So here’s 6-tips to improve your the quality and output of your videos and photography.

Manfrotto 502 Video Trip and Head Image1 Tripod

Invest in a tripod. I know it seems an obvious step, but if you want to improve the sharpness and quality of your images or videos, invest in a tripod.

I am a big fan of Manfrotto tripods, I am sure other brands are equally as good but I really trust Manfrotto products and I like being able to swap heads easily from one set of legs or monopod to another.

And yes, if you do a lot of outdoor photography, at the very least invest in a monopod as they are very portable and if you can afford it a carbon fibre tripod.

NSL_9854-Nikon-Speedlight-Image2 Lighting

My biggest progressions in photography came after I invested in lighting / flash photography equipment.

For Flashlight’s on the go, a Nikon Speedlight, or any number of Speedlights is hard to beat. We favour the Nikon SB-700.

For studio work we use any number of number of Elinchrom studio lights. You can also use Elinchrom portable flashlights (with battery packs) for location shooting.

Whether it is one, two, three or more lights in your armour (it’s great fun experimenting with them all) you will discover new ways to shoot images.

sekonic_l_478dr_u_el_litemaster_pro_l_478dr_el_series_1920px image3 Buy a Light Meter

When using studio lights, investing in a light meter really does improve your efficiency and saves time, helping you achieve a perfect shot.

With today’s digital technology, of course you can opt for trial and error and honestly sometimes this can really work for you, but if you need to get your shot set up quickly a light meter can really aide the set up time for a shot.

The secret really is in the set-up, knowing what you are aiming for and preparing the shot well in advance of anyone or any product standing in front of your lens.

Using a light meter on location can save everybody a lot of time, which in a working day can be crucially important for everybody.

A number of more recent light meters will automatically adjust the settings on your studio flash light heads remotely too, saving you or your assistant a lot of time adjusting each head individually.

4 Book yourself a course

I love attending photography courses. I am always open to learning new techniques, understanding my equipment better or just seeing a shot from another photographer’s angle.

Courses are run by most camera manufacturers and can be really great value and I always have my mind open, when time permits, for a course, particularly one which specialises in an area in which I might be looking to improve.

5 Read and Watch

It’s always a good idea to read to improve your skills, to gain creative inspiration and ideas, or to understand your equipment better. A very good place to start is the Owners Manuals that came with your camera, your flashlight or your tripod. You’d be surprised how many features are easily overlooked just by failing to read the manual.

And keep your eye on other photographers blogs, the manufacturer’s blogs and video channels too.

These all provide valuable learning tools and inspirational techniques for you to try the next time your camera is in your hands.

6 Practice, Practice, Practice and Practice Again

I can recall in my past being shy about getting my camera out. Don’t be, the more time your camera spends in your hands the more familiar it will become, the easier it will be for you to take great shots.

Once you are more familiar with your equipment and the muscle memory has kicked in through regular use, you can really focus on your compositions and shots, rather than trying to remember how to work your gear.

So get out there, camera at the ready and shoot some great stuff.

Good luck.