When teaching, or answering questions about, photography, I always start with my most important piece of advice.
Whatever you are taking a picture of, it should make you feel something.
The emotion can be happy or sad, but it should cause you to stop and feel.
I tell the kids when they complain about having their photo taken that I’m freezing a moment in time; like a magician, my camera allows me to perfectly capture the essence of whatever is happening at that very second and create a visual memory.
The other important truth of photography is:
It should be fun.
If you aren’t enjoying taking photos, then that will be obvious in your finished pictures.
Beyond these two rules there are 6 simple things to bear in mind that will help improve the images you take.
1) Light: Your camera is just like your eye, it needs light otherwise it can’t ‘see’. Make sure you’re not drowning your image in too much light, or conversely, shooting in a room that is too dark.
You can use light to pick out the subject of your photo. For the photo below, I positioned Annie so her face was in the light, but her body was still in shadow.
Ez Bear’s interesting reading position is the point of interest in this photo. I got down on his level to photograph the page he was reading to make the photo more compelling.
The fence behind Ez Bear’s head is crooked below. It’s not the end of the world though, the image can be straightened using a post processing program such as Photoshop or PicMonkey.
There is nothing worse than taking a fab photo, only to get home and spot a telegraph pole ‘growing’ out of your subject’s head, or a pile of toys that draw your eye away from the subject.
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