You are reading a post on improving your skills on photography. So clearly you are someone who seeks knowledge and wants to improve, that is the first and most essential step of getting better at something.
Now let’s get straight into it.
Take Your Camera Everywhere You Go
Seriously, treat your camera almost like an extra limb as if it is part of you.
Take it everywhere you can feasibly do so. The same way you go pretty much everywhere with your phone, just in case someone calls you , take your camera everywhere.
How can taking my camera everywhere help me become a better photographer?
There will always be moments where you think damn “I WISH I had my camera with me right now, that could’ve been such a cool picture!”, but you have to settle for a quick shot from your phone.
Phone cameras are pretty decent nowadays and high end phones in particular can take amazing photos. However they simply don’t have the same capabilities as a mirrorless or DSLR camera.
By taking your camera with you everywhere you will eliminate the possibility of missing these opportunities. If there’s something amazing in front of you, you can simply turn your camera on and go at it.
Not only will this give you confidence in having your camera with you. It will help you to get to grips with your settings more and you will learn how to shoot different subjects.
Confidence in Settings
For example if you come across a cute puppy in the morning, an interesting piece of architecture in the afternoon and shoot a sunset later in that day you have just shot 3 completely different types of subjects.
Now your pictures might not be perfect (they might not even be usable!), but that’s not important for a beginner.
The important thing is that you’ve had to try and use different settings to capture the different subjects under different conditions.
By doing this you can see which look images look better and which don’t look as good. So next time you come across these types of subjects you can implement what you’ve learnt.
For example you might have taken the animal portrait at a very low f-number to blur out the background and focus on the subject’s face, but for the sunset you imitated the same settings.
Unfortunately with the low f-stop your exposure ended up being too bright and your sunset did not show off the vibrant colours in the image as you saw with your eyes.
So you’d ask yourself why this happened? You might even search ‘how to shoot a sunset ‘ so you would learn and improve.
Confidence in Public
The more you take your camera out with you the more confident you will become in using it in public and you begin to worry less about what people think.
It can be hard to start off because you might feel nervous walking around with a camera.
But put it this way, if you saw someone walking around with a camera and taking a picture of a sunset? You probably would not think twice, proceed to forget after 5-10 minutes and move on with your day.
So why should you feel uncomfortable doing the same?
To help you with this, we’ve created a progressive shot list to help build your confidence.
We’ve ordered it from the easiest to hardest based on possible interaction with people incase this is what you struggle with the most.
Just remember to use common sense when taking photos in public. If you are shooting a portrait of someone on the street then you might want to ask them if you are getting straight in their face.
*Feel free to add to this list or modify it for your own interests*
- A building
- Animal – bird, dog, cat, squirrel etc.
- City street scene with or without people
- Portrait of a person
Learning Your Preferences
Another benefit of doing this is that you will start to notice what kinds of subjects and what types of photography you prefer to shoot.
Maybe you absolutely hate shooting pictures of people, but you love shooting architecture and nature. This can help you evolve as a photographer because you can focus on learning skills relevant to what you enjoy.
Growing Your Network and Getting Jobs
By taking your camera around more often and shooting whenever you get a good chance, there is a higher likelihood that the people around you notice that you are into this hobby.
This can be great since friends and family might also be interested and you may have never known.
On top of this, you may get lucky and get approached with offers to do some work for people.
You never know when one of your family members or friends might be putting on an event or running a business that needs some photography work done.
By taking your camera with you whenever you can, you will increase the opportunities for improving your skills and learn more about yourself as a photographer.
It can also lead to better connections and networking opportunities so go out there and keep taking pictures – don’t let your camera just gather dust!
We hope you found this helpful! As always we appreciate your time for reading this.
– Photography Pursuits Team