Taking professional pictures is not as simple as pointing your camera or phone at whatever you want to photograph and pressing a button. Of course, anyone can take a photograph. However, taking a professional photo is a skill that has to be learned, improved, and mastered.
Are you thinking about becoming a professional photographer? Do you want to take great photos of your family or a product for your business? If so, these tips will show you how to take professional pictures the right way.
1. Get the right camera and equipment
Even if you can take good photos with your phone, you should consider using a professional camera if you want a professional result. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy one.
Look for camera rental services in your area so you can rent a high-quality camera and perhaps some lenses so you can experiment with different types of photographs. You should also get a tripod, which will allow for steady shots, and make it much easier for you to take photos with long exposure if you want to.
2. Learn how to use your camera’s settings
Using a professional camera is great, as long as you know how to make the most of it. Your camera’s automatic settings can be useful in some situations, but if you want to try something creative, you will need to know how to adjust the settings.
If you are serious about taking professional photographs, take the time you need to familiarize yourself with your camera’s settings. Make sure an instruction manual is included in your camera rental, study it, and make different tests until you know what you’re doing.
3. Find your subject and your purpose
Now that you know how to use your camera, it’s time to find your subject and purpose. Do you want to photograph a person, a landscape, or an object? Depending on your subject, you will need to use a different approach to make it the focal point of your photos.
You should also be clear about what your purpose is. What is your intention, and what message would you like your photographs to convey?
Your answers to these questions should help you decide how to frame each photograph.
4. Use the rule of thirds
Your focal point is the subject of your photograph. Most people will frame their photos by ensuring their focal point is in the center of the image, but this is a bad idea.
Instead, try following the rule of thirds: imagine a tic-tac-toe grid in front of your camera and place your subject at one of the intersection points of the lines forming this grid. Your photographs will instantly look more professional by placing your subject off-center instead of right in the middle.
5. Make the most of leading lines
Now, forget about the tic-tac-toe grid for a moment, and pay attention to any lines present in what you chose for the background of your photographs. Are there buildings, fences, trees, roads, stairs, or a hallway?
If so, you can try to frame your shot so these lines will guide the viewer’s eyes. They can lead us to the photograph’s subject or incite us to look at different details in the composition.
6. Shoot the same subject from different angles
Attention to perspective will also help you frame your photographs like a professional. Try shooting the same subject from different angles, so you can find the right way to convey your intention.
For example, if you take someone’s portrait while laying on the floor, your subject will look tall and powerful. If you take a photograph of the same person while standing on a ladder, they will be portrayed differently.
7. Find ways to convey depth
Adding some depth to your photos will make them look more interesting. For example, instead of taking a portrait of someone standing right in front of a wall, make them stand closer to you and place one or two elements in the background to add depth.
However, avoid adding too many elements to your shot, as unnecessary distractions might make it difficult for the viewer of your photographs to focus on your subject.
8. Learn how to adjust lighting
If you can take advantage of natural light to take your photos, do it. But if you have to take your photos indoors, with no sunlight, you will have to learn how to adjust the lighting to achieve a professional result.
Using a regular lamp to light your subject might do the trick if you don’t have access to professional lighting. Renting a reflector and a diffuser along with your equipment should help you direct the light where you want it to go.
9. Use photo editing software
Finally, you should learn how to edit photos with photo editing software. Professional photographers often edit their photographs to adjust the lighting, the colours and the contrast levels, which helps them achieve amazing results.