5 Tips to Improve Your Photography

  1. Composition is king. Photography is about interacting with your subjects and capturing a moment with an interesting composition. I recommend that photographers have minimalist days, using just a smartphone or a simple point-and-shoot camera. Manipulate the light by moving around, make your shot more interesting by changing your perspective, use leading lines to draw the reader’s eye into the subject, and zoom by foot.
  2. Think more. What do you want to say with your photos? What emotions do you want viewers to have? What has drawn you to this image? Why do you want to capture it? What story do you want to tell with this image? 
  3. Change your perspective. By taking a few steps left or right or dropping to your knees or stomach, you will completely change your image. A subject shot from a low angle is often portrayed as large and powerful; conversely, shooting down on a subject makes it appear diminutive and fragile. Think of this exercise as brainstorming -- work through those initial flat composition ideas to get to the good stuff, by shooting the same subject in 5-10 different compositions. When I ask my students which shot is their favorite at the end of this exercise, very rarely has anyone said their first shot was the best.
  4. Learn the basics. Step out of auto mode and toward shooting manually. DSLR cameras can be very intimidating, but there are a lot of simple techniques and tricks that can be learned quickly to drastically improve technical image quality. 
  5. Go shoot. The most important thing a person can do to become a better photographer is to practice. When I was learning, I used to sit with an inanimate object and a headlamp and play with light, shadows, contrast, etc. until it became second nature. Just. Go. Shoot.

~ Laura Casner
Professional Photographer/Instructor