There has been a crazy surge in taking photos in the last decade. Technology is a huge part of it, making professional digital cameras more affordable to the public and the development of sophisticated smart phones that produce crisp, almost professional looking photos. Social media is absolutely a big factor as well, with people posting photos every millisecond.
In this post, I'd like to share a few tips that would make your photos stand out more. It doesn't cost a penny and you don't need to upgrade to the latest camera or phone model. All you need is a dose of fun and a willingness to experiment.
Tip # 1: Get really close
My husband and I were just in Waimea Botanical Gardens (where they shot the jungle scene in Hunger Games!) a couple of weeks ago and we were both stopping here and there taking photos with our iPhones. He was really getting into it which made me start giving him an unsolicited impromptu photography tutorial. At one point, he was shooting flowers and I told him to get a close up. I guess 'close up' to a non-photographer means getting about a foot away from the subject. So he took photos from that distance and it came out nice, but I told him to get really close (with the phone almost about an inch from the flowers). He was amazed at what a difference that made so he kept shooting extreme closeups from that point onwards. So really get in there. You'll discover interesting new features in your subject you've never seen before.
Tip # 2: Shoot from the hip
Another easy strategy is to simply shoot from your normal head level down to the hip level. Try not scooting down to your knees and just place the camera at hip level and shoot. This is an interesting angle that would make your photos stand out amidst the sea of images people take from the normal head level. Be adventurous and experiment on different ways of shooting outside of what your instincts tell you.
Tip # 3: Shoot from up high
To piggyback from Tip # 2, try shooting from up high. Literally raise your hands and snap. I usually do this covering people dancing at parties. Shooting the dance floor just from the side would just give me a snapshot of one angle of the party but simply raising my arms, I can cover almost the entire dance floor and see all the action that usually happens in the middle of the dance floor. People in the middle tend to be more uninhibited since the crowds cannot quite see what they're up to. Your first few shots would probably be crooked which is normal since your eyes aren't behind the lens. Just delete and re-shoot and repeat until you get the hang of it.
Tip # 4: Smile at your subjects
Smile as you shoot. It has to be natural, of course. And for it to be natural, you have to be really present and thoroughly enjoying the moment. I find myself smiling when I take photos of people. I truly am grateful for every opportunity. And there's always a different vibe with different people. Taking portraits never gets old. It's just fun and you get to chat and get to know different people in the process. And you know what I noticed for even the most self-conscious subjects? I find that they almost immediately relax upon seeing I'm enjoying taking their photos and they smile beautifully back at me.
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