Thanks to the evolution of smartphones, everybody’s a photographer. Once upon a time photography was the strict domain of the enthusiast with their specialist equipment, or you just took your camera with you on holidays or to special occasions.
Now we have high quality digital cameras in our pockets all the time, and with social media we have numerous ways to post our photos, so we take more, and more and not many of us apply much quality control.
The best photos make great personalised gifts
Of course digital photos are the means through which you can make fantastic personalised gifts, cards, wrapping paper and banners, but to get the right photo still takes a bit of knowledge, skill and judgement. Gone are the days when we had to wait a week to see how our photos turned out, and then we cursed ourselves when the big moment was lost, now we can instantly delete and re-shoot or take numerous shots and only save the best one, but here are a few tips to get the best photos first time.
- Keep your eyes open: Some of the best photos are those spontaneous moments when your subject is natural and not forcing a smile or a pose. So always be ready to capture the moment. Having phones so readily available certainly helps with this, but there’s still an art to spotting the right opportunity and grabbing your phone to capture it.
- Frame the photo: Look for shapes, colours and natural ‘borders’ that balance a photo and make it more appealing. Don’t have two thirds of sky or grass and barely anything of the people or buildings. A good balance of shapes is easy on the eye and will create more attention. Also, timing the photo right so the subject is in the middle, or looking in the right direction can make all the difference, so be patient and view the image how you would want people to view the eventual photo.
- Look for strong images: Okay, a lot of the time you’re just taking photos of friends or family, but you can enhance any photo by identifying some striking clothing or an action that someone is doing, rather than just snapping a portrait picture of someone doing nothing. Technically, every photo is a work of art, and if you look at it that way, apply a creative mind and try to capture something that tells a story, is unique or makes a statement, then you will take a better photo.
- Use apps: There are so many free and available photo editing apps that allow you to enhance and radically transform an image to make it more striking and appealing. There’s virtually no limit to what you can do, so play around and make the most of them.
- Use light effectively: Most people know that taking a photo into direct sunlight will create an image in silhouette that will be pretty disappointing, so work with your subject, if you can, to get the best angle and use the light to create a better image.
- Play around: While smartphone cameras are pretty simple compared to a specialist digital camera, they still possess lots of features and settings that most of us never use. So play around with your phone and be creative, you don’t know what you might discover which helps you create a stunning photo every time.
Most of us take a lot of photos now and some of them are pretty forgettable, but we all know when we take a great one. So try and remember what made that photo and how elements came together to create it. You won’t always be able to recreate its brilliance, but that little bit of thought might be the difference in producing the photo that everyone remembers.