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How To Teach Yourself To Take Better Photographs (And The Perfect On The Move Bag)

How to wear it Mar 31, 2015

How To Teach Yourself To Take Better Photographs

When I first started this blog I only had a slight interest in photography. My boyfriend had always been the one who loved photo exhibitions and who had all those different lenses for his Nikon. But over time, and in part as a necessity, I’ve learnt so much about what taking a good photo means, and really come to appreciate how much goes into it.  Although there’s still so much to learn, it’s funny that it’s something that’s happened as if by osmosis – other than the odd youtube video I don’t feel like there was any major learning investment other than to look and look and look (and also try and try and try). I suspect many of us have improved in the world of photos as the popularity of (read: addiction to) Pinterest and Instagram has increased – we often learn about colour, light and composition without really trying too hard.

Which is why when Coach asked me to customise their new ‘Swagger’ bag (it made a cameo in yesterday’s post) to reflect me and my lifestyle, I knew straight away that the DIY Camera Bag Insert was my next challenge – I mean have you seen how many cameras tend to come with me when I’m on the move? I decided to test drive the design around the chaotic streets of Hong Kong… If swagger means dodging cars and trams to get that perfect ‘draw the eye in’ composition, then yes! I have it! And for those of you wondering, the Swagger bag (complete with DIY insert) turned out a pretty good on the move companion. Now I just have to learn to not overfill it. 🙂

Wearing: Kookai trench, Zara shorts, Club Monaco tank, Coach bag, Witchery Boots

Can I distract you for a moment and say that this has to be one of THE most comfortable travel/on the move outfits. I wear some variation of this…. pretty much every day!

How To Teach Yourself To Take Better Photographs

Here are a few ways that I taught myself to take a good (well, better) photo:

1. Just start snapping: they may not be good initially but over time you’ll get better and better. I look back at old photos and see some awful ones, but also a few great ones, so it just goes to show that photography is about getting started and taking a chance.

2. Buy/rent/borrow the best camera you can afford: As soon as I started shooting on a DSLR my view of taking photos changed – something about holding it and having so many setting available made it more real, and you’re definitely rewarded with much much better photos. Just by using aperture settings (it affects how much ‘blur’ there is in the background) your photos look 20 x better (or so I think). That said, if funds are tight you can still learn so much from just using your phone camera!

3. Learn about composition: As soon as I started understanding composition more, my photos improved almost overnight. Whilst you can use editing software to up the light or change the colours, composition is hard to fudge. Rules like ‘frame within and frame’ and using diagonals to draw in the eye take your pics up about a zillion notch.

4. Save inspiration: I always use instagram and pinterest as sources of inspiration for my own photos – the more you look look look the better your photos will be.

5. Take lots and lots of pics. Trust me you’ll get the hang of it. Your next challenge will be how to get better and better!

If there was ever a time to get all puffed up and swagger around, it’s when you realise that you’ve nailed down a new passion or have taught yourself a new skill. So spill!

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

This post is in collaboration with Coach

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