5 Ways To Step Up Your Photography Game

By Graham Oakley (@GoPhotos_)

A new year means; new adventures, new stories, new collaborations, new gear, new shoots and most importantly new possibilities. Let 2018 be your year by using these five ways to step up your photography game to the next level.

1. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
The best way to improve your photography game is to challenge yourself. By challenging yourself you’ll be in new, sometimes difficult situations, where you might have to try new things to get that perfect shot.

A great way to challenge yourself is to take only one lens to a shoot. This will force you to have to adjust yourself instead of just zooming in or out of your subject. You might have to take a couple steps back, lay on the floor or just get extra creative. It may be difficult at first but then, when you do have your whole array of lenses, you’ll be ready for any situation.

Another cool idea is to purposely go to an ugly location to shoot. In an ugly site you’ll have to find those specific spots and angles to create a unique composition. Train yourself to see possibility where others see nothing.

Trying a different niche is also a great way to get out of your comfort zone. If you typically shoot portraits, dedicate some time to shoot some landscapes or vise versa. In doing so you’ll not only learn a new skill, but you’ll learn different ways to frame your subject, to manipulate light and to shoot.

2. Master Your Camera Settings
This might sound obvious but it is incredibly important for you to know your gear inside and out. This doesn’t mean to familiarize yourself with the buttons but to know what each button does in each situation and how you can use that to your advantage. A lot of cameras now also come with custom settings where you can customize what specific buttons do. If you have that option, use it and put it into practice. Shoot in manual and learn how to fix your exposure, shoot in shutter priority and learn what speeds you like to freeze motion with and so on. Master your camera and perfect your photography.

3. Editing
Everyone has different tastes when it comes to processing their photos. Some use Photoshop, some use Lightroom or apps like Tonality. Use these apps and familiarize yourself with them. Take your time editing your photos to ensure that you achieve the best results. If you usually use presets, try taking some time to make your own. In doing so, you’ll train your eye in terms of composition, and you will be able to add a new skill to your resume. A lot of companies look for people who are familiar with lightroom or photoshop.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice
You’ve heard this before and you’ll most likely here it again after today. Practice, practice, practice. The best way to improve your photography is to practice. You’re not gonna shoot once out of your niche and suddenly be a pro. Your first couple shoots might go terribly wrong but the only way to improve is to practice. Go to places you’ve already shot in and shoot again, try to create something different, completely new or even try to replicate a previous photo. Just go out there and practice. There’s no better way to master your camera settings or your editing skills than by practicing.

5. Set Goals
Setting goals is a great way to ensure that you are being consistent and improving. Most people like to set multiple, short term goals. It’s important that your goals are probable for you and realistic. If not, all they will accomplish is to discourage you. Start small, simple and check it off once it’s done. Try setting multiple goals throughout the year and strive to accomplish all of them.

Hope this helps you in 2018. I can’t wait to see what the new year brings.

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