Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, there are always concrete steps that you can take to improve your photos. Most seek the quick fix of buying better equipment. While there is truth in that: it is a short-term remedy to mask a lack of skills, it could also end up showcasing the said lack of photography skills.
So, in this article, we’re going to try to get you started on a path to a better photography skillset, and a method of learning that will see you through bad times, and on to good ones.
Here are 10 tips (with one extra for good luck) to help you take better photos.
Table of Contents
1. Get to Know Your Camera
One of the best ways to take better photos is to get to know your camera. Spend some time reading the manual and playing around with all the features and settings. This will help you understand what your camera is capable of, and how to use it to its full potential.
Once you know your camera, experiment with different settings and techniques to see what works best for the type of photos you want to take. There is no one “right” way to take a photo, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own style.
And finally, don’t forget to have fun! Photography should be enjoyable, so don’t get too caught up in trying to get the perfect shot. Sometimes the best photos are the ones that are spontaneous and imperfect.
2. Every Camera, IS a Camera: Every Camera Counts
Not everyone considers images taken with mobile phones or GoPro-style action cameras to be “real photography”. However, every time you take a photograph is a chance to practice and evaluate the technical and aesthetic fundamentals of photography skills. If you make use of these opportunities, two things will happen.
- You will get better at your craft, and you will be able to see photographically more easily
- Your images will get noticed, and will stand out amongst a sea of similar-looking snapshots.
But the path to these destinations is not an easy one, and it takes time, much practice, and patience.
So, shoot with any camera that you get your hands on, and enjoy the process.
3. Take Many, Many Photos
One of the best ways to improve your photography is to simply take lots of photos. The more you shoot, the better you will become at it. But there’s a catch – you need to analyze the images that you capture, weed out the ones that aren’t good, and follow the ones that you enjoy. There will come a point where you can’t understand why an image works, or why it doesn’t work… That’s the point at which you should seek mentorship.
So get out there and start taking lots of photos! And don’t forget to have fun with it. Photography should be enjoyable, so make sure to keep that in mind as you’re taking your photos.
4. Get Feedback
As we hinted at in the previous point, simply taking photos without feedback is most likely a waste of your effort. A great way to improve your photography is to get feedback from others. Show your photos to friends, family, and other photographers and see what they think. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to help you make your photos even better.
One way to get feedback is to join a photography club or group. There, you can show your photos to others and get constructive criticism. You can also learn from other photographers, and get new ideas for your photography.
5. Use The Right Lenses
Another important tip is to use the right lens for the job. Different lenses are better suited for different types of photography. For example, a wide-angle lens is better for landscape photography, while a telephoto lens is better for sports or wildlife photography.
When choosing a lens, it’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to ask a professional or do some research to find the best lens for your needs. We have a series of articles about choosing the right lens for the right task, so you could start there.
6. Find Your Style
One of the best ways to stand out as a photographer is to find your unique style. This can be anything from the way you compose your shots, to the types of subjects you like to photograph. Experiment and find what works best for you. If you need a few ideas, we have a few “Photo Projects” which could kick-start your imagination.
For example, you could experiment with different compositions, like close-ups, wide shots, or portraits. Or you could focus on a certain type of subject, like landscapes, animals, or people. There are endless possibilities, so have fun exploring and finding your style.
Once you’ve found your style, stick with it and keep practicing. The more you shoot, the better you’ll become at capturing the images you envision. And who knows, maybe one day your style will be as iconic as Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz.
7. Shoot in RAW
If you really want to take your photography to the next level, start shooting in RAW. This will give you much more flexibility when editing your photos, and will allow you to produce higher-quality images. These days, you can shoot RAW image formats even on mobile phones. Whether you shoot with an Android phone or an iPhone, use RAW file formats for the important images.
Shooting in RAW will help you to get the most out of your camera, and will allow you to capture images that are closer to the way your eye sees them. From that starting point, you gain immense flexibility to edit the image according to your creative instinct… That’s the next tip though.
8. Edit Your Photos
Editing your photos is an important part of the photography process. It can help you correct mistakes, enhance your photos, and add your own personal touch. There are many different software programs you can use for editing, so find one that you are comfortable with and start experimenting.
When you are editing your photos, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, don’t overdo it. It’s easy to get carried away with editing, but sometimes less is more. Second, pay attention to the details. Small changes can make a big difference in the overall look of your photo. And finally, have fun! Editing should be a creative and enjoyable experience.
Whether editing on a computer, or a mobile device (yes, that’s a very real thing, even for professional photographers), remember that it’s the output that matters … your creative vision. Develop the skills to achieve your vision, even if you don’t quite have them today. There are many resources online – Websites, YouTube videos, and even Twitch live streams. Today, access to the internet allows you to develop any skill at all.
9. Join a Photography Club or Community
If you really want to take your photography to the next level, consider joining a photography club. This is a great way to meet other photographers, learn new techniques, and get feedback on your photos.
Most photography clubs have regular meetings where members can share their photos and receive constructive criticism. This is a great way to learn what works well and what doesn’t work so well in your photos.
In addition, many clubs offer field trips and workshops. This is a great way to get out and practice your photography in different settings and with different subjects. You could also look out for any Photowalks that are being organized in your neighborhood.
If you don’t live in an area with an easily accessible photography club, do remember that numerous helpful communities are available to you online. They’re the same.
Joining a photography club comes with a risk though, and this one could slow you down in your progress… they’re filled with gadget heads and pixel peepers. While this alone is not a bad thing (I’m secretly a gadget head with GAS myself), don’t let it get in the way of your creative vision.
10. Enter Photography Contests
Another great way to improve your photography is to enter photography contests. This is a great way to get your work exposure and can also help you win prizes and accolades. There are many different types of photography contests out there, so be sure to do your research and find one that is a good fit for your style and skill level. There are also many online contest platforms that you can use to submit your photos.
Entering contests can be a great way to push yourself to create new and innovative photos, and it can also be a lot of fun. So get out there and start entering some contests!
This tip also comes with a warning like the previous one: Don’t let rejection at photography contests stand in the way of your development. Often, competitions progress the development of “conventional beauty” and may not have space for unconventional vision, so pick your battles wisely.
11. Take a Photography Workshop or Class
If you want to learn from the best, consider taking a photography workshop or class. This is a great way to get one-on-one instruction from a professional photographer, and it can help you take your photography to the next level.
There are many different types of photography workshops and classes available, so you can choose one from a teacher whom you respect, and that fits your interests and skill level. You can also find workshops that focus on specific types of photography, such as landscape or portrait photography. They’re a good way to quickly gain knowledge in specific areas of photography that you would likely take quite a while to develop on your own.
Taking a photography workshop or class is a great way to improve your skills and learn new techniques. It can also be a lot of fun, and you’ll meet other photographers who share your passion for photography.
More Than 11 Ways To Get Better
Of course, you know that there are more than 11 ways in which to improve your photography skills, but 10+1 is a fun number to wrap things up. As always, we’re happy to hear from you and to learn how you have developed your skills and how you have learned specific photographic techniques. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Published: October 29, 2022 | Last Updated: November 15, 2022