Shoot like a PRO
Whats in the background?
Often a great image is ruined by a distracting background – whether that be signage, random strangers or just something ugly in the frame. Either reposition your camera, your subject or in the case of the random strangers, wait until they move out of shot. Open the aperture wide and blur out the background…try framing your family in front of a solid background colour like the sky or grass or an interesting textured wall.
Frame within a frame
Often you can find a natural frame within your frame, this makes for more interesting composition. Make use of tree branches, rock openings, manmade structures to create frames around your subject.
The power of direction
Don’t be afraid to direct your subjects. Move them, suggest poses but try to keep them at ease. Get them talking, sharing a story or two and pretty soon they will relax and you can snap off some great shots. Got a camera shy subject? Position them so they can talk to a friend off camera and you’ll capture some great candid moments.
Look at the light
Direct sunlight is your enemy. The slightly overcast day your friend! Avoid taking photos in direct light or mixed light. If it is too shady don’t be afraid to use your flash to create a fill light. When shooting landscape try to aim for early morning or dusk shoots for the best results.
Composition is key
If shooting one person, don’t place your subject in the middle of the frame. Instead remember the rule nof thirds. Divide your frame into three – vertically and horizontally (like noughts and crosses) then position your subject on one of the intersecting points. The photo will look far more interesting.
Know your controls
Take the time to get to know your camera so that you can switch between auto and manual modes quickly and easily.
Lock the focus
When taking pictures of an off-centre subject make sure to pre focus. Centre the subject, press the shutter button halfway down (your image will come into focus). Keep the shutter half depressed, reframe, then click! Your image will be sharp and clear.
Making eye contact
When photographing pets and children make sure to get down at eye level, this creates far more intimate and interesting photos.
Get in close
If you want your photos to have impact get in close. Move the camera in closer or use the zoom and allow your subject to fill the viewfinder, revealing details and creating interest.
Mix it up a little, take your image vertical. Just remember if you’re taking a full length portrait, get down low to give proper perspective. (At eye level your subject will appear shortened in a vertical shot)