The tips are in no particular order of importance.
Tip 1 - Learn To Use Light
Light is a critical element to great photography. So many new photographers say "I'm a natural light photographer." Grant it, natural light is amazing when used properly, but many new photographers don't even know how to modify and use natural light to its fullest.
Getting into speedlites, constant lighting (artificial) and strobe lighting and using it properly both inside and outside can get complicated. However, any photographer can spend a couple of hours watching FREE YouTube videos to help get started in the right direction.
Whether you are a new photographer or a veteran professional, learning to use light will be the difference in getting paid or getting paid better as a photographer.
Tip 2 - Focus On Composition
Yes, you can crop in post. However, as a photographer, if you learn to compose in the camera, it will make a difference in your creativity plus save you time in post. In addition, there are some things that you cannot create in post like the use of a wide angle lens at a low angle that you could shoot with and focus on composing the shot in camera for a unique creative look. Professional photographers know composition.
Tip 3 - Get Off Auto Mode
To set the record straight, MANUAL mode is NOT the right fit for every photography need. As a full time professional, I typically shoot in manual mode or aperture priority mode. There are very limited times that I may turn the dial over to auto mode.
The key take away behind this tip is to not let the camera make the decisions, but to understand the dial settings enough to go beyond what auto mode will do.
Just like learning to use light, getting off auto mode can be scary for a new photographer, but there are also FREE YouTube videos available to help with this area of photography as well. The best way to get off auto mode is to use tip #5 "Never Stop Shooting."
Tip 4 - Try Something New
It's easy to become complacent and do the same type of lighting over and over and over. Never leaving your comfort zone as a photographer can cause you to stagnate and hinder creativity.
Our oldest daughter recently got married. I AM NOT A WEDDING OR BRIDAL photographer. So when my wife and business partner told me that she put doing our daughters bridal portraits on my calendar, I was definitely going to be trying something new and out of my comfort zone.
The shots below are what I came up with on location in 30 to 45 minutes of shooting which I think came out fine considering I was very much out of my comfort zone and trying something new.
Tip 5 - Never Stop Shooting
It's nice to always have a phone along and always taking pics. However, if you are a photographer with a traditional camera (mirrorless or DSLR), you cannot afford to never stop shooting. Try putting your camera away for a month at the time and see what happens.
If you are a new photographer, you may not have the workload yet to always be shooting, but you should find something to photograph on a regular basis.
Even full time professionals likely spend more time doing other tasks than shooting which is why personal projects are important to do to hone skills and try new things. So whether you are part-time or full-time, never stop shooting because it's likely what motivated you to pursue photography to begin with.
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Please use the comments section to answer: What is your favorite of the 5 tips?
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