Are you disappointed with the majority of the photos you take? Do you wish you could take better photos?
You’re definitely not the only one.
We surveyed photography enthusiasts to find out what proportion of their photos they were happy with.
At a guess, what percentage of people do you think are happy with the majority of photos that they take?
How many people are happy with less than a quarter of their images?
The results were surprising. A massive 62% of people said they were happy with less than one quarter of their photos.
Only 10% said they were happy with more than three quarters of the photos they took.
This simply cannot continue. We want it to end.
What mistakes are you making that are stopping you from taking better pictures? How can you improve your photography so that you become happier with more of your images?
There is no magic bullet. Taking good photos is difficult.
With hard work, perseverance and experience you should be able to increase the percentage of photos that you’re happy with. It won’t happen overnight.
For those of you who fall within the 62% of people who are unhappy with the majority of their photos, we hope some of these ideas will help to improve your success rate with photography.
1. Work On A Project
Setting yourself a project to work on is a great idea to push your photography skills further. Taking photos regularly and actively of something you are interested in will motivate you to get out and shoot.
Working with one type of subject or trying to create a consistent look will make you practice and master techniques to do that one thing well.
Sometimes a theme will grow from one or two images that you’ve taken, or you could already have an idea to work on.
You might want to work on something simple like shadows, or reflections, or you could develop a project that tells a story or , or lost looking dogs.
A series of images can look also look stronger than individual photos.
If you do set yourself a theme, remember to create good photos, and don’t just treat it as a collection of photos of the same thing. Think about what you are photographing, why you are doing it, and how you will approach it.
2. Become A Specialist
Whatever your level of experience, it’s incredibly hard to take outstanding photos. When you think about the photographers that you like, most often they will be a specialist. There are amazing wildlife photographers, fantastic portrait photographers and incredible street photographers. What do you notice? They all specialise in one genre of photography.
So, the best way to become better at photography is to pick a specialist area and become amazing at it. Choose the type of photography you enjoy the most and go for it. Learn everything there is to know about it, and nail it.
Specialising will also help you master the equipment you use. A portrait photographer should be a master of the 85mm lens and lighting kit, but ask her to shoot with a tilt shift lens, and you’ll get a blank look. Ask a landscape photographer to shoot a product shot? No chance.
Give yourself the best chance of success. Be a specialist.
3. Read More Books
No matter how good (or bad) you are at photography you can always learn more and become better. Even if you just pick up one or two things, they tend to stick in your subconscious and you always find out something your didn’t know you didn’t know!
Read some books, two of our favourites are:
For people starting out: Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs
For creative ideas: The Photographers Playbook
4. Build A Solid Foundation
As you know, photography can get a bit technical. There are certain things that you just have to understand in order to progress your ability.
The basic photography techniques of understanding aperture, ISO, and aperture (and the rest) must be fully understood before you can properly develop more advanced skills like studio lighting or long exposures.
You will take much better photos if you fully understand what you are doing. The good photos you take will be crafted by you and your skills. Trying to run before you can walk will probably result in images you’re not that happy with.
5. Put Yourself In The Right Environment To Get Better Shots
If you think you have the right skills to get good shots, but you’re still coming home with photos you’re unhappy with it may be that you’re not giving yourself enough good opportunities for success.
One of the most common mistakes is shooting in the midday sun. It’s harder to take most types of photos in hard overhead light. Wait until later in the day, or shoot in the shade.
Good light is one aspect that helps get better photos.
Location and subject also matter greatly too. If you’re struggling it may be that you’re not in the best location for what you’re trying to shoot, or the subject you’re photographing just isn’t going to make an intersting photo. Quit while you’re ahead and save your energy for another time and place if this happens.
Is there anything that helped you get more good photos? Let us know in the comments.