I will never forget how intimidating my new DSLR camera felt when I first unboxed it. So many buttons and wheels.. and this thing was so much bigger than any camera I had ever used. The only cameras I was familiar with were an old point and shoot from college and my iPhone camera.
I watched SO many tutorials on YouTube to try to figure everything out and use the camera.. and they were very helpful but I am a hands-on learner so I started practicing with what I knew. I started in Aperture-Priority mode. This showed me my camera and lens' potential. I was blown away at how much better the images looked compared to when I had the camera in Auto mode.
Once I mastered Aperture Priority mode, I started learning manual mode. Looking back, I do not know why I was so scared of going manual. Controlling everything about every single click of the shutter just seemed impossible. How did photographers do it? How does anyone master their craft? Practice. I started practicing. ALL. THE. TIME. I drove my family crazy (and still do) begging them to be my subjects or snapping away anyways like the paparazzi.
And I used to be self-conscious about being the photographer in the room.. not wanting to annoy anyone but now I really don't care. This is my passion and I am owning it. In 20 years when my family looks back on these photos I know they will be thankful for them and that's how I am always thinking. Ok, sorry for the tangent.. back to how I got started in manual mode.