10 Mind-Blowing Photography Tips For Beginners

1) Pick a subject matter that speaks to you!

Pay attention to the reoccurring themes in your work. Think of what draws you to these things so you can find new ways to capture and express what you like!

2) Practice!

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Sometimes those mistakes turn out to be something unique and innovative that you can build on.

3) Work the subject!

Try shooting the same thing in as many ways you can that capture different aspects about it. After you shoot look through your shoot and critique your work. Be mindful of what worked and what didn’t and why. Editing your shoot is an important part of the learning process.

4) Study the work of other photographers.

Find something that inspires you and pay attention to what you like and try to mimic it. Then try to make it your own by bringing in something new and different.

5) Composition.

If you pay attention, most great photographs will contain at least one of these guidelines:

  • Rule of Thirds: Imagine the image is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The interesting aspects of the image are placed on those lines. This rule is often used in landscapes, with the horizon being placed in the top, or bottom third of the composition. Some cameras even have a grid option that will display through your viewfinder, to help you make your composition precise.
  • Balancing Elements: If you are framing your main subject off center, try having a less important object in the background of the image to balance the weight of the dominant object. The secondary object will add depth to the subject and make it more interesting by filling the void of space in the image.
  • Leading Lines: Use the subject’s lines or contours to your advantage! These lines lead the viewer’s eyes across the image, so become aware of them and how to use them to your advantage. The more they lead the eye around, the longer the viewer looks at your image. Examples of the leading lines could be a winding road on a hilly landscape, or the contours of your model’s body. Notice how models pose is ways that create leading lines by using their limbs in interesting ways.
  • Symmetry and Patterns: Often used in architecture and nature, even in artistic portraits. The subject is center balanced, unlike in the rule of thirds.
  • Viewpoint: The angle of which the photographer shoots in relation to the subject. Showing us a subject from an angle that we don’t usually see it is a great way to make it more interesting. In working the subject, pay attention to the message the shot conveys. Try eye-level, from above, below, side behind from a distance, in close, etc…
  • Background: Pay attention to your background! If your background doesn’t add to the subject, use a plain backdrop or use a shallow depth of field to blur the background out. Think about how it affects the tone of the subject.
  • Depth: Mostly in landscapes, depth helps convey a 3-dimensional subject in a photograph, which is 2-dimensional.
  • Framing: Objects in your environment can be used to add to your shot! Some useful examples are: archways from a building, branches from a tree, holes in some cliffs. These frames can help show off the setting.
  • Cropping: Cropping in tight on a subject is a great way to remove distracting elements around it. Everything in the photograph should hold value to your image. If it doesn’t, try cropping it out.

The more you practice these composition guides, the more they will become instinctual. Even in your editing & selection process, pay attention to which images pop out at you, and see if they hold one of these elements.

6) Familiarize yourself with your tools.

Photography is so versatile! You can even take amazing photos with a coffee can, but you must understand the limitations of your gear.

7) Familiarize yourself with photography software!

Digital software is today’s darkroom & developing an image is just as important as how you shoot it. My favorite way to digitally polish my images is through Lightroom. It’s amazing what it allows you to do to an image without exposing yourself to chemicals or wasting photo paper and developer. The preset filters are a great way to intensify the tone of the image, but you must know how to fine-tune them to make the image just so. Photoshop is also an important tool.

8) Learn Lighting!

I suggest photographing a subject at different times of day and compare them. If you have access to professional lighting equipment try shooting your subject lit from different angles, diffusion vs. Hard lighting, etc… There are jobs just dedicated to lighting on high-end shoots, so there are no limits there if you have the budget. Really think about how the light conveys your message to the viewer.

9) Go with your instincts!

Make sure what you are shooting is fulfilling something for you. There is no point in shooting something you aren’t enjoying. It will show in your work! The more you are passionate about it, the more creatively you can capture it! I’ve worked with so many photographers that have talent, but take on shoots they don’t enjoy and it showed in the quality of the images. For example, I could never understand why somebody would hire a nature photographer to shoot their portraits. Somebody that isn’t a people person doesn’t take flattering photos of people no matter how much technical knowledge they have. On the other hand, if you see all people as beautiful and you have a natural talent for making a person feel good about him/herself, then portrait photography is a great niche!

10) Communicate with your subject!

If you are shooting any time of portrait, make sure it is prepared beforehand. Nothing worse than having your model show up with chipped blue nail polish! Learn to guide your subject with clear direction in a way that makes them feel comfortable! Even models feel vulnerable with a lens in their face, so learn to give suggestions in a flattering way. Nobody feels confident after hearing “sucks in your gut,” but if that’s what you want try something like “intensify your ribcage”. Compliments go a long way! When you ask for a smile, it will look forced. If you compliment the person they will naturally smile.

7 Tips for Starting an Aerial Photography Business

Are you a photography enthusiast? Do you pursue this pastime just for fun or plan on launching a company of your own? Well, you should be thrilled to learn that there are tons of options nowadays for seasoned photographers to start their career in this field and make a living. Although some people are born with this talent, some can also learn it using so many techniques available today on YouTube and other social media sites. No matter which category you fall under, there is one thing that will make you think seriously about this business and that is aerial photography. With the advent of high-tech affordable drones on the market, this term is now becoming more and more common and a lot of people are already earning huge amounts of revenues using aerial photography.

If you have been in this field for some time, you’re already familiar with the competition that exists in the field of photography. Some are dedicated to wedding or fashion photography, while others keep their options open. They capture natural scenes, portraits, and many other types of photos using extremely high resolution cameras. In fact, in depth understanding of your camera is as important as you, the photographer. If you are not familiar with all the features and functions of your camera, you will not be able to take full advantage of it in aerial photography.

With such huge competition, there is little room for mistakes if you really want to succeed. So, if you are thinking of using aerial photography as your career, this article provides advice to help you minimize risks and enjoy this business as it flourishes. Here we have gathered some guidelines from experienced photographers who say that if they had known before they wouldn’t have committed these mistakes in the beginning of their career. So, let’s go through some of these guidelines.

Get drone training

Flying your drone is not as easy as it might seem… at least in the beginning. There are a number of controls as well as other options that you need to learn before you can master the skill. If you plan on flying the drone yourself for capturing aerial photos, it is highly recommended that you first get drone training in order to ensure a safe flight and also avoid getting into legal trouble. There are special colleges and training institutions now available that enroll students in their programs and when the courses are complete, they are given some sort of certification or degree that reflects their command over drones or UAV flying. You need to learn not just the parts of a drone but also the buttons and sticks on the remote controller that maneuvers the drone and takes the photos. There are options of tilting and rotating that only advanced drone pilots are able to use. Make sure you get your hands on the required material and then read it thoroughly along with practicing daily to master this skill.

Buy the right drone

The first and most important decision after learning the basic controls is to choose the right drone for your photography business. You don’t just need a simple unmanned aerial vehicle that comes equipped with a camera. You need a powerful machine that is not only capable of capturing excellent photos but is also loaded with the latest software application or mobile app to give you more control over the features. The tools and functions that come with a computer software program help to save a lot of time and effort for future projects. All you need is to get a little more familiar with the commands and you’re all set to go. Special training is available for some specific drone models. Do a little research online to see what other photographers are using and then try your hands on it.

Rent a drone first

There is an option of renting a drone to learn its features before actually spending money on a particular model. This is a great option for beginners who have limited budget set for investing in this type of business. There are companies that lease various models of drones and you can see their websites for more information. You have to specify a pickup date and a return date for the drone you want to rent. There is a fee associated with daily usage of such a leased machine and you need to take care in order to avoid damage, injury, and loss.

Set a budget

With so many beautiful drones out there along with all the hardware and software they come with, you are sure to become overwhelmed. However, careful planning on what you really need to start your own aerial photography business helps to avoid spending on things and gadgets you don’t need. It’s good to invest money in the beginning of any business venture but it’s also advisable not to get carried away with your spending. You should be aware that in the start you might face difficulties and hurdles as it is common with any other business. Aerial photography is no different. So, set a budget and stick to it especially in the first few months so that you are ready to face the challenges and stay committed to your goals.

Have your drone insured

When using a drone for commercial purpose, it is always recommended to get it insured in order to cover all the damages that might happen in the beginning. Since you will be flying outdoors for aerial photography, there are chances of coming across forces you have no control over. Moreover, if your drone happens to injure a person it is an even worse scenario. So, do keep all these points in mind especially if you wish to start your own photography business. These types of hazards do not normally exist in the other forms of photography but when you wish to go in the air, anything might happen. There is ample information regarding drone insurance on the internet so find out the type of coverage you are going to need and how to apply for such a policy.

Find an area to target

There are tons of opportunities when it comes to taking aerial photos but you need to focus on only one niche or subject to target. Many people are already working as drone photographers in the real estate business. There is a huge potential in this field as new properties, houses and apartments are always in great demand. People want to see aerial photos of what they are buying. Similarly, many people are hiring drone photographers nowadays to cover their special events particularly weddings and engagements. Land surveying and building inspection are also becoming popular in the drone industry. So, before you decide to start your photography business, it is advisable to think of a niche to target so that you can focus your skills on that industry and offer your services very clearly and concisely.

Join online communities

Once you are ready to take on your first assignment, don’t forget to sign up with sites like jobfordrones.com or other social media groups that help drone pilots find great jobs online. You can mention your areas of expertise to attract clients from around the world and also see what other drone pilots or drone photographers are up to. Fiverr.com is another wonderful community to become a part of if you want to make some customers quickly and gain aerial photography experience to mention on your CV or online profile. It’s a great and free-of-cost way of developing an impressive portfolio to become the basis of your future aerial photography company.

Log on to one of the websites mentioned above to see what other people are charging for their aerial photography services. In order to build a solid profile with a number of positive reviews, you might need to offer your services at cheap rates in the beginning. However, once you start getting good ratings, you can gradually increase your rate to earn more profits. Photography is an art and it should be fully enjoyed. Make sure you polish your aerial photography skills to take your business to the next level and get ahead of your competitors in this field.

Whenever a new technology is introduced to the business world, mistakes do occur. But the important thing is not to repeat these mistakes in the future and to learn from the experiences of others who tried, failed, then tried again and succeeded. Aerial photography is undoubtedly the future of this business as more high-tech and sophisticated drones are being introduced to the market. If you enjoy this pastime and would like to convert it into a lucrative business, do follow the above-mentioned guidelines to guarantee success in the years to come.