July 19, 2024
photo by bwb-images

Want to improve your photography?  Photo Tips can help.  Wonder how professional photographers manage to get great results while you struggle?  Photographers who shoot for a living do just that – they shoot for a living.  They don’t just grab their camera and go take some snap shots.  They are shooting for a purpose.  Some photographers shoot commercially for clients while others shoot their own professional subjects.  Either way, they are typically shooting an assignment.

The commercial photographer has a client who has asked for images of a specific subject.  The photographer is asked to provide photographic coverage of an event for a specific outlet – print media, web images, production of prints or books, etc. Creative photographers set their own assignment.  They may want to increase their portfolio of landscapes or start a new portfolio of children at play.

In order to successfully complete the assignment pro photographers prepare well in advance for the specifics of the shoot.  They visualize the shoot and what images they want/need to get.  They may scout the location.  They consider the time of day, the source of light, and backgrounds.  They predetermine good shooting locations, times,  and angles to get the best coverage possible.  They  select the photo equipment which will allow them to get the images they need – cameras, lenses, filters, lighting. They preplan how they will do the shoot considering such things as what camera settings they’ll use – aperature, shutter speed, iso, etc.  Handheld or tripod?  Are they trying for a soft focus?  What depth of field they want – motion stop or blur?  Wow!  The list seems endless doesn’t it?  But you get the idea – the pro photographer shoots by plan and design.  They don’t rely on luck or serendipity to get the job done.  Sure, those qualities may also come into play and further enhance the final result.  But the pro doesn’t rely on them to get the needed results.

This whole visualizing and preplanning approach is one of the main features which distinguishes between a pro photographer and a good amateur photographer.  The good amateur can get a great photo on occasion.  A pro photographer has to get a great photo on each occasion.  Visualizing and preplanning helps.

Want to improve your photography?  Do what the pros do.  Give yourself a shooting assignment.  It’s a great way to improve your own photography.  It helps you to become  more thoughtful and aware as a photographer.   Pretend a client has given you an assignment to shoot for them.  It can be anything you want really.  Shoot five images of trees silhouetted at sunset.  Shoot six images of local fountains with sunlight sparkling off the spray (shoot some with motion blur and some with stop action).  Make up a specific shooting assignment, then visualize and pre-plan the shoot.

The final step is to execute your shooting assignment.  Shoot by design, not by accident or chance.  I think you’ll find that your photography will improve.


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