Improve Your Photography by Stopping Bad Camera Habits

So many of us want to improve our camera skills, however life gets busy in the way of even our best efforts. Efforts that may be the key to life becoming less busy and more intentional. Here are four Bad Camera Habits, we can all be guilty of sometimes, that may be stopping you improving your photography…

1: It’s Easier to Take Photos on my Phone so I will Just do That…

Yes Okay, it’s VERY easy to take photos on our phones these days, especially as they fit in our pockets, but photos taken on a phone will just not stand the test of time the same way as photos taken on your camera, even if your using the camera on automatic mode.

How to Stop this Habit…

Take a Camera Phone Ban for a day/week/month and take your camera with you wherever you go. When you see a photo you would usually snap on your phone, use your camera instead. Then, when you get home, or to wifi (if your camera has it) download the photo/s to your phone or computer. You will be able to edit and create a much more striking image, even if your camera ‘isn’t that great’ in your opinion. The more you do this the more you will want to use your camera instead!

If you are worried about people thinking you are strange for having your camera with you at the office or out shopping, they are more likely to be thinking “I wish I got my camera out more”, and when they see your new found camera skills they will definitely be inspired to dust off their camera too!

2: I’m not Taking my Camera out Today Because I Can’t be Bothered to Carry it…

I’m often guilty of this one, and I usually regret it. How are we ever going to get the photographs we want if we don’t even take our cameras with us.

How to Stop this Habit…

Invest in a Prime Lens (40mm or 50mm) so that your camera is less bulky and heavy. A prime lens will also challenge you to move around more to get your shot as you won’t be able to zoom in.

Find a Compact Case for JUST your camera so it either fits inside your everyday bag or is so neat that you don’t even realise your wearing it. You don’t need to take ALL your equipment out ALL the time.

Once your camera is lighter and in a comfortable/practical case, simply Make a Habit of Taking it With You, and start taking more photos. The satisfaction of using your camera more, will lead you to take it out more, and your photos will improve as you continue.

3: I Don’t Have Time to Learn How my Camera Works so I will Just Use it on Auto…

If you truly want to improve your camera skills then making some time to learn how it works, even if its just 20 minutes a week, will be time well spent and you will be surprised how quickly you get used to how the camera works.

How to Stop this Habit…

Be intentional. Sit down with a coffee (or drink of choice), a highlighter and your camera manual (if you don’t have it, use this page to Find and Download/Print Your Camera Manual). Take a bit of time to find how to change these settings… ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed, thats it, just three! These are the the three settings that will allow you to use Manual Mode and get you started using ANY camera. If it’s helpful, print this ‘How to Change Exposure Settings PDF‘ and fill it in as you go, however you find it easiest to remember, keep it with your manual as a quick reference.

4: My Camera isn’t Good Enough, If I Buy a Better/More Expensive One my Photography will Improve…

Photography isn’t all about the kit you have, often better kit will improve the technical aspect of your images, but not YOUR skill.

How to Stop this Habit…

Learn the Camera and Equipment you Already Own (no matter how ‘bad’ you think it is). Make it your mission to know what the buttons do, what the numbers mean and how you control them. As said above, there is actually a very small amount that you need to know, a lot of buttons on modern digitals cameras are fancy and unnecessary add-ons.

Remember that Camera Skills are Transferrable to any camera so learn how the one you have works and you will be able to make a much more informed choice of what you want to get out of a camera and therefore what would be best for you to buy when you do upgrade.

Knowing what your camera can do and how to do it gives you the chance to concentrate on improving your composition skills and use of light, this way your photos will improve very quickly.

YOU work WITH your camera to produce an image, it’s not all the cameras job.

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