My 9 Tips to Better Pictures

Welcome to my first “technical” post! Photography is an interesting passion and this post is for those of you who are actually trying to hone your skills or those of you who are just interested in the art of Photography.  Most people say “Oh photography, that’s easy point the camera and click the button” really though there’s much more than that, your photo should tell a story or convey a certain emotion, if it was really so easy then everyone would be world class photographers. Just remember while photography can be very difficult and sometimes moral crushing make sure that in every shot you take you remember these tips and try your hardest.

Forget the actual definition of beautiful
As the famous saying goes “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. The subject of a photo does not necessary have to be beautiful. As a matter of fact, some of the most unique pictures I have ever seen have a non-conventional subject in them. It is all up to the photographer to make the subject “beautiful”, to build the composition and picture in breathtaking way. Remember, the camera and the subject do not make a picture beautiful, the photographer does.

Follow your instincts
If you think something has the potential to be a great shot, just go for it! While walking down the street, I have stopped multiple times and took a picture of whatever I thought it was worth it. No matter if it was raining, if it was sunny, or if the street was crowded. A little disclaimer tho: if you are walking with someone, they are probably going to get annoyed, eventually, for your interruptions. However, if they love you, they will stick around.

Colors are important, even when shooting black and white
To me, colors are an important part of the composition process. When shooting with my digital camera, I try to incorporate in the picture many color elements, if possible. I personally do not like picture that only have one or two colors in them. This becomes even more important when shooting black and white. If you shoot a monochromatic scene, the picture will come out as an undefined collection of grey spots. By trying to incorporate different elements, you can use the colors to underline different subjects or aspect of the picture. Something extremely light or extremely dark could pop up from it, instead of getting lost in the grey scale.

Use objects around you to create amazing shots
As I believe that anything could be the subject of your picture, I also believe that anything could be used to create amazing pictures. Windows, mirrors, and potholes are the most used devices to create “reflections”. However, many other objects could be used as well. You could manipulate shadows by moving lights around, and create unique shots. You could even use grids and objects to frame subjects.

Your pictures should tell a story
I personally do not like static pictures, pictures in which the subject just stands still and does not communicate anything to the audience. I like pictures in which the subject does not stare at the photographer, pictures that look as if someone was observing a moment of the everyday life. In other words, I love pictures that do not look staged, but pictures that portray very genuine moments of the everyday life.

Challenge yourself
Try to take at least an impossible picture per shooting session. Work on techniques you struggle with. For example, if the light is really bad and you do not have a flash or a tripod available, do not give up. Still try your best to get an amazing shot, you might be surprised of the results. Or, if you read about an amazing technique online, try to take as many pictures as needed in order to succeed.

Break the rules
While compositions rules are a great starting point, we should not let them condition our pictures. Not every picture should follow the rule of thirds in order to be interesting. Some pictures would lose its powerful story if the rule of thirds was followed. Not every picture needs a fore-, middle-, and background detail to add depth. The subject can take the entire frame if necessary. It is all up to you, and what you think will make the picture interesting and memorable.

Forget your audience
Photography is about you. Identify your style, your interests, your instincts and follow them. Do not let anybody condition your pictures. Yes, it is true that you will be put in situations where you are commissioned pictures by someone else, whether that person is your boss, your professor, or your client. However, what they tell you should have a minimal impact on your pictures. You should take their suggestions as guidance, and then adapt them to your personal style.

Have fun
Finally, do not forget to have fun! Photography is a powerful mean to express yourself, your style, your emotions, your ideas. Taking pictures should never feel like a stressful experience, something you feel forced to do. Photography should be your personal way to break out of your life and relax.

These are just a few tips, feel free to learn more if you so desire but these will at least help you get started.  Thank you for reading this post because without YOU then there would be no Photography! It is such a wonderful art medium and almost every one here takes a photo a day.  So make sure to enjoy your time when taking pictures and really try to make some memorable pieces of art for when you leave. Again welcome and have fun!

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