Tips on taking great photos.
I have always enjoyed making cards from designing cards using various papers and images, using the technique decoupage and my photo greeting cards.
As we offer a bespoke service turning your photos into special greeting cards, I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to talk about how to make your photos extra special and memorable, particularly if it’s for a special occasion, or you need to present a product at it’s best.
It used to be that you needed a very expensive camera to take high quality photos, but now you can even take a great photo on a mobile phone.
As readers of my blog will know, I love flowers and nature. Some ask me how I take my photos, interested in my ‘processes’. I have to say that it’s because I love flowers and the colours and detail. It’s easy in the sense that if I love snowdrops for example, I will want to show them in the best possible light! I will want people who see my photos to see why I love snowdrops showing them the detail, which you may miss ordinarily.
I suggest that you take this thought and apply it to your situation. Instead of the usual stand still and smile at the camera approach, think from a different perspective. We all love photos of children who are laughing for example, fully engaged in a fun activity, focus on the moment, not on what we think makes a good photograph. Natural images are the best! I am not a huge fan of the forced ‘say cheese’ shots, as immediately this puts people in un-natural focus.
If you want to improve your photography technique, choose a subject you already enjoy, this will then help increase your enjoyment and make it easier. Do you have a hobby you could focus on?
Practice and practise. You can read every book and manual out there on what you should do to take a great photo, but in some senses this becomes a very intellectual approach. We all learn from experience, don’t be afraid of taking a bad photo; look at them, why don’t you like that particular photo and what would you do differently next time.
* Take photos in different lights and note down what you like and don’t like. (It’s best not to photograph flowers, objects, people etc… in direct sunlight; you want the image defined in rich colours and detail, not washed out or gaudy.)
* Try a different angle. It’s natural to look at something and think oh that’s nice must take a photo … ask yourself, is this the best place to take the photo?
* Try different heights! This can turn an ordinary photo into a really interesting one. (you can often find me lying / sitting on the floor with my camera)
* Try to frame your image in some way, by leading the eye in to your photo
* Backgrounds are crucial, you don’t want a background that is cluttered and takes away from the overall effect you are trying to achieve. A camera setting of about F5 – 6 will blur your background focusing on your main image.
* Lessen the noise in your picture. A digital camera set at ISO 100 will help.
* Try taking an image with the main focal point off – centre, applying the rule of thirds
* Play and have some fun
If you are taking photos of products rather than flowers or people, for example products for eBay, think through what the product are for. Sometimes when the detail of a product is important it needs to be seen as clearly as possible, a blank canvas and daylight lighting is best. You can buy table top photo cube light tents online from £10.00 (spotted on eBay) with various colour backgrounds; this would be a simple way of showing your products.