Photography is one of those hobbies that allows you to explore your creative side. You’ll find that once you have a camera in hand, all sorts of mundane things suddenly become interesting; especially when you’re using them as subjects for your photographic adventure.
Additionally, photography also allows you to record and share the important moments in your life (like the birth of a new family member, weddings, graduations and much more) with your friends and family; either through digital format on social media or through more permanent means with prints or photo books.
While there’s no harm in relying on just gut instincts and natural talent when taking your photos, we thought that you might appreciate a few tips on how to take your photography skills to the next level.
Don’t be afraid to explore new things.
One of the things that we’ve discovered about photographers is that we tend to stick to mainly one subject or style. While it’s great that we’ve found something that we’re comfortable with doing, it’s always good to switch things up a bit from time to time so that we’ll be able to hone our skills and add something new to our photography repertoire.
For example, if you mostly do portrait photography, try switching it up and opt for food photography or nature and landscape photography instead. Not only will it be able to give you some fresh perspective, but you could even end up learning new techniques that you can apply to your other works.
Work on a creative brief.
If you’re one of those people who have a ton of ideas but aren’t able to execute them, well then this tip is for you. Do you recall all those times back in school when the teachers would assign you a project to do and present to the class?
You know the ones where they either assign you a subject or make you pick one for yourself, and you would have to learn all you can about that particular subject before planning out the best (and most interesting) way to present your findings to the class.
Well, working on a creative brief is a pretty similar process. You pick a subject to photograph and then proceed to take photos that will check off all the points in your creative brief (things like the background of the project, the objectives, the tone, etc).
Your brief could range from something simple; taking photos for a birthday party for example, or something a bit more challenging, like documenting life in a foreign country. The main point of it is, by utilising a creative brief you will be able to have a clearer focus on what you want to achieve with your pictures.
Find your ‘Thing’.
Another good tip is to find and photograph something that you can really ‘fall in love’ with. When you love something and are passionate about documenting it, you’ll find that it translates well into your photographs; giving it new emotions and dimensions that you didn’t think were possible at first.
As human beings, we each experience life differently; meaning that no two experiences are the same. What might be important to someone else, might not necessarily apply to you and vice versa. It’s the ability to capture those kinds of moments that will set you apart from other photographers. If you ever feel stuck, just ask yourself;
“Am I capturing the things that I truly love and the things that really matter to me?”
It’s all about the technique.
A lot of photographers get caught up on the notion that you need to have the right gear to take quality photos. Well, newsflash:
You don’t need to have the best gear on the market to take beautiful shots.
This is important to remember because no matter how good your camera is, or how much natural talent you seem to have, you need to have a strong understanding in the basics of photography in order to consistently produce high-quality photographs.
Instead of worrying about the gear, focus on the technique. Polish up on your understanding of the Rule of Thirds, Composition, Lighting and design elements. After all, it’s what you do every day that makes you great; not what you use every day.
Buddy up for photo trips.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, photo trips (or photo tours) are when a group of photographers (ranging from beginners to professionals) travel to a place (either another state or country) for the sole purpose of taking photos. The duration of these trips can last anywhere between a few hours to a few days and it’s a great way to get inspired and enhance your portfolio, as well as getting photography tips from the professionals.
Usually, photography is a very isolating hobby as it’s just you, your camera and the great outdoors. But when you’re on a photo trip, you can take the opportunity to buddy up with your fellow photographers so that you can all learn something from one another and push each other to capture better images.
In summary, photography (like any other hobby) is something that you need to work on in order to get better. The above tips should help you on your way, but ultimately it’s still up to you to put in the time and effort to further nurture your skills.