So some of you may already know that I actually studied photography at University, mainly in a fine art capacity in terms of my personal work but I was lucky enough to received excellent training in traditional photography and dark room printing and film development along with studio and lighting work. The great thing about modern photography and cameras is that you don't need to know everything to take beautiful and well composed images but with a few keys skills and basic knowledge anyone can create some beautiful memories and the one advantage of working with digital is that you can play around until you find what works for you, unlike film which is expensive (although still my favourite)
My top tips for creating beautiful photographs are
1. Get to know your camera - whenever I use a new camera I always have a proper look through the manual - I know this is pretty boring but each cameras is slightly different and actually knowing how to use it properly is key to understanding it and how to get the best out of your equipment
2. Learn how to make use of natural light - it's far more flattering. Flash can be very harsh if not controlled properly and most of the most beautiful photography is shot in ambient lighting.
3. When shooting people don't forget to have fun and don't get too caught up in perfect composition, it's more about capturing moments rather than a perfectly balanced image
4. If shooting objects don't be afraid to style the shoot, the finer details are often what makes it eye catching.
5. Learn how to control your aperture - this is key if you want to create a shallow depth of field aka focus in the forefront and a blurry background. You will need to take your camera off Auto to create this look.
6. Don't get too caught up in the idea you need a expensive camera, if you have a DSLR the most important thing is actually the lens, at the end of the day all a camera is in theory is a light proof housing. The better the lens the better the glass used to manufacture them which adds to the sharpness and softness of the image and an expensive lens on a cheaper camera will always produce better images than a cheap lens on an expensive camera.
7. Get to grips with some post-production software such as lightroom and photoshop but don't rely on these to correct mistakes or salvaged badly lit images, they should simply be used to enhance your photography.
Photobox have put together a great little guide - 9 essential portrait photography tips if your starting out in photography and want to get to grips with what does and doesn't work, it's a really wonderful little guide and even if you have a lot of experience it's good to remind yourself of some of the key rules when it comes to taking beautiful photographs
The main thing is to have fun, learn through trial and error and don't give up.
This guide was sent to me and created by PhotoBox