I absolutely LOVE taking photos. I am not a pro by any means but I have captured a few pretty magnificant shots before (mostly by accident). I even made an attempt at creating my own faux-home-photography-studio which consisted of a deconstructed cardboard box, vellum, tape, a lamp and props (ie, flowers, rocks, etc.). The images came out great surprisingly as I had no idea what I was doing.
Taking great photos doesn't mean you have to be a professional photographer. Here are 10 simple photography tricks courtesy of the ever informative WIX blog:
1. ALWAYS CHECK CAMERA SETTINGS
A real photography downer is shooting an entire session, thinking you really nailed it, only to discover in hindsight that you had the wrong camera setting the entire time. Before you begin the session, always take a quick look to see that you are on the right [setting] track.
2. AIM FOR THE EYES
When you’re taking a human portrait, you want to focus on your subject’s eyes. For starters, this makes a great photo composition, framing the entire shot around the part of the face that is arguably the most important. And chances are, if you get the eyes right in portrait photography your photo will be a success.
3. PLAN FOR THE LOCATION
There’s a fair amount of pre-planning involved in photography, especially when you are commissioned to take professional photos. To prepare yourself for a superb session, you need to know what to anticipate in terms of lighting, colors, permanent structures, traffic, heights, angles and more.
4. GET READY FOR SOME MATH
You don’t need to be a certified numbers wizard, but some math (technically, it’s optics) does come with the territory. Rule of thirds, shutter speed, depth of field and other key terms in photography will require quick thinking and on-the-spot calculating.
5. MOVE YOUR BODY
You want to be perfectly still when you click that button, but other than that you should be ready to stay in motion. Some shots will appear much better if you bend down, others will require you to seek some kind of elevation. You’ll find yourself moving back and forth, closer and further from your subject. In short, a good photographer tends to be in shape.
6. KNOW YOUR LIGHTS
Lighting is a crucial component in every kind of photography. If you want to produce top photo shoots, you have to know the science of lights and understand which light is best for which style. Near or far lights, natural or enhanced, diffused or reflected – you’ll need to know their impact to make conscious choices as a professional and an artist.
7. USE FLASH OUTSIDE TOO (my personal favorite trick - a flash is very forgiving and generally makes your subject look smoother - prettier - less shadowy)
That’s right. This always sounds strange for beginners and amateurs, but flash in outdoor photography is not only reasonable, it’s even necessary in situations when the sunlight is so bright that it darkens up your subject entirely. So don’t be affraid, embrace the light.
You really don’t want to become the main figure in a horror story in which hundreds or thousands of photos vanish into thin air. Backup often and backup smart. The best thing is to backup as soon after the session as possible. Don’t settle for an external drive only. Make sure you have cloud storage for your work as well.
9. BACKGROUNDS CHANGE EVERYTHING (this point also applies to your website)
Don’t disregard the importance of the background when you compose the photo’s framing. It can be just as significant to the final product as the actual subject. Whether you want to blur it or to sharpen it, whether it should be smooth or “noisy,” make sure you include the background in your overall plan for the shoot.
10. SHOOT WHENEVER YOU CAN
It’s great to follow the advice of experienced photographers. There’s much to learn from the time and effort they have invested in making mistakes and in perfecting their skills. But ultimately, your biggest progress as a photographer will come from your own experience. To develop an intuitive technique and a unique style, try to shoot everyday and challenge yourself to shoot in new and unfamiliar environments.