Simple Tips for Amateur Photographers to Improve Your Photography

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  By Jennifer Berube
Simple Tips for Amateur Photographers to Improve Your Photography

Everyone can call themselves a photographer, but there are photographers, and then there are photographers. As an amateur, you may think that you are not in the same league as someone who makes a professional living at it. This doesn’t need to be the case. You can be just as good as a professional photographer, and all it takes is knowing how to take advantage of your own skills and the environment around you.

In order to become a better photographer, there are several tips to get you to that next level and help you begin your career as a better photographer:

Get Criticism

As an amateur, it can be very difficult to get the criticism of another. It can be soul crushing in some ways, but it doesn’t have to because criticism can make us better and can make us be more than we are. That is why you should get feedback from others. Feedback can be harsh, but it can be good, and no matter which way it takes, it will help you become better as a photographer.

Shoot Less

I don’t mean go out less; I mean get out there and shoot but really concentrate on what and how you’re photographing. It can be hard to shoot less when you want to get plenty of pictures, but this can be really good for you.

In the past, a photographer had to be very selective with the pictures they took because there was often only so much film in their pocket. In the days of digital media, it is easy to take 1,000 pictures. If you take 1,000 or 10,000 pictures, you are going to have at least one to 10 that are simply stunning. Does this mean you are a better photographer, or is it just the law of averages getting good photos? This is why you should put more pressure on yourself to get the right pictures by being selective. It will sharpen your skills and make you a better photographer as a result.

Don’t Go Automatic

It can be easy to just use the automatic setting so that you don’t have to worry about shutter speed, aperture, light metering, etc., but this does not make you a better photographer. You need to get using M mode because that will force you to use aperture, shutter speed and ISO to make very unique photos but to also give you an understanding of how you can use the environment around you to create stunning photos.

Be Inspired By Others

As a photographer, there is nothing wrong with becoming inspired by someone else and using their own methods to make you a better photographer. A good artist will emulate another artist to start with. This may seem like copying but by doing this, you will begin to learn more and more about yourself as a photographer and in time your own style is going to develop as well.

Take a look at other photographers online. What do you like? What do you dislike? Find the style that inspires you, a certain picture that you really like and try to capture the same thing.

Keep It Simple

It can be tempting to have a lot of camera equipment at your disposal but that can get you bogged down and make things very difficult when you are trying to get the right photo. Instead, just keep things simple and keep it down to basics. Just have one camera and one lens, and use the combination to its full potential. Think outside the box to get the photos you want with just a small amount of equipment.

Know The Rules

To be a better photographer, there are composition rules you can use to get the image you want. One of the best is the Rule of Thirds, which places points of interest on intersections on the camera screen. You can also use leading lines to lead a person’s eye to the picture. The use of diagonal lines will create the image of movement, and be sure to use framing as well. Framing can use doors and windows to create natural frames for the picture.

Using patterns and repetition is very important, and symmetry is very pleasing to the human eye. Use those things to your advantage.

We all have the potential to be great photographers, and using these tips can help get you on the path to becoming the great photographer you always wanted to be. Just remember to keep it simple, keep it natural and don’t force yourself to be the type of photographer you are not.

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Before I became Editor-in-Chief of PHLEARN Magazine, I spent over five years specializing in Photography Writing and contributed articles regularly to sites like PictureCorrect, Sleeklens, and PhotoWorkout. Photography has always been a huge passion of mine; I may not be professionally trained in the art, but the knowledge and experience I have gained writing about photography techniques, interviewing some of the biggest and most inspiring photographers out there, and covering industry events has been invaluable!

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