“Get it right in camera” is a saying that gets thrown around in the photography community often. This can be confusing to a lot of newbies who easily misunderstand the concept when they first come across it. It doesn’t mean you come away with a perfect image straight out of camera. It means you did all the things in camera that you could. If you’re the type that shoots JPEGs, and hate editing, you might be done and happy with the photo you created. However, if you shoot in RAW you will have saved yourself valuable time in post processing and possibly saved a photo that otherwise might not have made the cut.
Learn to shoot in manual mode. Shooting in manual has helped me take better photos vs when I used aperture priority mode. Particularly when it comes to getting my exposure right. As great as modern cameras and phones are, they still have flaws when it comes to properly exposing an image. The video by Peter Coulson below is what finally convinced me to make the switch.
Slow down and think through your photo before you press the shutter button. This allows you to spot things that need to be adjusted in camera. Is your horizon level? Is your model/subject properly in focus? Does the background help or hinder your image? Fly away hairs and exposed clothing tags aren’t fun to fix in post, but can easily be taken care of during your shoot. Paying attention to the details while you are behind the camera takes time to master but slowing down will allow you to achieve higher quality images.
Crop it Right
Getting your crop right in camera will not only save you some time but might just prevent you from making a mistake in the first place. There have been numerous times where this would have helped me save a photo. Start by thinking about the aspect ratio you want for the shot you are about to take. Next, you will want to take a moment and frame the shot to avoid unsightly problems. Here are 3 basic cropping tips to help you avoid these common mistakes I see often:
Crop Between the Joints, not at Them
Don’t cut off the Hands or Feet of your Model.
Watch for Background Objects that Appear to come out of Your Model's head.
Of all the tips above, slowing down is by far the most important, at least in my opinion. Simply being more intentional with your photography can pay dividends not only with coming away with a better image but allowing you to see photos and compositions that you might not have noticed before. When you are first starting out it might be difficult to pick out all the details that go into an amazing image but over time, and with practice, it will become second nature.