Is Photography Getting Easier?
Once upon a time, new phones were judged by their ability to make calls or present emails, but today all of the emphasis is on the camera. The sort of technology that is present in a phone is something professional photographers would only have dreamed of a decade ago.
This is most easily recognisable on Instagram, where everyone’s daily life is presented with stunning photography, achieved with only a few clicks and minimal effort. In this way, it has become rather difficult for passionate photographers to actually stand out from the crowd. With so many technically efficient photographs being thrown onto social media, how is it possible to create photography that does something different?
Photography Is Not Easy
The answer, in many ways, comes in perspective. If you took an Instagram survey asking whether photography has become easy, it is likely that the majority will come back in the affirmative. But while photography may have become easier on a technical level, that doesn’t mean it is easy to take a good photograph. Photography is all about challenging yourself and capturing the world in a unique, special way. In this way, it is your job to embrace that challenge and make your life a little more difficult. It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is a great way to raise the bar and stand out from the crowd.
Changing Your Perspective
One good method of achieving this is by actively changing how you would take a picture. If you are comfortable in a routine, then force yourself to change it up and find a drastically different angle. Get down low or get up high. Try a new kind of subject, lighting, style…It’s only when you start to break through those walls that you realise they were there in the first place.
Thinking About The Frame
Many photographers think about the present when they take a photograph, but it doesn’t hurt to contemplate what comes next. Try to think of a photograph outside of social media. If you were to put it on a frame on your wall, how large is that frame? Is it landscape or portrait and which will work better? If you’re looking to create a square photo book, then how can the photograph look its best in that layout? How much is filling the lens and how much is too much? It can be useful to keep the end-point in mind in order to perfectly choreograph and style your photograph.
Growing Your Confidence
Although many Instagrammers will claim that photography has become easier, it is likely that the majority are still put out by social situations. A good way to stand out, then, is by growing your confidence photographing busy places. Even if there are people watching what you are doing or giving you odd looks, don’t let it cause you to skip the shot. Feel comfortable and confident and just go for it.
Paying Attention To The Small Details
Many Instagram portfolios are full of landscape shots or selfies in front of impressive places. This, however, forgets the very essence of photography which makes it so special. It is your job to capture scenes that others may simply walk past, making them beautiful enough to stop and contemplate. Look for the small details; a bench, a signpost, a crack in a wall. Give them a unique, beautiful story and try to tell it in the best way you can.
Experimenting With Filters
It can be easy enough to find an appropriate filter on your phone, but this can be quite a lazy approach. There are plenty of website apps out there such as Focos, Darkroom and VSCO, that can do something a little different and make your photographs stand out far more. This is also important when you think about that end goal. If you are planning on putting your portfolio in a photo book, you don’t want every page to look the same. Filters can be a good way to distinguish your photographs and give them a unique identity.
Asking Yourself Why
Lastly, a key part of photography is asking yourself why. Many photographers want to avoid this question, as the answer is often quite hard to find. If you ask yourself why, you are certainly making your process a bit more difficult, but that’s what we are trying to do here. You’re trying to push the boundaries and create something beautiful and, by asking yourself why, you are immediately putting an emphasis on the scene and the story behind it. This will also emphasise and assist the capturing process, as well as what techniques you should use to make the photograph as good as it can possibly be.