Image Shanghai Photography Be professional on your photography

29May/16Off

Learning The Skills To Take Professional Pictures

p16Advertisers know that a picture could be worth a thousand words and dollars both if the image comes out like they want it. They rely on professional photographers to capture images of both still and live subjects so that they can sell their products to the public. When you like taking pictures and want to join one of the many industries that utilize this form of art, you may wonder where you can learn the techniques needed to build a professional resume. You might get the training you need by taking classes offered by a professional institute.

Lessons Learned in Class

Taking pictures for a living goes beyond snapping photos on your cell phone or with your personal camera. Professionals are required to take a number of elements into consideration to ensure that the image comes out just right. If a picture does not come out right, it cannot be sold, and you effectively might have wasted your time.

The lessons you take in school will allow you the knowledge to take these elements into consideration. One of the first things that you might learn involves how to control the lighting around the subject. If there is too much light or glare, the subject might be obscured. The light may reflect off of it and cause the photo to be unrecognizable.

Likewise, you may need to control the shadow. Images that are too dark also may not be recognizable. It may not have the color or dimension that your client wants. You may have to take the photos over, costing you time and money.

The training could help you avoid these mistakes and get the photos taken right the first time. You may then build a portfolio and references that you can take to clients and get hired for more jobs. The right skills can also help you make more money.

Applicable Industries

Once you gain the skills you need for this profession, you may wonder where in the marketplace you can use them. You might find work in the fashion industry taking pictures of models. Models need photos for their portfolios. Clients who hire them also want pictures that they can sell or offer to potential customers to show that they have models who can wear the clothes or cosmetics that the customers want to sell.

You also may find work as a still photographer working for advertising agencies that sell food, housewares, and a host of other items. Your images may be published in magazines or newspapers. They also could appear on TV or online. You will learn how to place the items in a way that makes them appealing to consumers.

1Feb/16Off

12 Inspiring Ways To Fast

p11. Print your images

Are your photographs destined to remain hidden on a hard drive forever, unseen by the world? Remember the buzz you once had in the pre-digital days, when you saw your photographs the first time in print?
Why not peruse your recent holiday snaps, and select your best work to be immortalised with ink on paper. Frame them; hang them in your home; give them away as gifts.

2. Update your camera gear

There comes a time when your digital camera doesn't do your skills justice. While point-and-shoot cameras are convenient and cheaper, they are restricted by their simplicity and their smaller sensor size.

Unfortunately, the old adage 'you get what you pay for' is still the truth. Even an entry-level DSLR and kit lens will produce sharper and bigger images, and allow you to play with a wider aperture range, from at least f/4 to f/22.

If you're into landscape photography, a sturdy tripod is a must, as is a polarising filter to darken blue skies. A cable release will prevent camera shake during longer exposures. A decent kit bag will protect your expensive gear, and enable more efficient access to it.

3. Subscribe to a photography magazine

The racks of most bookshops are stacked with numerous photography magazines. My favourite is Digital SLR Photography*, which boasts a higher standard of writing than found in other titles from the UK. Of course, these days you can subscribe to the digital version of magazines, and download them to your mobile device of choice.

4. Start a personal project

A popular pastime is to shoot a photo every day for 365 days. The idea is to force yourself into the habit of getting your camera out regularly, not just for holidays, or special occasions. Shoot ordinary events or items.

Dedicated 365 websites give tips and ideas.

You could photograph a 'selfie' in the mirror to record your beard growth for 12 months, and then create a time lapse.

Another worthwhile project is to choose a numeral (e.g. 8) or a colour (e.g. red). Walk around town for a day, only shooting this topic. You will be amazed at how such a focussed assignment will hone your observation skills.

5. Enter a photography competition

Success in a local, national or even international competition is not only a huge boost to your confidence, and reputation - you may collect some fantastic prizes too. Competitions range from promotional gimmicks at local events (think A&P shows or radio stations), non-profit organisations (think camera clubs) to magazines which run these on an annual basis.

This is a great way to expose your work to a wider audience, and broaden your skill set. The more prestigious competitions will charge entry fees, particularly the umbrella organisations for professionals, where winners are highly acclaimed.

6. Get your work published

If you love to photograph in a narrow niche (e.g. animals, gardens, fashion, children, or sports), and believe your images will withstand an editor's scrutiny, why not send a sample CD off to your favourite publication? Magazine editors are forever on the lookout for fresh takes on old topics. Follow up with a phone call, or better, a personal visit.

If you're a competent wordsmith, even better, as you'll get paid more for quality writing than for a handful of photos. However, be warned: editors are notorious for not replying, so you will need to be tenacious. Don't give up.

7. Learn how to post-process your pics

This is what often separates amateurish photos from professional-looking images: taking a few minutes in Photoshop, adjusting a few basic things. Stuff like colour correction, sharpness, and exposure curves are easily done. So is straightening a wonky horizon, or cropping your picture into a more pleasing frame.

Photoshop Elements or Lightroom are popular with hobbyists as they are cheaper, stripped-down versions of Adobe's flagship software. Beginners may find Faststone Image Viewer a simple yet powerful program - and best of all, it's free.

8. Push yourself

Very rarely do great images come easy. Persistence pays off, and sometimes it's just a matter of staying around longer on location, waiting for the right light. Or getting out of bed earlier for that stunning sunrise shot.

Go the extra mile this year. Don't settle for second best, even if it means embarking on solo missions when the family is sleeping or watching TV. The sacrifice will be worth it.

9. Make money from your hobby

There are numerous ways to earn a living from photography - it all depends on your skill level, personality type, and passions. While the market for more landscape calendars or greeting cards is saturated, there's still room for tasteful stock images, particularly shots of people.

On-line micro-stock libraries such as iStockphoto.com will no longer provide a decent full-time income, but you could make some pocket money. Fortunately, local stock libraries value their contributor's images more highly. If your images are accepted and sell regularly, you can expect to earn several thousand dollars every year, once you have built up a considerable body of quality work.

Of course, if you have the people skills and can think on your feet, wedding photography is where the real money is. As this competitive genre is seasonal, it can be supplemented by studio shoots, or baby portraiture.

10. Join the club

Photo albums have now been replaced with on-line galleries. Host sites include Google Photos or Yahoo's Flickr, but if you're serious, why not build your own personal website? This is no longer such a daunting task, as it was a few years ago. Cloud-based hosts include clikpic.com and wix.com where beautiful templates make DIY web design a breeze.

However, if you and computers don't mix, you can always find a like-minded community of real humans in a local camera club. These not-for-profits offer advice, training, competitions, trips, conventions and printed publications.

11. Take a photography course

Most folks will benefit from attending at least one photography course, especially when they're starting out. This needn't be a four-year university degree. Check out your local high school - many offer night classes for adults, and are great value for money.

Alternatively, many pro photographers run seasonal workshops on portraiture, wildlife or landscapes.

12. Go on tour

To really improve your photography, you need to grab your camera, and practise, practise, practise.

Perhaps the best way to fast-track your camera skills is on an intense weekend shooting on location, with an experienced guide. He or she will transport you to the best hot spots at the best time of day, to ensure you get great imag