Saying there is a lot to learn about photography is an understatement. You could spend your whole life learning about photography and if it is truly a passion of yours, I encourage you to do just that.
I have been on my photography journey for almost 8 years and I continue to learn new things. I am always amazed to talk with other photographers when we share how we edit or how we find light. It’s amazing to see the world through their eyes.
However, I do think there are some key elements that you need to know as a photographer.
- No.01White balance
All too often, when we start our photography journey we notice that our images have a yellow tint to them and can’t figure out why. This is due to your white balance. Incorrect white balance can affect your image from the skin tones of your subject to making the whole image feel off.
There are several ways to set your white balance and there is a range of “correct” white balance tones for your image. Some photographers prefer a warmer image and some a cooler image but either way there is still a range of what is considered correct.
- No.02Playing with shadows
Learning to see and use light properly is extremely important but learning to play with shadows in your images is important too. Shadows add depth and dimension to your images while drawing your viewer into your subjects.
Shadows are also a wonderful way to eliminate distractions in the image that may pull your viewer away from your subject.
- No.03Quick edit
Whether you love to edit or not, I believe a photographer needs to know how to complete a quick edit on their work. You don’t want to get stuck spending 30 minutes messing with each image you take. One of the best ways to achieve a quick edit is by being able to properly capture a well exposed image in camera.
- No.04When to not push their subjects
For many of us, our children are our subjects. When asked each day to take a picture our children can tire of this request and develop what is often called “photographer’s child syndrome”. We joke around about it but it’s true. If you child runs when you pick up the camera then it may be time to give them a break and practice on your food photography.
- No.05Their photography style
Now this one comes with time and isn’t something you can figure out overnight. In fact, even if you have figured out your photography style you may notice that it evolves over time. This is completely normal. The importance is that you are looking at your work and figuring out how to make sure your voice is hear in your images.
There are several exercises you can do to help you narrow down your photography style.
- No.06Take a self portrait
I can just hear your moans. This is something I am a firm believer in. Getting in front of the camera is a challenge. I get it. But do it for your children. We spend way too much time behind the camera and I bet if you went through your photos from this year you are not in a lot. And if you are, it’s probably a snapshot you asked someone to take. You don’t have the photos of your daily routines and your little moments.
If you need some encouragement, I’ve teamed up with Megan Cieloha and we host a weekly self portrait challenge on Instagram called #portraitsofme. Check out my Instagram page, @clickitupanotch for more details.
- No.07Tell a story with your photos
“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” Lewis Hine
Why do you take photos? Is it so you have an image of something you know our memories will fail us and forget? That is one of my main reasons. That is why I think it’s important to be able to tell a story with your photo.