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Photography requires a specific set of skills, but it’s also about your passion and your goals. Plus, it’s an activity where you’re alone with the camera, so if you don’t have the determination to face it properly, it’s easy to lose focus.
This shows up in your work, which can be frustrating even when you’re treating photography like a hobby. The good news is that, sometimes, it’s enough to change the perspective and see everything in a new light.
So, if you’re looking to refresh your photography skills and improve, here are a few tips that may be of help.
1. Think Like a Pro
Did you ever try to make money off of your photos? If money isn’t your goal, you can also use them on social media or website pages as a way to attract people to your content.
Even in today’s day and age, when everyone can take a picture in seconds, high-quality photos are still a hot commodity. That’s because the difference in quality between amateurs and professionals (or those working hard to improve) is glaring.
So, if you genuinely enjoy photography, you have to think beyond the moment you trigger the camera shutter. Think of the people who will admire your photos and the context around them. Will your pictures end up in a gallery? Will you create a wrapped canvas print and use them as wall decorations in your house? Or maybe you’ll have them published in a specialty magazine?
A pro photographer always has the end goal in mind. For instance, if you want to create something original to use as wall art in your house, you need to consider the size of the final piece, the lighting in the room, the surrounding decorations, and the overall message you want to transmit.
When you know the goal, it’s easier to understand the kind of photo you want to take and its artistic composition.
2. Change Your Perspective
Most photographs work with specific types of images, such as natural landscapes, portraits, food photography, action photos, and so on. However, in time, this creates a bubble where you’re separated from the rest of the world.
Eventually, you stop improving because you can’t see the subject of your photos from a new perspective (everything seems the same).
So why not change that and try something completely new? For instance, if you’re used to photographing landscapes, try taking food photos. You won’t just be changing the subject but also the approach since you’ll be switching from a wide view to a macro setting.
You’ll discover new techniques, and you’ll be able to re-experience the thrill of being a beginner again. True, you won’t start from scratch, but each type of photography has its challenges. Plus, you’ll add new skills to your toolkit and new gorgeous photos to your portfolio.
3. Know Your Tools
Professional photographers know their cameras inside and out. Plus, they know how each lens behaves in various scenarios. This way, it’s easy to decide which tools to use when you want to obtain a certain image.
Nowadays, most photographers use a DSLR camera with a series of lenses that fit the type of photography they are trying to create. These cameras are more complex than your phone’s settings, but it’s easy to find online guides and tutorials that’ll teach you how to use each setting.
Of course, there are other less advanced cameras out there, and you can still take amazing pictures with your phone, but if you plan on upping your game, you’ll need a dedicated camera and lenses. The good news is that you can start with the basic tools and upgrade your kit as you see progress.
4. Play with the Rules and the Limits
In all fairness, you should first know the rules and work with them until you manage to understand and master them. The rule of thirds, color schemes, and how to make your photos send the right message are important steps in becoming a professional photographer.
However, once you’ve learned all of these, the next step is experimenting with the rules by breaking them apart and seeing what’s left behind. Photography is a creative process that can forgo all rules and push forward the limits of imagination. But it takes a lot of work and courage to get there.
So, the best tip on how to take your photography skills to the next level is to practice your craft and have fun while doing it. Apply the same rules for editing – try to break the limits and see where this takes you.
Photography and creativity are inextricably linked, but before you can start breaking the rules, you have to master them. The best way to do so is to learn how to take photos with a semi professional camera and practice different perspectives and subjects.