Get comfy with close-ups
If you feel like your pictures don’t have any pop to them, take a step or two towards your subject. Fill up the frame with your subject and see how superior your photo will look with less space wasted. Getting closer to your subject also reveals their facial expressions more too, which can tell a story.
Capture something every day
The greatest way to improve your skills is to practice. So shoot as often as you can, it doesn’t really matter what the subject is either. As your technical skills progress over time, your ability to tell decent stories with them will increase too. Don’t worry so much about creating a shooting style too early on either as it’ll emerge by itself in time and it’ll be much more authentic too.
Use your available light effectively
Before you put the camera up to your eye, firstly see where the light is originating, and use it to your advantage. How can you use it to make your photos better? How is the light engaging with the scene and the subject? Is it emphasising an area or casting thought-provoking shadows? These are all things you can exploit to make an ordinary photo astonishing.
There are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding what ISO to go with, such as…
What time of day are you taking the shot? If you are shooting outside at midday, you’ll need to use a lower ISO such as 100 or 200. If you are shooting at night time without a tripod or other equipment then you’ll need to increase the ISO to quite a higher number to be able to record the light on the camera’s sensor, so be aware of your cameras high ISO capabilities.
Do you want a sharper picture or an image with more movement? Using a higher shutter speed to capture quick movement might mean that you need to use a higher ISO to compensate. Similarly, if you’re using a slow shutter speed to capture some motion blur then you’ll need a much lower ISO instead.
Invest in some books before you splash out on extra gear.
Having pricey camera gear doesn’t always mean that you’ll take great pictures. Some amazing shots can be taken with just a phone these days, so you need to take the time to understand this amazing specialist tool you have in your hands. Then you can wipe the floor with the seemingly amazing pictures taken by phone users who fancy themselves as pros. By studying what the actual pros methods are via some decent books, not only will you get some inspiration, but you’ll come away with even more to expand your own photos.
Read the manual
The best way to get to know your camera to actually sit down and read the manual. So many people miss this really vital step on their path. Cameras are diverse, none are alike, so by reading the manual you’ll get to know all the quirks and shortcuts so nothing stands in your way.