In honor of the start of National Photography Month, we wanted to share a few easy photo tips that might help you achieve better results for your own pictures.
PHOTO TIP #1- Rule of Thirds:
The first tip is quite an easy one for a big impact – the rule of thirds. This guideline is a simple way to add interest to an image.
When taking a photograph of an object or a single subject, instead of centering it in the frame, try offsetting it slightly. If you will imagine your viewfinder to be divided into thirds with both horizontal and vertical imaginary lines, try to align the subject with one of these lines.
By the simply offsetting the subject, your final result has a much more interesting composition:
Here’s another example of using the Rule of Thirds I took for the Robot Party from Issue 5:
PHOTO TIP #2- Best Time of Day for Photos:
When planning a photo session, I’m always asked by clients what time would be best to take family portraits. Ideally, the best times of day to take pictures with great lighting is an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. The natural sunlight is typically softer with a warmer tone during these times of day. Mid-day, when the sun is directly overhead, can give off strong, harsh glares and difficult shadow lines (especially in the eye area).
However, these specific “Golden Hours” are not always feasible for a family’s (or a photographer’s) schedule, so finding a shady location is the next best thing. If it is sunny out, you will still have the brightness required, yet avoid the glare. Be careful though, shade sometimes gives off a blue tint. (You can minimize this coloration with changing the White Balance settings on your camera, though). Similarly, a slightly overcast yet bright, day is a happy day for a photographer. Same concept as the shade, but you are not limited to staying in a shady location- anywhere will do!
Side Note: For those with kiddos, I often answer that the best time for photos is the time of day when your little ones are the happiest (usually after a good sleep and a feeding!). Sometimes that timeline trumps time of day!
PHOTO TIP #3- Orientation:
For some reason this one is easy to forget for me! Be sure that your subjects are facing your light source. With outdoor portraits, have them facing the direction of the sun to get the best detail and most even lighting. If the sun is behind your subject, your camera will focus on the brightness behind them, leaving your subject in the dark.
Now that you are equipped with a few (hopefully new to you) techniques, get out there and practice! For this National Photography Month, we challenge you to take at least one picture a day that you think is a quality shot. Happy snapping!