Beginners Photography Tips ~ Getting the Photo
We all snap pictures while out and about. They’re the best way to share with family and friends what we are doing, how our trip is, what we are experiencing in that moment and to feel connected to others. We don’t call anyone anymore and tell them about our week, we text a picture, we post an image, we take video and curate photo essays.
But, we also take pictures to leave behind a piece of ourselves. I love the idea of my daughter or son flipping through my photos with their own family, saying “wow look at where she traveled”, “look at those clothes”, “look at how young they looked”. Not unlike the way we talk when when looking through our parents and grandparents pictures.
This post is for very beginners, kind of a step one, laying a foundation kinda thing. You need to be able to get out there and actually get a picture!
In order to have a nice picture of what you want (not random tourists or foreground features that your camera may focus on instead) you need to zoom in a bit. Either physically get in there or use your camera’s zoom. It also works great to make a more artistic looking shot of something that is very cliche or common, like a close up of food, pregnant belly, babies face or feature, hands holding, flora, pets, birds, etc. Simply by zooming in on the detail makes the image suddenly seem more human, more colourful, more impactful.
Excuse me, I’m an Artist
Don’t worry about the crowd. It’s amazing how people will stay out of your way while you take a picture. Just make sure that you don’t take too long. Take a couple seconds beforehand to plan out exactly what you want to take a picture of, that way you can get in and out quickly. (This one is more specific to places where there are a lot of tourists or crowds)
Also, don’t just walk up, face the scene, then click. Really look through your lense and frame what you want. Move higher, lower, to another side, check the lighting. If you take the time now to do these things than post editing will be minimal (and faster).
Right: I wanted a moody shot of these soldiers walking through the doorway, but people kept walking through and ruining the shot. I finally went and stood in the middle and made of show of taking a picture, LOL. People stopped, waited the 5 seconds for me to take the shot, and moved on with their day.
Crop n ‘Shop
Take the time to crop and edit your photo using software like Pixlr or Photoshop. Crop out what isn’t working, like areas that don’t quite match the aesthetic of the rest of the picture, or people. Then edit the contrast, saturation and sharpness (those are usually my fav’s) and add a filter that you love. My most used apps/ editing software are pixlr app and Instagram for my phone pics, and Photoshop (CC or Elements) , pixlr desktop and Filtergrade for my dSLR photo’s on my computer. For extras like illustrations, fonts, vectors, filters, etc, I shop at Design Cuts.
Just Take a Picture
I know that we all want to be super unique and creative, but don’t pass over the cliche or plain shots. Yah, they might not be print worthy or social media worthy, but one day you will be glad you got pictures of EVERYTHING.
Left: sneaky trick- take a pic of where you are before you start taking any more pictures. When you start going to more places, or you’re travelling or you just have a short memory, this is a great way to remember the EXACT name of place. Take a pic of the sign, the name on the door, the brochure, the menu, whatever it is, because the more pics you take, the more you will want to sort them into different folders, or tweet out where you were, or tag the company. Just take pics of EVERYTHING. Its worth it.
Copy Copy Copy
Borrow ideas from everywhere. Magazines, other artists, books, your kids art, nature, just get inspiration and ideas from everywhere and everything!!! Then try to copy it! There are so many tutorials out there for you to try, or photography sites that put out yearly trends, just copy, copy, copy. Or, as one one of my favorite authors says, Steal Like an Artist.
Just follow me on Instagram and go through my Following list to see all the awesome photographers and artists you could follow.
I hope you enjoyed this first step, let me know if you have any more tips or questions! AND follow me to see step two and more advanced guides!