-follow, actionable way that will have you taking better pictures in just the first week…I guarantee it! 

Step 5: Practice, Practice, Practice!

I teach my student that having their cameras in their hands every day will help improve their photography skills! These skills are like a muscle, and you have to work those muscles, or they become weak. A photography project helps you flex those muscles and inspires you…who doesn’t need to be inspired!

Learn how to use your camera, practice and have fun! And If you want to learn more about using your new camera and understand ISO, SS, and Aperture, then come join the thousands of students I’ve taught in my step-by-step, self-paced class Beginners Photography Essentials Class.

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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You have a great camera, but you still aren’t getting the photos you want — the photos that truly WOW you! My Photography Essentials Cheat Sheets will help you improve your photos in just minutes!



You have a great camera, but you still aren’t getting the photos you want — the photos that truly WOW you! My Photography Essentials Cheat Sheets will help you improve your photos in just minutes!