‘What can I do to get better at photography?’
‘What camera do you use?’
‘I was thinking of upgrading.’
I get this question a lot. Early on when I just bought my camera I would look at other peoples work and think ‘to get that shot I would need a new lens and a strobe light’ OR ‘if I could only have bought that camera I could get that effect’ and so on and so forth. Now, being older and wise (and still with the same camera body I started with) I know the answer is almost always to practice. You want to get better? You need to practice, practice and practice a bit more. Sure, you can’t achieve an off camera flash effect without a strobe or flash of some kind. But you CAN practice posingÂ techniques on your clients (or friends you roped in to help you practice), speaking to them, bettering your composition, working with the sun at different times of the day … the list goes on.
I find all sorts of excuses not to practice but I know the times I have pays dividends when I’m with a paying client and I can nail a shot quickly and not just guess and check on the day.
Here is an example of my practice session with a previous bride and groom. I asked if they could help me out so I could practice a technique (off camera flash at sunset) and they were more than happy to help me out. This was what I ended up with. From the session, I got better at my flash position and power as well as which settings to change quickly.
Because I did this (and not just this once … it’s a technique I’ve practiced more than a few times!) when I had the opportunity to do something similar at a wedding – I was so much more confident I could pull it off and wow my clients. This is from Shane and Kristy’s wedding from March this year. DefinitelyÂ worth it, don’t you think?