How To Take a Professional Photo: A Complete Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 June 2022 | Published 27 July 2021

Updated 15 June 2022

Published 27 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Photography skills can enhance your personal and professional qualifications. With the rise in high-quality cameras in both digital and mobile phone technology, professional photography tools are more readily available. Whether you intend to pursue a career in photography or want to know more about this important skill, learning how to take a professional photo can help you improve your abilities. In this article, we discuss the value of a professional photograph and explain the way of taking a professional photo with your phone or while at home.

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How To Take A Professional Photo?

Photography opens new possibilities, both personally and professionally, and learning how to take a professional photo can be beneficial to your career. Consider making a portfolio with your recent photography collection. An attractive portfolio can increase your professional opportunities. Here are some tips for taking better professional photographs:

1. Choose the subject

In photography, the person, thing or object that the photographer wishes to highlight is the subject. This might be a one-of-a-kind item or something that stands out from its surroundings. Since the subject of your image is so important, it must be carefully chosen and placed.

Consider the photo you are taking and how you can approach each subject. Starting with a goal for how you want the finished picture to look can give you an idea of the final product you want. This enables you to set the frame, pose your subjects and light the area favourably.

2. Select the right camera

Each type of photography requires different features. Choosing the right camera can ensure that you get a better picture. Make sure the camera you choose fits properly in your hand and is not too hefty to carry around with you. It is a good idea to purchase a camera that provides access to some of the most often used features, with menus that are well-organised, logical and simple to understand.

3. Adjust the lighting

One efficient way to transform an average image into a professional-looking one is to use the right lighting. Lighting can enhance a subject by helping to create a specific ambience. Lighting is one of the most important factors in photography, making it a critical element for professionals to understand.

4. Adjust your frame

Another method that might help you capture professional-quality pictures is understanding how to frame a photograph. How you choose to frame a photograph can change the composition of the picture. Framing can help tell a story based on where the subject rests. It also includes using a natural frame for your composition and photographing your subject within that frame. For example, a tree limb and trunk can create a natural border for your subject.

5. Learn your camera settings

Modern cameras can help you produce professional-looking photos, even while shooting on automatic exposure. However, learning your camera's settings is vital to taking high-quality photos. Learn how to take a professional photo by knowing each aspect of your camera that can enhance the quality of your photographs.

6. Edit the photos

Many professional photos differ from their original state. Photographers often enhance their photographs to produce a final image using photo editing tools. Learning how to manually apply adjustments can give you more control over your final work.

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How To Take A Professional Photo With A Phone?

Mobile phones today are capable of much more than just making and receiving phone calls and text messages. Smartphones have a variety of features, like high-resolution that allows you to capture high-quality images. Here are some tips for taking professional photos using your phone:

1. Use a tripod

Mobile phone tripods allow you to mount your smartphone for taking fast, hands-free pictures without having to carry any bulky equipment. Most of these tripods are around the same size as your phone and can bend to any degree. They also allow you to capture time-lapse or panoramic photos.

2. Use camera apps

You can choose to use the primary camera app on your phone or pick from a variety of photo apps available for download to your device. Some apps help you take clearer photos. Others add filters to help you change the composition, such as lighting or angle, of your photograph.

3. Use a clean lens

Using your phone frequently can leave your lens dirty. Dirt on the lens affects the quality of the image, so ensure that the lens is clean. To remove dust or oils from handling, use a dry cloth to wipe the lens clean.

4. Use gridlines

Gridlines ensure that your picture is straight. They also make it simple to use the rule of thirds to produce appealing photographs. Putting objects in your frame symmetrically can give your photo a smooth and professional touch.

5. Use HDR mode

Using the high dynamic range enhances detail in both dark and bright lighting, resulting in a more balanced exposure. It prevents the sky from being too bright or the ground from being too dark, which is ideal for landscape photography. You may want to practice this technique using other subjects before taking professional-quality photos.

6. Use natural light

It is best to take photographs in natural light for the best results. If you want to shoot some photos in the comfort of your own home, simply put your subject in a room which has a window or plenty of natural light. If you are taking photographs in the evening and want a warm appearance and feel, turn on the lights in your house or room. If you need to use indoor lighting to obtain bright photographs, go with white lights and avoid bulbs that cast a yellow tone on your subject.

7. Use high resolution

High resolution improves the appearance of your image. Today's smartphone cameras come with a variety of resolution settings you can choose from while taking high-definition photos. High resolutions may require more storage space. Consider using cloud storage or file-sharing services to store your photographs.

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How To Take Professional Portrait Photos At Home?

Whether you are searching for a job or updating your social media profile photo, your portrait is often the first thing people see. A high-quality self-portrait can encourage someone to examine your photo and profile more closely. Consider these tips for taking professional portrait photos at home:

1. Choose your attire

Dress appropriately for a professional self-portrait. Choose an outfit that looks professional. For example, a suit or ensemble considered business casual may be best. Check your personal grooming before sitting for a self-portrait.

2. Set up a background

Consider posing in front of a white wall in a space with plenty of natural light. You can also use white sheets if your walls are a different colour. A white background makes a blank canvas for your picture session, making the photo appear as though it was taken in a studio.

3. Adjust shutter speed

The period the lens is exposed to light for a picture is referred to as shutter speed. A higher shutter speed produces a sharper image, but it also needs an extensive amount of light to illuminate the subject. Slower shutter speeds provide brighter images, but if the camera and subject move, then the image becomes fuzzy. To get a clean, sharp image, use a shutter speed of 1/60 or lower.

4. Purchase a tripod

Using a tripod with whatever camera you have helps you to keep it stable. It can also help you consider your composition. You can take a test picture with a digital camera and examine it to make modifications for the final shot.

5. Plan your lighting

The secret to a great portrait is to make sure your subject is not cast in harsh shadows. You can purchase shop lamps, which are commonly used by painters and photographers, to ensure that your lighting is ideal. These are typically inexpensive and can be found at hardware or photography stores.

6. Edit your picture

Photo editing software gives you the chance to make edits, like balancing brightness, contrast and sharpness, to your pictures. For the best results, avoid using strong or unnatural-looking filters. Always save and export your photographs in their original size. If you save it any smaller, the quality may be lost or the picture may seem pixilated.

The Benefits Of Taking A Professional Photo

Photography is a skill that you can apply to nearly any field, and it is one of the most versatile skills that you can master. In the modern business world, organisations need a professional-looking website and social media platforms with high-quality photographs. An online presence through social media and web pages can help to expand your reach and brand loyalty. Using professional photos can make a strong first impression on your audience. Using photographs from internal sources can save time and money. It also gives you the ability to control the rights and editing of your photos.

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