8 Tips to Take Professional-Looking Photos

Simple Ways to Improve Your Photography Skills

8 Tips to Take Professional-Looking Photos
Photo by Marco Xu on Unsplash

Are you afraid to show off your pictures? Improving your photography skills requires time, practice, and dedication. If you want to capture more professional-looking photos, here are some tips to level up your skills and get high-quality images.

8 Tips to Take More Professional-Looking Photos

Whether you are looking to take better photos of your kids or just find photography to be a fun hobby, you can develop your photography skills with these simple tricks and tips. These are helpful tips to get your started, and sites like ShootProof have a great blog that can also help you learn how to refine your skills and even turn photography into more than just a hobby.

Learn Your Camera Settings

The first thing you should do is to understand your camera settings. While using automatic mode works fine, you may end up scrambling what to do on unique occasions.

For instance, using automatic during a night shoot may result in extra-long exposure, making your photo a blurry mess. Hence, spend time familiarizing yourself with the settings, because it's essential in making images look more professional.

Choose a Strong Focal Point

The focal point serves as the photo's main point of interest. Think of it this way, in a crowd of people, pets, toddlers, and food stalls at the park, where do you want to focus?

Decide on what will be the center of attention, and you'll produce a more interesting picture. Once you select a focal point, may it be a child chasing a bird or an old lady sitting on a bench, you'll be able to capture the viewer's attention on that subject.

Check for Good Lighting

Make sure your subjects have proper lighting; otherwise, you won't capture every detail. Note that too much hard light can form unwanted shadows in your shots. Thus, check your angle and shoot where there's ample light.

Another way is to optimize your lighting equipment by using speedlights and strobes. Of course, you also need to learn how to play with light.

Learn Proper Exposure

Exposure relates to the amount of light that reaches your camera sensor. To make more professional-looking photos, you need to know how dark or light your images will appear.

To create proper exposure, learn how to control aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These three settings work together to make the right exposure.

Zoom In Tight

Filling the frame and choosing a clearer subject to minimize distractions in the background will help make your photos look more professional. As a result, your viewers focus on the primary subject.

Aside from that, zooming in creates a more intimate effect, letting your viewers see a more detailed view of a couple's reaction or a dancer's movement.

Use Gridlines

Gridlines help keep your photos straight, and consequently, is more pleasing to the eye. Use gridlines to maximize the power of the rule of thirds, which highlights the most interesting part of an image on the intersection of the lines.

Gridlines also prevent the other elements of the photo from outshining your focal point, creating a more balanced and professional-looking photograph.

Add a Bokeh Effect

Bokeh refers to the intentional out-of-focus blur effect, which keeps the subject crisp and clear. With the background filled with blurry circles of light, your subject pops out of the background.

To achieve an aesthetically pleasing effect, you'll usually need to increase the distance between the background and the subject. Make sure to have a fast aperture and long focal length.

Experiment With Perspectives

Another way to make your photos more professional is to change perspectives. Is your position above, below, or at the same level as the subject? By changing the distance or angle, you can drastically change the composition and mood of the photo.

For example, try shooting the same subject from below and above. Taking a picture of a person from a low angle connotes power or authoritativeness. On the other hand, shooting from above will make the subject appear small or weak.

Final Note

Now that you've discovered the secrets behind taking high-quality photos, it's time to bring out your camera and take more professional-looking photos.

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Read next: 4 Ways To Find Inspiration As A Beginner Photographer
Angela Brown
See all posts by Angela Brown