We are all busy people and the last thing you want to read is a few thousand words blog post on how to become a better photographer. So instead of giving you all the technique details, I am going to share a few simple tips I used when I began my photography journey. Think about these as you head out for the next photo shoot and keep in mind that even though they sound like a no-brainer, doing these as soon as possible allows you to set the foundation to become a better photographer in early stage. So here we go!
1) Know your camera well
Getting the right exposure for your picture is not that difficult with cameras these days. But if you don’t know how to set up your camera for the shot it can be costly. Imagine if you are shooting a wedding and the pastor announced, “you may kiss the bride”. All the suddenly you are trying to switch from shutter priority to aperture priority mode, then you are trying to figure out where to increase the ISO and you couldn’t find the buttons, your shot is basically ruin and your clients may end up suing you. This is just an extreme example but I just want to illustrate the importance of knowing your camera well before heading on to any photo shoot. This may sound silly but read the camera’s manual! There will be moments when you need this little book for references.
2) You don’t need expensive gears
Don’t compare your gears to other photographers! In fact, you will always run into someone with better or worst gears than you. What you should concentrate is your photography skills and quality of your images. Even though I am saying you don’t need expensive gears that doesn’t mean you can go cheap with all the gears as well. For example, you cannot expect a $40 dollar tripod to do its job right. Ask your photography friends, read forums and keep practicing with gears you current own. Don’t change your gears until you find they are limiting your skills.
3) You will take a lot of bad shots
If you think all professional photographers just go to the location, take out their camera, snap one shot then go home, then all photographers just need to work 5 minutes a day! The truth is, everyone (even the professionals) takes hundreds or even thousands of shots just to get a few good ones to share around. From my own experience, it takes me at least 50-100 shots to get may be 2 that I want to share around. So be realistic and be prepared to take lots of bad shots and don’t be discouraged if you can’t nail the shot every time!
4) Choose your major in photography
Just like going to college, you take general subjects the first 2 years then you major in subjects in your area. This is the same with photography. You should try portrait, landscape, macro, sports and basically anything that you can get your hands dirty with. Once you start noticing your photo trend and your style of photography, then it’s time to begin majoring in one of those areas. So don’t limit yourself when you are starting out!
5) Do what it takes to get the shot
If you look at pictures from professional photographers, they seem to have this perfect setting so unique that you cannot find from anyone else. That is because they did what it takes to get the shot! It included waking up at 4am to hike up the mountains or walk down the creek half mile to get the perfect shot! As a photographer we should have this mindset that in order to be different you need to do what it takes to get the shot. You need to express your point of view to other people. So get up early, learn your shooting location well, do the research and bring the proper gear for the perfect shot! One you have a good portfolio you won’t regret it for the rest of your life.
What do you think of this article? How did you find out what kind of pictures you like taking at the beginning? Comment below and share this post around. Happy shooting photographers!