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Do You Want to Know the Secrets for How to Take Good Photos?
Wouldn’t it feel great if every time you pushed the shutter button you knew you would be capturing an award-winning photograph?
Well, now you can! And this article is going to teach you just how to do it!
You’ve probably been wondering…”What is it that pro photographers know about taking good photographs that you don’t?” How did they learn how to take good photos that command attention, are balanced perfectly in composition, and rake in tons of cash for their photography business?
By reading every word in this article you’ll soon learn that its not as hard as you think!
For years, pro photographers have been using the Six Secret Steps listed below for how to take good photos. Its these six steps (and these six steps alone) that will instantly make your photos more engaging, more balanced, and more profitable.
So lets get on with it!
The Six Secret Steps for How to Take Good Photos
Yeah, everyone out there has this first secret listed somewhere in the how to take photos handbook. But, there is a good reason for it. When I decided to pursue my passion of photography, I had no idea what a rule of thirds was, or even how ISO and white balance factored into a photo. I just knew I liked to click a shutter button. It was not until I had a horrible stock submission experience that I realized I had a lot more to learn. Thus, I started reading about photography.
I did not just stop at reading all the technicalities of photography. I also read forums, photographer blogs, and anything else my greedy eyes could be graced with to find out how to take better photos. There is a world of books and websites dedicated to the numbers and science behind photography. You should take all of that in. However, what no technical book is going to teach you is the inspiration. This is where reading photographer blogs really helped. I could see the shots professional photographers posted, enjoy the stories behind the shot, and learn what drove the photographer to capture the scene. This in turn taught me how to find my own inspiration.
Reading never ends by the way. I still pick up magazines, surf the net, and spend a good two or more hours a day reading photography related material. I pick up new tricks, find new inspirations, and even try my hand at styles that are not my own. This is all part of the growing, learning, and improving process.
For a list of photography books you should own, visit the Photography Book Reviews section of our website to read reviews of some of the best photography books ever written.
This step may sound like reading, but it is very different. Do not just read everything you can on taking photos, but also look at as many photos as you can muster. Analyze the photos you love and dislike. Find the common threads that bind these likes and dislikes together. You may find that you thought you liked shooting candid shots of people on the street, only to realize you were really enjoying the architecture in the buildings behind the crowd.
There is another reason to devour as many photos as you can, and that is to help you find your style. So many times you hear that you should find your niche and then set yourself apart in it. Let us face the facts that so many people can now shoot photos this may seem like a daunting task, and it can be if you let it. Besides looking for new angles to shoot old scenes, or new props/lighting to use, look for the more subtle things. These maybe something as big as shooting HDR or something as small as leaning towards a cold tone photo over warmer tones. The only way to find the nuances that really please you is to look at as many photos of every style you can.
After you have read about things like ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds put what you have just read to the test. I cannot tell you how many days I spent just shooting different apertures until I was fully comfortable with how it changed my photos. The photos I took were nothing I would try to sell or even post online, but they still reside on my hard drive as a reminder of the learning experience. I can always turn back to them and look at the differences, and I still learn from them today.
The other part is shooting whenever the urge hits you. The only way to hone your skill and learn how to take better pictures is to practice it A LOT. Just as athletes practice the same drills over and over, you should be shooting images as often as you possibly can. Do not go thinking you need to lug around hefty lenses or giant DSLR cameras for this. If all you have on you is the camera on your phone then so be it. You can still apply your knowledge, and better yet your passion, to any image no matter how you capture it. I have a camera on me at all times, it maybe a Sony point and shoot, my iPhone, or my D90. The key is to never leave home without a camera as you never know where your next photo opportunity is going to hit.
This step on how to take good photos is a bitter pill to swallow up front, but there is a reason I am telling you to FORGET about post processing. Almost any photographer you talk to will tell you to get the image as correct in the camera first, and then post process it to a final result. This is great, once you have basics down pact. If you end up depending on software like Lightroom, Aperture, or Photoshop to fix white balance, exposure, or ghosting, then you are just making more work for yourself in the end. I am the first to admit that I will use Lightroom to fix crops, increase saturation, and even add a bit of vibrancy. Before I do any of these adjustments, I try to get the look I want right out of the camera. When you are comfortable getting the look you want out of the camera, then you can add on your software of choice to put the final changes onto your photos.
This the hardest secret for most people to handle when learning how to take good photos. Getting critiques of your photographs. Critiques are the hardest things to find, let alone take. We all love great praise, and sometimes it is all we need. Sadly, we learn from the hard honest critiques the most. You may know these mean reviews as your white balance is off, poor framing job, not sharp enough, or even the dreaded “what is the point here.” While these kinds of critiques can hurt ones pride, it should not crush your desire to improve. Some of the best learning experiences I encountered were from the few words that may have stomped on my pride in an image. These drove me back to learn more, try harder, and expand on the feedback I received. Then when I came around again, the words were of praise and a pat on the back as I improved and grew.
Critiques can be hard to find. While friends and family are nice, they sadly may not want to hurt your feelings. This is where the Internet has come to your aid. Sure, it sucks to have some anonymous person tell you your photo sucks and leave it at that, but they obviously had nothing constructive to say. The few people that do offer honest feedback are worth ever letter they spill out to help you get better. If you can get into gallery shows, or have a peer rate your work even better. The best critique is the one you learn from.
The most important thing you can do during all of this is have fun. I admit it, I say this a lot. However, when things become a chore, or you start to dread what you are doing, well, sadly you may need to sit down and reconsider things. When you have fun and enjoy this beautiful art we call photography it will show in your images. It does not matter what kind of images you love to capture, if you are having fun and have a passion for what you do, the results of your labor will be that much better.
Getting great at photography is not some mysterious language that is harder to find than some holy grail. It is just a matter of work and love. You ultimately never stop learning, and you skills will continue to grow as you continue on your photography journey. Enjoy the ride as you only get to do this life thing once.
We hope you enjoyed these six secret steps for how to take good photos and will use the valuable information you just learned to reach your fullest potential as a photographer. And also, please share these secrets and this article with every photographer you know. Use the “Sharing is Caring” social media buttons below to spread the word and also leave a comment.
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