So You Got a New Camera. Now What?


First I want to say CONGRATS! Getting a new camera is so exciting! And if this is your first camera, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed and wondering where do you start with learning how to use it.

I’ll never forget the day I got my first DSLR. It was Christmas morning 2013, Max was 6 months old. At the time I didn't realize it, but that camera would begin my amazing journey into photography. I mean, all I really wanted to do was to take better photos of my baby and it turned out to be that and so much more.

There is something so exciting about it all. The weight of the box, the fancy packaging, the shining gear inside, the smell of it…wait, is that too weird? LOL. This piece of equipment is almost magical, freezing special moments you hold near and dear to your heart and making them look beautiful, just like they look in your mind as they are happening. But before it can do all of that, the person operating it needs to figure out how to use it and where to start.


Here are some places where you can begin…


Okay so maybe not read the entire thing, but familiarize yourself with it. And if reading is not your thing (like me), google: “insert camera name + body type” and you will find a plethora of youtube videos showing you how to set it up correctly. Things such as features, how to customize buttons and dials, what the different mode settings are, where to find things in the menus, etc. After all, you’re going to want to charge that camera battery so you will have some time.


Your camera probably came with a memory card. A few cameras have some internal memory, but most of them will require an SD card to take photos. So go ahead and put that baby in there. Next, you want to make sure you format the card and that you do it in camera. If you don’t want to look this up in the manual, I’m sure you can find a video online. Formatting the card in-camera will reset the proper file structure and help prevent read and write errors.


Your camera comes with a perfectly good battery. Once it is charged you are good to go for a while. However, camera batteries do seem to die at the most inopportune moments. I will never forget being in Disney World, waiting in line for It’s A Small World, and getting so excited to capture my kids faces as we went through the ride. Yeah that would have been great. Except my battery dies right before we got in the boat so all I have are fuzzy, hourly lit phone photos. If I would have just had an extra battery packed, I could have easily replaced the original one and took the photos I had planned to. At least I have something though.

If you are looking for some extra batteries and don’t know where to start, I have had great luck with RAVPower.



Momtogs in Training is a great online class to teach you exactly that! Learn how to use your camera + how to take great photos like the pros. PLUS more!

Start taking photos of your everyday moments today!

Tia Costello