Exposed! :: Top Photo Tips

Exposed! Top Photo Tips

We’ve been teaching photo students for 12 years and have doled out many photo tips in that time. We have started posting them on our Facebook page, too.

In this edition of Exposed! we list ten top tips for better photography.

#1 Get closer!! I feel like a recorded message when I say “get close… get closer!!” I keep saying this because it keeps being true. Getting closer to your subject helps make your photos better because it makes the main subject more prominent.

photo tips - get closer!!

Photo tips – get closer!!

#2 Always have a back-up. The importance of this tip depends on what you are photographing. If you are shooting for a client you need to make it work, period!! That means backup camera, batteries, lens, etc. But if you are on a photo safari and your battery dies just as the sunset hits its peak, that’s still pretty rough to take. Always have a backup!

This tip brought in many comments from readers who sent in stories.

#3 Be patient! I’ve had photo students wanting to learn everything in a few weeks. You’ll never learn everything, ever. All you can hope for is proficiency in some specific photo areas and that can take years. Really. Set goals. Be patient and learn from the story of Steve Nash’s rise to basketball stardom

#4 Keep your eyes open. It’s true. Sometimes we are so focused on ONE specific shot that we miss more amazing shots right behind us. Keep your eyes and mind open to opportunities that present themselves.

#5 Learn from your mistakes. I’ve said this many times. Photo students usually HATE making mistakes but they can be a great asset. It’s your mistakes (and how you deal with them) that offer the greatest learning tool for you. If all your photos were exactly as you wanted there would be no breakthroughs and that would be boring!!

photo mistakes!

Photo Mistakes – Oops! A chance to learn…

#6 Learn the fundamentals first. This is very important. You learn to add before you learn algebra, right? So you should learn the basics of photography like manually setting exposure and learning what affects focus before you attempt award winning photos!

#7 Do something different. This is the motto of our ProProgram. And for good reason. Many, many, many hobby photographers take beautiful photos that look similar to many other beautiful photos of the same subject. Try to find a new subject or a way to shoot a standard subject in a new way. Do something different! 

#8 Practice, practice, practice… Any ‘expert’ takes years and years to earn expert status amongst peers. That takes time. And to be that devoted you better make it fun! Find something you love and see where it takes you!

#9 – Raw is for finest detail. Jpeg is for speed. Tif is for working. There’s not much more to say. Choose your format wisely.

#10 – Create a strong Primary Focal Point in every photo. Help your viewer figure out what the photo is about. A strong subject and supporting elements help create ‘wow’ photos.

That’s easy:
Read the tips.
Do the tips.

Send us your best photo tips – we’ll feature some on the blog and send you some appreciation!

Pro Perspective
It took many lessons the hard way to have tips like these sink in for me. Sometimes a revelation would hit me in an ‘a-HA!’ moment. Keep soaking up knowledge. Apply liberally.

Final Frame
Keep experimenting.
Take photos.
Have fun.