Picking up a camera can be a daunting prospect. With so many buttons, functions and technical wizardry to consider, mastering the art of photography can seem trickier than learning a foreign language.

But the rise of social media has made the visual world much more accessible. No matter what tools you use, it’s possible to capture beautiful images if you have the right eye and enough determination.

In a bid to encourage amateur photographers to pursue their dreams, Canon and Currys PC World have selected several successful Instagrammers whose careers have exploded in the last few years.

Here, they share their tips for becoming a pro Instagrammer…

1. Kristina Makeeva @hobopeeba

Instagram followers: 600k+

“Instagram is a great tool for a photographer. Thanks to instant feedback from followers, the creator gets an incentive to take photos every day; each photo more beautiful than the last. And, look around: There are so many talented people on the platform you can collaborate with or take inspiration from.

“A bit like being an athlete, you need a good work ethic. You need to study, to work, to seek out information. That way everything will work out. I’m self-taught and continue to study every day.”

2. Emilie Ristevski @helloemilie

Instagram followers: 1.1m

“The most valuable thing you can do is discover the photos you want to capture – and why. Playing with different mediums and styles of photography is a good place to start.

“Things often don’t go as planned on a shoot, but make the most of the valuable time you have. These mishaps can often lead to a project going in an even more exciting direction than originally planned.”

3. Scott Rankin @othellonine

Instagram followers: 181k

“Practice your craft. Take as many photos as you can. When travelling, look for the little things happening around you and the way objects interact with the environment. Try to capture that interaction in as many ways as you can.

“Take inspiration from your favourite photographers and practice incorporating aspects of their images into your own photos. The could be editing style, framing, subject matter, use of light and shadow, etc. If you do this with a variety of photographers and styles you are inspired by, it can help you create a look that best represents your own vision.”

4. James Relf-Dyer @jamesrelfdyer

Instagram followers: 293k

“Try to work with the ‘Rule of thirds’ in all photos you take. Imagine your photo split into thirds horizontally and vertically, giving you nine segments. Try and position key elements of the photo along the horizontal and vertical lines. In many striking landscape photographs, the horizon is in the upper third, and the rest of the image falls below that.

“It’s a rite of passage for any start-up photographer to learn how to avoid camera shake. Use a fast shutter speed and make sure the camera has solid support, like a tripod.”

5. Loïc Lagarde @loic.lagarde

Instagram followers: 135k

“Shoot in RAW file format, especially if you’re a beginner. You will then be able to edit your photo and make corrections to them if needs be.

“Don’t shoot in automatic settings. Your camera doesn’t know what you want. You do. Trust your eyes and your brain.”

6. Harry Sinclair @harrysinclairphotography

Instagram followers: 46.1k

“Avoid crowds – sometimes getting up early is your best option to get the shot.

“Don’t leave your location until you are happy with your shot. Tell yourself there is something to be created and it will come to you. And when it does, you’ll get that feel-good buzz.”

7. Carmen Huter @carmenhuter

Instagram followers: 107k

“Use the light. While you can still take a great photo in the middle of the day, the hours before and after sunrise and sunset give you the best chance of taking amazing photographs.

“While it might sound counterintuitive, put down your camera once in a while and experience a location with your eyes before you look through your viewfinder.”

View the photographers’ journeys here.

– Press Association


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