Are your pictures missing a certain little something that you just can’t put your finger on? Check out these 7 practical steps to taking better photographs.
Shoot on the Daily
As with absolutely anything that you’re trying to improve at, the best way to master it is to do it as much as possible. If you only pick up your camera once a week then you’re going to struggle to build the momentum needed to really learn the craft. Instead, make your camera a part of your daily routine and take it with you everywhere you go. Take pictures of anything and everything and you’ll see your skills improving rapidly.
Join a Photography Club
Some people are book people meaning that reading the camera manual or books about photography is a good way for them to learn. Other people need more practical, hands on support for things to really sink in. If you’re in the latter camp, consider joining a local photography club. Often they will be made up of photographers of all different levels with plenty of experienced practitioners on hand to give you some hard earned advice.
Use a Tripod
Photos blurry? Struggling with composition? Or need to be able to interact with your subject without being stuck behind the lens? A tripod can solve numerous problems and is an essential piece of kit in every photographer’s bag.
Photograph at the Right Times
Lighting is the single most important aspect of good photography. But unless you’re indoors with a great lighting rig setup, you’re largely dependent on the sun. There are some times of day that will give you great results every time like the golden hour, and others that are more tricky to work with such as the midday glare. Pick your shooting times wisely.
If you feel that your pictures are lacking power, focus, clarity, or a voice, try getting in closer to the action. To tell a story really well, sometimes you need to move a little closer and get as far in as possible without becoming a part of the story. Fill the whole frame with your subject, focus in on one part of it, get in the thick of the action and you’ll soon gain more impact in your images.
Tell a Joke
When you’re photographing people, you want them to be relaxed as possible. Often that’s easier said than done as most people tend to tense up as soon as they get a lens pointed in their direction. When this happens it’s part of the photographer’s job to diffuse that situation and make them feel comfortable. One of the easiest ways to do so is with a joke. You don’t need a full stand up routine ready, just a few silly words will do the trick.
Take Your Time
Sometimes photographers fall into the trap of doing everything in a hurry. While sometimes time is of the essence, usually you can engineer a situation where you have plenty of it. Don’t be afraid to use it! Try some different approaches, double check your settings, have a good think about composition and just relax. Your photos will be all the better for it.
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