How do they do it? How do professional photographers and artists get those breathtaking shots? How do they capture that special glint in someone’s eye or know how to line-up, or frame a shot? It’s actually not as hard as it looks. Here are some of my favorite tips for taking better photographs like the pros.
Step 1: Be more adventurous.
A lot of times, the thing that separates the pros from the amateurs is a sense of adventure behind the camera. Don’t be afraid to try something that seems crazy at first–and don’t be afraid to keep shooting from many different angles until you get the shot you want. Experiment! It’s the best way to learn. And nowadays with digital photography being as easy and as affordable as it is, you don’t have any excuse not to take a thousand pictures. You don’t have to worry about “wasting film.”
Step 2: Change your perspective.
Don’t just shoot at eye level. Shoot from above. Shoot from below. Shoot from every side. Try focusing on just one part of your subject–one flower, one ear, one arm, anything! Don’t always center your subject. Let them be a little off center, taking up perhaps only one-third of the frame. How will these different perspectives change the story your camera is telling? There’s only one way to find out …
Step 3: Get in close–and get down on their level.
This technique is especially great for children and animals, but you’d be surprised the opportunities you have to use it with adults too. If someone is doing a yoga pose on the floor, get down on the floor too. Zoom in or walk closer to your subject. Getting in close creates an intimacy and a unique perspective that will set your photos apart.
Step 4: Keep it natural and relaxed.
The candid shots are when you capture that unique little smile, that all-too-brief moment that you just happened to capture. Keeping things natural and relaxed–in front of and behind the camera–will help you capture those special, fleeting moments that create magic in a well-done photo.
Step 5: Play with light.
Great light makes great pictures. First, always be aware of where your light source is. Next, look for unwanted shadows in your shot and adjust your position or the subject’s position to get rid of them. Then, once you’ve taken your pictures, study them. Look for what you like, what you don’t like, what works and what doesn’t.
The biggest two things are to be patient and take lots of pictures. You’ll have a lot more fun and pull off some great shots!