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Taking Better Pictures

5  ABSURDLY SIMPLE TIPS FOR TAKING BETTER PHOTOS

Yesterday we took you through 5 astonishingly easy tips for taking better photos and since we’ve had such a positive response, here are another 5 for you!

In our previous guide, we looked at breaking eye contact, changing angles, making your subject act change their stock behaviour, using lighting to alter mood and how to break the rules and catch the eye.

Today let’s start with another another commonsensical but super-effective technique:

1.MULTIPLE SHOTS

Go for fast fingers or “continuous shooting” / “burst” mode if your camera has it, capturing a series of photographs in quick succession as your subject moves through a variety of expressions. The idea is to create a number of images that can stand together, mutually enhancing each other, instead of a single stand-alone shot. This is especially effective when photographing active subjects who are rapidly moving from pose to pose and can create a powerful living portrait. Hyperactive children are a prime example!

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Image by diyosa

 

2.HIDE AND EMPHASIZE

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Photo by BigBlonde

Similar to focusing intensely on a single aspect of a person’s anatomy, you should try using objects, clothing, framing or their own bodies to obscure aspects of their features. This can create a startling effect that creates emphasis, as in the case of the picture below, which powerfully highlights the eyes. But it can also create implication, engaging the imagination of your viewer to cooperate with your intention to highlight what is missing. Obscuring can work both ways!

 

3.GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

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Photo by Bukutgirl

Take a different perspective, especially if you have a lens with a fantastic long focus length, by taking out interesting bits of your subject like their hands, mouth or even lower extremities, stirring the imagination of your audience.

The principle of less is more can be a potent aesthetic tool as minimalists have demonstrated for decades! Don’t be afraid of reducing your subject. It can make for tantalizing viewing. Look at this picture below. What do you think her face looks like?

4. INTERACT WITH OBJECTS

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Photo by Mrs. Maze

People interact with objects all the time, so adding a prop adds a lifelike effect to your shot, taking emphasis away from the act of being photographed and relaxing your subject. It also assists with storytelling, giving extra dimensions to the character of the person you’re shooting, and can also create motion and action in your shot. Beware however of it taking away too much focus from your key subject, but have fun with it!

5. MAKE IT NATURAL

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Anyone who’s not a professional model has a few stock standard poses they look respectable in and will try to hit with every photograph. Some will look good, but often the stress of being photographed can easily create easily that recognizable artificiality and even hyper self-consciousness. It’s an effect especially exacerbated when deliberately posing your subject in an environment, which can be a problem when you’re trying to construct your photograph deliberately. Instead, why not try going candid.

 

Go find your subject in an environment in which they feel comfortable. Try to let them get absorbed in their activity, whether its playing with the kids, working or doing something they particularly love. Getting hold of your zoom function to pull away from their personal space can also help people relax and express themselves more naturally around you, especially in the case of children.

This is when rapport and emotional intelligence is especially important! Try to read the moods of your subject and react accordingly – being non-judgmental helps (remember, the camera is already a powerful judge.)