7 Ways To Become A Better Photographer

Simply owning a good camera does not make one a good photographer. It could be said that it is not the camera but the one who holds the camera that makes a good picture. So, if your goal is to become a better photographer, there are quite a few paths that you might take to reach that goal. You must first learn the mechanics of taking pictures, and then you must learn the art of good photography. This article is about some of the paths to reach the end point of becoming a better photographer.

become a better photographer

“Self Portrait” captured by Vikki Barnes (Click Image to See More From Vikki Barnes)

1. Get a good camera. Yes, an artist can make a good picture with a pinhole camera or a cell phone, but you will want to make your pictures the best they can be by mastering the mechanics as well as the art. Many teachers recommend getting a nice mid-range DSLR camera. With this kind camera, you can learn all the techniques of professional picture making, should that be your ultimate goal. However, if you just want to be better at the craft of creating images, it will still serve you well.

2. Find photographers you like. Study the photos that you have a personal interest in. Explore websites and galleries. But don’t just look at them, study them. Look at the composition and the lighting, trying to figure out what it is about the picture that makes it special for you. You then try to emulate the qualities that make it special in your own photography. Be patient with yourself, since this may not happen right away. Practice and patience will pay off.

3. Join photography websites. There are many websites that have memberships. You become part of a community where you can share your images by uploading them and having others comment and critique them. You will get lots of valuable feedback. But you will also forge some extremely valuable friendships that will help you along your way toward improvement.

4. Join a photo club or society. This is similar to the method described above, except you will be physically communicating with your new friends. Don’t be bashful about asking for help with your craft. There is nothing most photographers like more than explaining how they got that great shot. There are monthly meetings and the chance for going on outings with the club. Again, these experiences are where you can learn very quickly as you work together with your peers and compare your images.

5. Go on photography field trips/workshops. If you subscribe to photo magazines, you can find lots of ads for workshops and trips with a teaching photographer. These trips are usually a day to several days in length and have a limited number of participants so that each one can get personal attention from the professional. This is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and hone some existing ones.

6. Take a class. There are a couple of options for taking classes. One is to take a class at the camera store where you buy your camera. Many quality shops offer these classes as part of the purchase price. Another place to find a class is at your local continuing education school. Check with your local board of education to get in touch with the right office. This kind of class can be for beginners or intermediate photographers, but the best part is that it is usually inexpensive.

7. Go to photography school. If you are serious about becoming a professional photographer, going to an accredited school of photography is your best bet. You will learn all the aspects of the art, and when you graduate, you will already be an accomplished expert. It is by far the best way to reach your goal.

Improving your photography skills can come in many different “colors”. Your first step should be to determine what your goal is. If you just want to get better at photography as a hobby, you can spend some time at the camera forums and practicing around the home. If, on the other hand, your goal is to become a professional, an art school will get you there much faster than any of the other suggestions. Most folks fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

About the Author:
Wayne Rasku has been an amateur photographer since 2003. He runs sites related to photography classes in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Canon lens organization site.

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  1. Steve M says:

    This article starts with, “Simply owning a good camera does not make one a good photographer. It could be said that it is not the camera but the one who holds the camera that makes a good picture.” It is therefore extremely disappointing to read on and find the number one point to be “Get a good camera”.

  2. I think Steve M is missing the point a bit. What the article is saying is that you do need a good camera to take a good picture, but simply owning one is not enough you actually also need to know how to use it and you need to know the components of a good photograph. The article then goes on to explain some ways of how you may do this

  3. Steve M says:

    I would not have been bothered at all if point number seven had been “Get a good camera”. However, when it is made the primary point in an article entitled “7 Ways to Become a Better Photographer” I believe it is misplaced. Any of the six other suggestions done prior to considering getting a better camera would be more valuable in contributing to the improvement of one’s craft. In fact, doing any one or all of the others before heading out to buy a new camera would give the prospective buyer a much better idea of their gear needs than the advice to get “a nice Canon mid-range DSLR camera”.

    Without the knowledge to be gained from the other suggestions plus a great deal of time actually spent developing a feel for the craft, one could own a $20,000 Hasselblad and still turn out nothing but 40 megapixel crap.

    • Cassie says:

      Your articles are for when it abseolutly, positively, needs to be understood overnight.

  4. Crystal M. says:

    Iss a Canon trully the best beginner Camera?

  5. Nicole says:

    Canon makes good cameras, and they make good beginner cameras, but look at the features the cameras hold and what type of photography they do best -ie, a night photographer would want a camera with little noise at high ISOs more than they would want a camera with a lightening-fast shutter speed as an action photographer would. If you find a Pentax that does what you need it to better, don’t be hesitant just because it isn’t a ‘big’ brand. (And if you’re a tight-budget type of person (like me), try to find a camera that you can grow into rather than the camera that’s easiest to mange, because you might need to keep it for a while (like I probably will).

  6. lammatt says:

    so… the tips are
    4. pay the “pros” some money
    5. pay the “pros” some money
    6. pay the “pros” some money
    7. pay the “pros” some money

  7. Seniorphotochamp says:

    @ Iammatt
    Hit the nail on the head!

  8. Akhtar says:

    1. Get a good camera
    2. Take photography classes
    3. Go to Photography school
    4. Go to photography websites
    5. Go to more photography websites
    6. Read photography books
    7. Take picture using your hands
    8. Take photography tuitions
    9. Keep your eyes open while taking a picture
    10. Buy photography copybooks
    11. Go to Photography workshops
    12. Go to camera factories

    What is going on here? Dude, seriously… do you know anything about photography?

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