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Christmas is only a few days away and people are scrambling all over the streets purchasing last-minute presents.

Or if you are like me, you are out to find deals specifically for you! Although it may sound very vain and selfish to purchase things for yourself on Christmas, if you are just starting your photography adventure you are going to buy the most important thing on your list: a camera.

Now for a first timer who walks into a camera shop it can be very overwhelming. There are millions of cameras all out there – how to

heck do you find out which one is right for you? A cheap beginner one? An advance one? Canon? Nikon? Fuji? The questions are endless.

In my experience, I bought a standard Canon Rebel XS kit camera because it was all I could afford at the time (worked an entire summer for it haha!). And after years of advancing photography and buying other cameras, I still carry that Rebel XS with me whenever I’m roaming the streets for inspiration. It’s my awesome go-to camera!

So if you are getting your very first camera and you have absolutely no idea where to begin – here are some simply and quick tips on what to look out for BEFORE you go spending a ton of money:

1. Understand The Three Pillars

For those who are new to the camera world, there are three pillars of photography that you will need to know: Aperature, Shutter Speed & ISO. If you don’t have a firm grasp on this, get to know it before you even walk into the store otherwise you will just be an easy target for sales people. Here is a crash course on what the three pillars do:

* Aperature is the hole within a camera lens which light travels through

* Shutter Speed is the length of time the camera is open to let light in

* ISO if the level of light sensitivity of your camera

Study, memorize and understant your how the three pillars work together, especially for the type of photography you want to do. If you need to know where you can find out about this info, you can go to photo blogs such as PhotographyLife.com or DIYPhotography.net that are up to date with information and show you examples.

2. What Are Your Focusing On?

What type of photography are you interested in? Do you want to photograph at night? Do you want to photograph people? Or landscapes? This is an important question because it’ll what will help you choose a camera that is right for you. Most cameras have special features that is targeted for a type of photography. For example, if you are interested in taking photos outdoors then you probably want to make sure the ISO on the camera can switch from 100 to 3200 (or if you need to buy a tripod).

3. Read The Reviews

Believe it or not, there are people on the internet who have tried numerous of cameras and write down their experiences using them. This can be a huge benefit for you before you enter the store because it will give you information on the type of camera you are looking and how well it works. It’s all about research so make sure you take the time to sit down and review the camera you are interested in buying. If you cannot find blogs about cameras, try PetaPixel.com or go on YouTube and find photographers testing the camera in person!

So there you have it – some quick and easy tips on what to do before you go out and spend a fortune on your camera. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you made the right decision and will be happy with what you have. Going for broke doesn’t always have to be that way in order to create amazing photos – but I will say photography isn’t a cheap hobby or career.

Now go out there and splurge for yourself! And if you are not out there buying a camera, what gifts are you buying yourself this Christmas? How are you treating yourself on the last days of 2015? Let me know in the comments below!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! 🙂

Mucho amor,

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