Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Taking a photo has never been easier than now. Taking a good photo, though still remains a bit of a challenge. We’ve gathered few tips from our experience on how to turn a simple click into a photo worth showing. Enjoy!
Before the shoot
1. Know your camera;
Invest some time in getting familiar with your camera (not only how pretty it is on the outside). Whether it is a point-and-shoot camera, your phone or a DSLR, the basics are all the same. Knowing what Aperture Value, Shutter Speed and ISO are, and how they interrelate will make a huge impact on the quality of your photos. For the better!
2. Create a concept;
Think everything through. What is your idea and how do you want to convey your message to the viewer? What do you want to achieve with your photos? What will be the best technique to use? Look at other people’s photos and get inspired. Although, often plans change during the shoot, it is always good to have a firm foundation to start with.
3. Choose props for the setup;
You have your idea already? Great! Now it is time to set up. Whether you are working with models or setting up a flat-lay, choosing the right props is essential. What you are looking for are simple elements that are complimentary to the main object, that make it stand out and speak its message clearly. Aim for props that are less prominent and won’t steal the show. Chose color scheme that is in tune with your concept
4. Proper lighting;
Probably the most important step. After all, this is what Photography is – painting with Light. Depending on your concept use natural or studio lighting. Place your object (or model) next to a window or use your desk light to highlight a detail. Do not hesitate to use anything in hand to block, reflect or dim the light. That can be a piece of paper, cardboard or that winter jacket that hangs forgotten in your closet. Try different approaches till you are satisfied with the result.
During the shoot
Use the Rule of the Thirds. Try to put your main object somewhere on the lines or preferably at any point where two lines intersect. Many studies show that when viewing images, people’s eyes tend to go to one of the intersection points more naturally rather than to center of the frame. And when you master this rule - forget it! Be creative and play!
6. Mind the background;
Often beginners concentrate on their main object and tend to pay less attention on the background. Take your time to check what’s behind your model and if necessary, ask them to shift a bit. Simply moving them or the camera just few inches makes a ton of difference. Like with the props, chose your backdrop in a complimentary way and according to your concept. If in doubt always go for a plain one so your main object stands out.
Use the background to frame your model and enhance its presence.
Take care that nothing is sticking out your models head and there are no distracting objects around and behind. We've all seen how hilarious and sometimes awkward this can be.
7. Use tripod or monopod;
It is not necessary when shooting in normal conditions but it certainly does help a lot. Creating a flat-lay for instance is always easier with tripod. It gives you the freedom to arrange all items while viewing the layout directly on your screen. Using a tri- or monopod in low light conditions will help you avoid unwanted blurs and let you take sharp images.
8. Experiment with different angles;
Be creative and experiment. Try to take on a different point of view. Get down on your knee, climb that few extra stairs or simply tilt your camera. It’s always worth to give it a try and the results are mostly "wow".
There are so many different ways to take the “same” shot and your imagination is the only limitation. Sounds cliché but it’s true.
After the shoot
9. Edit your images;
Most of the photos we see these days are edited and there is absolutely nothing wrong about it. …When it is done with style, of course. Excessive editing can only but do the opposite – ruin your image. There is a bunch of software one can use to work wonders. From mobile apps like VSCO and Snapseed to Lightroom and the mighty Photoshop, the choice is big. Use editing software as a tool to bring your idea further. But use it wisely.
10. Prepare images for sharing;
Now you have the perfect image on your device and it is time to share it with the world. Let’s make it right. Chose CMYK color mode if you are about to print and RGB for displays. Think about the size & quality of the file. Chose the correct ratio for your favorite platforms and avoid auto cropping.
Any of these tips are rather broad topics by themselves and there is so much more to talk about.
Let us know in the comments which is your favorite or which bettered your photos the most.