Each one of us wants to become more effective in our photography. That could be winning a competition, selling your images or just taking great photos to put on your wall. So, what is effective for one might not mean effective for another. And, the person who determines how effective is…? You! How do you increase the effectiveness of your photography? Here are a few keys that have helped my students become more effective.
This is just so simple to do. The old adage, “those whole fail to plan, plan to fail” is so true with photography. Happy snappers just don’t get the images that are stunning and fit in the context of effective photography. Before you decide to go out and shoot make sure that you sit down, even if for just five minutes, and plan what you are going to do. What type of image are you going to shoot, where do you want to go and for how long. A simple plan will increase your effectiveness quite dramatically.
2. Make a specific time
If you are serious about your photography, whether it be for pleasure or to make a career out of it, set a specific time to go out and shoot. Tagging a shoot at the end of a busy day or rushing off a few shots before going off to work is not an effective use of your photography time. It deserves your full and undivided attention. In addition to this specify how long, an hour, two hours or even just thirty minutes. Then give it your full and undivided attention.
3. Implement something new
Effective photography means learning a new technique or method so why not try to implement something you have just learnt and see how it turns out. Treat it as a project or assignment. Better still enroll in a free online course or buy a book with assignments at the end of each chapter. Use these assignments as the basis of your photo shoot.and put into practise your new knowledge. If you are more experienced then use it to brush up on your rusty techniques.
4. Get some advice
If you have a friend who is more experienced than you or you are part of a photography club, then seek out their advice. Find out where you are lacking in skill or technique and ask them to show you how they do it. I always look to those more experienced than me for help despite being a photography teacher. Never stop learning and always be teachable.
This to me is one the most important things you can do as you learn digital photography. Look at what you are doing and then evaluate it. If you aren’t too sure then get others to help. Be careful who you ask as some people will say anything so as not to offend or hurt your feelings. Positive criticism is essential to uplift your level of competence. When you are trying out new techniques, print out the image and compare it to your textbooks or course material. Whatever you do keep on learning.
Effective photography begins in the mind as you actively pursue a course of action to increase your ability and skills. Be prepared to plan, set a time and then evaluate your progress. Happy shooting!