Photography is an art, and therefore there are no set rules for getting the perfect pictures. The following tips, however, will help to improve your photographic style, experiment, and get great pictures on a regular basis. Whether your subject is a child, a pet, or nature, try some of these tips on your next photographic foray.
1. Get on Their Level – With a live subject it is important to get at eye-level before taking the shot. For children and pets this may mean kneeling, squatting, sitting or even lying down to get on the same level as your subject. While it is fun to experiment with different angles, you will have much greater success if you look your subject in the eye.
2. Fill out the Frame – Photographs are more powerful and interesting if the subject fills out the frame. Many photographers make the mistake of being too far from the subject. It is best to zoom in close enough the that the subject reaches or goes just beyond the edges of the photo frame in your view finder. This allows the viewer to see more detail and expression, and prevents the background from taking over the photograph.
3. Get a Little Closer – When you think your shot is set, try taking a few steps closer. Get in closer to your subject will show detail and emotion that add interest to your photographs.
4. Simple backdrop – When photographing a specific subject be aware of what is going on behind them. You want to choose a backdrop that will not distract or obscure the look of the subject. Choose plain color background or simple natural greenery with few accents to really highlight your subject.
5. Use the Flash – Most people think that outdoor photos never require the use of a flash, but that is not the case. When the sun is at its brightest, can be the time when it casts the most shadow. Adding a flash on an already sunny day can even-out the shadows cast by wrinkles, strange angles, or other people. Just make sure that your camera flash is close enough to the subject to be effective.
6. Watch the Light — Light is one of the most important factors in photo taking. When you get ready to take a shot, pause for a moment to take accounting of where the sun is and what shadows may be obscuring the view. You don’t want your subject squinting into the sun, nor do you want the light so bright behind them that it makes the subject look dark in comparison.
7. Go Vertical – Don’t get stuck in a rut. Many pictures would look better if you just turned them vertically. There are certain subjects that lend themselves to a vertical framing such as lighthouses, the Eiffel tower, or a beautiful tree. Try going vertical with some less likely subjects to see the difference it will make.
8. Get out of the Middle – Another common mistake photographers make is to put the subject of the photograph directly in the middle of the frame. This technique is usually not the most pleasing to the eye. Instead shift your subject to one of the four corners of the frame so that it is prominent, but not center stage.
9. Steady does it – Make sure the camera is steady when you are taking photos. A steady camera will prevent a blurry photo. If you are not the best at holding steady consider using a tripod to get a clear shot.
10. Shoot Away – If you really want to get better pictures, take more pictures, more frequently. With a digital camera it is no longer a waste to snap away. Feel free to take a lot of photos of the same subject, just varying the angle, lighting, or backdrop. Experimenting will allow you to find the tricks that work best for you, and will ensure that you will have at least a few great shots of each subject.