Photo Tip Friday - Go do a Photo Shoot with Friends!

by Mary Denman

Welcome back! 

Today's tip is...go do a photo shoot with other photographers. Or, alone if you have to!

That may not seem like much of a tip, but I have reasons for suggesting it. Including that you may be surprised at how much fun it is.


1) You learn more by doing than just reading. 

I love posting these Friday tips because I love teaching and want to help you get better in your craft or art, as it may be. Whether you want to be a professional photographer, take better family shots, or simply come up with your own blog post pictures, you need to practice photography to improve. Those phenomenal shots that others take that make you drool don't show up every day. You need to practice to be ready for when that time comes for you. And it will come! 

I can share my love and style of photography. But you need practice to find YOUR style and niche.

Too, I'm learning so much more because I'm teaching. I think about taking pictures that can specifically illustrate points here on my blog. So a big THANK YOU to you for spurring me on to be better and keep learning. (I bet you didn't know you've done that!)

If you try out my tips right after reading a post, you'll be amazed how much faster you can learn it. And sharing that knowledge will help you improve even more.

2) You can learn so much on the spot from fellow photogs. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to head downtown with Edie Melson, Alton Gansky and his lovely wife Becky. We were all armed with our cameras and had a great time, wandering around, taking pics, and sharing ideas with each other. 

It was a blast. No one was looking at their watch saying, "Hurry up." It was more like, "Look at those shadows!" Or, "Oh, I bet if we go down there, we could take a great pic looking back up!"

We hung out near each other, but then would head off as needed to create a special shot. Of course we'd get excited and show off a nice photo with each other. In photography, you can do that without bragging. Especially if you tell the others how and where you took the shot from so they can try it!

In writing, this is called brain storming. 
In business, it's considered to be synergy. 
In photography, this is just fun! 

"But," you may say, "I don't know any other photographers." That's okay! Go do a shoot anyway. You never know when someone might start talking to you or asking questions. Eventually, I bet you'll find a buddy. 

So what did I learn that day? 

That Becky took a couple of awesome shots with lines from the bridge and railings. I forgot to take a similar one, but that'll be my goal next time!

Edie is really good at moving around to get a good shot! She doesn't mind getting close to the ground if needed. And her camera has a great zoom capability which mine doesn't have. At least not in the same range as hers. 

Al has a great eye for shadows and holds the camera well to reduce shake and make the pictures clearer. Pulling your elbows in to your side really helps you take a steadier picture. 

Here's your assignment: Do a photo shoot this week! Even if it's in your home. Go to the kitchen and take pictures of your spices, or dishes, or refrigerator! Make the shots interesting. Angle your camera, lower it and shoot looking upward, or vice versa. BUT GO DO IT!

Cell Phone Users: Go do a shoot with your phone! You'll learn more about your phone camera by just playing with it. Scroll through the options on your phone and see what they do. Remember that tapping on the screen will focus the picture where you want it and will also read the light at that location. This tells the camera how fast to take the picture. Also, compose a photo, then focus it in different places to see how that changes the look of the shots. 

Bloggers: Whether you live in the city or country, look around you for inspiration! Taking pictures of the mundane can lead to interesting topics for a blog post. Or maybe it's the unusual that stands out to you and illustrates a point. Take your camera and do a shoot and see what you find. I took pictures of some flowers in an old Italian wall on a lake that caught my eye. Then, the wake of a boat sent waves crashing over the poor flowers. And I got pictures of that, too. Almost a year later, that same clump of flowers inspired a blog post. You can read it here. 

Which of the two bridge shots do you prefer? 
The landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical)?

I would truly love to look at any you've taken or hear what you learned by doing a photo shoot.

Too, I'm open to entertaining questions you may have that might inspire post. 

I want you be a better photographer, from wherever your starting point is.

I hope this tip helps! 

Keep on Clicking!


TWEETABLE: Photo Tip Fridays - Go do a Shoot! You might be surprised! @MaryDenman (Click to Tweet)


  1. The first photo is so beautiful! And, the horizontal photo taken underneath the bridge is really neat. I'd love to go on a photo shoot with friends or in a class. I'm sure that I'd learn a lot.

    1. You would, Tina! Maybe one day... ;) It was so much fun and I got new ideas. You've posted some really nice shots on your blogs.

      Hope all is well with your family!