Tips for Improving Your Photography Skills


Gear Focus

Apr 16, 2020

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Everybody who has a creative hobby or career wants to improve their skills, but photographers are a unique bunch in this group. If you’re a beginner photographer or a hobbyist, you naturally want to get better. On the other hand, if you’re a professional, sometimes you can feel like your skills are at their peak. However, there’s always room for improvement somewhere regardless if you’re a professional or a hobbyist. If you want to become a better photographer, keep reading these tips for improving your photography skills.

Learn as much as you can

One of the best things about the world of photography is that there is no shortage of new techniques and effects to learn. In fact, regardless of your level of experience, you can always discover an unexplored facet of this artform. Luckily, we live in a time where resources and information are at our fingertips. There are so many phenomenal resources that can help you take your photography skills to the next level. Since we’re photographers, many of us prefer to learn visually. Though we shouldn’t stop reading helpful blogs (like this one), there are several excellent YouTubers who have great content. For example, you can’t talk about photography without mentioning Peter McKinnon, but you should also check out people like Tyler Stalman and Chris Hau as well. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the Gear Focus YouTube channel as well. We regularly update our content with helpful tips, reviews, interviews, and more!

Master the basics

If you don’t have a solid foundation, you won’t get very far. We know it’s tempting to rush ahead into shooting the crazy photos you want; however, you really need to master the basics. For instance, you should know how the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and more affect your shot. Not to mention how to use metering and manual focusing to your advantage. If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably want to stick to automatic focus for a bit while you’re getting used to your camera’s settings. However, we’d suggest challenging yourself by using manual focus in different scenarios. Manual focus gives you the most control over your work and allows you to create something unique.

Try minimizing before adding gear

As photographers, we love trying out new gear. And it seems like there’s always something new coming out, which is super exciting, but sometimes we assume the gear will fix our problems. While in some scenarios, your gear could be keeping you from progressing, a lot of the time it’s not the gear that is at fault; it’s the fundamental skills. This can vary greatly based on how long you’ve been a photographer. For instance, if you’re a professional or you’ve been practicing photography for decades, you could need some new gear. However, if you’re a relatively new photographer, we’d suggest mastering your camera and one or two lenses before adding more gear. Once you feel comfortable with your basic gear, you can begin to equip yourself with things like tripods, gimbals, remote shutter releases, and so on. Get ready for a ton of gear because it gets addicting.

Challenge yourself

As with any skill, the best way to grow is through challenging yourself and failing. We learn best from our failures, so go easy on yourself and be patient. There are endless ways you can challenge yourself in photography. If you’re a professional photographer, you could try taking on a new client that needs a different style of photography than you’re used to. If you’re relatively new to photography, trying anything new will be great for you. Beginners are the most open-minded when it comes to trying something new because they aren’t stuck in a comfort zone yet. So we’d strongly encourage you to try a new type of photography. Changing up the types of photography you do will not only challenge you, but it will also keep things interesting and make photography that much more fun. If you’re usually a wedding photographer, try doing landscape or nature photography. If you’re a landscape or nature photographer, try doing portrait or event photography. Whatever you can do to get yourself out of your comfort zone will be beneficial. The only person holding you back is yourself.

Shadow a professional

As we mentioned before, naturally as photographers, we’re very visual individuals. We see things differently. A great way to take your skills to the next level is by simply shadowing a talented hobbyist or a professional photographer. If you’re willing to be their assistant and carry some gear, a lot of professionals would be happy to take you along for a shoot. This will give you first-hand experience, and you can ask them how they did something or why they did it. Nothing beats learning from the pros.

Practice, practice, practice

You knew this tip was coming, but it has to be said because there’s no way you’re going to get any better without practicing. You should develop a realistic routine for yourself. We emphasize realistic because numerous blogs and videos will tell you to spend X amount of hours shooting every day, but that’s not realistic for a lot of you. Instead, find a routine that fits your schedule and try to practice regularly. Luckily, photography is extremely versatile. Unlike other hobbies or careers like music or sports, you don’t need a designated place to practice. Unlike practicing music or sports, you can practice taking photos of anything at any time. In other words, you don’t have a good excuse to not practice. As a community of photographers, we’re all here to support you through this creative journey. If we weren’t, you wouldn’t have so many excellent resources at your disposal. Nobody gets into photography to be better than anybody else, because there’s always someone better. That’s why we wanted to share these tips for improving your photography skills and help you grow as a creative.

Here at Gear Focus, we pride ourselves on the growing community we’ve built. We’re in this business because we love photography just as much as you do, and we’re practicing and trying to improve just like you. So we came together to create an online marketplace for creatives to buy and sell new and used camera equipment. If you’re looking to get into photography, videography, or you want to get some gear, you can shop our extensive inventory here.

Improving Your Photography Skills

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