Most of us associate professional photographers with expensive, bulky cameras and a process where the professional controls every single nut and bolt of their photography gear. With the simple photography hacks they use, however, it’s just not that way.
Unlike many photography enthusiasts that make a big deal over every detail and talk a lot of jargon, most professional photographers take the KISS approach (keep it simple, stupid!).
Professional photographers pursue simplicity. In fact, they even follow rules that the photography enthusiasts would consider amateurish.
Find that hard to believe? Well, it’s true.
Here are 5 incredibly simple photography hacks to use at your next special function. They’ll help you capture everything perfectly while keeping it as simple as possible.
Let’s have a look.
1. Shoot Your Images in JPEG. Yes, Really.
That’s simply not the case.
RAW is a digital negative that’s used to process images using photo processing applications such as Lightroom and Photoshop.
The files are also incredibly large.
Fewer and fewer professional photographers are shooting RAW files these days. Instead, they’re shooting in JPEG, which is a compressed version of the image.
Do you really want to spend the money for terabytes of storage for all of your RAW files? Not to mention, do you want to spend hours upon hours to process all your RAW files once the shoot is done?
Instead, shoot in JPEG. Take a look at the image after it’s shot. If you like it, keep it. If not, hit delete.
It really can be that simple.
Doesn’t it make sense to spend more time shooting and getting the best possible images in JPEG format, rather than going through flawed RAW images and spending hours fixing them in Photoshop?
The answer seems simple.
KISS! (keep it simple…)
2. Using Camera Modes is One of the Easiest Photography Hacks
Almost every camera you buy comes with a bunch of funky modes like B&W or Sepia.
Most people think that these are for amateurs and new photographers.
That isn’t the case. Professional photographers are more than happy to use them when it makes sense.
Most pros use features like miniature mode or some of the various other features that cameras offer.
They even use the grid.
After all, if you’re shooting a wedding and the bride wants several black and white photos for the album, why not do the shooting in black and white?
The different modes are fun to use and save a ton of time otherwise spent on digital editing in Photoshop or Lightroom.
Don’t be afraid to use them. They’re there for a reason!
3. Don’t Stress About Technology or Shooting Conditions
Obviously, almost all professional photographers have expensive gear. They carry around big, heavy cameras and pricy lenses and accessories they may need for a job.
But here’s the kicker: when push comes to shove, all of this ends up being irrelevant.
If, on a given day, they don’t have direct access to their Rs 4 lakh camera and have to use an RS 30,000 they’ll do it without worry.
For pros, the big expensive stuff are tools. If they’re not available they’ll pick another tool that’ll get the job done.
They know how to be creative and work around the limitations.
In addition, true pros don’t stress about lack of proper lighting, rain or other situations that aren’t perfect for photography.
They know that limitations will always exist. Not all conditions are going to be the best for a photo shoot.
In these situations, it all comes down to the eye. Creatively work around whatever limitations exist. Find scenes that are unique, and start shooting.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Crank Up the ISO
This is one of the more important photography hacks.
Most hobbyist photographers have a love/hate relationship with ISO. You know, the function that increases or decreases the sensitivity to light, but also runs the risk of bringing “noise” into the photos.
The truth is, the love/hate relationship ends with hobbyists. Professional photographers use it all the time and crack it up whenever required.
Let’s take the following as an example:
A lot of photographers think that shooting in 1600 ISO is going to add unwanted noise. They cringe at the mere thought.
Many have been taught not to go above 400 or 800 ISO because a higher ISO will add unwanted noise to the photo.
Then, when the images come out dark or underexposed they try to fix them in Photoshop. As soon as they begin to increase the exposure or brightness in Photoshop, guess what happens?
More noise is added!
So in fact, the final photos end up with more noise than if they were shot at 1600 ISO to begin with.
Before your next special occasion photo shoot, play around with shooting at 1600 when it makes sense. You’ll be surprised by the result.
5. Don’t Use Manual Mode
For photography enthusiasts, leaving manual mode is a big no-no. However, pros like Curtis Wallis Wedding Photographer know what they’re doing.
Rather than fiddling with controls, pros want to focus on capturing the best moments. When trying to catch a tiger leaping into the air, do you really want to be fiddling with the aperture?
You’ll miss the moment.
There are three highly important parameters when controlling an image: aperture, ISO and shutter speed.
At any moment in a shoot, a photographer should only be controlling one of these. Let the camera take care of the rest with its pre-defined settings.
When you let the camera do some of the work, you can keep on eye on the action and find the best photos.
Let the camera do the mundane work for you, while you scope out the memorable shots that’ll get you hired again and again.
Enjoy These Photography Hacks
Remember that there’s a big difference between a photography enthusiast and a professional photographer.
The next time you head out on a job, remember these hacks and start using them like a pro.
You’ll save time and end up with better results.
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