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Whether you consider yourself an amateur photographer, or you just want to create better photos, there are many things you can do to improve. Something as easy as organization. As well as, did you know there is a right and wrong way to hold your camera? Here are some easy tips to use starting right now!
We have all made mistakes. Even photographers that have been in the industry for years. It happens. One time, I got to a family session, 30 minutes from my house, without my SD cards. That was the first and last time I ever did that!
Keep all your photography equipment ready for use. Collect everything you’ll need into one place. A camera bag is ideal, because it keeps all your stuff together and lets you carry it all with you. Everything in its place. A good camera bag will let you organize a miniature tripod, extra batteries, memory cards, etc. - even a plastic bag or waterproof housing to protect your camera in wet weather.
The camera bag pictured below is very similar to the same one I use. I have had mine for so long (I got it after the SD card incident!) I don't remember where I purchased it!
Hold your Camera Steady
Blurry photos are almost always the result of camera movement. Just your own unsteadiness, causes your camera to shake enough to blur your pictures. So steady yourself and your camera before you take the shot.
Plant your feet firmly on the ground and tuck your elbows in close to your sides. Instead of using the LCD viewer, steady your camera against your forehead and frame the shot using your camera’s viewfinder. You can also steady your upper body by leaning against a wall or a tree. Or eliminate any camera movement by using a tripod. Once you’re all set, gently press the shutter release in one motion. Pressing the shutter release too hard could jerk the camera downward.
One difference in “snapshots” and really great photos is the composition of the shot. Unless you’re shooting an outdoor landscape, you can improve most photos just by getting closer to your subject. Depending on the situation, you can physically move closer to your subject, or use the zoom feature on your camera for the same effect. Try to get within a few feet of your subject so you eliminate most of the background. One of the many things my dad taught me about photography, that still to this day has been imprinted on my brain, “fill the frame”.
Take more Pictures
Even professionals take loads of shots of the same pose, to get just a few that they will use. With a digital camera, you can delete the images you don’t like. So don’t hesitate to take several shots of the same pose.
Vary the Lighting
Using natural light will give better skin tones when photographing people, so try not to use the flash if you don’t have to. Outdoor daylight shots are easy, but you’ll have to be a little more creative when shooting indoors. Try using the light coming in from a window for warmer tones than you would get using the flash.
Experiment with natural lighting. You can get stronger shadows by moving your subject closer to a window, and turning your subject can create more dramatic shadows.
Go for Candid
Instead of posing two (or more) people looking directly at the camera, get a shot of them interacting with one another. Two kids telling each other silly stories and making each other laugh, is more interesting than having them stand next to each other facing the camera. Some of the best professional portraits have the subject captured deep in thought, with their attention focused inward, rather than on the camera lens.
Create a Scene
Now this tip is a bit contradictory from filling the frame.
Putting your subject in the center of a photo is just boring. You’ll get a much more pleasing result if you place your subject off center when you frame the shot. Creating negative space.
Place your subject so that they occupy 1/3 to 1/2 of the total composition, but NOT at the exact center of the frame. Capture an interesting background object in the rest of the frame.
There are so many simple things we can all do to improve our photography skills. It doesn’t always have to be technical and complicated.
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