I have no aptitude for photography. None.
I first started caring about photos when my son was born, and then later, when I started growing my blog, and that’s when I found out that not only did I not know anything, but that I had no talent whatsoever for photography.
I always like to tell people when the subject comes up that I’m proof that all you need is dedication and hard work – talent notwithstanding – to get good, or at least decent at something. And it’s proof that you can do it too.
Let me put a little disclaimer here: I know I’m not a fantastic photographer, but let’s be honest, three years ago, my food photos looked like this:
And now they look like this:
So I’ve come a long way.
And here’s how I improved my photography skills, and how you can do it too!
7 Tools That Will Massively Improve Your Photography
DSLR Photography Made Easy. This is the first book I read, because it was – and still is – FREE. It teaches you the basics of photo positioning – the rule of thirds, etc. – and the basic manual settings on your DSLR camera as well as work arounds for point and shoot cameras – which is what I had when I read it.
Shortly after I read the above book, my sister lent me her backup Nikon D-80 camera. The automatic setting on it was pretty smart, so all I really had to focus on was photo styling, which I was still terrible at doing, so that was a nice break.
When Johanna eventually took her camera back, I went back to my point and shoot for a while before investing $300 (which is super cheap) in a used Canon T2i kit. The T2i body is a fairly inexpensive step-up body, but after talking to a lot of amateur and professional photographers, (who had a tendency to recommend thousand dollar plus cameras!), I finally came to the conclusion that a cheaper body was fine, because it would allow me to upgrade lenses. So, a few months ago, after hearing over and over that I needed to upgrade from my kit lens, I finally invested another hundred dollars into a “nifty fifty” Canon 50mm lens.
anyhoo, shortly after acquiring my Canon kit, I invested in another book.
Tasty Food Photography. This book is fairly expensive in my opinion, but I didn’t care, I needed better photography, and I’d heard a LOT of great things about this one. True to its reputation, Tasty Food Photography walks you through camera bodies, lenses, settings, and all the way to food styling and props, to photo editing. (In case you can’t tell from my pics, I still haven’t really gotten into the world of editing yet.) If you’re a food blogger, or interested in photographing inanimate objects at all, I highly recommend this book!
Trisha Hughes. I have learned so. much. from this lady. She is such a genius food photographer, and has so much free information on Periscope and Youtube that is just fabulous, and also has a book called Eat Pretty Things that I haven’t personally bought (yet), but have had recommended to me by several different people. The nice thing about Trisha is that while she’s a fabulous food photographer, she doesn’t just focus on food, so her teaching has helped me in learning to photograph other things – like my kids.
Shultz Photo School was the very first e-course I ever took. Of course, I signed up because it was FREE, so even though my own focus was food photography, and he teaches parents how to take amazing photos of their kids, I had nothing to lose. I ended up learning SO MUCH from this one free e-course! Lighting, positioning… it was all there. And I loved how much Mr. Shultz humility and passion for teaching parents how to take family photos came through. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Click. Love. Grow. Another course where I’ve only taken advantage of the free material. Bit of a habit. 😉 There is loads of great material on the Click Love Grow site to absorb even before you even think about courses!
Click It Up A Notch. LOADS of information to absorb here too – and Trisha Hughes is a contributor!
Practice, practice, practice. No matter how many books you read, videos you watch, or courses you take, Nothing takes the place of getting your cameral out, and taking photos. I don’t know about you, but I am so incredibly grateful for the digital age, and the fact that I can take thousands of photos for free – no film buying, or paying for development. There’s literally no excuse for not practicing these days! So get your cameral out, and take pictures of stuff. A few weeks ago, I went to the farm to take pictures of the animals, then I walked up to my in-law’s house to wait for Gabe to come pick me up after he was done with his chores. Nobody was home, so I took my camera out and started taking pictures. The more pictures I took, the more things I found that I wanted to photograph – flowers, vintage jars, the basket of eggs, the bowl of fruit – the more you practice the keener your eye becomes toward photography!
These resources helped me SO much with my photography, and while I’ll probably never be a genius level picture-taker, I’ve managed to get good enough to have a few of my photos go viral on Pinterest. That’s a n ice boost to the ol’ self-confidence. 😉
But more importantly, I’m confident that these things can help you if you apply them – photography education, and the resulting ability to record beautiful memories with your family is a priceless investment.