Five Habits Photographers Should Learn

Photography is an art, similar to drawing or painting. There will always be those that are naturally gifted in one media or the other, and the rest of us have to work out ways to keep up. One of the easiest ways to match excellent photographers shot for shot is by adapting a few of their common practices. Here are five habits of great photographers, in no particular order:

habits of great photographers

“Simple Truths” captured by Thomas Hawk (Click Image to See More From Thomas Hawk)

Try Bracketing Your Shots

Bracketing is simply the act of taking various exposures of the same picture. Any time you’re taking pictures and the end result is important, you should bracket your shots by shooting one normal photo, then one below the recommended exposure as well as one above. This will give you more options for choosing the best picture and will also prevent over and under exposure. If you’re shooting with a digital camera there is no reason not to bracket your shot as you don’t need to worry about burning through your film.

Properly Care for Your Equipment

A camera lens will give you a near-exact representation of what you saw when you looked through it, but only if that lens is clean of debris. Although it is easy to touch up your images using a photo editor, it is easiest just to use a cleaning kit and properly clean your gear before shooting. Additionally, you should always keep your gear in a bag or case when not in use to prevent dust buildup or accidental damage. And, of course, make sure to charge that battery!

Make Your Image Tell a Story

One of the key differences between a good picture and a great photograph is that a photograph has a story to tell. Every shot you take should convey some sort of narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. Although this may seem like a daunting task, once you practice, it will become easier to frame your image so the story all comes together. When shooting a sequence of photographs, try to tie them all together with one theme; this will increase their emotional impact.

photography tips and good habits

“Love in Budapest” captured by Igor Umansky (Click Image to See More From Igor Umansky)

Work In-Camera

Most professional photographers agree that the less time spent in the editing room means that the better you did using your camera. By learning how to work with your camera to get the results you want, you’ll become a much better photographer than spending all your time editing. You should think of photo editing more as a safety net that’s used as a last resort and not something you depend upon to transform your images from bad to good.

Learn Your Craft

Like any skill, if you want to get good at something you have to invest time to learn it. This means that you should do activities like studying the works of great photographers, practice shooting as much as possible and taking classes or reading books about photography. The more you know about how photos work and what makes one better than the other, the more reliable you will become in creating great work. Another option is to consider joining a photo club or website like a photo forum where you can find useful tips.

photo habits

“the girl and the bike” captured by Tere Ortíz (Click Image to See More From Tere Ortíz)

There is no great mystery or untold secret to becoming a great photographer. The more you train your eyes to look at the world through a frame, the better you’ll get at spotting great photo opportunities. These five habits can help you to reach this point sooner, especially if you’re shooting as much as you possibly can. Practice may not make you perfect, but it will definitely make you better.

About the Author
Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames. They have a selection of brown picture frames in a wide variety of styles, shapes and sizes.

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3 Comments

  1. David says:

    These are good points to remember for photographers at any level. However, I wish you would have included photos that were more about photography and less about post-production. Your article is appropriately camera-focused (pun unintentional), but the photos are all about manipulated images.

  2. Ole Bjørn Andersen says:

    You wrote:
    However, if you’re shooting with a digital camera there is no reason to bracket your shot as you don’t need to worry about burning your film.

    Is that correct? Regardless of type of equipment, film or digital, you stil may want the normal-, over- , and underexposed shots.

    Or did you mean: … no reason NOT to bracket your shot as you don’t need to worry about burning your film.

    BTW, who shoots film nowadays?

  3. Hatem Kotb says:

    Thank you for the simple, yet useful tips :)

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