How to Shoot in Manual as a Photographer


How to Shoot in Manual as a Photographer: tips for beginners from photographer and educator Natasha Coyle

As an educator, I’m often asked what tips I might have for new photographers. To me, the most important thing a new photographer can do is learn to shoot in Manual mode. If you are new to photography, this might seem overwhelming!! Trust me, we’ve all been there! So believe me when I say, I get it. But, I think it’s SO important for photographers to know how to control their images and create what they want in their final product. Once you learn how to shoot in manual, you’ll never go back to auto mode. When you shoot in manual mode, there’s three main things you need to know about: ISO, F-Stop, and shutter speed. Let’s break those down for you today so you can learn how to shoot in manual as a new photographer! 


bride and groom with veil swoop photo


When you think about ISO, you’re asking yourself how much light is hitting your sensor. When you’re in brighter areas, your ISO should be lower and when you’re in worse lighting situations, you bump it up. Be aware: the higher the ISO, the more grainy your images could become. But for most outdoor sessions, you’ll be using a lower ISO. 


Your F-Stop is simply the size of the hole inside your lens. Again, this relates to how much light is coming into your camera lens. The lower your number, the bigger the “hole” and the more light that’s coming through. The higher the number, the less light (because that hole is smaller). It’s also important to understand that when your F-Stop is lower, less of the portrait will be in focus. 

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is exactly what it sounds like: how fast is your shutter moving. When thinking about shutter speed, consider your subjects and how fast they’re moving. If there’s a lot of movement, you want a higher shutter speed to freeze that action. 

William Aiken House Wedding

I know how frustrating it can be to take images and not have them be what you want. Learning to shoot in manual will help you master and control more of your final images! If you’re ready for more help, download my FREE guide to mastering manual mode on your camera! Once you learn these settings, your images will go from good to even better, I promise. It’s so worth the effort.

How to Shoot in Manual as a Photographer: tips for beginners from photographer and educator Natasha Coyle

Jan 26, 2022

posted on:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *