Good photographs can be priceless, and, let’s face it, we all want them. But for the average person it can be a mystery on how to capture them.
There’s good news though: You don’t have to be an expert to get good pictures. Just keep a few things in mind, take lots of pictures, and you’ll have beautiful photographs to add to your commercial photography portfolio!
Don’t chop off what you’ll be missing later
The most important thing you can learn when taking photographs is to SEE the image you are capturing. Pointing your camera at your subject and clicking before you even look carefully through your view finder is not going to get you good photos, although you may get lucky here and there. Take a look before you click. Are you chopping off someone’s feet and giving too much room for sky? Are you losing the tops off people’s heads? A good, honest look will give you a much better photo.
Look past your subject
It happens all the time. The guy behind the camera is so focused on his subject he doesn’t look to see what he will also be capturing: the background. What’s back there? Is it distracting? Is is ugly? Try and avoid background “noise” in your photos by zooming in, changing your angle, or if needed, moving your subject. Remember, you want your background to add to your subject, not take away from it.
Use natural light when you can
Using man made light is hard enough for the professionals. Indoor light bulbs often cause your photo to look discolored. When you can, opt for natural light. It’s beautiful and much easier (and less expensive!) to get good photos with. Outdoors is a great place to take photos. When you are indoors, try and use light that is streaming in a window. If you can make it work without your cameras flash – great! If not, try and pair the flash with light coming in a window. It’s not always possible, but you’ll get a nicer color to your photos if you can use natural light.
Capture the moment
There’s a time and a place for having people look and the camera and smile for a photo, and certainly good photos are captured this way, but if that is all you’re doing, then you are missing out! Capturing a spontaneous moment may be the most rewarding thing you ever do with your camera. An eruption of laughter, a child’s silly face, a game of tug-a-war with the family dog. Look for great photos happening around you. Be ready when grandma gives the new baby a kiss, or flashes a smile at grandpa. These photos are often the ones most cherished.
Make it interesting!
Is your subject shorter than you? Then get down! When your taking photos of children, get down on their level. Is mom sitting in a chair? Then come down on one knee. Find a beautiful flower? Then find several angles to photograph it at. Getting on the same level as your subject will make all the difference! Also, don’t always place your subject in the center of your photo. Moving it out from the center a little bit will often add visual interest and make for a nicer photo. As much as you can, look for the best angle to make your subject interesting.
These 5 steps will have you well on your way to beautiful photographs. Keep them in mind, experiment, and take photos often! The world of digital photography has made it easy to keep clicking away. Bad photos can be deleted, and the more you take, the better chance you have at getting a good shot. Don’t let your bad photos determine your photographing ability, let your good ones!
2Bridges Productions is a full-service, New York City based video, photography and film production company committed to the creation of content for corporate, commercial and entertainment projects.