With the dawn of a new year comes New Year’s resolutions, and for the aspiring photographer that means looking for ways to up their photography game. How can you make 2016 your year to #MakeitHappen? Here are 5 ways you can take your photography to the next level.
How do you choose to define yourself as a photographer? As with any discipline that produces art, it is important to find focus and hone in on that thing that spurs one to create. Amateur photographers tend to snap photos of everything and anything in their vicinity without any real direction or purpose. While there’s nothing wrong with using your camera to capture whatever happens to tickle your fancy, the moment you feel you’ve hit a plateau in your photography is the perfect opportunity to explore a new photographic genre. Nature, travel, street art, portraiture—the list can go on, and is only limited by your imagination. While it may seem like constraining yourself to a single niche would place a limit on your creative expression, the reality is that it’s the limitless possibility of a blank page that causes photographer’s block. Picking a photographic genre and sticking to it can help the fledgling photographer develop their voice and unique point of view.
2) Tell a Story with your Lens
Telling stories with pictures is not just for photojournalists—all photographers who aspire to produce art must ultimately decide what it is they are trying to convey through photography. Whether that involves documenting lions in the Serengeti, calling attention to environmental problems by taking black and white stills of garbage dumps or capturing couple’s most cherished moments during engagement sessions—either way infusing intent into your photographs will help you take your photography to the next level, as you learn to experiment with lighting and angle to emphasize your message.
“If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”
This quote by famous National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson highlights a very important method for escaping photographer’s block—traveling someplace new. Even if you haven’t quite developed your photographer’s voice, travel is the easiest way to expand
your horizons and rekindle your passion for photography. Even average people who would never normally carry a camera other than their smartphone will dust off their old point and shoot when they travel someplace new and exotic. Changing your physical location will force you to learn how to adjust your shot to new settings and cope with new angles helping you grow both as a photographer and as a person.
4) Upgrade your Gear
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One surefire way to take your photography game to a whole new level is to upgrade your gear. The difference between snapping selfies with an iPhone on a selfie-stick and taking a proper portrait of yourself using a DSLR mounted on a tripod can be huge—and a whole lot more fun. Whether it involves swapping your kit lens for a fast prime macro lens to take extreme close-ups of snowflakes or snapping on that wide angle lens for some extreme landscape photography of the Grand Canyon, the right gear can make all the difference when trying to compose a particular shot.
5) Embrace the Fringes of Photography Innovation
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There’s a new type of tech hitting the world of photography by storm—mirrorless cameras, and while for years the technology hasn’t quite been able to compete with DSLRs, 2016 seems to be the year to dive into this exciting new camera. Imagine the power of a DSLR housed in the compact body of a point and shoot, with the ability to equip interchangeable lenses, and that’s essentially what a mirrorless camera aims to be. With the release of impressive entry level mirrorless cameras like the Sony a6000
can give DSLRs in comparable price point a run for their money at a significant reduction in size and weight. If the New Year’s is about getting a fresh new start, investing in the future of mirrorless cameras could be your fast ticket to a whole new level of photography.