How to Improve Your Photoshoot Sessions

Are you struggling with your photoshoots? Do you wish you had better photography skills? We’ve put together a list with 6 tips to help you improve your photoshoots as soon as today. The tips in this list are easy to accomplish without expensive equipment. All you need is passion, a bit of creativity, and things you can find around your house.

Ready? Let’s go

Train Your Eye by Analyzing Other Photographer’s Work

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First up, to improve your skills as a photographer, you have to look at other photographers’ work. By looking, we don’t mean just seeing if you like it or not, but more like analyzing their work. Take note of the composition, the light, the leading lines, any visual effects that were created during the photoshoot or maybe in Photoshop. Learn to see the difference between untouched photos and retouched ones.

When you come across a photo that you would like to know more about, don’t think twice about contacting the photographer. Ask them how it was achieved, what equipment they used and what camera (or phone) settings they selected for the shot. Take notes in a notebook or file about the things you learn, and then try them yourself!

Get To Know the Magic Hours: Dawn and Dusk

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Everyone who is into photography needs to know about the Magic Hours. There are two Magic Hours every day, when the sun is rising and when it’s setting. The light is optimal during Spring and Autumn, but you can catch these special times any time of year, as long as there’s no thick cloud cover.

The best thing about Magic Hour is the quality of the light. The sun shines at an angle that makes everything look warm with a unique glow. After you’ve taken advantage of the Magic Hours over a few seasons, you’ll start to notice how the color changes. Sometimes it’s orange-tinted, other times it’s pinker. 

During Magic Hours, not only does the light illuminate objects in a special way, it’s also low enough in the sky to create a backlight effect in your photos. To use a backlight, place the subject in front of the sun, so that only the shine is seen. If you want to also illuminate the subject, use a reflective surface or even your flash! Experiment and you’ll find lots of different effects.

Use and Manipulate Natural and Artificial Light

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A full-scale studio lighting kit can set you back a few thousand, but there are ways to use lighting more economically. You can find inexpensive LED ring lights online, but you can also use a table or desk lamp with movable heads and strong LED bulbs. Use baking or parchment paper to soften and spread the rays of light.

Don’t discount the power of using natural light. With a good window and some white foam panels or mirrors to reflect or redirect the light. For photographing products or objects, use a simple lightbox or curved paper backdrop. Magic Hours are great, but daylight is also amazing for clear and crisp photographs with good focus points and bright backgrounds.

Use a Tripod or Balancing Holster for Stability

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To take photos with slow shutter speeds and keep your subjects in focus, your camera or phone needs to be stable and immobile. The usual tool for stabilizing cameras is a tripod, but you can also use any household item to keep the phone or camera stable, it’s just a matter of testing options. There are also plenty of small tripods you can get until you can afford a professional one.

In the Photo trends article we shared a few weeks ago, one of the trends we mentioned was photography in motion. Photoshoots in motion are a bit trickier than photoshoots with tripods, not only from the movement of the subjects but also from the camera. If you have the budget, get yourself a balancing holster; it’s a handheld grip for your camera or phone that keeps the lens steady as you move. Use the holster and a fast shutter speed to catch skateboarders in the air, dogs suspended mid-stride, and other subjects in motions

Learn How to Focus a Subject and Blur the Background

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You might have noticed a setting on your phone called “portrait” mode. This is a digital effect that focuses on a subject at a certain distance from the camera and blurs the background. On a phone, this is an effect, but on a camera, you can manipulate it with the aperture of the lens. 

The area that’s in focus is called the depth of field. When you open the aperture, the depth of field increases, focusing on a deeper area between the lens and the background. As you close the aperture, the depth of field becomes more shallow. To measure the aperture on a camera lens, we use “f-stop” or “f” numbers. 

Try different “f-stops” to see how the background looks. At night, you can use this setting to create a Bokeh background. Bokeh is when small lights look like they’re glowing due to the low focus effect.

Always Keep Learning With Tutorials and Courses

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Finally, as an artist, you must be prepared to always learn more. Yes, photographers are artists! There are plenty of ways to improve your photography skills, from reading articles like these to following tutorials and taking online courses or workshops. 

Look on TikTok for creative photoshoot tips. You’ll find ideas for how to simulate drone footage, underwater shots, smoke effects, and lots more. Keep your mind open to unexpected solutions to your photographs.

We’re looking forward to hearing about your photoshoots and how you’re improving your skills. Do you have any tips for fellow photographers? Leave them in the comments!