You can create stronger images by training your eye. It is so important to be intentional when taking photos. But, if you are looking to up your photography game you might be frustrated with where to start. These four steps will teach you how to train your eye to take better photos.

  1. Composition
  2. Light
  3. Style
  4. Practice

Composition

The composition of your shot basically all comes down to how your image is created and where you are intentionally placing your subject in the frame. You want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to the subject your photographing vs having their eye bounce around the image without direction. Getting comfortable with controlling your composition during creating the image will ultimately up level your photos.

When composing your photos, always think of the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds divides your images into a nine-part grid. It puts two horizontal lines and two vertical lines down your images giving you nine even squares. Essentially you want your subject to land within these lines.

Where you place your subject on this grid determines how well your photo is composed. This comes with practice, but if you can start developing the ability to mentally see the rule of thirds in your viewfinder as you compose a shot, you will take much better photos. Look at the foreground, and the background, and place your subject on that grid to showcase them in a stronger way.


Light

The thing to know about light is that it is essential in creating a strong image. Start by just noticing it and playing with it, and manipulating it in your lens as it occurs naturally. When you are noticing the light look at where it is falling, the shadows it is creating, and see where the brightest part of your image will be and note the fall off.

If you take time to understand and notice the light, you can position yourself to make the lightwork in your favor. Often times we can capture a stronger image by moving our feet than our subject’s.

Noticing the light and where it is coming in from will truly help you capture better images. There are a lot of ways to manipulate light. The light in a photograph sets the tone, mood, and feeling of the start. By noticing the light and where it is falling on your subject, you will learn to position yourself to capture the best possible image.


Style

It is vital to find your passion and discover what gets you excited about photography. This helps you develop your style. Your style is incredibly personal. It comes from the way that you light images, see images and edit images.

Your style can change and evolve with you, you are not locked into it, and it shouldn’t hinder your creativity. But, if you start putting out a consistent style of work, then you will become known for that style. I love a nice bright, airy image but it’s not what I’m drawn to creating. My style features shadows and naturally manipulated light.

Your style might change a few times as you develop it and that is okay. Focus on one style, see if you are good at it and if you love it. If it’s not working for you, change it up. Once you find a style you love, stick with it so that you can become known for it. You will attract clients who love your style and over time you will get really good at your style of photography.


Practice

Practice is the most important thing you can do to develop your photographer’s eye. Take your camera with you everywhere you go. Intentionally start creating images whenever you can. Don’t be that crazy person standing on chairs to take flat lays in a restaurant, but have your camera with you so if the light comes through the restaurant window and beautifully hits your water glass, you can capture it in a photo.

Practice helps you develop an understanding with what works best for your style. Maybe you start by putting something way in the top of the frame and then try moving it all the way to the bottom of the frame or all the way to the left or the right, or right in the center.

Take a ton of photos because with photography practice makes you better. By having your camera with you can continuously be looking for inspiration in your surroundings. Create a way to practice with the intention of composition, light, and your style and you will really see a difference in your photography.


If you are feeling stuck in your photography, I would love to help. I offer mentoring sessions that will help you develop your style and practice with intention.

Read more about my mentoring sessions here.