July 11, 2017

Photography >> Tips For Picture Perfect Photos

Does this sound like you? In the beginning, it started off as a hobby, then maybe someone gave you a camera for Christmas, you began to use it and enjoyed the process of capturing and editing your pictures. Then, it escalated out of control and now you take it everywhere in the hope of taking the perfect snap? Photography is like that because it really does get addictive, which is why so many newbies want to get better, improve their skills and most of all, achieve the picture perfect photograph.

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as simple as 'point and shoot' to get the right results, though that is a great place to start! To produce picture perfect images, you need to invest time and do a little research. As with most things, the key is then to practise practise practise!

With that in mind, here are a few basic tips that may help you if you're just starting out and looking to brush up on your photography skills. 

Start with the basics

As with most things, the best equipment does cost the most money. However, what most people don’t realise is that they really don’t need it straight away. Why? There are plenty of base level cameras to get started with and usually a top of the line camera can be far too complex to understand for us beginners. Although 'base level', a good photographer will still take an amazing image regardless of the tools, and as we build up our skill set we can then work our way up to an improved kit.

There are lots of features that you won’t be able to comprehend on a super expensive camera that may well affect the final snap. In the beginning you just need to get comfortable with your camera, learn the basics and aim to go from shooting in auto to shooting in manual. You should focus on investing in tools that are more to your level as a beginner, get used to what they have to offer and use them as a springboard onto bigger better things down the line. A large initial outlay can really put people off and it doesn't need to be the case. Focus on learning and snapping away rather than stocking up on expensive items. I wish someone had told me this years ago, I thought I'd never be able to afford a decent camera but got a great deal and edit for free online.

Invest in a tripod

People see shots of pro photographers waving their camera around and they think they need to do the same thing. Well, here’s the thing – you don’t! What can be really helpful for blur free clear images is a stable base to help you get the right snap. Otherwise, the lack of stability will show in the final image and often ruin it completely. Therefore, a tripod is pretty essential for any budding photographers and a great bit of starting out kit. They can take a little time to set up, but that is time worth investing to ultimately improve your shot whilst getting to grips with your settings.

You can even then use a camera remote control to take family pictures including yourself or to shoot hands free!

Experiment and explore

The first thing photography workshops teach is to be at one with your camera. Now, that does sound a little pretentious, yet there is a lot of truth in it when you look under the surface. Quite simply, it means that the person operating the camera should know it inside and out. That way, you can change the settings to react to the moment or alterations in the environment. No matter how hard you try, it’s almost impossible to snap a scene without any complications. For that reason, you need to know how to use your camera to respond to any unforeseen snags. There are plenty of sites and videos out there to get you started and it's so satisfying setting your camera up for the environment yourself in order to perfect the shot. Play with your camera, experiment with lighting and see what you can do.

Take photos as often as you can

If you're a keen photographer, this part won't be a challenge. Get in the habit of reaching for your camera on days out or capturing family moments. Keep it handy and keep those batteries charged! Not only does this keep the dedication levels high, but it also acts as a form of practice and gets you used to the best angles and light settings for when you need a great photo. 

The more images you take, the better you will get as long as you learn from the experience. Analysing the snaps afterwards is also an essential part of the process to figure what is right and what is wrong with your technique. Critique your own photographs, work out what isn't right and learn how to fix that for next time. You may find you need to tweak some settings, change your position or add some form of lighting to the equation. There are lots of photo challenges on Instagram, why not join in to capture an image for the day/weeks theme so you have an ongoing purpose to get out there taking pictures.

Join a photographic community

There are lots of budding photographers out there and by chatting and sharing images together, you can get some great tips on how to improve your capturing or editing skills. You may even make some friends along the way and learn a great deal more about achieving those perfect shots. Get searching on Instagram and Facebook for a group right now and see what's out there! You'll gain lots of inspiration and motivation from others.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your venture into photography as they have helped me along the way. Are you new to the world of photography?

*This is a collaborative post.

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