With digital photography at the fingertips of just about everyone in the world these days, it seems like we’re constantly being pushed to buy the latest 4K camera with more buttons and filters on it than a Swiss army knife. There is an overwhelming amount of gear available on the market, from special moving tripods, to drones for aerial shots, even selfie sticks for that “perfect portrait” when you go traveling. No matter which type of photos you’re into taking, you’ll be told that you need certain products to be a good photographer – but the real secret is that there isn’t any secret at all, just creativity and a passion for going out and capturing life itself in every picture you take.
Don’t Take The Fun Out Of It!
Photos are a hobby, sometimes even a career, but most of all they’re a fun, unique expression of the life you’ve lived, the places you’ve visited and the people you love. Tools and equipment are part of that fun, and if there’s a new photography tool you’re interested in, you should definitely give it a try. Still though, whether you have the most expensive, latest technologically-advanced camera on the market or a beat-up old Polaroid from your childhood days, the quality of your pictures is determined by your basic knowledge of photos in general and how much imagination you apply to your work. After all, some of the most famous and the most important photographs throughout history were taken on cheap old cameras, yet these photos are amazing because they told a story about not just the picture, but also the person who took it. Of course, you want to always have a working, fully functional camera if at all possible, but there’s no such thing as “the best one”, and there’s no specific piece of gear that will create the perfect image every time.
Try New Things!
When taking photos, never be afraid to experiment and try new things. Why spend over a hundred dollars on one filter when you can make your own homemade filters? Sometimes you can play around with light and shadow and digital software that you already have on your own computer to give your shots a whole new look. You also don’t have to just stick to one type of photo. If you’ve always done nature photography, who’s to say you can’t try some portraits or architectural photos to see how it goes? Better yet, why not combine all three? There’s no rule to tell you which type of photographic medium is better, either. People say film is dead, but it can be a lot of fun to try film out and do your own darkroom developing. If you’ve always shot on film, you can try digital as well to see if you like it, or even a mix of the two.
When taking a photo, it’s always great if you care about your subject. The best photos are usually the ones done because the photographers loved what was in them or because they were sharing something very important. It doesn’t always have to be something alluring or complex, either. Even something as simple as your kids playing out in the backyard or an upcoming birthday party can make for some truly beautiful and unforgettable pictures. If you put yourself into all your photos, it will go a long way in getting great images.
You Can Take Great Pictures!
Some people think you have to be a technical genius to fully understand the art of good picture-taking, which is a little pretentious and it can often be intimidating to amateur hobbyists and people trying to improve their skills. All you really need to know is the basic stuff, and there are plenty of simple guides available offering tips on good lighting and shadows, clear, sharp images and brighter colors. Remember too that your camera is your friend. The more you get to know your camera and the extent of its capabilities, the better your photos will be. Try out each of its filters, buttons and settings so you can find out which ones are right for you. Not all settings are right for every photographer but the more you try them out, the more you can learn and the more you can personalize your pictures to express your creative side. Read the instruction manual too every time you buy a new camera so you can quickly pick up on the basics of distance, battery life, storage capabilities and other info unique to your device.
Get Creative With Your Work!
With social media more popular than ever, it can be difficult to get noticed as an eager photographer trying to share your work with the world and people around you, which is another reason why creativity is so important. The only rules to obey if you want your images to stand out is to always think outside the box, have fun and never let other people tell you what’s good and what isn’t. Beauty is subjective, and as long as you enjoy what you do, that’s all that really matters. Take advantage of your friends and family – they might have some advice and ideas you might never have thought of.
Photography blogs, magazines, books and websites can also be a useful source of inspiration, and many websites feature techniques and “photo hacks” for photographers looking to try something new just for fun. Don’t forget to take advantage of supplies you might have lying around at home, too! A lot of household supplies can be used as lens overlays, from those souvenir glass paperweights to cardboard cutout shapes, bottles and bulbs and even fabric. If you’re unsure how things like this will work out, experiment with them for a while and then use them for important photos when you feel ready.
Photography has been a popular pastime for over a century now, but who said it has to only be one way? Share your vision, let your work give something meaningful to yourself and the world, and remember, it’s not a contest to find out which person is the best. There’s no such thing as the best, but there is such a thing as the joy, and as long as you’re enjoying what you do and learning for yourself with each new picture you snap, you’ll always take great photographs.