Do you remember the old days when families went to photo studios to get their family portraits taken? Luckily, it isn’t like that anymore as photography has evolved.
If you have a smartphone, then you don’t really need a professional camera to flaunt your photography skills. In fact, phone cameras are replacing the need to buy costly cameras. All you need to know are some tips to become the photographer of your dreams and we have the scoop!
Know the basics
According to Cassie Walker, a photography diploma student at Humber, lighting and having an idea of what you want to photograph before you actually click the button are the most important things when taking photos. In terms of having an idea, she said, “Pinterest and Instagram are great ways to get inspiration for photos.”
As per Linkoln Fuller, another photography diploma student at Humber, the primary thing to know in photography is to take multiple photos to avoid redoing the whole photo shoot. “It [is] better to have too many [photos] than not enough,” he said.
Some other ‘must follow’ basics of photography are:
- Clean your camera lens because you don’t want blurry photos.
- Turn on the camera grids and adjust focus and exposure.
- Keep your camera steady while taking pictures or shooting videos.
- Try to use HDR mode.
- Don’t use flash unnecessarily. Instead, use a well-lit area and depend more on natural light.
- Don’t zoom in a lot; otherwise, the pictures will be pixelated, blurry and of low quality.
- Know when to turn your phone from portrait to landscape.
Fuller said shooting in landscape or portrait “depends on the composition of the photo”. He suggested using landscapes for group photos and portraits when photographing fewer people.
Experiment with angles
Technique counts! Even a slight tilt in your shooting angle matters and it can change up the entire spirit and vibe of the photograph. Therefore, it is important to learn and pay attention to different types of angles while taking pictures.
Walker believes that no one can ever go wrong with a photo at eye level but she also encourages experimenting with other angles. “Don’t let [anything] stop you from exploring…different angles and styles to see what you like,” she said.
For experimenting with different angles, you need to know them. So here are a few angles you might want to try in your photography.
- Low-angle photography technique involves shooting subjects from a low angle and this technique can create a sense of power or dominance, as it makes the subject seem larger than life.
- In the high-angle photography technique, the camera is placed above the subject to produce an image with a sense of power, dominance, and height.
- Over-the-shoulder photography is one where the camera is situated behind the subject and slightly to one side.
- Other photography angles include aerial view, bird’s eye view, worm’s eye view, point of view, dutch angle, head-on angle, and others.
Learn the rules
Rules matter! Knowing the rules of photography helps you create better photographs by understanding the technical aspects of photography, like composition. Walker suggests combining multiple rules in one photo to make them stand out.
By following the below-mentioned rules, you can take powerful pictures that stand out and convey the message or emotion you are trying to depict.
- The rule of thirds suggests that an image should be divided into grids and the subject should be placed along lines of intersection. This creates an aesthetically pleasing and balanced composition.
- Symmetry is the repetition of similar elements, just like you learned in mathematics.
- Leading lines lead the viewer’s eye to a certain element in the photo and add depth to the image which helps create a sense of movement.
- Other photography rules include frame-in-frame, contrast, pattern, depth of field, negative space, Fibonacci spiral, and others.
Edit, edit, edit
Editing is magic! “As long as the subject is in force, anything…can be fixed in Photoshop,” Fuller said.
Through editing, you can turn dull and boring photos into works of art and make them more polished, enhanced, attractive and professional. The top photo editing apps you can get your hands on are VSCO, Snapseed, and Adobe Lightroom.
However, if the editing apps ever frighten you, remember what Walker says here; “When editing, it is best to start simple and work your way up to the cool edits. Start by checking the exposure of the image. Then you can move further to [other features like contrast and colour balance],” she said. On the other hand, Fuller advises playing with vignettes and blur while editing.
About the Experts
Wasn’t it great to hear from experts in the field? Let me introduce you to both Cassie Walker and Linkoln Fuller in detail here.
I can’t begin clicking anything before checking the lighting and composition.
Cassie Walker was pursuing a bachelor’s of mathematics degree when she realized she hated it and found the one true love of her life, photography. She dropped out of her bachelor’s program and decided to pursue photography as a career instead. She aspires to continue her photography passion in the fashion field after graduating.
When asked about her favourite angle, rule and editing app, Walker said she loves exploring different angles, using the rule of thirds and the software Adobe Photoshop and Capture One. Her inspiration for taking photos comes from seeing everything through the lens of emotions and mood. A piece of advice Walker shared is to explore and practice because one can never go wrong in trying something.
I can’t begin clicking anything before checking the battery of my camera.
Linkoln Fuller developed a passion for photography during the pandemic. Being in quarantine brought out his best skills and afterwards, he decided to choose photography as a career. His decision to study photography helped him understand all the basics to take his skills further. He desires to work as a commercial photographer after graduating.
When asked about his favourite angle, rule and editing app, Fuller said he loves low-angle shots, the leading lines rule and the software Adobe Lightroom. His inspiration for photography arises from his love of vibrant colours and funny lightning. A piece of advice Fuller shared is to start with a baby camera, take a picture every day and if it works then work your way up.
Practice makes perfect! Now that you are ready to become the photographer of your dreams, get your cameras and take those breathtaking shots.
Good news! You can decorate your room with your photos. Learn how!