How can I step up my game?
If you decompose the art of photography into a few steps, you are going to end up with something similar to:
- Buy camera and film
- Load film in camera
- Point camera towards subject
- Click shutter
- Take an aesthetically pleasing, visually compelling photograph
All this seems very simple, except for the last point. Some people are never able to reach this point and others will take a long time before they do. This is what we will discuss in the article.
On your journey to become a photographer, here are some approaches you can take;
Don’t do anything
The majority of people only use their camera to take pictures of family gatherings and holidays. Almost all of them are content with the pictures they take.
Search for websites and resources that teach you how to take better pictures
By scouring the internet, you can learn several new tips and tricks to improve your photograph taking skills.
Publish your photos and have people critique them
This often takes a lot of guts. Putting your work ‘out there’ and waiting to hear peoples comments is often difficult. You may expect less than stellar reviews of your photographs or sometimes they may be glowing ones. Either way, you can rest assured that you will pick up numerous tips on how to improve your photographs.
Study the photographs of the professionals
Look for the acknowledged greats in photography and their work. Study not only their work, but also what other people have to say about their work. In this way, you can learn some of the aspects of taking great photographs that are widely acclaimed.
If you also want to relate how your work compares with these photographs, you will need some feedback on your photographs. As mentioned in point 3 above, join a forum where people can critique your work. This will acquaint you with what criticism to accept and what to ignore.
Join a club
Joining a photography club can be a good way to improve your skills. They often have lectures or workshops which you can visit. Photography clubs are a great way to get some good hands-on experience.
Enroll in a class
You can find a number of classes on photography, both online and by physically attending a campus. Try to choose one which has assignments that are ultimately critiqued by a panel of experienced photographers.
Get some help
Getting some help from an experienced photographer is a great way to develop your skills. One point of note here, look for an artist who will introduce you to a way of looking at the world. He will help you to develop your ‘artistic eye’ and find your unique talent. If, however, you’re only after ways to improve your stock photo taking skills, then choose on of the six options listed above.
Join an art school
This is by far the best approach if you’ve got the money and time. An example of how such a school may work would be intensive classes about 3 to 4 times a week. Here you will learn to critique photographs of others as well as your own. You will learn history of photography and other topics related to art such as drawing, painting and sculpture. Here you receive a well rounded introduction to the world of art, not just photography. The emphasis of these schools is to teach you the very basics of art and set you free. No rules are likely to be thought here. Only expression.
Obviously the tips listed in this article are to be considered on an individual basis. If you have more time and are really dedicated to becoming a true artist, by all means pursue the art school option. If, however, you’ve only got a little time and are more interested in basic, stock or wedding photography, then follow the other tips listed in the article.
However, if you think that you would like to own your own photo business, I recommend you at least read this guide before you jump in. It’s all about opening a profitable photography business and avoiding the mistakes other have made. It’s dedicated to coaching you in starting your own business but places a strong emphasis on profitability issues & guidelines.