aly dawn personal · photography tips + tricks

6 Things I Did That Changed My Photography For the Better

Photography is a long journey. These 6 things + a bonus will help you get to where you want to be faster. But remember – it takes time to develop  a talent.

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

1. Switching to Manual Mode – We’ve all heard this before. Switching to manual mode was seriously one of the best things I did. I decided to switch and try to figure it out before seeking help. But after getting a little frustrated with the images I was getting, I decided to take a class at ClickinMoms. I took Mastering Manual Exposure and after that one class my photography changed drastically – for the better!! I highly recommend switching to manual mode and then taking a class on how to best use it. You’ll become a brand new photographer!
2. Join a Photography Community – This step was important to me. I joined ClickinMoms. After joining I have learned so many neat little tricks in shooting and processing that have changed my photography for the better. If ClickinMoms isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there are others out there like In Beauty and Chaos and The Bloom Forum. These communities are all about helping photographers grow. There are also so many tutorials and encouragement that is priceless. Go join today!!
3. Experiment – You might have a certain technique you love to use (for me it’s back lighting) and those images probably look amazing. But you won’t grow unless you try something new. Try incorporating shadows into your shot. Try a different composition technique instead of a center composition. Use leading lines, a different perspective, or the rule of thirds. Try shooting just the hands. Only include the feet. Change it up! Experiment! Have fun! GROW! I experiment all the time and I find new things that I love.
4. Learn How to Edit – Whether you use a free program or Photoshop, you need to learn how to edit your image effectively. I use Lightroom and Photoshop (occasionally) to edit. I like simple edits. But searching for tutorials on how to get the image to look the way you like will improve your photography! You might take an amazing photo, but  it doesn’t come to life until you process it. Learn your program!
5. Switch to RAW – Shooting in RAW has drastically changed my photos. RAW captures so much detail that you can bring back. My Landscapes have benefited from shooting in RAW. I encourage you to look at the pros and cons of RAW vs JPEG. Occasionally shooting in JPEG might be more beneficial than RAW, but I have found that RAW has been the most beneficial in all situations.
6. Learn Your Camera – Read that manual! Learn how to switch from RAW to JPEG quickly. Learn how to set up timers. Learn how to set white balance. Learn what all the buttons mean. Learn how to turn on highlight blinkies (I HIGHLY recommend that!!) and the histogram!! Learn how to read a histogram. All of these things have helped me quickly in making decisions on exposure (this all goes back to #1 and learning manual mode). Learning how to use your camera will help you be able to experiment more and learn what you like best.
Bonus! Most importantly, learn to have fun with photography. There are times when photography can be frustrating. You just need to realize and understand that it takes time. It takes practice. It takes patience. You just have to have fun on your journey to becoming a better photographer.

5 thoughts on “6 Things I Did That Changed My Photography For the Better

      1. That’s exciting! She is still teaching and she’s up next. I’m planning to take the launch and sign up.


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