September is traditionally the time of year that our kids head back to school. You remember it when you were a kid, and now, whether or not you have school-aged children, we’re all bombarded by back-to-school emails, commercials, and ads.

But instead of ignoring those calls or pretending their just for your kids, it’s time we recognize the back-to-school season for what it really is, a reminder to learn something new. For the photography enthusiast, back to school time can mean finally learning how to take better photos. Whether you want to earn money in the field, or you just want to pursue your passion and boost your skills, learning photography should be fun and exciting.

Here are the 3 best ways we know of to learn how to take better photos:

  1. Read a Book – books abound on subjects from travel to portraiture. Written by professional photographers relaying their skills and experience, these books can provide insights into how to capture better photos in all different types of situations. Whether you’re just looking for inspiration, recommendations on gear, or specific help on technique, there are books for photographers of all skills levels and interests.
  1. Take a Course – for those looking to take a step further, a course in photography can do more to help you improve your skills than any book. Photography classes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are online while others are in person, some are short and teach one basic concept, while others are more comprehensive. When looking for a photography course, consider the teacher or school offering the program. Make sure the course is accredited and will teach you what you want to know.
Norway --- Woman on Fjord Cruise Holding a Camera --- Image by © Tim Pannell/Corbis

Woman on Fjord Cruise Holding a Camera

Norway — Woman on Fjord Cruise Holding a Camera — Image by © Tim Pannell/Corbis
  1. Practice – even if you’re reading a book or taking a course, the best way to improve your skills as a photographer is to get out there and shoot. Experiment with camera settings, lighting scenarios, composition and subjects. Take photos, review them, and then take more photos. Practice won’t always make perfect, but you can’t get any better if you don’t try.

There you have it. This back to school season, make a commitment to yourself to learn new skills. If taking better photos is a goal of yours, follow your dreams.

Looking for an affordable online photography course to fit your schedule? Check out courses from the New York Institute of Photography today.