Forget the fancy photography course, the high end camera shots, the black and white dramatic pix – how about you try closer to home on the day to day pictures you take of family and friends. Obviously it is up to the photographer and what they like, but try a couple of “tactics” that are usually reserved when you’re out to make “great photos” but tend to forget in those birthday parties, family picnics, school reunions. Next time try a different way of taking your “casual” pictures, maybe one of these will inspire (what have you got to loose):
- Go for asymmetry – avoid same old symmetry where everyone is symmetrically places all staring head on, shake it up a bit. Have tall people on one side ad short ones on the other, or put your subject on the far right or left of the picture with the background taking centre stage.
- Shot from slightly above the eye level – this slims the face; selfie experts will tell you. This allows shadows to slim the chin and jaw line. Not too high above but just slightly higher to give a more “polished” look.
- Capture candid shots, no posing – Stop boring all “cheese” fake smiley photos please and go for candid ones, people looking at each other, having a laugh, enjoying food (that’s a tricky one to get with their mouths chewing). Point is go for moments not for studio style poses, my favourite is when children are caught in a stare or a thought process, adorable and always inspiring.
- Blur the background – add drama by blurring the background and focusing on your subject, but do this in combination with some of the above (i.e. candid moment or asymmetry) otherwise it will highlight the fake-ness of a symmetrical pose all that much more.
- Go for silhouettes against the sun light – we’re always afraid to loose photo details, but sometimes less is more dramatic and memorable. Try a silhouette with the light behind your subject. The switch of negative space makes it cool, you might not do this for all photos obviously but the odd one will make for a nice refreshing photo in your album.
- Capture the wind as it moves – wind playing with your subject’s hair or clothes is a very dramatic moment, and hard to get. But once one shot gets it, it’ll be one of your favourite ones.
- Get different expressions – I’m not saying do a photo shoot for someone who is balling their eyes out, but along with candid moments try to get a variety of emotions, happiness with tears, contemplation, meditation; we are more just “shiny happy people holding hands” (enter R.E.M.!)