During the past year, I have taking up photography as a hobby by trying to learn the in and outs of my camera. Difficult at times but practice along with podcast and YouTube helped a lot. Once I had a good idea of my camera settings, post-processing then become the challenge. Lightroom and Photoshop have its learning curve but can be easily figured out with practice.
Practice makes perfect and is a must when learning photography. Practice comes easy when you have two young kids. You always have a subject along great moments to capture. Going to the park, visiting grandparents, or evening staying in at the house can give you many opportunities to get you settings right. I started shooting in aperture priority mode at first while I was getting used to my camera, but easily shifted to manual mode. The zoo is another great place to practice. With all the different animals you can work on your composition while learning the exposure triangle.
Podcast are great when you want to gain tips and tricks to help make the learning process smoother. They are very convenient to listen to while at work or the drive to work. There are several photography podcasts to listen to but some of my favorites would be Picture Monk and Photo Taco. Picture Monk gives you a lot of tips to help while out shooting, and Photo Taco focuses on and explains a certain photography topic.
YouTube is a lifesaver when trying to learn anything. There are tons of videos on anything you would ever want to do. Photography is no exception and provides tons of information. Videos range from information about your specific camera, tips for shooting in manual and composition, recommended lens, and inspiration. Picture Monk has a great YouTube channel that shows great editing techniques along with on locations to help you find the right shots. FroKnowsPhotos channel can help you focus on composition along with stress the fact you don't have to have the best gear to get the best photos.
Getting out there and shooting is the best way to learn for sure. Trail and error help get the best shot and give you the experience to help get it right the first time the next time you shoot. I would love to see your best shots or answering any questions you might have. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org