Sometimes I wish photographers were portable, as if I could fold them up and keep them in my pocket. I have been trying to play around with photography but there is so much to it! Here are a few things I wish I knew beforehand:
- BE AWARE OF THE BACKGROUND
It is just as important as the subject. It is not merely someone’s face but there is a background to consider and might be a person back there who decided to wear a tank top, crocs, and some mom jeans made into shorts. Watch out for Photobombing Phyllis. She likes to sneak up on you. She graced herself in many of our pictures from Hawaii. There was this amazing blue ocean and luscious palm trees and then Brooks and I holding tightly to one another with huge smiles on our faces and then Photobombing Phyllis pointing to something to the right. Oh Phyllis, you are a doll and I am sure a great person but you have horrible timing and awareness of those around you.
- USE THE GRID ON YOUR PHONE
The grid helps you become aware of the shapes and lines. Every photograph consists of shapes and lines. There is the line of the horizon and the shapes of the path and the trees. I see so many old photos where I wish I had the grid on and I could have spent a few more seconds lining up everything with the grid instead of having to crop and straighten the photo until it is just a close up of my face, a very attractive close up of my face, however.
iPhone users, go to your Settings app and click on the Photos and Camera option. At the bottom of the page under the Camera section you will find the option for Grid. Simply slid it to “On” and you are now guaranteed better photos from this point forth.
- LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
Even the best photographers know that you can not have a good photo if you do not have good lighting. The best day to take a portrait picture is a cloudy day because it creates a soft light that illuminates the face. Otherwise, the sun provides too much contrast and it creates a harsh look. When taking photos inside, it is best to take it with your subject facing the window or to have it as bright as you can. The more light, the better focus you’ll have.
- INVEST IN LIGHTROOM OR PHOTOSHOP
And then spend some time playing around with it. It will change your world. It is chock full of tutorials in case you get stuck. I like to figure out how stuff works with the manual, so I just play around until it becomes something I am proud of. Below is a before and after using Lightroom.
I am a monthly subscriber with the Adobe Creative Cloud package. I think it is the best bang for your buck if you are semi-professional. My friends who are photographers swear by Adobe. I believe in editing a photograph to bring its best side out.
Overall. if you are looking at the bigger picture and you invest in editing software or a photo editing app, you will see a huge difference in your photos. Remember: no one skips steps. The photographer you really admire? They were exactly where you are at one point. The more you practice, the better your photos will become.