We often think we’ll improve photography skills with a new camera and a new lens. The fact of the matter is, it isn’t the camera that will make the difference, but the person and skill behind the camera.
No matter what stage you are in of your photography journey, there are simple things you can do that will help you build on your passion for photography and improve your photography skills.
Ways to Improve Photography
Put your phone down.
Login to Instagram and search “#photography”. Notice anything? There are over a million photos that come up under that one (1) hashtag and, a large majority of those images were taken with a smartphone.
Now, there is nothing wrong with phone photography. In fact, there are perks to being able to take such high-quality photos with the one thing you likely always have on hand— your phone. But, there is always at least one caveat to something that is convenient and easy to use: the inability to improve photography skills.
With a camera phone to do the work for you, the likelihood of you learning how to manually adjust a camera’s settings decreases, leaving you and your photos vulnerable and entirely dependent on the device.
Avoid being on smartphone autopilot by purchasing an actual camera. It doesn’t have to be a brand new one, nor does it need to be an expensive one. Head over to usedphotopro.com (or any of the other online camera shops) and find a camera that fits your wants and needs without overspending on a brand new camera and lens.
Learn your camera.
So, based on the information provided on the packaging, you now know the specs and what your camera is capable of doing. Great.
But do you really know your camera?
The relationship between a photographer and his camera is an intimate one. And, as with any intimate relationship, time and effort is required in order to truly learn and understand someone or something.
The first step to really knowing and understanding your camera is to actually read the instructional papers that come along with it. You’ll be surprised at how much information you’ll retain from doing this. Once you’ve read all there is to read, begin tinkering with the camera. Lay all pressures of capturing the perfect image aside and manually adjust your settings as you go. Did you photo come out blurry? That’s the perfect opportunity to adjust your aperture and see if maybe that played a role in the blurred photo.
As the old adage goes, “practice makes perfect”.
Imagine you’re telling a story.
Breathe with intention. Live with intention. Shoot with intention.
Make it a point to capture the very essence of what it is you’re shooting. Is the subject a father holding his infant daughter? What about that scenario is different from all of the other father/daughter interactions you’ve seen thus far?
It may be one photo, but that photo has the ability to tell a story in a way that words cannot.
Stay open to growth.
Understand that photography is an art, and –just like with any art– there is constant room for growth and improvement. When you pack your camera, do so with an open heart and an open mind. You’ll be amazed at the things you can learn when you stay open to learning and the possibilities that await you once you step outside your comfort zone.
To improve photography skills takes time and practice. Share your tips for improving with us on Facebook!