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9 Tips to level up your photography skills

9 Tips to level up your photography skills

close up of the silhouette of a hand holding a negative strip against the light
Your photos are a reflection of the way you see the world, therefore there is beauty and uniqueness in every shot, follow these tips to take it to the next level.


It can be hard to start off with no knowledge of what makes a good photo or how to make one yourself and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, As I write this I feel is my objective to “untie your hands”.

But the most important thing is to learn how to see, a blurry photo can stile a good photo, so, keep trying and keep learning! The more you practice taking pictures, the better your skills will become.

If you’re reading this, chances are you want to improve your photography skills. And that’s a good thing! It’s important to keep growing and learning in any area of life. So if you’re ready to level up your photography game, here are my top 9 tips:

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1. Get familiar with your camera.

Probably you feel that it’s better to keep shooting and see what occurs, and yes, you can always do that, and that’s OK, but there are certain fundamental things you need know about your camera before you start getting the most out of it.

So get to know your camera: know its features like the back of your hand (or at least where all the buttons are), know how to change settings and take pictures at different times of day or in different lighting conditions, and learn how to use modes like aperture priority mode or shutter speed priority mode if your camera has them.

If you still need assistance learning how to operate your DSLR camera, try taking a photography class or attending a workshop conducted by an expert—they’ll be able to tell you what sort of lens is appropriate for each circumstance and answer any concerns you have about exposure settings or composition (the way images come together in terms of composition). Find out if there are any photographers in town who would be willing to discuss things in person; these individuals are likely to be pleased to share their knowledge with others!

Follow your intuition and go out with your pocket camera or phone and practise, search for new perspectives, a style, find, and enjoy the wonderful photographic journey, but remember that just as a typewriter does not make a writer, your camera does not create a photographer.

So, focus on the ability to feel what you see!

2. Photogenic doesn't mean looking "good"

Being photogenic involves more than simply looking “nice”; it also involves capturing the essence of your subject, and trusting your instincts, if it’s in your heart to be a pet photographer or to take shots of insects, then… take images of insects!

Photography is a creative playground, you may draw inspiration for your particular photography style from any theme, from landscapes and natural settings to architectural photographs (or even selfies).

Not every image you take will be a masterpiece, but that doesn’t make them insignificant; every photograph is a reflection of the person behind the camera, so even the blurry ones have their own character and value.

To be a good photographer, you must perceive the world in a way that makes sense for your own talent and connect with what you see through your viewfinder on an emotional level.

Noise reduction using masking and luminance techniques
photography composition showing rule of thirds guidelines over a model sitting on the floor with her left leg stretched

3. Composition is the key.

When we speak about “composition” in reference to photography, we mean the way we frame and arrange the components inside a frame to form an aesthetically pleasing overall. When photographing people or objects, composition may be the difference between an excellent and a bad photograph.

You have accomplished strong composition by employing design aspects (such as hierarchy, visual gravity, colour, and pattern) to emphasise your subject matter without distracting from it or overwhelming the observer.

As a photographer, your work is almost surgical in that you choose what to cut, what to keep, and where to focus in a particular picture; this includes the arrangement of things inside the frame and the use of lines to draw attention to certain portions of the frame.

Poor composition, on the other hand, just fills the whole frame with extraneous components with no consideration for their location or the impact they will have on the rest of the image (or sometimes even if they belong there at all).

4. There is no such thing as "BAD" light!

Let’s get this out of the way: there is no such thing as terrible light; rather, there is only a poor comprehension of light and a lack of ability in adapting to it or contemplating it. Yet indeed sometimes light can be like a wild horse that needs to be tamed.

Light may be used to emphasise a certain section of your subject or to provide shadows that bring attention to other parts. It may be used to create an atmosphere, silhouettes or even make someone’s skin seem immaculate. In brief, light is an essential component of photography!

Light can add movement and depth to your photographs. And by that, I mean that it may make things seem to be moving or three-dimensional (like in real life). It’s amazing what a photographer with a good grasp of lighting can do for a shot!

silhouette of three people walking uphill towards the sunset at different distances and against a yellow background
Close up of a woman fishing in the pacific

5. Participant or Clandestine? your choice!

There are two methods to photography that are worth considering: participatory and interactive and as a clandestine spy, and both are fantastic; it is a question of going closer or not, and not just physically but also emotionally.

As a photographer, I started out as a shy person, “stealing” the shot most of the time, and I have beautiful and heartfelt memories from this approach because it allowed me to capture the most authentic side of my surroundings and subjects, but as I grew into photography, my fears started to fade and it became easier to connect with the people in front of my lens.

Being a participant is an incredible way into photography because it allows you to interact with people, elicit reactions, learn about locations and their history, comprehend the context of what you are shooting, and observe more profoundly.

Unless there is imminent danger, Don’t be afraid to get closer to your subjects; in most cases, you could make a new friend, get unusual shots or obtain a deeper grasp of your subject as a result.

Both ways are acceptable, and wonderful images may emerge from either. My recommendation is that as a photographer, you can benefit from both, but with awareness of the findings you are obtaining, your mere presence will make your photograph way different, nor worse nor better, just different!

6. Expect for the unexpected moment.

Look for unexpected moments to capture, since this is the most effective approach to make your photographs stand out. 

The ideal photograph does not only record what is obvious to the viewer; rather, it conveys an impression or sensation that the viewer was previously oblivious to having. 

Before you capture the image, you may do this by glancing around the area and thinking about what could happen next. Don’t be scared to sit tight and be patient until the opportunity for the perfect photo arises!

Humble women for the Pacific Ocean coastline lights a cigarette while taking a break of her home shores, a couple of cats sit down next to the door
Sunset riders street photography

7. Take advantage of the golden hour.

Using the golden hour is a simple method to improve your photography. Golden hour refers to the time immediately after dawn or just before sunset, when the light is very warm and flattering, making for a lovely contrast to the harsher light of noon. 

If you want to photograph at sunset but don’t want your subject to constantly seem like a silhouette against the dull sky, consider utilising an off-camera flash or reflector.

The “golden hour” is a magical moment for wedding photographers and videographers. You’ll only get this kind of light at this time of day, so take advantage of it while you can and you will get the warmth only this period of time conveys.

8. There is no problem with editing a picture; after all, it is yours to begin with.

According to The Phoblographer, just 9 percent of photographers modify their photographs before posting them online. However, rapid filters are readily applicable and very popular, therefore I must disagree with their stance.

I believe that photo editing is a matter of personal preference, but I genuinely think that moderation is the key: while Lightroom and Photoshop are great places to start if you’re new to editing photos, going overboard with filters and effects can distract viewers from the photograph or divert their attention from what’s important in the picture.

Minor tweaks to the image’s aspects are appropriate in my opinion and a decent edit may enhance and elevate your images to the next level,  

In addition, photo editing may inspire you to scan old photographs more regularly or appreciate the art of photo restoration

In the end, art is an expression, therefore don’t be timid to go creative, what matters is your particular style not other peoples opinion, if you pay much attention to other people’s opinion, then is not your photography but theirs.

Red belly bird flying with open wings and carrying a stick to their nest
Close up of hands picking up coffee

9. You can capture amazing moments if you put in the effort, the mindset and attention.

You can capture amazing photos if you put in the work and time, but most importantly, if you learn how to see!

Photography is the simplest art form, yet this is what makes it tougher to “succeed,” however, a photographer’s success, in my opinion, is about storytelling, mindfulness and connection not about Instagram likes.

Simply take your phone and start snapping consciously; there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment or hire someone to hold a reflector for you, just look deeper at your surroundings and allow yourself to be surprised by the normality and you will become a better photographer.

That is, indeed, the situation. The greatest approach to learning photography is to experiment.

Many individuals are reluctant to snap photos for fear of ruining the image or missing something vital. 

Your photography is beautiful because it is a reflection of the way you see.

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