Whether you take one picture every few years or take dozens a day, you may be wondering how you can make your pictures more impressive. Here, we’ll give you a handful of suggestions to make your pictures stand out more, be more clear and capture exactly what you’re seeing and want to capture on film.
Pay attention to your light. The lighting in a photograph can bring a subject into better focus or change the mood of the picture. Different lighting setups will result in very different photographs. Avoid harsh direct lighting on your subject’s face, as this will generally cause them to squint.
Be creative and unique with your subjects. You don’t want to take the same old photo every other photographer has done. Look for unique shots that people haven’t seen before. Choose interesting subjects that aren’t going to bore anyone who sees them. If you want to make a name for yourself, this is essential.
Make sure the background you choose complements the subject of the photo. If you take a photo of a model against a busy background, the viewer’s attention is going to be drawn to the background rather than the clothes. As a general rule, simple backgrounds with colors that contrast with those of the subject are ideal.
When taking a picture, try to take one at a medium distance and then take one closer. You may decide later on that a picture would have looked better had you taken it a little closer. Also, try to make sure your subject is toward the center of the picture.
Keeping your camera very steady is the key in shooting images that are crisp and very sharp. Many cameras have an automatic stabilizer built right into it to allow for some leeway. If you are still having problems keeping your camera steady, invest in some kind of a tripod.
Do not forget to take pictures of yourself. You can still compose the background and choose how you want to use light and colors. Give instructions to a friend and look at the preview before you go pause. These pictures will be nice memories when you look back at them.
Learn when to break the rules and defy conventions. The more you look at other people’s pictures, the more you will notice common treatment of popular objects. Do your best to adopt a different style. Approach conventions and trends as something you can learn from, but do not reproduce them in your art.
Play with lens distortion. Most photographs use portrait lenses or zoom lenses to focus on an object, and use a wide-angle lens for landscapes and such. By using a lens for a different use than its intended one, you will get a very original photograph. Do not let this become your style: learn when you can use an original lens.
Just like it is recommended for an artist to keep some paper and a writing utensil on them at all times, a photographer should always keep a camera on them too. You never know when a photo opportunity will present itself, so you need to be prepared at all times.
Many parents cannot resist the temptation to put a bow in the hair of a young girl when she is being photographed. If at all possible, discourage this practice. It creates an unnatural feeling to an image, while almost always contrasting with the fine texture of human hair. Bows dominate the image and detract from the young girl’s natural features.
When you take a photograph, try using manual white balance. This has quite an impact on the picture’s mood, and it allows you to control what your picture will look like. It can be tricky to learn at first, but learning to use this useful tool will allow you to be more creative with your pictures.
It seems simple, but it’s easy to lose focus on your subject when taking photos. Make sure your main focus is on keeping your subject as clear in the photo as possible. Good camera focus is essential for good composition and perspective. Especially when you are starting out, try to keep your main subject centered and in view. Leave the background and the framing to sort themselves out for the time being.
Adjust to new backdrops and surroundings by taking practice shots and learning how the surroundings react to your camera. The more practice shots you take, the more comfortable you will get with the environment. Every situation in photography varies quite a bit. The lighting in any given setting can change, so make sure you take lots of practice shots between real pictures.
With these suggestions in hand, start looking at your most recent photographs and see if these tips would have made the pictures even better. If you start noticing that there is a suggestion or two that would greatly improve a few of the photographs you’ve already taken, try finding a way to incorporate that suggestion into every photograph you take from now on.