1. Don’t expect their camera to do all the work. This means saying goodbye to ‘Auto’ and bravely using other modes such as Aperture Priority or Manual.
- Read the camera manual, several times, to get familiar with their gear.
- Gradually work through various functions and features on their camera.
- Take control of their camera, and the lighting conditions they are faced with.
2. Understand that pressing the shutter is only half of making a good photograph.
- Modern cameras are no match for the human eye, and still have lots of limitations, especially in low light situations.
- Post-processing has been done since the invention of photography (either in a traditional darkroom or on a computer). This is where you polish your final images, and make adjustments to compensate for the constraints of the camera.
- Select and present only the very best images from a photo shoot.
- Store a back-up copy of their images onto an external hard drive, or somewhere safe.
3. Publish photographs, so they aren’t destined to die on a dusty hard drive, unseen by the world.
- Share their work to get constructive feedback from peers, (e.g. via on-line galleries such as 500px, Flickr, Google Photos, Instagram or a Facebook group.)
- Present their images as a means of self-expression; their contribution to recording the world, from their point of view, (e.g. framed photos, greeting cards, calendars, art galleries, photo-books, or merely as prints inside a simple photo album).
4. Get inspiration from other photographers they admire.
- Read eBooks, magazines, blog posts, look at Facebook posts, or view YouTube videos.
- Visit galleries, take workshops or go on a photography tour to learn from a more experienced shooter.
5. Travel in search of fresh subject matter; this could be interesting locations or photogenic people.
- On a micro level, they use their feet to find fresh angles and perspectives – they ‘work the scene’, and don’t just settle on the first composition they see.
- On a macro level, they visit exotic or remote locations away from home, opening their eyes to new possibilities.
- Avoid shooting clichés, looking for a new ‘take’ on well-photographed subjects.
In summary, you can be a more effective photographer by educating yourself, embracing challenges, and becoming proactive.
Thomas Edison once said that ‘genius is one per cent inspiration, and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.’ The ONE THING that will greatly improve your photography is practice… lots of practice. Go for it!