If you are a beginner or an intermediate in photography, you already know this feeling that your progress isn’t enough or you have the impression that your improvement is slow. In this article I will go through some practical tips to apply to improve your photography skills. Here we go :
1. Go out more often
This might sound obvious but most people will only stay in their comfort zone and not explore their environment as much as they can. If you want to practice photography the simple secret is going out more often trying different settings of your camera with different shooting modes.
The beauty of going on a photowalk is that the outside has many surprises for you, you will see people, cars, buildings, parks, crowds and more, all of this in different settings, like lighting conditions or movements. This gives you a rich opportunity to practice all the basics you know and learn quickly.
2. Bring your camera to events
Trust me I am not going to advocate for free photography services, all I want you to do is carry your camera if you are invited to a family birthday party or even a wedding (just don’t interfere with the main photographer please!!!). Why is this valuable photography advice, is because you have a good opportunity to practice your skills without the pressure of being the main photographer of the event. You can later share the pictures you got right with your host.
3. Join a community of photographers
At first this sounds intimidating, you are just a beginner how can you join professional photographers? The reality is different, people most of the time love to welcome new passionate people in their industry and in photography in particular it’s no surprise to exchange with another photographer on the street and ask for advice.
Another great way to connect with other photographers is to search for photography events on meetup.com (https://www.meetup.com/find/?keywords=photography) more often they organize meetups and photo walks and you can participate in one of their events with other professional photographers.
4. Practice a technique until you master it
When I started photography, as soon as I read about the basics of photography I went on and started taking photos, nothing wrong with it but I realized with time there are deeper aspects into the basics I haven’t really understood which cost me time and wasted photos.
Write down key aspects of photography and practice them, read about them or follow a tutorial but make sure you practice and experiment them.
For example, one technique let’s say you want to practice the use of aperture, you have to place one object like a bottle of water in your sight and take pictures with different aperture settings and analyze the results to see the difference. For shutter speed, go out beside a road and take pictures of cars passing by, adjust different shutter speeds and see the results. With this technique you will understand which shutter speed you like the most or gives you the results you expected.
5. Try the unconventional
Photography is an art, try difference, explore the unexplored, try different angles and be creative. Sometimes the best shot is the one different from the usual.
6. Be mindful of what you are doing
Take a little time to think about the end results before pressing that shutter button! It’s tempting to snap whatever we see but be mindful and resist this temptation. Calculate every shot, unless you are freezing a live moment which can’t be reproduced. But if you are out on the street experiencing random scenes, take your photos, give yourself the luxury of selecting and ignore what’s to include in your shot. This will make a difference!
7. Try different genre of photography
At the beginning it’s natural to try to shoot everything around you, but as most people have already their photography type preference and stick with it. If you plan to be a professional in that category, it’s better you master that type but it’s also a good thing to try other types to learn new techniques and their implications in the overall result of your photos.
8. Look for inspiration
Yes you need to check other people’s work and if you like what you see, go and try to take the same shot. Some photographers’ sites have even details on the settings used to take the photo. Sites like 500px and Flickr have these details. But you can find inspiration anywhere on the internet.