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Professional shooting

edited February 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
I just purchased a D3200. I have no idea on how to use it. I sell high end shoes, and need to take/get professional looking pictures (you know the ones with the white background), and I just don't know where to start. The terms and wordings for this camera, I don't get.
My iPhone pictures did fine, but I truly need more professionally looking pictures!
Please help me before I break the camera!


  • edited February 2016
    First of all, I'd say relax. Remember that if you have an iPhone and it's doing at least some of the job, you don't have to toss that out tomorrow and switch. You have time to practice a little.

    The very first thing I suggest you do is to get the CD that came with the camera, on which the complete instruction manual resides, and copy that to your computer. It's a PDF file, so if you have a PDF reader, it will open and you can refer to it any time. Don't worry that much is gibberish and outside what you need anyway. Just make sure you have it, so you can refer when you need it. The printed instruction manual will get you started, but it is not at all complete.

    Next, I suggest you do some basic reading, here and on other sites, in which you learn some of the most important basic ideas about photography.

    One such site that seems to have good basic info is called

    and contains some tutorials on some of the things you're best off knowing.

    Remember too that this is a digital camera, and that means that you can make lots and lots of photographs for free. Do not be afraid to make a thousand mistakes, and erase them all. Get familiar with the buttons on the camera. Know what every button does, whether you need it or not, and where to go whenever you need to change something.

    This site offers some "cheat sheets", which will give you a set of camera settings that work for various conditions, and the choices there are almost always better than what the camera chooses when it's in automatic modes. There are many different ways to skin a cat, of course, but if you find a set of settings that work, you can use them or begin experimenting with variations and thereby learn what those settings do and how. Food and product photography is included in these, by the way.

    Product photography is an art of its own, and involves decisions on backgrounds, placement and lighting that are rather specific to the genre. The best and fanciest stuff is beyond what you're likely either to need or be able to do, but you can get the basic idea of what is required and how to get it.

    Most of all, though, my advice is to relax and take it slowly. Get the camera out, read some of the instructions that can at least get you taking pictures in "automatic" mode, and start experimenting with other modes and other settings. It's a steep learning curve at first but once you learn the basics you'll find the camera is capable of taking as good pictures (or as bad, but we refuse to go there!) as your art makes possible.
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