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Tips & Tricks

Where to Start Chart: An Interactive Flowchart for Beginning Photographers

By Hanssie on October 8th 2014

Being terrible at making decisions, I have special appreciation for flow charts. Flowcharts come in very handy when you have a problem and need a solution – problems from, what should I eat for dinner tonight to writing program. Flowcharts will give you a nice simple process to come to a logical conclusion using simple yes or no questions.

The following flowchart is not only awesome because it is, well, a flow chart for photography, but it was created by one of my favorite photo people, Mark Wallace. Mark, who is currently on a worldwide two year photography adventure, has teamed up with AdoramaTV to bring you this very handy Where to Start Chart. Geared toward beginning photographers, the chart’s purpose is to help you figure out the what settings to use on your camera.

For example:

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 5.13.33 PM

The best part of this chart is that is an interactive PDF, so if you have no idea what ‘shutter speed‘ means, you can click on the ‘shutter speed’ box and it will take you to one of hundreds of Mark’s free video tutorials so that you can learn more. The PDF is updated regularly, so be sure to download the latest version of the chart.

The following video tells a bit more about the chart and how to use it. You can download your own version of the Where to Start Chart here – just right click and select ‘Save As’ once you get there.


This would’ve been a great guide for me when I was first starting out and learning the basics. If you want to see more of Mark’s video tutorials on Adorama, check this out. If you just want to see where he is around the world (at the time of writing, he is in Machu Picchu), check out his Spontaneous World website where he is documenting his trip.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dre Rolle

    Pretty cool chart and vid!

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  2. Christopher Fuller

    great idea and excellent tool to have!

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  3. Christine Eisele

    Thank you for posting this great chart! I will definitely be keeping a copy inside my camera bag for future reference :o)

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  4. Matthew Kitchen

    It’s a great way of explaining to people who are new to the art; I approve!

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  5. Clare Havill

    Great tool, I’ll be sharing this with a few friends how are learning the basics of photography.

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  6. Greg Avant

    I teach photography and this will be a great asset to newbees

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  7. Jeff Morrison

    Thanks for sharing

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  8. Daniel Thullen

    Chuck and Greg are right! The flow chart is brilliant. Hanssie, thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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  9. Chuck Eggen

    I think this is brilliant!

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    • Greg Silver

      Agreed! It is brilliant. Love to see the photography experts sharing they’re knowledge and wisdom so others can take great shots!

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