5 Photo Skills That Separate Amateurs From Pros (VIDEO)

We’d all love to shoot professional-quality images, but let’s face it: most of us lack the time, means, and the necessary vision to quit our day jobs and pursue a career in photography. But that doesn’t mean we can’t improve our imagery by emulating skills that make accomplished pros so successful.

The tutorial below reveals habits, tips and techniques that pros use to capture images that stand out, and differentiate them from the rest of us. By practicing the advice in this 11-minute video you’ll be able to take your photography to the next level.

Simon d’Entremont is a Nova Scotia-based wildlife and nature photographer with a portfolio of awe-inspiring work. He’s also a popular instructor dedicated to helping others improve their work, and in this episode he shares five tips for capturing better and more original photos.

The straightforward tips he reveals are easy to implement, and Simon begins by discussing why “perspective is more important than camera settings.” As he says, people send me photos to critique all the time, and the number one problem I see is that they’re taken at the wrong angle and the wrong perspective.” He illustrates how to “mix things up” by moving around to add impact.

Simon also explains how pros use their camera’s histogram to nail exposure under difficult lighting conditions—both during the day and at night, explaining that eyeballing a scene rarely gets the job done. Moving on to gear, he insists that while high-end cameras do provide benefits, “I’ll take a great lens on a cheap camera body before a great body and a cheap lens any day of the week.”

A big component of this video is the refined compositional skills mastered by pros, and here Simon offers some great advice for exceling in this crucial area. Interestingly, he demonstrates how he perfected his bird photography by practicing the skills used by accomplished landscape photographers. “I learned about the Rule of Thirds, the Golden Spiral, using patterns, symmetry, color, and great compositional techniques.”

There’s much more to see and learn in this inspirational video, so pay close attention and your images are guaranteed to improve. And, at least for the time being, don’t quit your day gig!

After watching the video pay a visit to d’Entremont’s YouTube channel, where you’ll find much more of value.

And don’t miss another of d’Entremont’s tutorials we posted a while back, explaining the number one pro secret for photographing birds close to home.