Not many people in this world work as full time professional photographers. More people than ever are taking photos these days. No matter how much they enjoy taking pictures, either with a camera that can make a phone call or with cameras that can’t do that as well, most people have not taken the time to learn what makes a photo a photo that other people will stop and look at. I’m not going to get deep into that in this blog. Here I am going to give you three encouraging reason why I think it’s good to learn some more about photography.
Become More Popular
Photography is super popular these days. More popular than it’s ever been. There are more people taking photos today and more photos will be taken today than were taken during the first one hundred years since Kodak launched the first roll film camera in 1900, the Box Brownie.
The Box Brownie was the first ‘every man’s’ camera. And I bet most people who owned one took at least a little time to learn how to make good photos with it. There were no automatic settings or built in post processing apps or instant social media sharing. You even had to load film into the thing! It was slower and much more limited in what it could do, (but essentially the same as modern cameras in it’s functionality.) It required more dedicated thought and patience to make good photographs with a Box Brownie.
Slowing down a little and taking time to learn a little of how to make better photos will help you create photos that people will stop and look at, (and like, comment on and share.) With gargantuan numbers of photos being shot and shared each day it’s increasingly difficult to have your snapshots noticed. Upping your photo game by learning a little more of how it’s done well will give you a wider, more appreciative audience for the pictures you are sharing.
Know Your Camera
I bought a new phone not long ago and it’s bothering me that I have not stopped to learn how to use the camera on it properly. Of course I know how to make photos with it, but I have not taken enough time to learn how to use it well and quickly, (and haven’t practiced with it enough.) I’ve owned my current Nikon for over 5 years. It’s very similar in feel and function as my previous Nikon. I don’t have to think too much about how to use it. It’s become second nature.
Learning how to use your camera, or phone camera, will make the process of taking photographs much more enjoyable for you. Getting to know how the camera handles different lighting conditions and how to control it semi-automatically or in full manual mode with hep you make photos that are more dynamic and interesting than the camera will do on it’s own. The technology in cameras these days makes them pretty smart, but they are not creative – you are.
As you learn your camera and learn to take control of it you will then be able to work on creating your own personal style of photography that will eventually have your friends asking you how you take such awesome photos!
So, if you learn a little more about what makes a good photo and studied your camera so you can use it with confidence, (instead of fumbling around with it then and missing the shot,) you will be able to enjoy your time making some great shots. You might even come to realize this can be very therapeutic, especially if you do it regularly.
Slowing down to purposefully compose a photo, thinking about the lighting and the best moment to make the photo, can be a wonderful distraction from the busy pace of life many of us lead. Even pausing a little longer as you photograph your lunch or as you snap another selfie will help you make a better photo and enjoy the moment. Adding a little creativity into your day can make it so much more enjoyable.
Recently I read some encouragement directed towards writers and have adapted it to photography. Don’t just take the first photo you think of, because everyone else takes that shot. Don’t just take the second photo you think of, because the smart photographers will take that one. Make a photo of the third thing you think of, because it will be unique!