No matter what type of camera you use, from the old school film units to modern digital SRLs, or disposables to your phone, there are a few things you can do that will not require doing any edits and will improve your photography.
1. Do not always center your subject
In many instances, a subject positioned slightly off-center can be more appealing. See my article on the Rule of Thirds.
2. Do not always shoot in either landscape or portrait
If you are shooting with a standard camera, the tendency might be to go with a landscape shot and rarely switch to portrait. This is the opposite for cell phones. Change things up once in a while, you will be pleasantly suprised.
3. Do not use your flash on default
When at all possible, you should avoid the flash. This is because it tends to cast hard shadows and wash out the people or objects in your photos.
Have you ever wondered how a photographer makes a scene in his or her studio that appears to include water? Sometime it might look like a pond or river of some sort. Well, there is actually a very creative DYI hack for that.
All you will need it:
- Aluminum foil
- Blue paint
Optional – A coating to put over the paint for shine
Rolls out the aluminum on the surface you need to make look like it is some form of water and them cut it to that size.
Put it down on a surface suitable to use for painting.
Paint a light coating of blue paint over it not worrying if you don’t cover it completely. In fact, small areas of uncover space may be helpful for your scene.
Wait until it dries.
Step 5 (Optional step)
Either add a layer of clear coating over it for glossy feel.
When completed you can put this in your scene and using the right settings and lighting, it will look like water.
A few months back a family friend introduced us to the concept of dictionary print photos. If you don’t know what I mean, just do a Google search and be prepared to enjoy what you find.
Basically, it’s when a photo is printed onto a dictionary page which allows for the picture to show through the words. The first time I saw one it was of my home city Pittsburgh, PA and made me want to try my hand at it.
After some experimentation and finding the right tools, I am now selling custom dictionary prints through my creative arts business.
Check out the site for details.
If you take a lot of photos on your phone and want to keep them safe from copyright thieves but still post them on social media, I have a solution for you that will do exactly that.
A noticeable and professional watermark is the way to go. Now, you are probably wondering why you can’t just look up any old watermarking app for the need instead of reading the rest of this post. Here’s why – most apps for this purpose just don’t fit the job.
Most apps meant to do this either offer the ability to use text as a watermark or allow you to use a free design template. What’s wrong with this? You don’t have the chance to upload and use your own logo if you already have one.
The only one I’ve found that allows for this is called “Multi Layer” and best of all it’s free.
Here’s the icon from the Google Play store to make sure you get the right app.
If you read this blog often, you have surely come across several of my posts talking about the importance of posing your model as a photographer or artist. But, perhaps it is also important to factor in the value of posing skills and technique from the model’s perspective.
While any artist or photographer can benefit from a posing guide, models can benefit just as much from such publications. This is especially true when it comes to either a new model or a model working with a new artist.
A great series of guides is the one by author Justin R Matrin on the website www.posemuse.com. You can get his work on Amazon also.
While the works tend to focus on drawing, they can easily be applied to any type of art and I suggest you check them out if you are on either side of the camera or canvas.
While some artists stick to one type of art, on occasion, we find people who work in several forms. Sydney A is such a person.
I first came across her work with ink and color drawings and I can assure you that her talent is impressive. The detail, color and style she displays in her work is something special.
Here are some samples:
As she states it in her own words:
“I’ve been practicing since I was little, and I took some art classes in junior high and high school. After I found out I was allergic to the paints I preferred to use, I switched over to black and white ink, and now I use colored ink as my preferred medium. While I will also do pencil crayon drawings upon request, they aren’t as good as the ink ones and tend to take longer.”
But her skill set doesn’t stop with drawing. She also has a talent for photography and tends to focus her skills on nature and wildlife.
I encourage you to check out her work for yourself.
Now that the temperatures are getting milder and the weather is more compliant, there are a lot more options to do model and portrait photography outdoors. But sometimes, you will still want to utilize an indoor location. If you don’t have one of your own, and don’t have the resources to pay to rent a fully set-up location, here are a few creative ideas that might work.
While you will always want to be sure to ask management, many stores will allow you to shoot photos as long as you aren’t a disruption for customers. I know someone who recently shot a model at major craft retailer Michael’s. I’ve also come across some shots done in a Lowe’s Home Improvement Store.
These areas can allow for a sophisticated and intellectual feel in your shots and so long as you aren’t doing anything inappropriate or making a lot of noise, there are usually a lot of empty areas that nobody will mind if you use.
Subway Stations, Bus Stations, Train Stations, oh my. These spaces can give you a candid vibe and often have interesting (but sometimes challenging) lighting.
Easy to access most of the time, free to hang around, often empty.