Instagram has been my main outlet when it comes to photography. If it wasn’t for Instagram I wouldn’t be here writing to you. It has created this love for photography I never knew that was there. But just like everyone else, I started somewhere. I wasn’t always good at taking photos believe me, check my Instagram @supermoul you’ll see. I’ve kept all of my old photos to show my progression as a photographer. There are a lot of simple mistakes I’ve made along the way and I’d like to share them with you. Here are 5 steps to taking better photos.
Straighten Your Photos
When taking photos you don’t want any distractions that could take away from your image. A common mistake I see a lot of people do including myself when starting out in photography is having a slanted horizon. You may forget or maybe you don’t notice it. You don’t need Photoshop or Lightroom to fix this. You can do it straight on your phone or Instagram. One of my favourite apps I use if I edit on my phone is Snapseed. You can also do this in Instagram going into the Edit tab and using the Adjust tool.
Now what looks better? This
Less Saturation Goes A Long Way
We’ve all done it. I’m guilty of committing this offense. When I first started taking photos I would give my photos unrealistic colours. To me I thought it was amazing because the colours looked incredible…or so I thought. It’s okay to saturate your images but don’t overdo it.
Here’s what too much saturation looks like.
Here’s my actual photo.
A Bad Photo Is Still A Bad Photo (Even In Black And White)
The colours may be a little off or our subject isn’t interesting enough. I know, let’s make it black and white! That should fix everything…well not really. Sometimes you get those photos where you just don’t like the look of it, or the colours just don’t add anything to it. You have two options here; get rid of it, or see if it’s salvageable in black and white. Sometimes it works and sometimes it won’t. Simply converting your photos doesn’t make them more artsy or appealing.
Here’s an example of a bad photo I took. I was trying to find an interesting composition, but it was a bust. If it’s a bad photo, just move on and on to the next. Sometimes you have to take 20, 50, or 100+ photos before you get one good photo.
People love symmetry. Would you buy an orange if it wasn’t perfectly round? Probably not, and there’s a reason why we don’t see them for sale. Symmetry is pleasing to us, even in finding partners we desire people who are more symmetrical. Would you rather date Quasimodo or Gaston? If you’re shallow like most of us, you’d probably choose the douchebag Gaston.
Before digital came around everyone used film. Everyone was cautious of what they took photos of because you had to pay to buy rolls of film and get them developed. In the digital age you just point and shoot without thinking about it. The one thing that helped me improved my photography was taking time to get the right shot. Limiting your mistakes before post processing saves a lot of time and hard drive space.
Your photos dont’ have to be 100% symmetrical, but use it as a guideline.
Don’t take photos for the likes, comments or followers. Do it for yourself. I used to care about how many likes my photos got, but now a days it doesn’t bother me. Some photos get more love than others, it’s just how it is. You aren’t always going to be taking amazing photos all the time, but try your best.
You are your biggest fan, and your biggest critic. Don’t be discouraged if you have days where you get no good photos at all, it happens. There are numerous occasions where I come back with one or two usable photos. Don’t stress yourself out. There are things that’s beyond our control, make the best out of every situation. So what are you waiting for?