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7 Tips to Becoming a Stronger and Smarter Photographer

It’s that time of year when a lot of us begin to jump back into our busy season. Consider making some changes to the way you practice photography this year (because, let’s face it, we all have areas in which we can improve!), so here are a few tips that will help make you an even stronger/smarter photographer.

1. Learn to use Lightroom (or the editing software of your choice), and I mean use it to its full potential! Sure, you can learn a lot from trial-and-error, but reading tutorials and watching YouTube videos will open doors to new ways of editing you may not have found on your own.  Start with lightroom tutorials or enjoy a lightroom webinar available here on Pretty Presets.

2. Take care of your gear: keep your lens caps/hoods on your lenses, make sure you turn your camera off when you aren’t using it and store it in your camera bag at all times, format your memory cards on a regular basis, and in general, just keep your equipment dust-free. This will save you money down the road, making your equipment last longer!

3. Keep your files organized, and back them up regularly. Also, consider having your most important files stored somewhere besides your home. God forbid something terrible happens - you would not want to lose all of your work. Insurance can replace equipment and software, but there’s no way to replace images. We all know this.

4. Stay informed: knowing what is trending in the photography world can be a great source of inspiration. Read magazines such as Popular Photography and PDN. If you are interested in fine art photography, be sure to check out Shots Magazine.

5. Know who came before you: make an effort to learn about the pioneers of modern photography who paved the way for all of us. Studying the work of the greats such as Cartier-Bresson, Helen Leavitt, Dorothea Lange (and the list goes on!) will give you insight into how to perfect your own style of photography.

6. Try something new: maybe there is a style of editing you would like to learn, or maybe a certain lighting technique. Or, maybe you would like to dust off your 35mm film camera. Go for it!

7. Last, but not least – stay inspired. Yes, photography is so much more work than someone who is not a photographer can even begin to realize, and it is also a source of income for a lot of us, but the whole reason that we are photographers, at the end of the day, is because we love the art of photography. So, when you start to get stressed out by booking shoots and keeping your clients happy, or if you are frustrated because you can’t get your photos to look quite like you would like, try to remind yourself why you are a photographer in the first place. Being a photographer is an extremely rewarding profession/pastime/passion, and I think we are all pretty lucky that photography is part of our lives.

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