When taking photos, angles and positioning are everything. Simply zooming in on a subject or placing the subject slightly off-center changes the entire composition of an image, making it much more aesthetically pleasing. This is necessary to consider when in the field. A common rule followed by almost all photographers is the Rule of Thirds. It states that the subject is to be off centered; usually the main focal point is off to the left or right. The rule of thirds causes the viewer to see each aspect of the photo’s composition rather than just focusing on the main subject.
As you can see, this photo’s main subject, the leaf, is slightly off centered. It should also be noted that the camera is close up and focused on the subject. This creates an aesthetically pleasing image that is much more impactful than a differently composed shot.
2. Comfort is Key
A comfortable model yields more natural photos. When taking pictures, it is critical to make sure that the model is comfortable being in front of the camera. If the model or subject feels uncomfortable or awkward, the results will be forced and unnatural.
To Make Your Subject Feel More Comfortable:
- Music: most people feel at-ease and even more confident when provided with music. I always have a portable speaker on hand at shoots; believe me — it makes all the difference.
- Have the subject bring a friend: A good friend is a great way to lighten the mood of your subject. If you do not have a personal connection with the subject, it is best to have the subject bring a close friend or family member to the shoot. Not only does the friend add a layer of boosted confidence, they provide a blanket of comfort for the subject.
- Make the subject laugh: Genuine laughter is one of the most beautiful things to capture on camera. When in doubt, make your subject laugh. The shots turn out beautiful because the happiness is there!
3. Timing Matters
Time of day is easily one of the most important factors in a beautiful photo. It determines the intensity of light and the composition of photos entirely.
Most photographers enjoy shooting during golden hour, a time of day where the lighting is warm, soft, and provides lovely golden light. Golden hour occurs about an hour after sunrise, and an hour after sunset.
4. When in Doubt, Edit it Out
Have you ever taken a photo that’s just not your style? A photo that would benefit from an alteration of pigment? Me too. If you find yourself with photos that you feel that you cannot work with, or even photos that aren’t quite your style, do not be intimidated by them. Almost everything can be changed through the use of editing. Using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, I dilute greens in my photos and enhance the golds in order to create a warmer photo.
When editing photos shot at night, I brighten up the colors and add dimension through intensity. Never throw away a photo that might have potential through small adjustments!
There’s no doubt that photography is a learned art; it is crucial to always be on the lookout for new ways to improve your skills and grow as a photographer!
Hopefully these tips and tricks helped! xx Presley