How to Get Better at Photography – without Changing Your Gear!

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

How to get better at photography without changing gear - 10 lessons

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How to get Better at Photography (without upgrading your gear!)

Take better photos with these simple lessons!

You want to be a better photographer, but you have the same old camera gear to use. Fear not! How to get better at photography is by learning these new skills and tricks of the trade.

In this tutorial, James Popsys sits down to share the top 10 lessons he’s learnt to become a better photographer over time.


How to get better at photography without changing gear

10 Tips to improve your photography skills!


Learn how to take photos quickly to get great shots

Tip #1 Learn how to Shoot quickly

Sometimes outdoors you do get a good amount of time to take a photo. Then you can take your time to choose your lens, whether or not to use a filter, how much exposure to set, or to use a tripod or not.

But other times, the best compositions show up in a split second. When that happens it’s helpful to be prepared and able to take that photo fast!

Practicing taking photos under those conditions will help you get better photos in the long run, because oftentimes the best shots are spontaneous and happen quickly.

You can have your camera clipped to you or on you at all times, and set the lens and camera settings beforehand so you’re ready for a good shot.

Set the aperture and shutter speed sensible for the conditions you are in ahead of time and you’re ready!

Learn how to observe your surroundings to take great photos

Tip #2 Learn the Skills of Keen Observation

You can only take the photos that you see!

Practice observation of the scenes, compositions, lighting and subjects around you. Anywhere you are, there is probably a great photo you can take.

Even when you are heading to a specific place to take a specific photo, don’t miss then opportunities around you for other shots.

Become a person who looks, observes and sees everything around you no matter where you are and you will see your photography improve.

Gear matters a little bit when you want to take great photos

Tip #3 Learn your Gear but Don’t Rely on It

Your camera and lenses do matter in the long run, but a lot less than your skills as an artist Yes, cameras that cost 40x what other cameras cost are going to take better photos.

But you could take better pictures by using a less expensive camera and instead spending that budget on photography trips or courses or to take the time to invest into your portfolio

So gear does make a difference, but generally you can get a lot better as a photographer with a mediocre camera and a lot more time and budget for your time to take the photos.

You need to practice how to get better at photography

Tip #4 Learn to Buy Gear You’ll Use

Buy the camera you will actually use, not the one you want.

If you will be too afraid to use an expensive camera outside of your house, it’s not worth the money to spend. Buy a camera you will actually use in all situations.

Don’t buy gear to the detriment of actually taking photos. You can get insurance on your gear, or use protective equipment.

Shoot for editing how to get better at photography

Tip #5 Shoot for the editing

Editing is a big part of photography. You don’t need to worry too much about things like noise, exposure, etc when taking photos as those are easily adjustable. 

What you can’t change is something like making your photos wider. It is then worth it to shoot a little wider than your final photo so that you have more wiggle room in editing to get it perfect.

How to get better at photography

Tip #6 Count your progression in time with your camera

Your experience as a photographer is clocked in time spent with your camera, not years you have been a photographer.

Someone may have been taking photos for 10 years, but only once per week. Whereas someone else may have been shooting 3-4 times per week but only for 3 years. 

Your progress can’t be compared to anyone else’s, so don’t try to. Just keep practicing and taking photos and you will keep improving!

How to get better at photography Learn to anticipate compositions wherever you are

Tip #7 Anticipation

This skill is helpful when combined with the observation and taking quick photos tips.

If you can anticipate a change in light or other conditions you can be ready to take the photo that is coming.

Have fun with photography

Tip #8 Find the joy in the process

As a photographer, you might not always get the photo that you want. You will find it sometimes takes every 5 times to get the photo you want. 

So if you can learn to enjoy the process of photography, the skill and preparation and waiting, you will keep going out and improving.

Make your audience say wow when looking at your photos

Tip #9 Create Images that Draw in the Viewer

Pretty photos are nice, but photos that pique your curiosity are the best. 

If you can see something in a scene that makes you or your audience wonder about the subject or the sky or just genuinely pulls you in, that is going to lead you to take better photos. 

You will be a better photographer and find your own voice and style when you can find those compositions.

How to get better at photography

Tip #10 Simplify your photos

It is the best thing to simplify your content for the viewer. If your audience has to work too hard to find the subject or to work out what the message is, then you might lose them.

Try using all the tools at your disposal in your camera, lens, settings and editing to simplify what you are trying to say. 

Make it easy for the viewer to understand what your image is saying and you will grow as a photographer.



10 easy lessons for how to get better at photography!

It’S great to learn things from others who have gone before along the journey. These tips from James are just like that!


Which of the lessons will you learn to improve your photography NOW?


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