When it comes to creating the most professional looking photographs, there’s no right or wrong answer as such – and there’s certainly no magic formula to get there.
However, having said that, there are plenty of things you can do to improve the professional quality.
What we must stress is that the primary way your photos will look more professional will be down to lighting.
If you can improve this and get it just right, you will be best placed to make the overall professionalism look much better.
Of course though, there’s more to it than this. Our guide has 13 ways you can showcase your photos and make them look extra professional.
So, if you want to know more about how you can do this – read on!
So, as we said – the use of lighting will be your primary focus for making your photographs look more professional. It’s actually a very overlooked factor of the process that many professional photographers miss.
However, the best photographers out there (and indeed, the most professional photographers) will obsess about their lighting. So, you might be asking yourself at this point – what makes great lighting?
Well, primarily to call lighting great is having something that we don’t normally see. However, the second facet to this is how the lighting highlights the subject in the best possible way.
When it comes to portrait photography, it’s pretty simple to achieve this. The subject might stand in a shaded area to cover part of their face for example.
However with landscape photography, this is a little more tricky and will largely depend on the time of day – likely break of dawn or late at night.
An aberration for those of you who do not know, refers to something in a photograph that should not still be there. It makes your product look tacky and unprofessional.
Therefore, as much of a simple thing it might be – remove these aberrations to get really professional looking imagery.
You might be able to do this during the shoot itself, or you could use softwares to help you out – which we will look at later in this guide.
Zoom can make or break your professionalism, depending on how well you use it. Be sure that you are using zoom to capture your subject to be the center of attention and highlight that in the best possible way.
Of course, it’s entirely possible to overdo this, so be sure that you’re using zoom to the best of your ability and not using it for the sake of it.
Software such as Photoshop can really improve your photographs and make them look much more professional. The fact is, you will need to be very tech savvy to be a professional photographer.
Having the working knowledge of how these softwares work will be hugely beneficial, so be sure you take some classes on it if you need to!
The subject of your photographs will of course be the center of attention, so you need to be sure that you capture an interesting subject.
Boring subjects can ruin the professionalism of your photographs, so it’s much more important than some people think.
Of course, making this decision will largely depend on who you are working for, or what sort of photographer you are.
If you are taking photographs of a bride at a wedding for example, you should look at ways you can make the subject appear more interesting.
This could be through clever positioning or through the use of softwares as we discussed in the previous point.
Indeed, while it might appear obvious or a little unlikely – you can make your subject more interesting with some basic steps.
Some people often forget about this, but the sharpness of your photographs needs to be sharp. Due to the number of factors that could affect a photograph’s sharpness, it might be difficult to ascertain what you should do.
Primarily, sharpness problems will be all down to your focus – so be sure you check this out before you move on.
Using a unique perspective in your photographs can significantly improve the professional look of your photographs. Say for example, you are shooting a picture of a leader. You might wish to take the photograph below.
This allows the subject to look more powerful in the image, and this can really improve your product.
Ensuring your composition is creative can make a huge difference. Remember to incorporate the rule of thirds when you are working. Whilst this might be basic, it’s significant and can make all the difference to your photograph’s quality.
You should be asking yourself before you take your photos – what will this image actually portray? Is it conveying loneliness for example.
If you cannot answer this question, then the chances are the audience cannot either – and this makes the photograph much less professional than it could be.
This is a huge point when it comes to making your photographs look more professional. For example, a shallow depth of field can bring out the sharpness of your subject, while the background becomes blurred.
This of course can make a huge difference to the quality of the photograph and it makes you appear much more professional in the process.
The exposure of your imagery (light and dark) should be an area that you have tried to put the majority of your focus and time into.
While digital photography is getting much better at automatically doing this, you will need to know how to properly get this right.
Of course, the way in which the photograph is presented will make all the difference when it comes to showcasing them. You will be looking at large photographs, smaller photographs, framing etc.
The way that these photographs are presented can actually make or break their overall quality. If you poorly present them, then you might as well not have bothered to make the product in the first place.
Finally, you will want to take ownership of your photographs if you want to appear more professional. This includes things like personal watermarks for digital use for example.
However, if you are showcasing your work in a physical setting, then you should have your signature – in ways such as your business cards around the work and other artwork that you might have been a part of.
Of course, photography is an art form that is very personal – so you will want to ensure that you are keeping your identity to them, and letting others know that you are the photographer and this is your work.
Showcasing your work to make it appear more professional can make all the difference and can even improve your chances of employment – so we hope we’ve been of some help to you!
If we can't teach you, no one can!