I am most definitely not a professional photographer. BUT I have had a lot of fun making photography a hobby of mine! I started out with simple point and shoots when my first son was born. Good memories saved this way, but not much artistic about it!
Just after my second son was born I purchased my first DSLR. It was a Nikon D3000. This was a super easy to use beginner DSLR that took nice pictures in auto mode but they still weren’t what I was hoping for.
As I researched more and more I learned the lens can also make a difference as I wasn’t getting that creamy, shallow depth of field that I was looking for in my photos. I purchased my first, reasonable priced prime lens and it made all the difference! I then experimented with manual settings. I took my camera everywhere. I always had an eye out for interesting locations, fun backgrounds and that golden hour light! Sunsets and evening light are my jam!
I have since upgraded my camera body to a Nikon D7200 but I am still putting that cheap, prime lens to work! I read a lot of blogs, followed a lot of photographers and just practiced practiced practiced. I still have a lot to learn but I am generally happy with our family photos!
I do edit some images slightly in Photoshop Elements. Here I brighten, or enrich colors. I don’t spend too much time altering the photo. Again I am not a professional! Take your camera with you. Play with the settings and get to know what kind of light and angles YOU like for your style!