I am horrible at photography. I bought a camera for about $300 and have barely used it because I just don’t like how things turn out. My sister is an AMAZING photographer but she lives in a different state. Of course, when she comes to visit/when I go to visit we do photo shoots (and I pay her at a discount) but I really need a good couple days of shooting for my blog and Instagram every few months. Do you normally take your own pictures? Or do you pay a photographer to take your pictures?
What are you taking pictures of?
It sounds like you don’t want to do the photography yourself…
Haha I don’t really want to take pictures myself, just because I haven’t liked the ones I’ve done. I’m taking pictures for blog posts - so for example I have a fitness challenge right now and need images of me doing these activities or better images of the healthy food I’m eating if that makes sense. Next month I’m doing budgeting, so it will be different. I guess I’m wondering, should I invest money in a photographer or money in photography lessons? I can sell my camera, but I know that photographers are very expensive (as they should be if they are talented!)
If you aren’t passionate about something then you will fail at it.
You can learn to be a better photographer, but no one can teach you motivation or passion.
It seems like your heart isn’t into photography so maybe you’d be better off finding someone to shoot for you?
A bit off-topic, but I am curious about your blog. How are the things going with it? Do you have a lot of followers? Because I have an impression that you don’t really like what you’re doing. I mean blogging.
Practice, practice, practice.
I’m “into” photography, and have been for many years. I have a reasonable camera, a few lenses, and sometimes produce some good images that I’m happy with. And then I go onto a few photography web sites, look at images that other people have produced, and wonder why I bother. But sometimes (OK, not often…), it’s my image that stands out and appeals to me more than others. Most of the differences are things I can’t put my finger on.
But, you youngsters have it easy. When I was learning how to take photos, as well as composing the image properly I had to think about exposure, focus, how many exposures left on the film, all sorts of stuff you can forget all about, in many circumstances at least. But it doesn’t half make you concentrate, when you know you can’t just take 20+ “versions” of the same image, on high-speed capture, and pick the one you want when you get back home to a big screen.
So, get your camera and go and practice a lot. Join a few photography forums, where there’s a lot of interest in how you took the photo, and a lot of help for whatever technical issues you might encounter. See how your photos improve with constructive criticism. Then, if you’re still not happy with it, that’s the time to consider whether you should forget it and get someone else to do the images for you. Are you near a college or university that might have photography students who are happy to work at a lower rate for the practice?
Although, taking good photos of yourself doing activities is always going to be tricky - you’re stuck with a fixed viewpoint using a tripod or similar, where if you watch a photographer taking pictures of a moving subject, they’ll be moving around as they figure out the best angles.
I really would like it to be! But I think I just want really great photos but it isn’t happening for me. I like what you said though, no one can teach me motivation. That’s very true!
I have 6 subscribers - so it is very small. I have been blogging for a long, long time (this one specifically has only been up for about a year) and I actually absolutely love it! I love writing and I have really found a groove in what I’m writing about now. I would say for me, personally, it is something to spend my time creatively. For those that read it, I have gotten very positive feedback. But it hasn’t been growing at all and I would just like to share what I’m doing!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your response.
Yeah, my sister is amazing but she has been doing it for years - and has paid for very expensive equipment. I’m just starting and I thought that the $300 I spent on mine was too expensive haha. I don’t necessarily want to be a photographer but I would just like good images from time to time! So that is a good idea - to practice. Sometimes I forget that I even have the camera and I only use it when I NEED a photo for a post. I just get frustrated when I spent this money on a camera and my husband can take a better picture with his iPhone.
Honestly I would have never thought of a college or university with photography students! That is such a wonderful idea. I’m moving soon so I’ll have to look into the new area we are going to be in. Thank you so much!
Yeah I have a small tripod that is okay, but I think as I get out more and practice taking pictures of other things I’ll feel more comfortable getting in front of the camera as well.
Then, sure, you should keep going. It’s very important that you enjoy what you are doing. Maybe you can grow your audience artificially. You will be more motivated if you get more feedback. Wish you good luck!
Don’t get obsessed with the cost of the equipment. As long as you have something that can capture a sharp image with decent light qualities, that will be good enough. As you said, plenty of people can take great photos on a half-reasonable smartphone. You’ll need something capable of really high resolution images if you’re planning to print them out poster-sized - to go on a web site, you can get away with much “less”.
The key, for me, is figuring out what makes an image “better”, and then applying that technique to your own images.
Taking pictures of yourself is always going to be difficult and perhaps something like a mobile phone is the way to go as they are basically foolproof!
You should look at other photos and see what you like and try to reproduce it.
Lighting is always very import as is composition. There are rules for composition and you should search the web e.g. rule of thirds, subject with space infront of the to look or “move” into rather than behind. You do not need to obey the rules all the time.
Analyse your photos and see what you like and what you don’t like.
As @droopsnoot says you are not restricted to 24 exposures on a roll of film and having to wait a week to see the results so try different compositions or lighting to see what you get.
Sometimes less is better - get in close.
Anyway it really comes down to experience and the way to get experience is to take photos.
For a lot of your photos having somebody come around and take one or two every week will get expensive and difficult arranging a suitable time for you both.
Photographers tend to be very self critical and others may not see any faults you do. You can always discuss your photos with others and see what they say. Just remember everybody has different ideas!
One last thing is check the background as it can hold some surprises when you check the result on a computer
Opinions differ, but I think unless you are wanting professional studio quality art for print you can get away with not using a film camera.
The days of digital cameras that at best resulted in pixelated images were years ago. Technology has improved both in equipment and editing software since then. One would need the eye of an artist or purposely distort an image on the web to see imperfection due to equipment or process.
Storage has improved a lot since those days as well. One can take literally thousands of photographs the major expense no longer being money but time.
If your camera is film keep it but get yourself an inexpensive digital camera. Take picture after picture after picture. Chances are none will be “wow! great” that’s alright. Keep the ones that are “OK” and delete the ones that aren’t. Experiment with your editing program, crop, resize, adjust brightness, tweak colors, etc.
With practice you should develop a sense of what framing, distance, angle, and lighting usually result in images that are more than “OK” when you’re lucky enough to capture them at the right moment.
Yeah I guess I’m having a hard time finding good, brighter times during the day for images (since I’m working) and so the only time I have is when it is either too dark or in my house which the lighting is horrible! So that is a good idea - to take techniques and apply them. Thank you for sharing! I think I have been too focused on how much it costs and not putting any practice into it.
That’s a good idea. I took a social media class and we touched the surface of mobile photography and so I know a little about rule of thirds but I don’t really practice it! I guess I need to do some digging/research and then start practicing.
That is a good idea to look at others photos, as well as my own to find what it is that I’m struggling with.
And yeah, I want good photos but I don’t really want to pay for a photographer all the time haha. And good thinking! I’ll double check my photos and the backgrounds just in case
Thanks, this was great advice!!
Thank you so much! That is really great insight. I think what I’m learning here is that I just need to go out and take more pictures - practice, practice, practice! And lots of times I can’t tell if photos have been taken by what, so I’m sure many people can’t either. I think experimentation is a great idea when it comes to editing, because maybe that is what I’m struggling with!
Maybe you could share some shots that you made? We could advise you something better in this case, to give a detailed feedback, maybe it isn’t that bad…
Here is the link to my blog with all my photos: https://www.brookynwilson.com/
The really, really nice ones are from a long time ago that my sister took. The rest from each blog post is what I have taken. Maybe it is my editing?
Like the others have said, practice. But practice with purpose.
I noticed on your site the concept of 30 day challenges, so use that concept. Take a photo every day for 30 days, and see how your photography improves. You could use common themes (like these photography challenge cards)
It’s easy to take nice pictures, but it’s much more difficult to take great photographs.
I love this idea! I had thought of doing a 30 day photography challenge but didn’t know how interesting it would be… This would be a great side project and hopefully it will help improve my photography skills! Thank you