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Photography is an art that gone through its fair share of technical changes over the past few decades, but the mission statement never ceases to change: to make others see the world the way the photographer sees it.

If your fascination with this art has pushed you into trying it yourself but you need some advice on how to improve your skills, we at The 405 have gathered some valuable tips from a handful of our favourite photographers to help you get the most out of your passion. Dive in below.

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Take your camera everywhere

Don't be afraid to take your camera everywhere when you're learning to be a photographer. I know too many aspiring photographers who are afraid to carry a camera around with them, so they miss those candid moments that give you great work and help you learn. The more you bring it around, the more comfortable you'll become shooting friends and all the other interesting things that happen every day. - Sabine Fletcher

Lighting

Play with your light! Learning to manipulate light in my photographs completely changed the content. Go out and purchase some interesting light bulb colours to play with, or go out and shoot at sunrise/sunset when the light is continuously changing. This gives your photographs more depth than a typical white light shoot. - Sabine Fletcher

Photos above by Sabine Fletcher


Do it for yourself

Shoot as much as you can with as many different people as you can to find your voice. It will take a while and you might want to give up but don't ever give up. Also, you need to do it for your heart and soul not to please other people or to get likes etc. You need to live and breathe your art no matter what. - Erika Astrid

Photos above by Erika Astrid


Get to know your equipment

Something important to keep in mind, especially for new photographers, is to not let a lack of gear hinder your ability to produce wonderful images. Instead of longing for the most expensive camera or the latest lenses and accessories, learn how to take the best possible photos with what you already have. - Brianne Siegel

Momentum

Do at least one thing every day related to your work, whether that's shooting, connecting with other photographers, seeking inspiration, improving your technical skills, learning about prints... the list is endless! If you are constantly thinking about your art, you'll learn to discipline your creative self and something beautiful will come of it. - Brianne Siegel

Photos above by Brianne Siegel


Vision

Stay true to your personal vision and don't force yourself to alter it. Allow change to happen naturally, rather than forcing it. You may not notice that you're actually progressing because it happens slowly and in small steps, but everything is changing constantly and so is your work. - Esthaem

Photos above by Esthaem


Hustle

I starting photographing at the age of 16 because I wanted to go to concerts but didn't have the money. It was the Myspace era; I contacted bands directly. Nothing really happened with the photos, which is probably for the best. Still, I collected my favourite ones and sent them out. My ambitions became bigger than just going to gigs for free. It resulted in my work getting published. My tip would be to be eager to make new work and get it out there. - Sanne Glasbergen

Listen to yourself

Don't listen to your father (sorry, dad). When I started photographing I asked him many times for feedback as has always been into photography and he used to have a darkroom next to my bedroom for years. As a little girl, I was always curious to know what was going on there late at night. Anyway, whenever a picture was blurry or a body part was cut off, he told me he didn't like the photo and I shouldn't use the image. Often I took his opinion for granted, until, after a few years, I was like 'hang on, I really like this image!'.

When I look at my work right now there are actually quite some blurry images or cut off body parts that managed to get an OK for publication. Listen to yourself, rely on your vision and try to understand what you're doing and why. It's good to ask people for feedback, but don't forget the reason why you've given your attention to the image in the first place. - Sanne Glasbergen

Photos above by Sanne Glasbergen


Be serious

Take yourself as seriously as you'd like to be taken by others. Take your work and your time and your diligence seriously. Photography can really rewarding and fun, but that doesn't mean you should be expected to work for free! Treat your team with respect. When you're on a shoot, put your phone away. The photos in your camera are going to be 10000x better than any photo on your phone! - Susannah van der Zaag

Photos above by Susannah van der Zaag


Zero limitations, get sweaty, and masturbate

I have three tips for emerging photographers: 1. Let go of any restrictions/rules/limitations you've put on your work and generally stop giving a fuck. 2. Get sweaty and emotional and 3. Masturbate. A lot. - Caroline Dare

Photos above by Caroline Dare