5 Proven Tips to Make Your Photos Look Professional

by | Beginner, Technical, Top Tips | 0 comments


How to Make Your Photos Look Professional

Good composition can take a photo from looking like a snapshot to a professional-looking photo. Whether you’re an aspiring pro photographer or want to enhance the quality of your personal photos, giving them a professional touch can make a world of difference. And good composition is a key part to make your photos look professional.

Achieving a professional look is within reach for everyone. That’s why I’ve put together five practical tips to take your photography to the next level and make your photos look more professional every time you pick up the camera!

Make Your Photos Look Professional

Composition is Key to Make Your Photos Look Professional

One of the fundamental principles of professional photography is mastering composition. Understanding aperture, shutter speed and ISO is an important part of your photography journey, but so is composing your photographs. Photos that use composition rules are more engaging.

A photo that avoids having too many elements to confuse the eye and follows one or more rules of composition draws the viewer in and makes your photos look more professional.

So make sure that you apply the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing techniques to create visually appealing images.

Avoid centering your subject and instead place it off-center for a more dynamic and engaging composition.

A cluttered or distracting background can detract from the main subject. Choose a simple and clean background that complements your subject and helps it stand out.

Be mindful of elements like poles, trees, or unwanted objects that may “grow” out of your subject’s head, and clean up the clutter in your shot.

Learning, understanding and mastering these rules is key to getting amazing pictures…because once you understand them, you can learn to “break” them! If you want to learn more about the rules of composition and reach your photography goals even faster, check out The Beginners Photography Essentials class today!

5 Proven Tips to Make Your Photos Look Professional

Pay Attention to Lighting

I tell my students all of the time…”shoot for the light and not the location!” Good lighting can transform an ordinary photo into something extraordinary.

Natural light is your best friend. It is available in most locations, and you can get stunning results in your photographs for no additional costs. Shoot outdoors during the golden hours (early morning or late afternoon) to achieve soft, warm tones.

And let’s be honest; there is a lot to learn in photography…why throw in one more thing with all of the technical information of artificial light? Using natural light means that you can focus on the subject. It’s just you, the camera, and whoever you are photographing—no need to load up equipment to move from location to location. Natural light gives you the freedom to chase your running toddler, get on the ground and watch them play, or capture an amazing sunset family beach shot.

If you shoot indoors and you want to make your photos look professional, use diffused natural light sources to help make your photos look more professional.

Make Your Photos Look Professional

Focus on Sharpness

Do you ever take a picture only to upload it and see that it’s out of focus? Soft focus has to be one of the most frustrating aspects of photography.

I find that taking tack-sharp photos is the one thing most beginning photographers struggle with! But it is really important to help make your photos look more professional.

Are you struggling with the same thing? You aren’t alone…it’s challenging to achieve perfect, tack-sharp photos at the beginning. It’s frustrating when your photos are “soft” or out of focus. I know…it was my struggle as well!

You can ensure your subject is sharp and in focus by using the appropriate settings to achieve clarity.

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO all play a part in achieving a tack-sharp photo and understanding these settings is an important part to getting sharp focus.

Experiment with Depth of Field

Another way to make your photos look more professional is to experiment with depth of field.

Have you ever looked at a photo and wondered how the photographer is able to blur the background of the photo? It’s not as hard as you think to blur the background in your own images. The blur of the background is all about aperture and depth of field, and it makes your viewer’s eye go directly to the subject.

Having a sharp subject against a slightly blurred background (achieved through a wide aperture) will help add depth and professionalism to your images.

Experiment with shallow depth of field (achieved with wide apertures like f/2.8 or f/1.8) to isolate your subject from the background. This technique works exceptionally well for portraits and close-up shots, adding a professional and artistic flair to your images.

Edit with Precision

Post-processing is important if you want to make your photos look professional.

Most photos that you see and like have had at least some degree of editing to the images.

Editing doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can do check of the white balance and exposure, noise reduction and sharpening to fine-tune the shot.

If you want, add a little contrast and saturation especially if shooting in RAW.

Use photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom to adjust exposure, contrast, color balance, and sharpness. Be subtle with your edits; avoid over-saturating colors or adding excessive filters, as they can make your photos appear artificial.

By implementing these tips, you can elevate your photography and make your photos look more professional. Remember that mastering the art of photography is a journey, and each shot is an opportunity to learn and grow. So, grab your camera, explore your surroundings, and capture the world through the lens of professionalism.

And if you are ready to change your photography today, make sure to check out my Beginners Photography Essentials Class!

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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