Three Photographers Share Advice For Improving Your Photography Skills While You’re At Home

Fun | May 13, 2020

Look, we know you might be getting bored with the quarantine. We’re past the two-week mark and folks have cleaned their cupboards and indulged in all the Zoom happy hours they can handle. There’s a distinct possibility that you’ve got nothing to do with your leisure time today. (Assuming you are safe and food secure and have a few minutes to spare between dreading the unknown, refreshing Google news to a compulsive degree, and checking Twitter like a masochist.) The way we see it, you can spend those leftover minutes in one of two ways. You can lay on your bed digging deeper into a pit of despair thanks to the increasingly dire coronavirus news, or you could get busy living (while socially distanced).

That might mean leveling up your bread game. Or figuring out what dalgona coffee is all about. It might be improving your understanding of whiskey. Or taking your self-care more seriously. It could also mean finding new, meaningful ways to express yourself at a time when you have all kinds of bottled up emotions and feelings. Because if you’ve got the energy for it, there’s no better time to make art.

Not an artist you say? Check that noise. Remember those people you used to roll your eyes at, who would say things like “It’s art” about any little thing they made? Yeah, well, those kids were right. Anyone can do it. And anyone should. So pick up that camera that you dropped a lot of money on and never used (or your phone!) and start documenting this unprecedented time in our lives. Because one thing in all this is for sure: We’re living through a fascinating moment in history. One we’ll be asked about until we’re old. How do you want to answer those young brats researching the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 for a school paper? By griping about how your neck got sore while doing a full Breaking Bad rewatch? Or by cracking open that digital photo album (this is a future thing) and showing them how you kept your cool in the face of one of the scariest global moments in modern history?

We vote the latter (there’ll still be time for a few episodes of Walt and Jesse, don’t worry.) So to help you elevate your visual storytelling game, we chatted with three Nikon photographers — Charmi Pena, Dixie Dixon, and Thomas Bol — and picked their brains for some expert tips on how to use your home set-up to take better photos. Dive into their tips, then grab some everyday household items, your camera, and some good ‘ol boredom-fueled inspiration and get to creating!

Sophia Iztok


Sophia is a recent graduate from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She is a freelance journalist based in New York City writing about everything from music to LGBTQ issues.

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