Ways to Be a Better Photographer
Social & Commercial photography
Most anybody with a good eye and some imagination can take good pictures and with the advances in digital photography as well as the innovations and capabilities that most modern digital cameras offer this is most true today as it was in the past.
But besides taking photographs that can be considered good if you want to become a professional in the sense that a professional is known for you need to move away from simply taking pictures to documenting your passion.
Most food photographers only do food photography. In fact many also do their own cooking as well as the setting of their dishes to keep control of everything they do.
In this way they not only remain in control but get to build a reputation as experts in the field.
By focusing on your passion and documenting it with your photographs, you will inevitably end up bringing your unique perspective and insight as well as commitment to your photography and this ends up showing up in your picture taking adventure.
Conceptual & Fine Art photography
Besides focusing your photo efforts in a passion you also need to be able to tell a story that clients for your work will appreciate and can use in their advertising.
If your passion is to photograph people then spending time before during and after a shoot lets them know that your consider their input important which in turn can lead to a more collaborative effort and and better relationship with your models. This may even lead to other photo ops based on your model's interests.
When doing a shoot take as many pictures as you can. Do not limit yourself to just a few pictures or any specific number of images. Tale plenty of photos to not only maximize your chances of capturing some good images but to also understand your subject matter better.
Do not rely too much on a digital editing tool like Photoshop. Try your best to make the perfect image with the camera instead of with Photoshop.
Find inspiration for your photography in other art fields and not just simply on photo related artwork. Looking at paintings, sculptures and many other art forms can give you ideas about different subjects matter, new ways of looking at things, the way that colors blend together and how light plays on them.
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A great way to get ideas and polish your technique is to look at the work of more established photographers. Look at how they compose shots, how they work the light and how they find new ways of photographing common subjects.
Try to learn from their work but for your work to be truly your own do not mimic their work. Just use it as a general guide and infuse it with your own perspective.
When out and about and if not carrying your camera, then either takes notes and draw a sketch of potential subjects, which should include the time of day and any other helpful details so that you can come back later and use your camera.
A very good tool is your phone. Use it to get a general idea of what to photograph and how to compose the shot.
Once you have taken enough photos present them to friends and have them judge your images for composition and general overall pleasantness. Ask them for suggestion into how to improve the technical aspects and other ways that your pictures can be made better.
Still life & Macro photography
Your are going to have to take some risk when photographing.
Learn the rules but do not let guide you as if written in stone.
Bending them once in a while can show you new ways of looking at things.
Understand your camera as well as all of your gear.
Knowing how each piece of gear works and what it can do is paramount.
Do not rely of the auto mode. This gives the control to a machine and takes it away from you.
The best photographers rarely use auto.
Their best tool is between their ears and manual allows them to use their creativity to the max.
This is by no means the must rule to follow (remember the no rule is written in stone quote?)
You will be faced by opportunities that may demand that you leave everything to the auto mode but this should be in very rare occasions.
Nature/landscape & Fashion photography
- 100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
Here's a list of tips, advice, rules and just things to know about photography from Eric Kim, a street photographer who also holds photography workshop classes. I think the gist of it is to keep taking pictures always.
© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez
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