Taking a professional photo isn’t easy. Even for seasoned pros, it can take hours of shooting before they get a perfect picture. That being said, there are three main things that all professional photographers do that will significantly improve your photos.
As with any skill, the more you do it, the better you become at it. To continue to evolve as a photographer, you should do the following:
- Take photos every day.
- Have something specific in mind that you want to shoot.
- Take photos of that subject in different locations.
- Experiment with different settings on your camera until you know what all of them do.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get to know your camera. Even if it’s an inexpensive camera, knowing its features and settings will help you take better photos.
Every professional photo shoot is planned out long before the first click of the shutter button. For your own photo sessions, whether it be a family reunion or pictures for Christmas cards, you need to know where and when you’re shooting. Other things to consider include the following:
- Lighting: Where will the natural light be, and how will it affect the shot you want to get? Do you need to bring artificial lights?
- Backdrops: Do you need one, or will you use a natural setting?
- Clothing: If you’re photographing people, do you want them to wear similar colors or does anything go?
Planning out the details ahead of time will make the whole process much smoother.
3. Get the Right Light
Photography is all about light; it is by far the most important element when you take any photograph. But you don’t have to run out and buy a bunch of studio strobes. Follow these tips to effectively light your shots:
- Use existing lights: You can often just use the lights in the room you are in. Simply move them, shoot a test photo and then move them again until you like the results.
- Use natural light: Consider going outside to shoot your photo. Natural light is always your friend, which is why you’ll see many portraits and headshots taken outdoors. I took this photo of my daughter against a neighbor’s fence in the afternoon light when she needed a headshot for an audition she was going to.
- Use a reflector: If you’re not getting quite enough light on your subject, try reflecting the light on it. A piece of white poster board or paper is a perfect budget option.
Each of these tips will help you take more professional photos that will make great Prints for friends and family. Good luck, and happy shooting.
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Image source: C.C. Chapman