Being a photographer can often be an inspiring thing to do. You have your camera, and the idea is to capture something. Create the picture you have in your mind and to make it a reality, simply by ensuring you capture the image at the right light and depth. It is a skill as well as a creative outlet, and whether you choose to photograph scenes, people or special occasions, it is certainly a privilege to be behind the camera. But how can you take your photography to the next level? Whether you are a professional or an amateur, these ideas could help. When you feel a lack of inspiration, think of how many cameras in the world are left dusty on the shelves. Do not let yours be one of them. Or simply use your smartphone.
Be inspired by projects and perhaps start your own
One of the first things you could consider doing would be to seek out different photography projects and feel inspired. You may have an idea for something yourself, but wonder how to get started. A look at things like the LGBTQ Photography Project could be the ideal thing. A project that not only captures beautiful images but is also helping people in the process.
One of the projects that inspired me to get to know people from different cultures and made me want to take the portraits of foreigners who live in my country was the project by Anna Rosling Rönnlundsent who had an idea to sent photographers to 264 homes in 50 countries to take a picture and document the households (stoves, beds, toiletries, toys and more) around the world to show the different income levels. I find it a very eye-opening project for many.
What could you photography project be?
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Don’t be afraid to try new things
The idea is to not feel settled in what you do. You want to grow, get better and ultimately make a difference. This is when you need not be afraid of trying new things. Perhaps taking the camera out of automatic mode, trying a different aperture setting or learning a few new techniques and giving them a try. There is a famous method to lay on the ground for 30 seconds in a crowded place to become more confident. So do that a few times and you will never be shy again when you are supposed to make a group shot at a public event. And who knows, maybe you will find a perfect angle for a shot too.
Set the scene with intention
It is important that you do set the scene when it comes to your photography. A great tip is to have an idea of an image in mind, and really look at the ways you can bring it to life. It might be traveling to a particular destination for a shoot, or maybe using props or people to actually bring the picture to life. Set the scene and do it with intention.
When I first started out, my partner who happened to be my tutor as well made a list of things I should take a picture of. Just for practice. So I had to get creative. It is not about finding the closest reflection or light bold in the house, it is about setting the perfect scene and practice the composition, creativity, story-telling and emphasizing the main object at the same time. It is something you can learn to do only by practicing it.
Step out of your comfort zone
Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone, and actually try new things. It is easy to stick with one style, but this can soon have you lacking with inspiration and motivation to continue. Seek out new options, use social media for inspiration and be a little different. For me public events are something that make me step out of my comfort zone every time I am supposed to take a group shot. When I need to find the way to represent the group and what they do only with one shot. Nobody likes taking awkward group shots when everybody needs to stay still and smile at the camera. Those days are almost gone. So even if you have to make a group of women of different ages climb a hill and shout out what they have to do, so be it, if you know what I am saying.
Show off your work
Finally, make sure you show off your work in every way possible. Start off with your own website and blog. This is your online portfolio and could lead on to bigger things in the future. It is easy to get one started. Also, use social media platforms like Instagram (by the way this is my Instagram page if you want to take a look). They are very much visually lead and pictures are the main focus, so it is the ideal platform to advertise photography skills and what you are all about. Finally, there are websites that you can sell images too (such as Shutterstock), that can then be used as stock images for content in the future.
I hope that this has given you some idea of how you can take your photography to the next level. “Ejam?” means “Let’s go?” in Latvian. So… Let’s go shoot some images, huh?
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