I feel stuck. How do I improve my photography?
Some people will just tell you to "go out and shoot as many people/events/(whatever) as you can". But this could be interpreted in different ways.
The answer is pretty simple, and can be applied to everything in life. Practice. Now wait. It sounds very cliché, but let me explain.
You may be feeling like you can take photos that are just okay, and you don't know how to make them better and start looking like the pros. But all the pros were once like you. With practice, your photos will go from "okay", to "better", to "good", to "great" and so on.
What do I mean by practice? How do I "practice"?
I take my camera outside (I love shooting in natural light) and start snapping photos, adjusting my settings every few shots to get the right exposure(I shoot in Manual). I always try to leave my ISO between 100 and 200 if the sun is on my side, but I feel guilty if I go beyond 400. I mainly adjust my aperture and shutter speed, depending on the type of shot I'm looking for. I go further by choosing an appropriate white balance and picture style. All of this will vary due to personal preference/taste.
After toggling with the settings, I find a subject (person, animal, object, scene etc) and I take several shots with different compositions each time. I review them in camera (and later on in post production) to see what I like, what I don't, what works and what doesn't.. AND WHY!!! It's important for you to do this with your own images because this is how you will get better! It's not much different from someone else giving you advice or vice versa, because you may ask or say WHY (very important) and that will lead to seeing things differently. Composition is probably one of my favorite aspects in photography.
And for heavier stuff, I pull out my flash and other bits and pieces, if needed. It's really important that you know your gear. Another thing that I do is look for various tutorials or tips on Youtube and use the same techniques in my work. Learning never stops.
Even in other professions, like music, you have to practice. Imagine a band comes to play and they didn't rehearse.. That's a recipe for complete discord!
You need to practice to be great at what you do. There's no getting around it.
What do I do after practicing?
To be honest with you, practicing never stops either. After you practice every day or once a week (or whatever works for you), THEN you can "go out and shoot as many people/events/(whatever)" you like! Because hopefully, after learning and taking note from what works and what doesn't and why, this will help you on your next shoot!
THAT'S HOW YOU IMPROVE!
Extra: Learn how to read your histograms, because many people overlook it. You'll have an edge. ;)
Don't forget to follow my photography account on Instagram : @marysesmariusphotos
Thanks for reading, guys!