Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer is famous for saying "the more I practice the luckier I get".
I love that quote. It didn't actually do my golf game any good but thankfully my photography is reaping the rewards from hundreds of hours of visualising, composing and shutter pressing.
I was recently on a portrait shoot with a toddler in one of the kiddie's playgrounds around Bondi Beach. Towards the end of the session I was taking a few family shots when this little fella wandered in front of me, curious about what all the fuss was. I decided to share the love and give him some rock star treatment so I turned the camera on to him. Suddenly he looked up at me and I instinctively took a shot. Just one shot. And this is it. Straight out of the camera with no adjustments and no cropping. It's one of my favourite shots ever and at first I thought it was just luck. Luck that he looked up at me and luck that the composition is pretty much perfect with his face framed by his awesome curls and the vivid blue neckline of his T-shirt. But when I thought about it I realised it wasn't luck; just lots of practice.
Here's a tip: next time you're about to take a photo, pause for a second and ask yourself why you're taking it. What attracted you about the scene to make you want to pull the camera out? Was it the person't eyes, hair, clothes? Was it the landscape behind them? Then ask yourself if you could improve the shot you were about to take by recomposing it around the point of interest. Could you move closer, further away, higher, lower, around? Could you ask the person to move? Simple things like these which take just a few seconds to execute can change your photos dramatically!