Guest Blog By Hayley Ford Photos
I came across a great quote some time ago, it read: ‘A photo is a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone’. This quote (from an unknown source) is one of my absolute favourites and always springs to mind when I am out taking photos. When I take a good shot I am glad to have that ‘return ticket’, but more than that, I am hopeful that someone else might have a one way ticket to a moment otherwise totally unknown. Taking a person on a journey like this is no easy task. I reckon I might take twenty or thirty photos that fail to take me back for every one that does. When I started though, the ratio might have been one hundred to one (if not worse) so I have definitely improved.
So how do we improve? Yes, I am extremely passionate about shooting photos, but no, I have never done a course in photography. Why not? For starters, I actually haven’t found the time yet, but also because I love the fact that I can learn from my own mistakes, analyse other photographers’ work with an open mind, and find inspiration day in, day out, just by scrolling through Instagram.
As I started to take more photos and share them on social media, I was overjoyed to discover that people were noticing my work. Which brings me to today, where my photos now hang for sale in the local Port Noarlunga, Café L’Aqua!
So, if you want to improve your photography, here are my 5 tips:
1. Look differently
With all the technology we have these days, researching photos should be easy! Find what YOU like, and once you’ve found that inspiration, shoot something creative with an interesting composition instead of taking a typical shot of your subject. What I mean is, you see a jetty, don’t just take a photo of the jetty, get up close, and consider the elements of it; the raw metals and woods used in the structure. Try to look at your subject in a different way!
2. Take simple
Don’t try to cram to many objects in one photo; it will just end up looking messy. Try and keep it simple with only a couple of elements. If you’re shooting a close up photo try not to have a busy background, it will take the focus away from your point of interest.
3. Shoot every day
I know you’re thinking, who has time to go out and take photos every day?
No one right!
But this doesn’t have to mean literally shoot every day! You can shoot with your mind too. Practice noticing what is around you! You can even do this when you’re driving! Think about how you would compose the picture if you were shooting it.
4. You don’t need the best gear to get the best shot
Trust me! Just because you own a camera worth thousands of dollars, doesn’t mean you’ll take a spectacular shot! One of my favourite cameras is an easy Nikon Coolpix, which is basically the one camera for every occasion! One lens, with high-power zoom (so no fuss swapping between lenses) and includes every feature you need. Plus it doesn’t cost a fortune! Anyway, my point is, you don’t need the best gear to take the best shot. I’ve seen so many amazing photos taken on a simple phone camera. Obviously the quality of the photo is different to a large camera but you have to consider what the photo is really for. Is it for a huge canvas on the wall of your home, or a simple share on Facebook to show all your friends/ followers?
As your photos improve your wants may also change, but for now, as a hobby, don’t spend all your money on an expensive camera and a tripod; all you’ll end up doing is reading the manual of the camera for six months and lugging around a heavy tri-pod.
5. Break the rules
Yes, I know I’m contradicting myself! My final tip is, break the rules! My previous tips have been telling you exactly what to do and what not to do, but in the end, the most important tip I can give, is for YOU to experiment, and to learn from your OWN mistakes. Try to be less self-conscious about critiquing everything and deleting every picture because you don’t think it has the perfect composition. Don’t worry about it! If you think it looks good, someone else will too! There really are no rules in photography apart from your own. Everyone likes different things; what you like about a photo may be the complete opposite to what I like, so find what it is that you want to take photos of and what you think looks good, then don’t be afraid to GIVE IT A GO! I’m still learning each day myself.
I am not the best photographer in the world and nor will I ever be but hey, all you can do is try your best and appreciate other snappers amazing work. Remember to keep trying hard, to go on adventures and to take your camera everywhere you go! If you take plenty of shots, you’ll always be able to reminisce on where you’ve been/ what you’ve done. Even if you don’t get anything else from your photos, having those special memories to look back on forever sounds pretty amazing to me!
Visit my Instagram account, or my Facebook and don’t hesitate to message me! I’d love to hear and see how your photography is turning out. Good luck with your shots! Let me know what your own tips are?