5 Tips for Better Photography
'Everyone is a photographer now'. That’s what I get told all the time. It’s becoming easier by the day to snap anything and everything and through all of the noise on social media, it can be easy for the power of photography to be diluted. So, here are my top 5 tips to go from mindlessly snapping to photographing with intention.
Image by Evie Lewis
Now don’t get me wrong, I am an avid snapper. My phone is filled with images from trips away, friends and family, group selfies and those random shots you send to your friend as a laugh. Being able to capture memories so easily is a fantastic technological advantage but I can safely say those photos will never see the light of day other than when I take a walk down memory lane. What if instead, you could take a photo that tells a story, shows emotion or captures the world as you see it? Wouldn’t that be so powerful?
A good photograph is subjective, don't forget that. There are basic techniques that you should learn such as composition, camera settings and lighting, but you can learn about all of this easily on the internet. I wanted to talk more about the subtle changes you can make that will take your images to the next level.
Here are your 5 tips on how to do this:
1. Slow down. Most people and even top photographers are culprits of holding down the button and firing away, hoping one of them will turn out how they wanted. The best thing you can do for yourself is to put the camera down, take your time and immerse yourself in your surroundings. Take it all in, the small details, landscapes, weather, wildlife, people, colour - all of it! I promise you’ll start to get a feeling of what it is you want to capture and be able to approach it from a place of certainty rather than pointing and hoping.
2. Emotion. I’m not just talking about happy, sad, angry, funny. Wherever or whatever you are photographing, observe the situation and follow your instincts. You will have an overall feeling and I believe that when you lean in to this, they will be your best photographs because they will bring back the feelings and emotions you felt at the time.
These two photos have very different moods - one is quiet and calm, the other is playful and happy
3. Perspective. One of the most common tips is using a different perspective. But this is because it is so effective. Most people take a photo of what is right in front of them and in many cases with something like wildlife photography, it is usually a portrait of some sort. Yes you can get down low or up high, but I encourage you to try and get creative with it. Try shooting through things, look at the small details, bend into funny shapes (as long as you don’t injure yourself) and look up. You’ll be surprised at how different your images will look.
4. Story. Telling a story through photography is hard. It’s something I’m still learning and usually requires a series of photographs. But it doesn’t have to be a classic 'beginning, middle and end’. If you can capture the weather, the feeling of the day, someone’s emotions or movement then you are well on your way. Capturing these details add up to create a picture of what it was like that day - telling the story of how you felt and how you saw it through your eyes.
5. Experiment. My last tip is possibly the easiest but also the most fun. In this case it is okay to snap away, as long as you’re trying something new. Have fun with it and take off the pressure of trying to get that ‘perfect’ shot. This may be where the magic happens. If it doesn’t go well, it is still a success because now you know what doesn’t work and you can move on to trying other things - stress free!
So there we have it. I hope you find these tips useful. The most important thing is to enjoy it! As long as YOU are happy with what you’ve shot then you can’t go wrong.