Art,  For The Love Of...,  Photography

The Photographer’s Eye

I will start by saying that I don’t necessarily consider myself a photographer.  Having said that – apparently many people do  I am often contacted with requests for my photos or requests for photo sessions.  I almost never accept requests for photo sessions of people – I don’t consider that “my thing”.  However, on occasion I will accept these requests as long as they are not in a building… I know that makes sense but I tend to “specialize” in outdoor photography – the whole “one with nature” theme.

Additionally, I don’t put a great deal of effort into editing my photos – sometimes I will add some filters but my goal is to see the beauty as it is.  I get some of my inspiration from amazing photographers and this is what I have learned.

The Photographer’s Eye

  • Some people just have it – while other’s can learn.  I definitely don’t just have it – though I have relatives that do.  I look back at my early photos in my blogging career and I cringe.  I am not sure why I even thought those were passable.  I definitely put more effort into my photos now.
  • Understand what you have done that works and what doesn’t.  I remember the first time I was allowed to do a guest post on someone’s site.  She had very strict criteria for how she wanted the photos to be framed, how the lighting should be etc… I hated all the hoops she made me jump through but in reality – that was probably the single most important lesson in photography that I ever had.  For that post I definitely didn’t master the skill and had a long way to go.  But I carry those tips with me always and they make a world of difference now.
  • Join Facebook groups that offer suggestions on your photos – these groups are free and everyone is there to make each other a better photographer.  Don’t be afraid of the criticism – sometimes they aren’t as nice as they could be but they are all learning experiences.
  • Enjoy color and emotion – not every photo needs to be a smile.  There is a great deal of emotion to capture in the crying, the sadness and of course happiness.  Capture the fun such as with a Just Add Color party!

  • Change your perspective – it isn’t always about where you point the camera.  Don’t be afraid to take a shot off center, laying on the ground, looking up, looking down.  Some of my favorite photos are me literally lying on the ground while my horse trots over to me.  A very different visual perspective than just standing up and taking a photo of him trotting to me.
  • I often have a photo a day theme for a full year.  This year is my second one – a full year of a black and white photo a day.  That may seem easy but not all photos are good candidates for a black and white photo.  It is also a challenge that makes me aware of my surroundings as I go through my day – what will I give my readers tomorrow?  What image would just be better served by the lack of color?  Here is mine from today – my daughter focused and drawn in to The Moving Wall (a mobile replica of the Vietnam Wall).

  • As you look around you – look for natural lines, natural barriers and natural boundaries.  Accentuate them with your photos – they will add power to your photography.
  • One of my favorite tips and it is totally true – always have a camera with you… or vice versa, your best camera is the one you always have with you.  I have expensive cameras – quite a few of them.  But 99% of my photos are taken with my iPhone X and I know how to use it.  A cell phone can be powerful if you know how to best use it.
  • Find someone (online or in person) who you can use as a mentor.  The internet is full of amazing resources such as Blake Ruben.  And never ever stop learning or looking to improve.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

Feel free to add them in the comments so we can all keep improving!

11 Comments

  • Gladys Parker

    Boy did I need to read this. I guess the answer to my long time question is time and effort. I can never figure out why my photos don’t turn out like other peoples do. I take my time while photographing but, I need to take the time to learn how to photograph. Follow someone as you mentioned may be the best bet.

  • Akamatra

    I have always considered myself as a mediocre in photography but after reading a lot I think I got to my greatest potential. Your suggestions can help people better their photography

  • Kelli A

    Both my son and my daughter take the most beautiful pictures at the perfect angle and lighting. I can be standing right there with them, with the same dang device and mine look ridiculous next to there! Some people just have it I think…

  • Ladonna Batiste

    I love taking pictures but I too don’t cor myself a photographer. At best I will call myself an amateur because some of my pics are good. Thank you so much for your suggestions, they are great.

  • Cindy Ingalls

    I try us natural light as much as possible, but since I take a lot of product shots I often need to be indoors. Changing your light bulbs to white, more natural options does help improve the look of your photos.

  • Side Hustle

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing skills have encouraged me to get my own blog going now. Really blogging is spreading its wings and growing quickly. Your write up is a good example.

  • Nicole

    This is such a great post! I’m not a big photographer, other then when my son or pets do funny things. However, my sister was big on it for awhile. I agree that you don’t always have to have a big fancy camera to get the best picture. Using your phone but how to use and take it can be all the difference. Thanks for sharing!

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