As a South Wales Wedding Photographer, I’m always looking to improve my photography skills, and I love to be inspired by the work of others. To be a first class photographer, first you need to make sure your photography is of the highest possible standard. So how do you “get good”?
First off, you need to be competent with the camera. You have to understand shutter speed, aperture and ISO/ASA. That is vital. Without this basic knowledge you will find yourself unable to fulfil expetations and you will deliver a disappointing body of work.
You need to know about metering, different focal lengths and their effect upon depth of field, flash, and most importantly, you need to know about LIGHT. Quality and direction of light is of upmost importance. With regard to light, you should know how to use flash effectively.
Once you are competent with the camera, you then need to understand COMPOSITION. Good photographers have what is commonly called “the eye”. This simply means you know what you are doing compositionally. You know about framing, foreground interest, rule of thirds, leading lines, use of angles, utilising the aspect of a subject to draw the eye, etc… Good composition can be learned, but the best photographers have an inbuilt ARTISTIC and CREATIVE flair. Photography is an art, after all.
You also need to understand the editing aspect that comes with photography. Even when we used film, editing was a big part of a professionals working practice, and it still is today. Using photoshop, or lightroom, or aperture effectively is important, as is understanding how to get the most out of the darkroom.
To help you ‘get good’, you must look at and be aware of the work of others. Inspiration is a vital thing, and looking at other peoples photography is a wonderful way to analyse results, both technically and compositionally.
It is also important to keep your own project ideas fresh. Having photographic projects that are not work related keep you on the ball with regard to camera function, and help make you creative and artistic.
To round up – YOU MUST BE GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO TO SUCCEED.