You don’t have to be a pro to want to improve your photography. All the snapshots of everyday life are just as important as your annual portraits; here are a few easy tips to get you started!
- The “Rule of Thirds”: It creates a better picture when your main subject is not right in the center. In your mind’s eye, divide your photo into thirds (either horizontally or vertically), and place your main subject on one of the third lines dividing your picture. You’ll be amazed at the different feel you’ll capture by not having your subject exactly in the middle!
- Draw Attention to Subject: Try to draw the viewer’s eye to the subject of the picture by using other objects, such as a fence row or a road. If you use other objects properly, the viewer’s eye will unconsciously follow those objects, and be drawn to your subject.
- Watch Your Lighting: Avoid using flash, as it creates harsh shadows and “red eyes” in people and animals. Also, try to shoot with the light behind you. If the light is behind the subject, you will get a shadowy “backlit” effect that often throws off the whole picture.
- Pay Attention to the Background: We’ve all seen pictures with an ugly dump truck in the background, or a pole sticking out of your subjects head! Glance at the background before taking a picture, and either move subjects or move in closer to eliminate things in the background that may be unsightly or distracting!
- Get in Close: Too many snapshots are filled with the background and the subject is lost. While the scenery is beautiful, the most important thing you’ll want to see a few years from now are those missing teeth and crazy freckles. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal, that’s where all the important stuff is!
- Keep Shooting: The best way to improve your photography is to keep shooting! Especially with the cost-effectiveness of digital cameras, play with different lighting and poses until you figure it all out… your family historian will thank you for it!