We are living in the golden age of photography. The blending of cellphones and digital cameras has enabled all of us to capture moments that would never have been possible to capture before. You may think that a cellphone is not a legit camera, but that’s just not true! Photography is not about pixels and print size. It’s about recording moments and the people in your life. Here are a few tips that will greatly improve your photography skills and help you enjoy your images for years to come.
Get close to your Subject
The popularity of “selfies” comes as no surprise to professional photographers. A close-up picture of someone’s face is almost always going to be a better photo than one taken at a distance. The human brain reacts positively to the facial features of a friend or loved one. The better you can see the face, the more people will enjoy your photo. So get close to your subject. If you have a small group, have them move their faces close together, then take the picture. You’ll love the results.
Change your point of view
Humans get bored very quickly. We are highly intelligent creatures, and we get tired of seeing photos all taken from a similar perspective. The next time you take a photo of something, like a car or a big group of people, don’t just stand back and shoot. Try something different. Bend at the waist and take the photo from hip level. Try sitting on the ground and shooting. Raise the camera way above your head and shoot down. Or stand on something to change your elevation. A unique perspective is the goal, and the eye will gravitate to unique photos. Try it! Again, I think you will be thrilled with the results.
Anticipate and be patient
The best portraits are those that capture the true essence of an individual, whether it be the soft smile they get when content, or the tilt of their head when curious. We are all so wonderfully unique, and capturing a truly great portrait is part skill and part luck. As a pro photographer, I don’t always know my subjects very well, so I’ve had to learn to be a quick study of people. You have an advantage as an non-professional in that you probably know quite well the person you are photographing. Use that knowledge to get a better shot. Don’t just fire away. Wait before you click. Look for that expression that is unique to your friend. Say something to elicit that soft smile from your family member, then click. This is the secret to getting great portraits. It’s the hardest of my tips to master, but the results are so rewarding.
Put your camera down
Finally, know when to stop. Pictures are wonderful, but not at the expense of being in the moment. We all know someone who’s constantly, relentlessly taking pictures at parties and family events. Don’t be that person, and you’ll get better photos when you do decide to bring out your camera!