Photography 101- What to Shoot

If you're taking pictures for your blog, you have a very specific reason for taking those pictures. But what if you're working to become a better photographer, and want to take pictures just to practice? If that's the case, you might wonder what to photograph in order to get better.

Here's something to think about: Why is it that people who don't take pictures on a regular basis always take a camera on vacation? It's because that's something they want to remember. It's fun to look back through your photo album (or your box of photos) and recall the good times. "Hey, remember that time we drove to the Grand Canyon--just for kicks--and you wore that same sweater the whole time?" You know what I'm talking about. You see those pictures at every tourist spot. The couple, young or old, standing in front of the Alamo/Golden Gate Bridge/Mt. Rushmore/Niagra Falls-- you name it, standing right in front of it with their arms around each other, visually proclaiming, "We were here!"

So there you go. That's the answer. Photograph what you want to remember.

But that doesn't mean you have to go to popular tourist spots before you'll get out your camera. What it does mean is that you'll need to open your eyes a little wider to see the things around you that have value, meaning, or even just interest. For me, I want to photograph what my wife looks like when she laughs uncontrollably. I want to remember what that light, all golden, looks like when it comes into my bedroom in the late summer afternoon. I want to remember what it feels like to watch my kids play together or what it tastes like when you bite into a plum you just got from the fridge.

It might be easy to think that you have to be in Paris to take interesting pictures. But the truth is, you can take great pictures in your own house. Instead of thinking about the pictures you've seen other people make, photograph what you care about, what you love, and what you want to remember.

This post is part 2 in a photography 101 series by Justin Hackworth. If you’d like to learn more about taking great pictures, join us on July 26 for DSLR 201.