All experts agree that great photography is not all about expensive gear; good technique is more important. This is simply because the camera never makes pictures, it is just a tool. It is therefore possible to take better photographs if you use your current camera well. Instead of dwelling on the technical settings, think about the perspective, composition, light, shadows, and the colors.
Your clients look for the photographer in you and not the equipment. Some of the events you will be covering as a photograph such as weddings are very special to your clients. They want the best from you. It is important to learn how to take great pictures at all times. Here are 8 tips to take better photographs.
- Passion matters a lot
Photography is more than a job. You must love what you do. Your passion matters a lot and it will show in the quality of your work. The experts do it because they love it. Ask yourself these important questions. Is photography fun for you? What is your greatest motivation in the world of photography? What do you look for in a great photo?
2. Know your camera
Take time to familiarize yourself with your camera. This will help you understand what it offers and how you can use it properly. Go over the manual carefully and learn what each function in the camera does. Practice the basics such as zooming in and out, using the flash, how to properly hold the camera, etc. Remember that learning is a continuous process. You cannot learn everything about your camera in one day. When you learn something new, go out there and practise. This is because practice makes perfect.
3. Focus the smart way
Focusing right is very crucial for taking better photographs. Better focus improves the sharpness of your photos. The first tip is to avoid autofocus as much as possible. Some new cameras have “Focus Peaking” which can be a useful tool for achieving better sharpness and focus. Secondly, invest in a trip and use it whenever possible since even a slight movement of the camera will affect your shots. Using a tripod and avoiding autofocus will help you focus the smart way.
4. Shoot during golden hours
When it is possible, take photographs during the golden hours. This is early in the morning and late in the evening just before sunset. Your objects will have a warm light cast on them during the golden hours and their shadows will be longer. This makes your photos more appealing. Obviously, consider the weather conditions as well. The worst time to shoot photographs is mid-day when the harsh glare of the sun leads to ugly photos. When discussing with your clients, advise them on the best time to get high quality photographs. You could be asking, but what about an event that occurs the whole day? Well, here your creativity should come into play.
5. Avoid low resolution images
Remember to set the resolution of your camera as high as possible. This helps you take high resolution photos. Photographs taken at a low resolution are more difficult to edit later and will look bad. However, it is important to keep in mind that high resolution photographs consume a lot of the camera’s memory. You should therefore invest in larger memory cards.
6. Clean up the background
The background is an important part of any photograph. Make sure it is not messy or cluttered. Look through your viewfinder or screen and ask yourself if every element is important to the final outcome. If the answer is a “no”, take it out. Branches, the sky and other people or objects are some of the things you should look out for. Cleaning up your background can make a huge difference in the quality of your photographs.
Whenever you arrive at a location, do not begin shooting immediately. Take your time to analyze the place before you start taking photographs.
7. Be ready all the time – moments come and go quickly
When it comes to photography, moments come and go rather quickly. If you are not ready, you can miss a golden opportunity to take a photo in a given time and setting. Some photography opportunities are as short as a second or two. Whenever you go out shooting, turn your camera on and set to the right settings. This way, when the opportunity arrives, you won’t be caught unawares.
8. Take lots of photos
The more photos you take, the more you will learn. Use every opportunity to use your photography gear. By taking lots of photos, you will begin to understand how your camera works in different conditions. You will know what works and what does not work. I also advise doing more research, reading a lot and watching video tutorials. There are free and paid online platforms where you can learn more about photography. There is a lot to learn in the world of photography. Therefore keep learning and keep trying. Let this be your top priority and stick with it. This is what makes great photographers to stand out from the crowd.
The good thing about photography is that it is a lot of fun and even if you will make mistakes from time to time, with ongoing practice you will begin to see improvements in your photos. Practice, practice and more practice is at the center of all the tips to take better photographs. Use every opportunity to learn how to use your camera as well as what it takes to be great at photography.