Establish a knowledge base of photography
- master using your camera and understand the functions and the effects it has on the images
- Read photography books
- Take a photography class
Practice taking pictures and shoot intentionally!
- slow down, even if you miss the moment you were trying to capture
- shoot often
Train your eye
- spot issues in your own work
- rules should be learned and not broken
- (my own note) look at other photographer's work and be able to explain why you like their images
The Importance of Photography
- Happiness can increase by keeping happy memories vivid. Viewing your own photographs can flood the mind with happy memories of your life.
"What you record on earth is recorded in heaven."
~ Wilford Woodruff
"We should be a record keeping people. Record the story of your life."
~ Spencer W. Kimball
"Those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives."
~ Spencer W. Kimball
*** TEN TINY TIPS THAT WILL DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
Tip #1: LEARN TO SEE THE FRAME
-Look through the viewfinder and scan your eyes around the frame (especially the edges) and ask yourself these questions:
What in included in your frame? What is excluded in your frame?
Watch for cut-offs.
Avoid cropping at joints.
It's more pleasing to the eye to:
- crop at the midpoint of an arm, leg, etc.
- crop the top of the head
- don't crop off the chin
Tip #2: WATCH FOR MERGERS AND DISTRACTIONS
- Look through the viewfinder and scan your eyes around the frame, looking for mergers and distractions at the background. Reposition yourself or the subject in your photograph if necessary.
- Take the picture right the first time so you don't have to spend as much time editing
Tip #3: CONSIDER THE RULE OF THIRDS
- heads centered in the middle of the frame generally are boring to look at.
- As you are looking through your viewfinder, divide your frame into thirds and place your subject at an intersecting point.
- When photographing a landscape, decide if you want to showcase the sky, the mountains, or the foreground and frame it accordingly as you shoot. If you want to showcase the sky, frame atleast two thirds of the sky in your viewfinder.
Tip #4: CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
- be creative
- heavier people can look thinner if you shoot from above. (ex. have the person sit on a lower step than you and have them look back at the camera.)
- get a child's eye level when photographing children
- when you view a great professional photographer's work, ask yourself where the photographer was standing when he took the shot.
Tip #5: GET IN CLOSE
- take two steps closer once you set up your shots
- closer shots create more intimacy
Tip #6: REMEMBER DETAILS
- when shooting an event, remember the details of the occasion.
- photograph buildings, street signs, landscape, food, etc.
- detail shots help to tell the story of the event
- it's fun to look back at detail photographs of previous places you've lived
Tip #7: THINK LIKE A KID TO GET GOOD KID SHOTS
- shoot from a kids' perspective
- get down at their eye level
- for kids who don't follow a photographer's direction well, play games with them to help get true expressions (ex. "Simon Says" is a great game to get kids to cooperate)
- Imagine outloud with kids... get into their world. Expressions on kids' faces when using their imagination creates authentic moments.
- Involve kids when doing a photo shoot. Let them see their pictures once you take them or even let them take a picture or two themselves.
- don't overstimulate (if you need to start to whisper, sing, etc. to get kids to pay attention to you.)
-talk to kids... ask "find out" questions (ex. What's your favorite food? Who's your favorite princess?)
- allow them to relax and be themselves (suggestion: photograph in a kid friendly environment and allow kids to play as you photograph them.)
-have fun people behind you (suggestion: if you are at a kid's level (down low) and you want your fun people (like the parents) to help you, have them get down low with you.
Tip #8: GOOD POSING HELPS PEOPLE LOOK THEIR BEST
- put weight on back foot
- bend your leg closest to the camera (ladies bend leg closest to the camera when doing leg pops in kissing shots)
- keep your arms off your body (bend arm)
- sit on the edge of your seat (better posture and makes your thighs look thinner)
- if you have two of something, put them on different planes (ex. put one arm over someone's shoulder and one arm on your hip)
- to reduce seeing a double chin, have person lean forward or the photographer can shoot from person
-avoid full front posing (widest view of a person)
-group shots - put heads in closer together and connect through touch
Tip #9: CHOOSE LIGHT FIRST, LOCATION SECOND
Finding the light:
- watch for dapples on the ground (patchy sunspots in the shadows on the ground)
- look for open shade (even light)
- shoot with the sun behind the subject
- look for natural reflectors (cement, white walls)
- window light adds shadows, drama, dimension, and provides catch lights in the eyes
- Become a student of light by studying images and see the characteristics of light. Ask yourself: Where is the light coming from in this image?
Tip #10: BE A GOOD EDITOR
- if you want people to think your a fantastic photographer, only show your best work
- use the proper camera setting to take the picture right the first time so you don't have to spend so long editing your images