As with anything you enjoy or specialize in, practice makes perfect, and by regularly improving your ability, you can become better and enjoy more success. After all, the better you are at something, the more you tend to enjoy it. When it comes to photography, there are plenty of ways you can improve yourself, no matter if you are a professional or a recreational shooter. From preparing yourself before a shoot to getting to know your camera more and learning to shoot from different perspectives, below are ten ways you can improve on your photography skills.
Take yourself out of your comfort zone and photograph something different
One way to improve your photography skills is to take yourself out of your comfort zone. By taking on a different project, you can practice different techniques you may not be used to doing. For example, a food photographer may do a lot more macro shooting, whereas the settings and skills needed for a night photographer are entirely different. By doing this, you will also practice using different settings on your camera, giving you a better overall knowledge of how to shoot in different situations. If you would like to increase your photography offerings, this is a great way to extend your portfolio by offering various types of shoots.
Ask for feedback on your work
Sometimes the easiest way to improve your photography is by asking the people close to you. Why not sit down with them and go through your portfolio, asking for feedback? Make sure you take in what they are telling you, go out practice, and present to them again but with the changes they have mentioned. This will help improve your photography skills and help teach you to take feedback and how to apply the feedback to develop your skills. Often workplaces will have a debrief after each shoot to share feedback on what went well, badly, and could be improved on.
Enroll in an online course
With COVID affecting the way people are learning, why not enroll in an online course to take your photography to the next level? Companies like Udemy have many online courses that you can sign up for and go through at your own pace. For a couple of hours a week, go through one of these courses, and see how it improves your ability. An online course is a great way to learn about a different area within photography, allowing you to change discipline if you wanted to. If you currently enjoy photographing sporting events, a course could teach you about being a successful fashion photographer, further enhancing your knowledge.
Practice shooting in different angles and perspectives
By simply changing the angle or perspective of a shot, you can alter the image’s outcome and tell a completely different story. When out shooting, practice this by shooting on your knees or up high looking downwards. If you want to add a completely different dimension to your portfolio, you could always look at drone photography. A DJI Mini 2 is a great drone that is lightweight and will allow you to take 12-megapixel photos. If you enjoy landscape photography, this can allow you to capture things from a completely different perspective. Make sure you read my article on drone photography tips.
Make sure you are familiar with the benefits of a tripod
Using a tripod, you can instantly capture different types of photos, which you may not have been able to without. A tripod allows you to shoot at a slower shutter speed, allowing you to capture a different contrast and reduce the image’s amount of noise. A tripod will also help reduce your pictures’ chances of coming out blurry as it will be entirely still, meaning your photos will hopefully be sharper.
Brush up on your camera settings
The amount of setting your camera has is like a minefield. There are so many different buttons and setting to choose from, which alter depending on the type of shoot you are doing. Make sure that you are regularly familiarising yourself with your camera settings and practicing shooting with them. The more you do this, the quicker you can be out on a shoot and capture a particular shot.
Make sure you know what lens are best to use and when
It’s not only your camera body that allows for a great photo. Your lens also has a big impact on how your photos come out, so you should be familiar with the different lenses you have. Depending on the type of photographer you are, it will result in a different lens being used. A property photographer may use an ultra wide-angle lens with a low f-stop to allow more light and a wider shot. In comparison, a travel photographer may opt for a 24-70 as a useful allrounder lens.
Practice shooting landscape and portrait photos
Many people get stuck in their ways as photographers and opt to shoot one way, landscape or portrait. By simply rotating your camera 90 degrees, you can completely alter the shot, capturing an image from a different perspective. Depending on what you are trying to capture, a portrait shot may allow you to get more of the subject in the frame without compromising your photos’ outcome.
Watch what’s in the background of your shot
When shooting in a busy location, you may find people get in the way of your shot and appear in your image’s background. Not only does this mean you have to be prepared to act fast on the shoot, but you may need to be more creative and shoot from a different vantage point. Maybe you will need to blur the background out more or shoot close to the person, so fewer people in the background show up. By regularly practicing this, your ability to be more efficient on a shoot will improve as well as your confidence when asked to do a shoot in a busy destination.
Always have your camera ready
Within a second, the perfect shot can be gone, and if you weren’t set up correctly, you might never be able to capture that image again. Whenever you know, you will be going to a shoot, have your camera set up beforehand, and ready to go as soon as you arrive. If you have a camera strap, attach that as well. If you are shooting for an event, this way, your camera is ready to go so that you can capture all the special moments as and when they come. If you are spending your time changing the settings when you are there to capture that moment, the chances are it would have been gone by the time you are ready.
As you can see from the above ten points, there is always a way to improve your ability. By simply practicing one or two of the points above, you can enhance your knowledge and become a better overall photographer. It’s not always the case that you need to invest in a lot to become better either; a tripod can allow you to shoot differently, as well as learning to shoot with different angles. As with most things in life, the more you practice, the better you will become, so dedicate an hour or two a week to bettering your ability.
Do you have a favorite point above, or have you got a tip that made you a better photographer to share? Please let us know in the comment box as we would love to hear from you.