Top 5 Ways for Beginners to Capture Amazing and Professional-Looking Photos

Beginners are often frustrated when they first get into photography. Most want to capture the types of photos that they see in magazine spreads, but that requires skill and experience.

The good news is that there are ways that even beginners can capture photos that are more professional-looking and stand out:

Learn how to hold the camera still

If you want your photos to look good you need to keep your camera still. That is not as easy as it sounds, but as a start you could grip the camera with both hands and support your elbows on the side of your body.

Eventually, you can try holding the camera in different positions while supporting it as best you can. On top of that, a good shortcut to make sure the camera is still is to use a tripod stand.

Use the rule of thirds

Over time you’ll want to learn as much about composition as you can – but a good place to start is with the rule of thirds. To use it you just need to turn on the grid on your camera, then frame your shot using its lines and intersection points as a guide.

By using this technique, your subject will be positioned slightly off-center – with a focal point at one of the intersection points. On top of that the other elements in the composition should be more balanced if you align them using the other gridlines.

Make sure the lighting is good

For your photos to look good there needs to be plenty of light, and ideally it should be soft and diffused. Natural light (i.e. sunlight) coming in through a large open window will normally suffice when you first start out.

If you want you can look into using lighting kits and softboxes to improve your lighting when indoors. For capturing photos outdoors it may be a good idea to try shooting during the golden hour as the lighting conditions are normally excellent.

Explore your camera’s settings

Try to make it a point to slowly but surely explore the various settings on your camera. Initially you could try out its different shooting modes, but eventually you should aim to experiment with its manual settings.

The better you know the settings on your camera, the more control you’ll have over how it exposes your photos – which will invariably let you snap far more amazing shots.

Try framing subjects from different angles

When you’re shooting a subject, try not to stand directly in front of them and at eye-level. That is the most common perspective that is used for shots, and it tends to look a bit mundane.

Instead of that you should experiment with different angles and distances. The more you mix it up and get creative, the more unique your photos will look. For example you could snap photos from ground level, or from overhead, or you could get up close and fill the entire frame with the subject.

Aside from improving your photography technique, you should also look into learning how to edit your photos. It will provide you the opportunity to make lots of great improvements that really bring out the best in your photos. In fact, even something as simple as applying a black and white filter could transform the look and feel of your photos completely.

If you follow everything described above, you will find that your photography begins to improve by leaps and bounds. From there it is really just a question of continuing to practice your technique to hone it, and trying to experiment and pick up new skills to expand your horizons.

Featured image by Loic Leray

Michael keeps himself busy by writing about design, arts, psychology, and how they intertwine. He grew up in a small town in Montana and now resides in Austin with his wife and dog, Bailey.