What makes a great photographer? It isn’t the camera or the lens (although that can help). It isn’t the subject. It isn’t the paper the final image is processed on.
It’s the eye.
A great photographer knows how to look past what is right in front of him, and look into the message he wants to convey. He sees the story in what is being told, and looks for the best way to tell it.
1. Focus on the action, not the facial expression.
Have you ever been in the room with the parents saying, “smile” or “look at the camera”? And you are really supposed to get a creative expression with that happening? Great photos show the emotion of the subject, not a smile towards the camera.
2. Don’t stop with one.
Sometimes you have to be patient to capture the perfect image. Don’t take just one, take a series of images. You never know when the perfect one is about to happen. And with digital, its easy to keep the great one’s and delete the okay one’s.
3. Plan first, be spontaneous second
Pick out your background before you concentrate on the image. If your subject is standing still, you can photograph them from any angle. Walk around them in a circle, and choose the best background situation and then start shooting.
4. What you see isn’t always what you get
I prefer to shoot for final image as much as possible, meaning I don’t Photoshop every image I produce. But occasionally you take an image you know would be perfect – with a slight modification. Be aware of what is possible, and keep it in mind as you shoot each image.
5. Never stay still
The image doesn’t come to you, you have to go to it. Don’t stay in one place. Walk around. Get down on the ground. Jump up on a chair. Climb to a higher elevation. You never know when you’ll get to the right spot and say, “Oh, wow!”.
6. Don’t let others influence you
You are the artist, not the person without the camera. If you start hearing, “do this” or “smile” move to a new spot. Change the subjects mindset and try again.