Want to Move Your Photos Away From Looking Like a Snapshot Towards a Work of Art? Do This!

Feb 15, 2022

So you want to take better photos? Well, we have that in common, so do I. Now, I want to note right off the bat here that the purpose of this article isn't to criticize the photographer that seeks out a snapshot. Instead, this article is for the photographer that wants to move beyond the snapshot. Many of the photographers I meet want to take better photos, and they are looking for that secret that will push them towards capturing the kinds of images they want.

But the truth is, there are many steps a photographer, who is looking to improve her skills, must take. Better photographs don't happen overnight. Over fifteen years ago, a fancy new DSLR landed in my hands. I clearly remember thinking I would instantly capture better images with my shiny camera. So when I picked up that camera and began clicking away, I was thoroughly disappointed in the results. I thought my camera had failed me. But having been bitten by the photography bug and recognizing the possibility for a better photo, I continued to learn and improve my photography skills. However, what has happened is that even to this day, I still continue to want to take better photos.

ISO 40 14mm f10 1/5 sec

So what does taking better photos actually mean? I have discovered in my photography journey and after years of educating other photographers that becoming a better photographer is different for everyone. Some photographers are happy with capturing images that resemble their memories, while others pursue technical and artistic mastery within the art of photography. Some photographers will relish photography as a hobby while others see themselves as semi or professional photographers. 

Regardless of the goals you have for your photography journey, I want you to adopt this mindset in everything you do as a photographer, whether you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer. If you adopt this mindset, you'll see a shift in your images from snapshot towards work of art.

It's intention. The willingness to become intentional with seeking out a better photograph tomorrow will keep you moving forward and immediately improve your photography. 

Here are some ways you can become more intentional with your approach to photography:

  1. Ensure you are prepared with everything you need tucked inside your gear bag. 
  2. Plan accordingly for your outing and be intentional within the choices you make about how you approach your photography. 
  3. Capture your photos intentionally by thinking about the importance of light, composition and visualizing your final image. 
  4. Intentionally infuse your post-processing touches and create a result that reflects you as a photographer. 

Identifying your purpose for creating your images will be a powerful force as you seek out moving beyond capturing a snapshot to creating photos that fill you with joy and become your works of art. 

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