Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Today we live in a fast-paced world changing technology which leaves any photographer competing with many others. In order to stand out your work needs to be unique, have strong networking skills and you need to be creative and have lots of patience. The reason behind that is that it’s not enough anymore having years of photography experience and having an expensive camera as many people have that anyway. So let me guide you into discovering the best skills that every pro photographer or just anyone who is taking photography as a hobby should have, if they want to stand out from the rest of the crowd and become successful!!
Work on your social and communication skills! Being a good photographer is not just about having good technical skills but also being good with people. You have to be able to connect with your client, being able to communicate with the person who you are photographing and that’s also important if you take, for example, only pictures of landscapes. Even if you don’t include humans in your photos you still need to sell photos to people and sometimes work in a team to create a larger set.
Focus on one aspect of photography at a time! There’s a large amount of information and technical skills to take in when you are studying and at the same time learning on how to become a good photographer. I strongly suggest not to overwhelm yourself with taking too much information but to focus on one thing at a time as that will only confuse you and maybe eventually you will stop enjoying this interesting but intense field altogether. Just keep everything simple and limit the resources you are using as that we only take up more time and you will not be able to be consistent with your work. Like in any other field consistency is the key for success as you don’t just need to expand your knowledge but you also need to show to your clients that you are really serious in your job.
Keep pushing and challenging yourself! Don’t be afraid to play with the camera and try different aspects of it like for example, if you usually use the Auto function try to learn how to use the Aperture priority ( ease to control depth of field), Shutter priority (when you need to control the shutter speed while the camera adjust aperture to ensure good exposure) or Manual mode ( gives control of either aperture and shutter speed. Another way to challenge your photography skills is to try different lighting techniques such as off-camera flash. If you really want to push your photography skills taking shots of ballet dancers is a really good way to push yourself. As amazing as it sounds it’s really hard to take a shot of someone who is moving especially at a certain speed. You usually end up with a blur image which is in the thin line between an average photo and a really good one. In order to make it right you need to play with the “freezing action” which will be different if done outdoors or in a studio. Outdoors, where you rely on the natural sunlight, the freezing action is more straightforward therefore easier as all you need is a fast shutter speed. In the studio it´s different as you rely on the flash duration which needs to be timed right: the shorter the t0.1 time is the better the freezing action will be!
Be part of a photographer community! There’s nothing more exciting to share your passion with other people and to get ideas from other photographers who have been successful and able to earn a good income from it. You can learn so much from a community as everyone is different and everyone has something cool to share. It also opens the door for an audience to get to know you and give them an opportunity to see your work and get them engaged. Instagram is a great platform to add all sort of photos and get people to follow you as a photographer . They also organize Meetups which are an awesome way to meet other photographers and exchange ideas.
Tools to use to expand your photography skills! There are many ways to broaden your knowledge like accessing great sites such as Geoff Lawrence, Best photo lessons , Tuts plus, Fstoppers, SLR lounge etc. Let me just list below what some of these offer:
Geoff Lawrence: is one of the largest sites in the photography field and it includes 8 different sections suitable from beginners to advance. You have access to all of the different strategies and it will cover challenging topics such as learning about colour, getting the exposure right in details and so much more! It is a great resource for anyone who wants to become a professional photographer to anyone who only wants to do it as a hobby.
Tutsplus is one of the largest tutorial sites that you can access to get information about photography. They cover photography, web design , videos and lots of other fields. Once you get access to the site search for photography and see how many things it has to offer!
Fstoppers is one of the biggest and largest photography website around the world with around 1 million visitors per month. The site contains a massive collection of posts related to photography, business advice, industry news and so much more!!
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