As a photographer, especially one just starting out, there are so many ways to improve and hone your skills. If you’re looking to elevate your photography game, look no further. Here are some tips and ideas on how to improve your photography.
Strengthen your Photography Skills
1. Shoot everyday
This one might feel self-explanatory, but it is important to shoot some photos every single day. Getting used to and familiar with your camera is crucial. Plus, shooting every day allows for ample amounts of practice, which will only help you improve. You don’t have to have the fanciest camera or best DSLR kit, just work with what you have. It’s often a good thing to better your skills with less equipment; it will allow you to work hard on your own and figure out your own style. Don’t worry about becoming the next great photographer overnight—just focus on taking pictures of anything and everything you want!
2. Read your camera’s manual
This is an important step to understanding and operating your camera most efficiently. Learning about your camera’s different settings and features can make or break your photography. Sure, it’s not the most riveting read, but you need to understand your camera before you can become successful using it.
3. Understand your focus modes
Learn about your camera’s autofocus modes and decide whether a shot calls for autofocus or manual adjustment of the focus. A photo could be ruined simply by autofocus not honing in on what you expected it to. Sometimes the camera might think it knows better than you, and that can be the case, but not always!
4. Experiment with a tripod
Sometimes, actively holding your camera will allow you to get the best shot possible. But, other times, a tripod might be the tool to take your photos up a notch. Try shooting with a tripod and see what the results are, you might like them a lot! Your photos will likely come out much sharper due to the firm base it is sitting on which will do wonders.
Tripods can also allow you to do sequence photos with ease.
5. Narrow down your style
Many, if not all, photographers have a specific style and signature look to their photography. It’s important to discover what your style is. This can be done by experimenting with what you like to shoot, how you like to shoot it, and how it turns out. It can be helpful to practice shooting things and shooting in a style you don’t enjoy to narrow down and hone in your ultimate desired style. Have fun with this! It will be exciting to come into your style.
6. Follow and study photographers you admire
It’s a good idea to compile a list of photographers that inspire you or make you excited to create new work. This could be a double-edged sword, though, because you don’t want to end up copying them exactly. There’s a clear difference between gaining inspiration and merely recreating work from other photographers. Analyze their work and breakdown what you like about it, what you dislike, what you would change, etc. This will be a productive way to help with tip #5, aka narrowing down your style.
7. Create a portfolio website
This is a great way to immortalize and concentrate your work in one place so that you and others can look back on it. Once you’ve taken enough photos you are proud of and content with, group them together on a site like Format or Wix. This will also be beneficial to you when and if you decide to apply for photography gigs or start doing your own form of paid photography. You will be able to easily direct people to a large body of your work so they can gauge whether they are interested or not. You can also link it to your social media for easy access.
8. Understand that you’ll never stop learning
You’re never going to know everything about photography—no one will! The field is constantly changing and evolving with the development of new technology and new styles. You will never stop learning and getting to know the practice, but think of that as an exciting and positive aspect of photography. With each day you shoot, you will be getting better and better. Don’t give up on yourself and push through negative thoughts. Don’t demand perfection from yourself 100% of the time!
Have Fun with your Photos
The best part about this field is that you will become better with time. Each day you choose to pick up your camera and shoot is a day well spent. Remember, no one is perfect at anything when first starting out. It’s important to remember that skills build over time and that there are steps you can take to help the process go smoothly. Following these tips will boost your confidence when taking photos and surely help to improve your skills. The most important part is to enjoy yourself and have fun! It’s easy to beat yourself up over a failed shoot or lack of progress, but both are something every photographer experiences. Take it slow and your photos will improve drastically.
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Feature image credit: Unsplash