By Cecily Kidd
1. Make sure at least part of the photo is in focus -- and ideally the part you want!
2. Learn how to use focus to create different effects. Consider this: How does the image change if the background is in focus instead of the foreground? How about the foreground instead of the background?
3. Don’t be afraid to take a LOT of photos. In the age of digital cameras and phones, there really is no reason to be shy when pressing the shutter. You can always go back and delete the misfires later, but you will have a hard time recreating a photo you didn’t take.
4. Trust your instincts— if you think something would make a nice shot, press the shutter button already! If you like it, no other approval is necessary.
5. If using a digital camera (as opposed to a smart phone), set it on a high resolution. It can be tempting to use the lowest resolution so you can fit more photos on your memory card, but you won’t be able to crop it later or make enlargements.
6. Play around with an image editor of your choice on the computer. It will provide you a virtually risk-free environment to explore different cropping options, blurring, sharpening, etc., which will lead to developing your own style and artistic eye.
7. Recognize your growth over time. For several years, I did my own version of Project 365 (take one picture every day for an entire year and post it on your blog, Facebook page, etc.) and it is an undeniable way to see and track growth. It also encouraged me to take the time every day and appreciate small things in life.
8. Practice, practice, practice. No one ever got good at something without practicing!