You don’t have to live your life through a lens or a filter to be a shutterbug.

The increase of apps like Instagram has encouraged budding young shutterbugs to capture images of their surroundings and share them with the world.

Today’s children may never hold a film-operated camera, but that doesn’t mean they can’t become keen photographers. Photography is a hobby that can be started at many levels and age groups however some of the most successful photographers start with a fascination for the subject when young.

Australian Lucia Pang is one of which to watch. At just 15 years-old this shutterbug won the People’s Choice national photo award at YouthWeek, which led her to participate in Teen Vogue’s fashion workshops in America. Based in Sydney she describes herself as a fashion, commercial and portrait photographer. Now aged 19 years, she has now become well established in the industry as a professional fashion photographer and is also the co-founder of photography blog Elle Tassy.

The rise of young people interested in learning the basics of camera operations and the art of photography has been noticed by Photo Genius owner and photographer Paul Farris, who offers both beginner and advanced short courses and workshops in photography to keen Brisbane photographers.

Mr Farris says he sees a lot of young people coming along to his courses very keen to learn the basics of photography, with some even coming back for advanced courses.

For young photographers he has this sound advice: “Think outside the box, don’t necessarily photograph the obvious and if you find a great location, visit it a few times at different times of the day to get the best light and composition possible for your photograph.”

Where are Brisbane’s great shooting locations?  Mr Farris suggests Kangaroo Point and around the Story Bridge for beautiful night time shots, South Bank for its interesting location and anywhere along the bay, including Cleveland, Manly or Wellington Point.

The beginner courses at Photo Genius offer the chance to enhance your photography skills by learning how the camera operates.

“The whole idea behind the course is to get the camera out of auto mode and use it in a more creative way.

“In auto mode the camera makes decisions on your behalf, but this way you can tell the camera what to do and be more creative and produce better photos,” he says.

He gives three tips for beginners;

1. Think about your composition and how you arrange the subject in frame.
2. Shoot on a dull or overcast day as the light will be softer.
3. Learn how to use the camera manually – out of auto mode.

Fancy yourself as a budding photographer? Got an eye for a good shot? Then bmag wants to hear from you! Every month, bmag features a theme and invites you to send in your photos which capture that theme. Check out the competition here.