8 Photography Tips from a Professional Photographer

8 Photography Tips from a Professional Photographer

This September, HISTORY (StarHub TV Ch 401) will be bringing its viewers an original production - Photo Face-Off. The show is a six-part reality series that features professional photographer, Justin Mott, travelling across Southeast Asia - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, as he competes in a photography competition with a local amateur photographer from each city.

1. Be Patient

The best photographers are patient photographers. Find your light and your background and just sit and wait for something to happen in that light. The wait can be painstaking but a great photo lasts a lifetime.

2. Give Yourself Homework

Give yourself weekend assignments, practice makes perfect. A few examples; photograph just the color red, limit yourself to just one particular shape like circles, or pick a feeling like love. Mix it up all the time with your assignments so you don’t get bored.

3. Light is Key

Interesting light makes for interesting pictures. First you need to understand and recognize gorgeous light in every day life then you need to learn how to creatively expose for that light.

4. Shoot on Manual

If you are shooting on automatic or aperture priority you are doing yourself and your growth as a photographer a disservice. Shooting in Manual mode on whatever camera you have opens up a world of creative exposure options that aren’t available using your camera on automatic.

5. Break the Rules

Take the rule of thirds and other cliché photography rules and throw them in your trash bin. Everyone is a photographer these days, so if you want your work to stand out make your own rules, don’t be like everyone else.

6. No Place Like Home

Many people think the only way to get a great picture is to travel to exotic locations. That couldn’t be further from the truth, great pictures are just outside your door. Take an hour after work, which is typically right around sunset for most people and explore your neighborhood. Trust me, you will learn new things about your surroundings and you will get amazing pictures.

7. Don’t Be Lazy

When you see something you like, don’t simply stop, take your camera out and shoot it. Move around a bit, out some thought into what you want to say with this image. Find an interesting angle; look for something interesting to shoot through. Get up high and get low too - perspective is what separates the novice from the pro. Don’t be afraid to lie on the ground and shoot from the floor. When people walk by and think “What is that guy doing?” is often when I'm getting my best pictures. 

8. Learn How To Tell A Story

One picture can tell a story or you can use a series of pictures. Craft your art of storytelling and you will become a better all around photographer.

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