If you’re someone who wants to take their photography to the next level, you can take classes or read books and articles like this one from LIFE.com that gives you useful and practical tips. LIFE has gathered some great advice from professional shooters, passionate aficionados, and LIFE editors so that photographers at practically any skill level can learn how to take their best shot.
Look for New Environments, Mix People Up
“LIFE.com asked professional photographer Tyler Stalman to offer insights on the art of portraiture — or how to take pictures of people that really feel alive. Of this classic LIFE photograph by John Loengard of the Beatles in a pool in Miami, Stalman says: ‘Most people, when taking group shots, want to line everybody up — even putting them in rows — but when you have a bunch of people it’s great to put them in a new or unexpected environment. Like this Loengard photo: you get all this extra depth in the picture, and there’s so much going on at once. Don’t be afraid to shuffle people around when you’re doing a group shot.'”