Join a Photography Forum (message board)

One of the first things I recommend to new photographers is to go out and join a photography forum, or several in my case! There are many of these out there, and a lot of times there will be a board for your local area or state. The thing I love about message boards is that you have a whole community of people there to help you learn and grow as a photographer. Having the ability to ask questions and get several answers back, and usually pretty darn quickly depending on the board. Many forums have archives that date back several years, so there is a good chance that someone has asked the same question you want to know already. Just do a quick search of the forum and you may find your answer right away. If not, just post the question and community members will respond.

Another great thing, and probably the best thing overall, is that most of the big forums have SO many categories to look at. There are usually boards for every single camera brand, so if you have gear questions you’ve got a very specific place to look. They will also have sections for all different kinds of photography! If you are interested in macro photography, well, just open up the macro board and see post after post of macro shots, with most of them going into detail about how they got that shot. Same goes for landscapes, wildlife, sports and dozens more genres. There is always some kind of inspiration to be had on the forums!

But, my favorite part of the boards I’m a part of is the Buy/Sell sections! This is hands down the best place to buy used photography gear that I’ve found over a decade. I almost exclusively use www.fredmiranda.com to buy my gear. They have a rating system similar to eBay where you get to leave feedback after a transaction to keep people honest. I’ve had nothing but good luck on there and will continue using that site for all of my buying and selling. The site charges a small fee to SELL an item (not buy), so you know it’s not just spam and scams. I absolutely love it!

My two favorite boards are www.fredmiranda.com and www.photography-on-the.net. Both have extremely active communities and some great people to give you a hand in growing as a photographer! Take the time to sign up for one and just start exploring the boards. You’ll be surprised at just how helpful they can be! Before you know it, you’ll be the one giving the advice to someone else just getting their feet wet with photography!