How To Improve Your Photos In 5 Simple Steps

August 06, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

How To Improve Your Photos in 5 Simple Steps

Dear fellow photographer,

Do you think that your photographs are bad? Are you scared to share them with other people? Is there something that you have been hoping to learn for a long time in photography, but are too afraid of or make excuses that you don't have the time to learn?

Today I want to give you 5 simple steps that you can use to immediately apply to your photography to up your game.

I Too Once Made Bad Photos

Once upon a time, I too made "bad" photos. I know I know, after I worked for places like Conde Nast, it is hard to believe right? It is not so much that any photo is "bad" per se, but it is the fact that I did not understand myself and what I wanted to see in my photography. I did not understand my camera either and how to wield it to its fullest potential.

For many years I understood that I found joy in making photographs, but I did not understand that photography itself is a visual language. With the right combination of settings, perspective, lighting, and a little editing, I found just how powerful photography can be.

I tried to learn as much as I could for free on the internet, and ultimately my photos improved just a little here and there. Yet, I discounted the need for education in photography to learn what I wanted to create most. With a limited pallet of skills, my photos achieved mediocre results.

Good to Great Photography

Washington Pacific Ocan by Charlie Naebeck

I remember the exact moment that my photography made the leap from good to great. It was when I enrolled in a photo 101 course at a local community college.

The professor pulled me aside one day in class and asked me very seriously why I was in his class. He explained that he thought my photos were great and asked why I was in a class for true beginners. This gave me some reassurance that I was on the right path.

I explained to him that my family always taught me in life that it is best to crawl before you walk -- to walk before you run -- and to run before you fly. I felt like the fundamentals were necessary for self-reassurance that I knew what I was doing.

I passed the class with flying colors, but something was still missing -- my confidence.

It was not until years later when I graduated from University and ended up in New York City working for my friend Jordan Matter that I realized how to wield my confidence in photography. It was not about pleasing other people or making things that others wanted me to make. It was about pleasing myself and finding my voice.

I explored many outlets and styles of photography to try to discover my voice. Finally, I settled on the following 5 things that I found as a method to make my good photos great.

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My secrets to making good photographs great

With these 5 simple tips, I found myself making good photographs great. I got many positive feedbacks from my peers, my business increased tenfold, and I found my personal voice in photography:

  1. Free writing: A lot of times for me, it is understanding what is in my mind and my heart before I touch the camera. Keeping a sketchbook to both draw and write in helps me to dump my thoughts into one space and organize them for focus.
  2. Meditation: It is very easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily routines and life. I find that giving myself simply 20 minutes per day in a quiet uninterrupted space to clear my head and simply just be helps me focus on photography.
  3. Always Be Shooting: Some of my favorite photographs that I have made are by pure accident. I set out on an adventure, or simply carry the camera with me at all times to capture what speaks to my heart.
  4. A different perspective: Sometimes a change of rooms, environments, location, or simply moving my body to view whom or what I am photographing gives me the solution to capture what I want to say in my photos.
  5. Be human: One thing I have learned in my years of photography is to remember that I am human. Give yourself a break and do not pressure yourself to be like other photographers. After all, you are YOU! And your work deserves an authentic take by simply living and trying to be better than you were the day before. 

What do you think improves your photography?

I would love to hear what helps you to improve your photography. Please feel free to leave a comment below, or write me directly to let me know.

If you are interested in receiving a personal plan for changing your photography or your life, please do not hesitate to reach out on Fiver also for photography classes or life coaching sessions with me.

Thank you for reading and for your support as always, and as my Grandma always told me: Always be shooting!


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