Nobody wants to share the industry secrets. Nobody. It’s honestly a little hard for me to share these secrets with you today because I paid to learn this information at New England School of Photography. There’s rules to the game, “that game” being photography. Learn the rules of photography so when you break them, you can break them with intention. Today I’ve save you thousands of dollars by teaching you exactly what to avoid when you are taking pictures so you can take magazine quality images every time.
Say bye to “Auto”
Stop. Just stop. I don’t know any other way to say it. The number one sign of an amateur photographer is their constant use of “Auto Mode”. Don’t get me wrong, when I first got my DSLR auto was my homie. He was always there, always ready, and knew exactly what to do when I had no idea what I was doing. I have to tell you, “Auto” is not your friend. You will never have complete control of your pictures using auto mode. My first day at New England School of Photography we learned basic SLR camera settings. These are the settings I start with every single photoshoot. I was taught to set my camera to these settings before every shoot so I know exactly what every button/feature is doing. Start with the DSLR Essential Settings and adjust according. If you need this free checklist click here and download it from my blog post "How To Take Pictures Like A Pro."
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Timing is everything
Timing is everything, literally. This is especially true when your are using sunlight. Sunlight is your ultimate free lighting resource. Lighting can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Always show mother nature respect and learn why time of day matters. If you are looking to get a beautiful pink, purple, and burnt orange sky you need to shoot during the golden hour. Don’t be fooled by the name, the golden hour is the short moment right before sun rise and sun set. If you are forced to take pictures outside at noon, you will be taking pictures in very hard lighting. This light will cause dark shadows, especially under your eyes so be sure to diffuse the light. If you are looking to take pictures outside, choose to shoot in the late afternoon. Daylight savings time is every bloggers best friend. During this time it is best to start taking pictures about two to three hours before sunset. Shooting during this time allows you to shoot with that perfect 45 degree angle sunlight. As the sun sets you will get a beautiful natural backdrop and pretty, diffused, sun light at the golden hour.
Invest in a great tripod
Invest in quality equipment and you will save thousands in the long run. Have you ever seen a cheap tripod tip over? Have you ever watched a camera worth thousands of dollars break into pieces? I certainly have. From my time working as a camera sales woman and I could tell you tons of “tripod horror stories”. A tripod can make or break your pictures, invest in a quality tripod when you purchase your camera. Notice I said “when” you purchase your camera. Get your tripod the same time you purchase your camera so you can take professional pictures from day one. Click the box below to download the "10 Equipment Essentials Every Blogger Must Own" checklist.
“A tripod can make or break your pictures, invest in a quality tripod when you purchase your camera.”
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A wireless remote is a photographers secret weapon. Using a remote allows you to take professional pictures of yourself, jump into group portraits, and take sharp crisp pictures in low light or while using a slow shutter speed. To make a long story short you must own a remote. You will save time taking pictures, which will save you money in the long run.
Forget about em’
Worry about yourself, and don’t be afraid. It sounds so simple, yet is so hard for most. In order for you to create your best work your must become comfortable being uncomfortable. Stand on a chair to get an amazing angle with you're taking flatlays. Take a picture outside in front of a mural, or take street portraits on a sidewalk, whatever excites you most. If you’re outside photographing a model or taking self portraits people are going to stare. Don’t worry about the people that are looking at your while you’re taking pictures. Become comfortable with their glares. Learn to block people and keep working so you can get the shots you need.
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Want more photography tips, tricks and secrets? Let me know in the comments below.
The Portrait Photographer