Photography doesn't have to be complicated, but it can be a little daunting trying to learn a new camera or just getting started taking pictures. So here are 5 tips to quickly improve your skills.
Blurring the background behind your subject can really make your pictures pop. The most effective way to do this is to use a “fast lens” AKA a lens with a large aperture (F1.4,F2.8…). Putting some distance between your subject and background while opening up the lens will get the effect you are looking for and draw people into the image.
Watch the background and edges of your frame.
A common theme with poor photos are messy backgrounds or edges. If you have trash cans or telephone wires coming out of someone's head it distracts from your image. So really work to make sure everything in the frame should be there.
Stand in front of interesting things
My favorite photography quote is from National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson. "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff." If your photos are looking bland try new locations or a different time of day. Golden hour is a great time to get better looking shots, just be outside about an hour before sunset and shoot away.
Focus on the eyes
If you’re taking pictures of people or animals the eyes sell the image. The saying “Eyes are the window to the soul” is especially true in photography. So set your focus point on the eyes and make sure they’re sharp.
Find photographers with a style you're aiming for and shoot like them.
Follow them on 500px, Flickr, Instagram, or anywhere you can. A lot of photographers are putting their stuff online making it easy to keep up with their new work. Once you’ve found a few photographers try to emulate their style. Look at their composition and lighting and bring that knowledge with you on shoots. A lot of photographers post about their photo shoots, tips and important lessons on blogs which can be a great way to see how they got the shot.
I hope that helps you go out and take amazing photos. So go out and put your new skills to use!