Hi everyone! I am super excited to be starting this blog series for you. I have dabbled in photography for about five years now, and done it professionally for almost two. During that time I have learned a lot of tips and tricks to get a professional feel to the photos you use for your website, even if you aren’t a photographer with a fancy camera. You can use what you have right now and get better results. Many of the favorite shots I have taken have come from my trusty iPhone. Here are 3 quick tips that will take your photos to the next level:
1. Clear the clutter
It is so much harder to concentrate on the notes of a single guitar when there is an entire band playing and the same is true for the subject within your image. It is time to clear the clutter from your images! Tweet this! The less distractions you have to compete against your subject, the more clearly the story you are trying to tell with the image will be heard. Before you press that shutter down, take a second to look, really look at the whole scene, not just the subject. Is there something in the shot that is detracting from the subject? If so, take it out or find a way to avoid shooting it. That doesn’t mean that you have to clean your entire house before you take a picture ( we all know that if that were the case, no pictures would ever be taken 😉 ), it just means that you push that pile of papers to the side before you snap a picture of your desk, or you crop out that laundry basket that is sitting next to your cute kid as you snap him making faces at you.
These pictures were taken on my recent trip to the coast. I love how colorful the buoys were on the wall so I snapped a couple of pictures of them. When I looked at the first one I snapped, I realized that the black light sconce was in the way and was detracting from the bright colors of the buoys. I zoomed in a bit more so you couldn’t see the light anymore and snapped again. There was nothing difficult about doing it and it only took a second but the impact is great.
2. Explore the angles
Head-on accidents are usually disastrous, and so are head-on pictures. Tweet this! Part of what makes a compelling picture is that you are viewing it from an angle that you do not see it from everyday. Don’t be afraid to take shots from many different angles to find the one that tells the story best.
In the first picture here, I took a shot of my son straight on (notice I did not take my own advice about clearing the clutter behind me and it is quite distracting, even though it is really blurred out). In the second shot, I shot from below him looking up and focused on the trains. The second one tells the story of him and his trains much better than the first one does, even if he had been holding up one train instead of a handful of them.
3. Find your style
This last tip is a bit subjective but it makes a huge difference when it comes to consistency within your blog. My last tip is to really try to find your style with the photos you shoot. Now, that doesn’t by any means imply that you should shoot the same things the same way all the time. Consistency doesn’t have to be boring! What it does mean is that you should use your personal aesthetic and let it shine through your images. You know how you can look at an article of clothing in a shop and think “That totally reminds me of so-and-so. That dress is something that she would love!” The same way can be true in the images that we take. It could be something as simple as picking the same filter in Instagram time and time because you love the way it looks, or taking dozens of pictures of vintage and weathered details because you love how none of them look the same. Look at the photos that you love and ask yourself, “How is my style represented in this?” I can guarantee that you will find a theme.
These pictures are the exact same one edited three different ways. My favorite version of this is the bottom one because I tend to love a more matte and subdued look to my images. Lots of you will love the other versions better because your style tends towards the warmth and vintage look of the first one, or the clean and vibrant look of the second one. All of the options are great, it is just what your style leans toward. So, find your style and apply it to your images. Soon, people will be saying “I knew that picture was yours before I even saw your name.”
What would your style look like if it were to be captured in a photograph? Do you have any questions about photography you would like to see answered in my next post? Leave me a note in the comments! I would love to chat with you!