Being a Better Photographer Begins at Home. How To Take Great Photographs of your Home while Learning Your Camera - How To Tuesday #21 / by Zack Smith

Photographing where you are most familiar will help you learn photography faster than waiting for the Magic to happen.

In my 15 years of teaching photography, the #1 best piece of advice that I can give to any newcomer to photography is to SHOOT EVERY DAY. At first it sounds like a daunting task, but in the early stages of getting to know your camera and finding your vision, repetition is crucial to creative muscle memory! You want to be ready BEFORE the moment happens! In this week's How to Tuesday, Photography Techniques and Tips we'll show you what a few hours shooting around the house can achieve!

Many photographers make the big mistake in only taking their camera out to record life's magic moments : a birthday, vacation, sunrises/sunsets, Mardi Gras or a 2nd Line in the streets of New Orleans. But these magic moments will only be blurry memories and fuzzy photos if you don't have your skills at full power when the magic happens, and my whole "SHOOT EVERY DAY" motto can seem so far away. Well, not anymore. Here is a gallery of photographs I've taken around my house in Chalmette (the HEART of St. Bernard!) and some helpful guidance to get you sharpening your skills at home before you hit the streets chasing the Magic...

1. Photographing Patterns, Motifs, and Repeating Subjects: head out to the backyard and find lines, patterns and objects that are repetitive. Line them up in your viewfinder and always FILL THE FRAME with that pattern

2. Photographing Sunrises and Sunsets from your backyard : It's easy, you just gotta wakeup for the first one...and then stick around for the Sunset! Make sure you expose for the COLOR and get that silhouette!

3. Macro Photography at Home: Don't be afraid to get closer! This can be the key to help you overcome your fears of personal space in the real world! 

4. Explore the Colors of Nature Photography from your front yard! Need I say more? Get out there and shoot today and i'll see you next week!