We talked last week about light and aperture, and how to use them to shoot more professional-looking images.
I hope you took out your camera, dusted it off, and got in some good old fashioned practice. Now on to the last two tips!
3. Details, Details, Details
I know from experience that when you first start out as a photographer, it seems like there are a million things to think about during a shoot… ISO, aperture, shutter speed, lenses, focus, etc. Sometimes you’re honestly just thrilled to get a photo where the subject is in focus and the scene is properly exposed.
But today is the day we move past that. (And if today’s not that day for you, then go out there, practice until all that stuff is second nature, then come back and read this!)
Because once you get past the technical aspects of correctly creating an image, you need to turn your attention elsewhere and start focusing on the details.
What’s going on behind your subject?
Is the horizon cutting through their head?
Is there a rogue branch looking like it’s poking them in the eye?
Are their clothes bunched up?
Can you see gum on the bottom of their shoe?
Are you cropping the image at one of their joints (elbows, knees, ankles)?
Do they have lipstick on their teeth?
Is their hair sticking up?
Is there a car in the background?
The list could go on, but you get the picture. It may seem like a lot of things to worry about (on top of all the technical aspects!), but it will save you a ton of time in post-production, plus your client will appreciate your attention to detail, and making sure they look their best.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
You’ll never learn anything if you don’t get out there and try it. Practice on your kids or your dog or go to a crowded park and photograph random strangers… whatever it takes to get more shutter clicks under your belt.
I can’t recommend highly enough taking on a personal project you’re passionate about, or embarking on a photo-a-day challenge (start with a month then work up to a year!). Just getting out there and taking
photos as often as possible will make you a better photographer and help you figure out what you like, what you struggle with, and what you aspire to become.
Remember to experiment even when you’re on a paid shoot. Change up your angles or distance from your subject. Climb up high or lay down on the ground. Try a new lighting technique or a more editorial pose. You might feel ridiculous at first, but if it results in an image that will thrill your client, then it’s all worth it in the end. No professional photographer got where they are today from playing it safe.
Are you Ready?
Get out there, use these tips, and see the difference it makes on your images! Your clients will notice, your family and friends will notice, and once you’ve gotten so many compliments you don’t know what to do with yourself, come back here and comment below with a link to a before and after shot. I’d love to see it how your work has improved!
Click here if you missed out on Part I of this series!
Kelly lives with her husband and two adorable dachshunds in Northeast Indiana, where she works from home as a Wedding Photographer. When she’s not photographing over people’s love, she’s a wannabe-rockstar triathlete with a penchant for funny movies and craft beer. Check out her blog or connect with her on Facebook.