If you want to become a better photographer and create great photos, you’ll need to take the time every day to practice with your camera, study your subject matter, and shoot film that is inspiring to you. Work with the natural light around you, read your camera manual closely, and remember that every shot counts. There are many important tips to keep in mind when you are starting out with photography and wanting to get better. Here are some of the best rules to follow to become a better photographer each day, and capture great photographs along the way.
Work with the gear you’ve got.
You may think to become a better photographer that you need to have a prime lens and the most modern cameras on the market, but great photos don’t always come from having the best camera. First, try to work with the gear you’ve got to make good photos into great photos. Every day, if you continue to shoot film and learn your gear inside and out, you won’t feel the need to buy new things. You will save your money for the film you need.
Practice in every type of light.
No matter what natural light you are in, whether it is direct sunlight or the golden hour, to become a better photographer, you’ll want to practice in every type of light to create great photos. Utilizing different lighting is one of the most essential composition tips to help take better photos. Every day, make sure you aren’t only shooting at one specific time. Practice at different times so that your photos have different forms of natural light in each one. That way, your photos have diversity, and you will understand the way lighting works in every shot.
Study your manual.
To become a better photographer, it is essential to study your camera manual from front cover to back cover. You will want to know exactly how every function of your camera works in order to utilize your gear properly and take great photos. Every day, study the work you create and study your camera manual excessively, the same way you would watch photography tutorials. The work you put into your photos is what you will ultimately get out.
Experiment with new techniques.
In order to become a better photographer, you will want to experiment with new techniques such as only shooting in black and white versus shooting in color. Also, try shooting at eye level versus shooting at interesting angles. Try the spray and pray style of shooting and see what good photos come out of it. Experiment with 24mm or 36mm film and decide which you prefer. Print your photos yourself in a dark room. All of these different techniques will help you become a better photographer, because you’ll define who you are as an artist.
Learn from others.
When you are trying to become a better photographer, you will want to study the work of other photographers to get inspired and learn from your mistakes. Other photographers who have much more experience than you will have great photos, and by studying their work, you can learn different techniques, different angles, and different lighting to use in your own film later on. Study different artists and a variety of different styles in order to become the best photographer you can be.
Learn from your past work.
When you want to become a better photographer, you'll want to study from the work of other photographers, but most importantly, you'll also want to study your past work and learn from your own mistakes. Every day, you will be shooting film, and it may not be easy to notice your mistakes until you compare and contrast the photos after the fact. Once you sit down and see your work in your hand, you can point out what you’ve done that you like and dislike, and find ways to fix it in the future.
Shoot every day.
One of the most important tips to become a better photographer is to shoot every day. Practice makes perfect in every discipline and photography is no different. By shooting film every day, you will get better. Your good photos will turn into great photos, you will get more familiar with your camera, and you will become a better photographer as you learn your craft and your specific style.
Pretend photoshop doesn’t exist.
While shooting and trying to become a better photographer, pretend photoshop doesn’t exist. True talent behind the camera does not come from using a computer to edit photos after the fact. If you want to show your talent, show that you can create great photography without editing. While sometimes editing is necessary because there are things you cannot control with a camera lens, Photoshop should not be resorted to at all times.
Shoot in manual mode.
Shooting in manual mode is a great way to become a better photographer, because it is a way to challenge yourself. While shooting in automatic will allow you to take a bunch of pictures very quickly, and may give you good shots because you snap a bunch in a row, shooting in manual mode will force you to be patient behind the lens. Try shooting in manual mode so that you have purpose behind every single angle.
Lastly, if you want to become a better photographer, you have to get inspired. Great photos have emotion within them, and the observer of every picture can feel the inspiration in the photo. Great photographers have a theme and a purpose for everything they do. Get inspired and continue to take pictures furiously. You’ll become a better photographer each and every day that you pick up that camera.
All of these tips are just the starting point for how to become a better photographer. If you continue to work hard at what you do and have passion and drive, you can excel and be an amazing artist who produces great photos. Picking up the camera is the first step, so just start shooting.