Last week I lead a workshop to the local girls’ night and had a great time. I posted some pictures on facebook and had a request that I share my information on my blog, so here you go!
Part 1: How to Take Better Pictures
Note: this information is directed at beginners/casual photographers.
There are no rules for good photographs; there are only good photographs. -Ansel Adams
With that in mind, there are some things to think about that can dramatically improve your pictures:
1. LIGHT: probably the most important factor when taking photographs.
Natural light is best; try to avoid using your flash if possible.
Try to shoot in the “golden hours” – around sunrise and sunset.
Don’t photograph people in the midday sun unless you like the squinty look.
Much better to move them into the shade.
2. Make it INTERESTING:
Use props; look for colour
3. Have a PLAN: research Pinterest for good ideas!
I love making pinterest boards with different pose ideas. Before a shoot I print them out for reference.
4. Take LOTS of pictures:
it’s the digital era! Try as many different angles and ideas as you can think of.
One of the most popular composition methods is the rule of thirds. Imagine your shot like a grid, and put your subject either on an outer third or at an intersection.
it’s not a hard and fast rule though. Try different things.
6. Check your BACKGROUND:
this is my favourite example of why it is important to check out what’s in your background!
If you have a boring/yucky background, back up and zoom in on your subject to achieve a blurrier background.
7. Try to capture EMOTION:
one of my favourite photos ever.
you don’t need to have photoshop to play around – I like using picmonkey.com to use effects like “sunglow”
Part 2: How to Look Better in Pictures
1. CONFIDENCE: How many people are truly confident in themselves, particularly in the way they look? Your confidence really comes through in photos. If you don’t have it, fake it. No one will know.
2. HEAD JUT:
Almost everyone has that “chin stuff” – jut your chin out to make a more definitive jaw line. It might feel weird, but it will look better in the picture.
3. SQUINTY EYES
I’ve shared this tip in a blog before (titled “selfies”) – it can make your face look a little more interesting, a little more confident.
4. NATURAL SMILE:
I got my model, Noy, to make a HUGE smile and then as it died down, it looked more natural. I also asked her to jump, which always produces natural smiles! Try jumping up and down in front of someone with a neutral expression. Harder than it sounds.
5. BE YOURSELF: are you serious? Silly? Love who you are and let that shine in the camera!
After this, we went outside(to get the natural light) to do a photo shoot to apply the things we learned. We all had a lot of fun. Here are some of the beautiful faces I photographed:
Aren’t they gorgeous?!
And that’s all, folks! Hope that was helpful to somebody!