Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

— George Eastman.

Friday, January 19, 2018

10 Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Photography Forever

1.       Print one of your photos large, and put it on the wall in your home or office.

This is a tip for staying motivated in your progress as a photographer. Printing a large photo and hanging it in your home or office will make you happy every time you walk into the room.  You will receive compliments and comments for years to come. This can change your photography forever by motivating you to capture those great photographs you are always seeking to create.

2.       Put together an online photography portfolio.

Take 30 to 60 minutes to set up a simple photography portfolio page, it is a life-changing opportunity. For a simple photography portfolio, I suggest SmugMug. You can have a professional photography website for as little as $4 a month. SmugMug’s tools are easy enough for even a novice to understand and SmugMug resizes your photos for you which saves time. They also have a free trial, so you can set up your gallery and see if you like it before paying.

3.       Prepare your work for exhibition.

Preparing your work for sale or display in a gallery is challenging, but it is so rewarding to see one of your photos perfectly matted and framed. Even if you do not have anywhere to show your work yet, you might be surprised at what opportunities come your way if you are prepared with your best work perfectly prepared. Join your local arts council, most have open shows each year for members to exhibit their work.

4.       Print your ten best photos and have a non-photographer critique them.

Print 10 of your favorite images and set them out on the table. Ask a friend to place them in order from their favorite to their least favorite. After they rank the photos, ask them why they chose what they did. The purpose of this exercise is to help photographers learn what others notice, and do not notice, in their photographs. Are you trying to impress other photographers with your work, or are you shooting so that people can enjoy your art? This exercise helps put things in perspective.

5.       Make a list of ten locations you want to shoot this year.

Every town has great places to shoot if you just put your mind to it. Writing down a list of ten interesting places in your town will help you get out of the house because you will not have the excuse that “there is nothing to shoot”.

6.       Learn photography with a photo essay.

A photo essay is simply a collection of 10 to 15 photos with a similar theme. Starting a photo essay can help you get some recognition and it can help you to take pictures that truly communicate feelings or messages to the viewer. Learning this skill will benefit your photography for the rest of your life.

7.       Shoot night photography in your own city.

Night photography is great for learning photography because it helps photographers focus on the light, it reinforces proper shooting techniques, and it helps photographers master proper exposure since it often requires balancing high ISOs and long shutter speeds.

8.       Create a photography bucket list.

Decide what you want to accomplish in the world of photography. Would you eventually like to shoot professionally? Would you like to travel to shoot photography? Do you want to get published? Whatever your aspirations, commit to them and start working. Making a list of photography goals will change your photography forever if you commit to accomplishing them.
   9.       Photograph a sunrise or sunset.
         There are a fixed number of sunrises and sunsets to be enjoyed in a                 lifetime, do the math and do not waste any of them.

10.   Learn every function your camera can perform.

Not just ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focus, I mean all the functions. Do you know how to use the multiple exposure feature on your D-SLR? Have you ever taken time-lapse photographs with your camera? There are at least five or six functions on their camera that most photographers never use. Expanding your creativity can change your photography forever by giving you another tool you can use to capture scenes with a unique perspective. Try something new!