You love taking pictures, but there is a problem.
You wish you were better at it.
Sure, you can capture the moment at a party or snap a few shots before an event, but you know you’re missing something. Your photos still look like a beginner took them, and you want to change that.
Incorporate these ideas into your next photo session. You will be amazed by how much better your photos look.
1. LEARN TO FOCUS
If you pick up a camera and start to shoot, you will notice something. The camera picks a focus point for you. This point is typically in the middle of the picture, and in most cases, it’s not the ideal point for a professional photo. Professional photos look so good in part because the photographer knows how to change the focus point.
Think about the story you want to tell, and then come up with the proper focus point. This will take some practice, but once you learn how to manipulate focus points, you will become a much better photographer.
2. TAKE OUT THE RUBIK’S CUBE
Remember when you used to play with the Rubik’s Cube? This little cube is more than a challenging puzzle. It’s also a great way to learn how to photograph different shapes. Put the cube on the table and let in some natural light. Then, photograph it from different angles, paying special attention to the lights, shadows, and shapes. This will give you a better understanding of what goes into creating a gorgeous photo. That lesson can improve your photography skills.
3. CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENT
It’s not unusual for beginners to strap their cameras around their neck and take off into the world. They quickly get frustrated because they cannot control the environment, and that makes it much more difficult to shoot pictures.
When you’re first starting out, rent a photography studio space. This space will allow you to control everything in the shoot, from the lighting to the props. That makes it much easier to work on your skills.
4. FOLLOW PHOTOGRAPHERS
If you wanted to be a novelist, you would read books from the best authors. The same is true if you want to be a photographer. You also need to learn from the best, so follow your favorite photographers on social media. Many of the greats do more than simply upload photos. They also tell the stories behind the pictures. That will give you insight into how they think and what they look for when taking photographs. That information will transform the way you look at photography.
5. SHOOT JPEGS
You’ve likely heard of the JPEG versus RAW file debate. It’s a debate as old as photography, with many photographers preferring RAW files because they are like digital negatives. They can be edited with countless reversible advancements, allowing you to change everything from the white balance to the exposure.
JPEG files don’t provide nearly as much control. If you don’t like the way the camera processes the colors, for example, you cannot go back in and change it after the fact. People take that trade-off because JPEG files are easier to handle and much smaller than RAW files.
When you’re a beginner, you might want to jump in with JPEG because it is easier to get started. However, you should absolutely use the RAW file format. It is virtually impossible for a beginner to make a JPEG file look professional, but you can work your magic on a RAW file and fix the issues.
After you develop some skills, you can use the JPEG format from time to time, but understand, it is a tradeoff. You will have to sacrifice some control for ease of use.
6. USE THE LIVE VIEW MODE
You grew up looking through the viewfinder and snapping pictures. When you look through the viewfinder, you feel like you are involved in the scene. It’s like you’re sitting there next to the happy couple or running down the field with the kids. That type of attachment makes it difficult to get the right shot. Use the live view mode so you can step back a bit and look at the scene objectively. That will help you choose the right focus point, and it will also make it easier for you to use the light to your advantage.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
These ideas will help you develop into a skilled photographer. It won’t be long before you’re taking the types of pictures that others only dream of taking. You know you have an eye for photography. Now, it’s time to put that eye to work.