How to Take Beautiful PhotographsTaking beautiful photographs does not mean you need to know everything technical there is to know about photography. While skill and technique are important, a large part of what makes a photo beautiful is an interesting subject. Good photography is about capturing a moment or being able to make a statement through an image.
That said, you don’t need a $10,000 camera to make a beautiful image. A beautiful photograph can be created just as easily on a $5 film camera. What is more important than the equipment is the person behind the lens – the camera has nothing to do with creating a beautiful picture.
The following are tips on creating better, more beautiful photographs without relying solely on technical capabilities.
Use What you Already HaveBefore running out and spending all of your savings on a fancy new camera with all of the latest and greatest features, look at what equipment you already have.
Get Shooting and Get a Feel for Your EyeTake the equipment you already have and go out and start taking pictures. What types of things or situations do you feel compelled to shoot? Take notice of these things as you can develop the skills that apply in these shooting situations.
For now though, don’t feel guilty for shooting in automatic mode. Don’t let the settings on your camera get in the way of how you feel when you interact with your subject. You don’t want to miss out on a moment because you were fumbling with your camera settings.
Surround Yourself with People of Similar InterestsSurround yourself with people who enjoy photography. Go out and take photos together. Plan photo excursions with friends. By surrounding yourself with people who enjoy the things that you do, not only do you increase your chances of learning something new, but also you may find you have fun while doing so! Devise a project that you and friends work on together. It may be interesting and beneficial to compare shooting styles and specific photography interests.
Share Your Work and Ask for FeedbackShare and review your work with others. It could be friends, family, or other photographers. Get their feedback. What do they like? What do they dislike? What would you have done differently if you could go back and change the photograph? Asking these types of questions from others and from yourself will help with your personal development as a photographer.
Consider starting a blog or joining Flickr. These are both great ways to get your work out there. Flickr especially is a photo community. If you don’t have many close photographer friends, starting a Flickr to share your photographs could be an alternative.
Teach YourselfOnce you have developed your photographic eye, begin to teach yourself more technical things about your camera. Experiment with switching your settings into manual mode. Learn photography terminology. Learn how specific settings affect other settings on your camera. Consider watching YouTube tutorials on photography or consider getting an MFA degree in photography.
Most of all, keep taking photographs. Just like the saying “practice makes perfect,” it is the only way you will truly get better.