1. SHOOT A LOT
Keep the best and leave the rest
A big difference between a professional photographer and an amateur is also a simple difference to overcome and master. For every shot an amateur takes of a given subject, a professional will take15-20, maybe more. Even one extra shot with your phone or camera will double the chances of ending up with a good photograph.
I rarely get my best photograph from the first shot, especially if there are people in it. People move and blink and make silly faces, times 2 for kids. One exposure rarely achieves best job status. So take a lot, then keep the best and leave the rest.
2. DON’T DELETE
When you begin taking more pictures your results will improve, but quantity is no substitute for quality. Becoming a better photographer requires practice and learning, and a great place to learn is from the photos you don’t like.
Don’t delete your bad photos without taking time to learn why you don’t like them. Is the lighting off? Is it blurry or the composition is wrong? Would you prefer your subject to fill the screen? Is the background too busy? You need to learn what you’re doing wrong before deleting. If you skip this step, you’re prone to make the same mistakes over and over. Take a little time to look at the bad shots and think about why they’re bad. Your photography will improve instantly.
3. PHOTOGRAPHY IS LIKE WRITING
When you write, is your first draft your final draft? No way! You scratch things out, edit, rewrite, rewrite again, whatever it takes to have the beautiful finished piece you want. Photography is no different.
Whatever you’re shooting, your first photos are your rough drafts: a family gathering, an office party, kids by the tree, the grandeur of nature. Sorting these photos is your first edit. And since you’re shooting more (see #1, above), you have more choices to edit. Now it’s time to think about cropping.
Cropping is one of the most underutilized tools in amateur photography editing. Whether it’s from an app on the back of a phone, an iPad, or your home computer, always consider whether cropping can improve your photos. The crop tool may become your new best friend. Sometimes cutting a small amount from the side, top or bottom, can make a big difference. And sometimes a small part of what looks like a crummy shot turns out to be a gem.
Try these tips see you photography improve. Happy Holidays!
Copyright 2013. Portland Oregon editorial photographer, Adam Bacher. All rights Reserved – Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.