Photography as an art form hasn’t suffered much due to the digital revolution. In fact, while the old companies that manufacture cameras and film and many photography magazines for beginners have largely struggled to make the transition from the past to the future (although many of the best photography magazines for beginners have managed to reinvent themselves with digital editions and a modern approach that has kept them vibrant), the art form itself is enjoying a Renaissance of sorts as more and more people discover that some of the old barriers to working in photography – the cost of equipment and education – have lowered significantly.
Photography has always been perceived by the uninitiated as an art form “anyone” can engage in – all you need is a camera and something to take a picture of. And in some senses this is true! But to approach true artistry, it’s essential to have training, experience, and general knowledge. One way for beginner photographers to gain know-how and best practices no matter their skill level or equipment is to read high-quality magazines that offer reviews, tips, and in-depth articles that a neophyte can understand and apply to their work. Here are five of the best magazines that people new to photography can really get something out of.
Subscription: $14/year, $24/2 years
The term “popular” in any magazine is the signal that it’s a general, broad-interest magazine ideal for beginners. Popular Photography Magazine offers the basic information any aspiring photographer needs: Product reviews, guides to cameras, how to use different equipment, and basic tutorials. Every issue is filled with information, and a subscription is almost a requirement for anyone seeking to learn more about their chosen avocation or vocation – one of the ideal photography magazines for beginners.
Black and White Magazine
Subscription: $35/1 year, $65/2 years, $90/3 years
While many photography magazines for beginners focus on digital camera reviews and other nuts-and-bolts aspects of the art form, Black and White Magazine focuses on black and white photography as a separate and distinct aesthetic. For beginner photographers who either haven’t figured out what their own aesthetic is or who find black-and-white photography to be haunting and effective, this magazine is the perfect accompaniment to a more general interest photography periodical.
Outdoor Photography Magazine
Subscriptions: $15/1 year, $26/2 years
As you grow as a photographic artist you’ll slowly make choices about your focus and interests, and that normally means you’ll either lean towards a studio or the outdoors. No matter which way you lean, your skill set should include both aspects so you can pursue whatever artistic or professional opportunities are afforded you – and that makes Outdoor Photography one of the best and most popular photography magazines for beginners. With more of a focus on location scouting and shooting in the outdoors as opposed to technical reviews or gear reviews, Outdoor Photography is more of a “big picture” magazine, and thus a good counterbalance to review- and tech-speak-heavy magazines.
Subscriptions: $14/1 year, $22/2 years
For many neophyte photographers, the tidal wave of camera reviews, technical tutorials, and basic information found in magazines can be overwhelming and make photography seem like a math or physics class. American Photo Magazine includes aspects of these features, but has more of a focus on the photographers themselves, with interviews and features on the personalities behind the lens that can inspire and educate in different ways.
Subscriptions: $18/1 year, $33/2 years
What sets Shutterbug apart from any other beginner’s digital photography magazine is its unique focus on the advanced amateur. Shutterbug is ideal for newbies who are making the transition to a more professional status – beginners who are ready for the next step. With slightly more technical articles, Shutterbug assumes you have the basics and slants towards improving your work with articles written by active, working photographers.
These five periodicals make for awesome resources for any photographer, but are the perfect combination for the newcomer seeking to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible.
– Photo Wizard