Tag Archives: Dan Splaine photography

Professional Photographer Advice- Ten Beginner Photographer Tips

During my professional photography career I have often been asked for advice on how to become a “better photographer”, from people seeking beginner photographer tips. My snarky answer is just buy the fanciest camera you can afford and it will do the rest. The truth is that becoming more skilled with a camera and  gaining the ability to consistently  make good-quality photography requires something more.

Good cameras don’t make good photos, good photographers do.

You have a digital camera and you like taking photos. Great, now what?   It turns out that photography is very learn-able set of skills and your abilities will grow  in equal measure to the effort you put in.   What is really great about photography is how rewarding the results are.  There is nothing  like taking a shot and making the photo you imagined.   So how do you build your skill, how do you get better at making photos?

Here are some suggestions that can help. Listed below are ten beginner photographer tips that will help you improve your skills and become a better photographer.

To build your skills as a photographer you have to practice.  From the article by professional photographer Dan Splaine whcih includes advice for beginner photographres.  ©2014 Daniel J. Splaine - All Rights Reserved

PRACTICE REGULARLY  – We all know that to become a good musician  you have to practice.  The same is true for photography. In fact many of the motor skills and cognitive processes we use to take photos are like those of musicianship.  The more you practice, the  better you will know your camera and the more creative you can get with your photography.   Practice on a regular basis and your photography will improve. Practice, practice, practice…

ABYC- “ALWAYS BRING YOUR CAMERA”  The number one reason people miss good photos is because they don’t have a camera with them.  Make it your habit to always carry a camera with you, because you never know what you could miss.  Compact cameras are easy to keep on hand and with today’s tablets and smartphones there is no excuse not to have a camera.  Now if you go to the bother to carry  your camera make sure you use it.  Look for photography opportunities in your daily life. Watch for interesting lighting and moments  and shoot simply for the fun of it.  Be ready to explore the world visually always.

You need to understand how your camera works in order to get it work for you.  Advice from pro photographer from his article with tips for beginner photographers. Photo of digtal camera menus and controls.  ©2014 Daniel J. Splaine - All Right ReservedKNOW YOUR CAMERA  – You don’t need to memorize every feature right away, but over time you should get comfortable enough so that using your camera becomes second nature. It’s like learning to shift gears or ride a bicycle – only when the device operation becomes  habitual do you get where you are going with ease. Invest the time to read and refer to your camera owners manual. Learning your camera capabilities and tools will help you get more consistent and better looking results.

LEARN to “READ” LIGHT–  Light is the primary creative tool for photographers. The name itself , derived from the Latin “photo graphis”  means “light writer”.  Light is your instrument. Just like with books, before you learn to “write” you had to learn to “read” .  Understanding its qualities and features, and how to manage light is the core of photography.  Making correct exposures is part of knowing light, real understanding comes from “reading” light.

PHOTOGRAPH THE FAMILIAR– The refrain in every writer workshop is “write what you know”.  The same advice is good for photography.  Spend your time looking at and photographing the subjects that interest you or know the most about.   It takes a certain amount of experience and confidence to approach strange and unfamiliar situations and is hard to do well.   Capture what you are most familiar and  interested in and you will capture your viewer’s attention.

SLOW DOWN .  Our digital cameras  allow us to shoot in a rapid fire way with ease.   It is tempting to push the button and hope for the best, to trust the camera to get lucky and make a decent photo. Good photography begins with good ideas, with thought.  Take the time to think about what you want to show  in your photo and how to best show it.   Slow down enough to check your lighting, your framing and  for any background  distractions.  A few seconds of scrutiny can make a big difference in the quality of your photos.

TAKE a WORKSHOP or a CLASS–  Almost every photo skill can be researched and self-taught with effort.  Sometimes it’s nice to have someone guide you a little.  That is where photography workshops  come in.  Investing a few hours or a few days dedicated to learning photography will accelerate your skill building. There is nothing like working and socializing with a group of photographers, and with a well qualified instructor, to improve your photography.

BREAK HABITS – It is very easy to  get into a methodical routine with our digital cameras.  Developing  an habitual approach to your photography is human nature.  We achieve a comfort level. a familiar pattern and ultimately a creative rut.  Break your habits.  Experiment with new methods and techniques.  Get out of your comfort zone and get creative. Photograph your least favorite and most challenging type of subjects and shooting situations.

LOOK AT OTHER PHOTOGRAPHY –    Art History courses are always the foundation of formal artist training for a reason.  One of the best ways to  become a  better  is to get familiar with the work of other photographers. Looking at other photographer’s images is inspirational and informative. Examine the photos that you like and think of the reasons why. Try to deconstruct the technical and creative  features of the photo.  Don’t mimic what you discover, use the insights you find to refine your own style of photography.

SHOOT MORE–  SHOOT, SHOOT,  SHOOT!!!!!!    If you think you shoot enough – you don’t. Unlike with film cameras, there is no cost ( besides data management) to capturing more images, so there is no real downside to  taking a lot of photos. Don’t just shoot for quantity, shoot for quality.   If your think you’re done with  a scene or subject approach it again from a new angle or with a different lens.   When you travel to  new places or are having one of kind days make sure you take it all in with your camera.  Don’t just get a few frames when you can get several and work at creating  something special.

Use your camera  often, seek new photo experiences and  your skills and confidence will grow.

AYBC- Always Bring Your Camera-  Advice from professional photographer Dan Splaine  from his article with advice for beginner photographres.  ©2014Daniel J. Splaine- All Rights Reserved

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing photography for public relations, marketing and editorial clients. Based in Nashua, NH  he provides commercial photography services in studio and at client locations all over the world. Dan is a photo educator and  presents a program of digital photography workshops and photography tours for adults throughout New England.  For more information about his photo education program go to the photo workshop and tour schedule page.

 

 

Business Portrait Options; Studio Portrait or Environmental Portraits?

What are your business portrait options? 

Most entrepreneurs realize the value of having a professionally photographed business portrait made for social media profiles.  A well-lit and nicely retouched head-shot made in a studio is an important weapon in your personal branding arsenal.  A studio portrait with a neutral background is ideal for profiles, business cards and sales letters.  It is one of the best ways to become a “familiar face” to prospective customers.

Studio portraits are great.  They increase your online engagement and we consider them a basic need for every business person.

An environmental portrait or editorial style business portrait by photographer Dan Splaine.  Environmental portraits are another option for the business portrait choices for entrepreneurs.  ©2013 Daniel J. Splaine- All Rights Reserved Consider having an environmental style portrait made in addition to your studio business portrait. Environmental portraits add context and they present a unique impression of the subject. Environmental portraits are made at the client location which serves as the background for the portrait sitting.   Placing portrait subjects in their work environment adds major impact to business portraits. Flip through your favorite business magazine and you will see how these editorial style images present people in more dynamic and dramatic setting.

Why would you need more than a studio portrait?  Profile photos are useful for many publications and having different styles of business portraits made allows you to capitalize on public relations opportunities as they occur.  Editors and webmasters are always seeking high quality visual content especially in this era of dwindling editorial resources.  They are starving for unique and  interesting illustration. Providing an environmental portrait with your press releases and announcements will gain a higher rate of publication.

An environmental portrait adds visual information that informs the viewer about you. Your studio portrait is a good presentation; your environmental portrait is a complete narrative.

Photographer Dan Splaine is an expert at creating these custom portraits in locations as diverse as tropical rain forests to corporate boardrooms.  He is a noted environmental and editorial portraitist, that creates one-of-a-kind business portraits.   Let him tell your story in images book your editorial style business portrait session today.

For complete information about our business photography and portrait services  contact us at info@dansplainephoto.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing photography for public relations, marketing and editorial clients. His company TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY based in Nashua, NH provides commercial photography services in studio and at client locations all over the world. Dan is a photo educator and he presents a program of digital photography workshops and photography tours for adults throughout New England.  For more information about his photo education program go to the photo workshop and tour schedule page.

 

Location Photography Service; Business Photography shot on location

Our location photography service brings the photo studio to your business location.

A feature of my photographic career is adaptability.  An uncanny ability to shoot at any site, in all types of conditions while consistently producing high quality photography is my trademark. Those skills I learned, when I started out as an Army photographer.

ANTICIPATE, ADAPT, OVERCOME, is the mantra of an infantryman and the way Uncle Sam trained me how to approach each assignment.  The goal was always get the image, regardless of conditions and that is how I still work today with our location photography services for business.

My corporate photography assignment and editorial shoots involve photography at locations around the world.  The range of shooting conditions run the gamut from primitive to regal, depending on the client.  The job is and always has been, to produce photography that illustrates the clients communication objective.  If I’m standing butt deep in mud or hanging of a rooftop ledge it really does not matter, I will do what it takes to get the photo.  An adventurous spirit helps, but the skills and techniques learned in my long experience behind the camera ensures that I always hit the mark.

Commercial photographer Dan Splaine is a location photography service expert. He shoots business photography assignments at locations around the world. Copyright © 2013 Daniel J. Splaine - All Right Reserved

This approach works for photography in the corporate setting equally well.  Sometimes clients can’t get to the studio or remote employees are gathering in one location for a brief amount of time.  No problem, I bring my fully mobile studio ability to the client location.  Sometimes in an industrial photography assignment access to a difficult or sensitive settings are restricted.  I can get in and get out  rapidly, working with the conditions as they exist to get the photos the client needs.

I have more that thirty years experience adapting to conditions and locations,  producing original and  effective visual communication with  photography.  If you have a difficult location, a once in a lifetime event  or you operate in an extreme conditions please get in touch.  I will welcome you challenging conditions and of course create the photography that shows you and your organization at their best.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Photographer and photo educator Dan Splaine has more than thirty years experience producing photography for public relations, marketing and editorial clients. His company TEST of TIME PHOTOGRAPHY based in Nashua, NH provides commercial photography services in studio and at client locations all over the world. He presents a program of digital photography workshops and photography tours for adults throughout New England