5 Tips to Improve Your Photography – Mike Dooley Photography


Mike-Dooley-300x3005 Tips to Improve Your Photography
Article by: Mike Dooley

 Do you take enjoy taking photographs? I bet that you said yes, and I bet that you would like to improve your photos as well! Today I am going to share 5 simple tips to improve your photography!

These 5 tips are techniques that I have learned over the years, and they have helped me take my landscape and seascape photography to a level I would have never thought possible! And I want to share these tips with you!

Whether you are using an iPhone or Canon’s latest dSLR, we are all looking to take better pictures. You don’t have to be a world class photographer with a ton of gear to take advantage of these simple tips.

If you want to take better photos of your breakfast to post on Instagram, these tips will help! If you want better photos of your sons little league games, again this article is going to help!

So without any delay, let’s see those tips!

Tip # 1 – Get Close

Every photograph that we take tells a story. Just like in a book, we want that story to be as clear as possible. Help your viewer understand your story my making it crystal clear what the subject is. Don’t be afraid to get in close to your subject and fill your viewfinder with your subject

  • Get closer to your subject!

  • Your feet are the BEST zoom that you will ever own, feel free to move around and explore the space

  • Get close and make it clear what that subject is

  • Get close and fill the viewfinder with that subject

  • Get close and eliminate any distracting items by NOT including them in the frame

Tip # 2 – Previsualize

Like with any task in life, we are far more successful if we start with a clear goal in mind. Photography is no different, and the process is called previsualization. This is simply the act of taking a moment and imagining what you want your photograph to look like. It is far easier to create the photograph that you love if you have a clear idea of what you are trying to create.

  • Think before you click

  • What is it that caught your imagination, what caused you to want to take this picture?

  • Is what I see through your viewfinder what you saw in your vision?

  • What is the camera showing me that is different from my visions, and how can I change that?

Tip # 3 – Play the “What If?” Game

One of my favorite things to do with my camera is to play a game I like to call “What if?” I walk up to a scene and I photograph it in a way that I think I will like. However, that very rarely is the picture that works. I then start to ask myself What If questions like:

  • What If I took a step to the right?

  • What if I got closer?

  • What if I included more sky?

  • What if I stood up here on this rock?

  • What if I made that rock the foreground subject?

As you can see this simple little question can quickly result in many different photographs of the same scene! So often my favorite shot of a subject is not the first shot I took, but rather the 10th, 15th, or even the 20th! Playing this simple little game gets you to see your subject in a different light (pun FULLY intended, sorry!)

Tip # 4 – Get Low

In almost every photograph out there, the photographer lifted the camera up to their eye and clicked the shutter. There is nothing wrong with this; however that does mean that we see the same subjects from the same vantage point. Try mixing it up, and get down low! Especially when photographing children and animals – take a moment and get down on their eye level it will make a world of difference in your photographs!

  • If you stand up and hold the camera to your eye, you will record the same photo as many others before you!

  • Show us something different!

  • Get down on your knees and take a shot

  • Better yet lie down on your belly!!!!

  • I keep a pair of roller hockey knee pads with my camera for this very reason

Tip # 5 – Get Stable

One of the most consistent complaints that I get from people looking for help with their photography is blurry photos. People want to know how they can get nice, sharp photos. The most important thing is to keep the camera as still as possible. Luckily there are a lot of simple tricks that you can use to keep that camera nice and steady!

  • A tripod is your single, best friend – a simple gorilla pod can do wonders to hold the camera steady

  • A small beanbag can be a miracle worker (I keep one of these with my camera all the time too!)

  • You can use just about anything to help hold your camera steady – lean against a tree, a fence or even lean on a friend!

  • Take a deep breath, let it halfway out and then stop and click the shutter


Well there you have it! I hope that next time you are out and about with your camera that you give my 5 tips to improve your photography a try!

Mike Dooley

Mike Dooley Photography



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