The secret to taking photos like a pro…

The secret to taking photos like a pro…

The power of envisaging the shot you want to take, planning how you will take it and preparing accordingly. I believe that taking these steps can help you make the transition from a good photographer into a photographer that consistently pushes boundaries and gets noticed.

Before you start working on any new project, try to imagine the best possible photograph that you could get. You may even find it helpful to sketch it out. Once you’ve done that, you can start researching and planning the best way to achieve it. Will you need to work at a certain time of year to maximise your chances? Will you need specific equipment? How much time will you need? Will you need the help of an expert? Will you need special permission or access? If you go through this process, you will be able to prepare and give yourself the best possible chance of getting the shot you were aiming for.

For each project, you may have two or three of these dream shots in mind, and have made the necessary preparations to achieve them. It may not work out for you every time, but eventually your hard work will pay off and you will start to take images that truly capture people’s attention.

There are many examples from my career that illustrate this point. BeetleCam is an obvious one where I use a remote-control buggy specifically to achieve the close-up, wide-angle shots of African wildlife that I wanted.

Another example is KomodoCam, a device I built to get similar close-up photos of Komodo dragons in Indonesia. I couldn’t take BeetleCam with me, so I spent a few hours before my trip, designing and building a rig that would allow me to push my camera up to the dragons. This rig wasn’t difficult or expensive to make, it just required a bit of forethought and planning to create.

I took it to Komodo Island and in the space of three days I was able to get the shots I had envisaged.

Whenever you speak to award-winning photographers, you will find that their best shots are rarely a case of being in the right place at the right time. More often than not, they will have gone out and made their shots happen.

So, what photography projects do you have coming up? What are your dream shots and what steps can you take now to help you achieve them?

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