Following photography rules to the letter would not only be downright confusing (because there’s just too many of it!) and would leave no room for flexibility, creativity and experimentation. Then again, we asked the famous and the pros to share their photography secrets to challenge and inspire you to always giving it your best shot in your craft and/or business.
- If you think you made a mistake, don’t hesitate to ask the person to pose for you again. Most of the time, they would happily oblige to do so. If you don’t, you’ll regret not acting up immediately when there could have been a remedy a few minutes after your original shots were taken.
Kevin Fern - popular freelance photographer specialising in news, commercial images and weddings
- Never ever leave your tripod. They’re a hassle but it makes you be more careful of your every shot. Handholding just makes it easy to have blurred images, especially if you cannot prevent the slightest camera movement. Properly composed scenes would generate better results and it gets even better as time passes by.
David Creedon – his documentary photography project, Ghosts of the Faithful Departed, has been widely published in prestigious magazines
- Landscape photography requires more than just a tripod for support. If you’re using lenses that are higher than 200mm, then you should also bring a large beanbag that can support the whole length of the lens. It can prevent any vibrations brought by the mirror and shutter action. This is essential especially in windy conditions. Your shutter speeds should be between 1/125th and 4 seconds.
Put weighty substances inside the beanbag such as polypropylene granules, rice or other grains. If there is no suitable spot to set up your beanbag, you can just place it on top of the tripod.
Guy Edwardes – one of the UK’s best scenic photographers
- Most nature photographers have big lenses and tripods. But since the availability of high ISO and stabilisers, there really is no need for one unless you are into longer exposure time. When you ditch the tripod, three things happen: it increases your mobility, making you catch the ‘crucial moment’ of the subject; it makes you more experimental in your compositions; and, you are unloading a heavy burden from your stuff.
Pål Hermansen – freelance photographer since 1971, and his nature images have been published in National Geographic Magazine, Conde Naste Traveller, GEO and Stern
- If you want to have a successful commercial landscape library, your shots should focus more on the needs and expectations of the clients and not yours. It is not always wrong to leave out everything you’ve learned about composition. As a graphic designer, you should also learn to appreciate the blank spaces and emptiness of the surroundings because that might even be more appealing to the viewers.
David Clapp- landscape and travel photographer who is a contibutor to Getty
- There are many different ways to illuminate a subject. And you can be creative as to where you would get your light sources especially when your options are limited. It can be from a candle, a torch, car headlights, lamp posts, etc.
Fabio De Paola – freelance photographer based in Nottingham
- Get inspiration from other photographers’ pictures especially how they have set up their light. Deconstruct their images and focus on each particular light source and how it contributed to the overall effect on the subject. Study the shadows, its directions, its texture and the actual result on the image.
Damien Lovegrove – former BBC cameraman and lighting director turned wedding pro
- If you want to make some quick cash from your work, sell your photos to a news agency. Any tie to a national agency can turn your images into some instant money. And you don’t have to change your strategy just so you can do this. As long as you share with them your ‘story photo’, if they like it or if it is essential for their news piece, it can make its way to national newspapers.
Mark Humpage – seasoned Stormchaser and ambassador for Olympus, as a professional elemental photographer
- If you want to hone your craft, you have to get honest feedbacks from viewers. But you have to prep them; otherwise, you’ll get nothing out of it. Provide with them a series of statements that they have to finish in order for you to get the real gist of their thoughts about your images.
Haje Jan Kamps – the man behind the popular Photocritic blog.
- Photography is an art – that is obvious. So how do you keep a well of fresh creativity overflowing again and again? Immerse yourself to all kinds of visual arts – not just other people’s photography but architecture, paintings, sculpture, textiles, and such. Visit galleries and do this as frequently as possible.
Tim Fisher – he got first prize in the Automotive category of 2008’s Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3)