Capturing the perfect picture is tough whether you’re using a smartphone or a DSLR. Not everyone is a pro photographer and not everyone wants to be. Maybe you just want to take great shots to share with your friends and family. Or maybe you want to be GE’s next Instagrapher.
No matter what level your skills are at, here are 10 sure fire tips from my favorite photographers and Instagram friends to help you capture the perfect picture!
Picture Perfect Photography Tips
LIZ STRAUSS: Successful-blog.com | @LizStrauss | Instagram: LizStrauss
Amp up the color. Get to know the photo effect apps that are available and stretch your creativity. Follow people like DocPop (on Instagram) who tries a new app or combo of effects every day and explains how he did what you see.
When shooting two or more people, make sure no one’s hands are on another person’s shoulders. “Floating hands” is never a good look in a photo.
Also, try being unobtrusive. You’ll get the best shots when you stay out of the way and capture candid, natural moments shared by an event’s guests.
PAULA HERSEY: PenguinDigitalDesign.com | @CapeProducer
Early morning/late afternoon light especially fall/winter infuse some incredible tone and color that can turn a so-so subject into a stunning image. Living on Cape Cod, September through December the light in the morning and late afternoon is so beautiful the water, beaches and sky take on other worldly colors that bring me to tears sometimes.
CHRIS ODALIS: @chrisodalis | Instagram: ChrisOdalis
Put your feelings into the shot. We all can shoot a subway car or a flower, but when it’s done in a way that represents your feelings, thoughts, and attitude, you have the right shot. Some will like your shots, some won’t. It will always be that way
Take an experience and build, expand, redefine it. It doesn’t have to be another picture. It can be anyone or anything that has influenced your motivation. When you shoot, do so with that inspiration. To me it’s more than the shot itself. It’s what that shot represents
CLAY WILLIAMS: Claywilliamsphoto.com | @ultraclay
Work the edges instead of centering everything. You’ve got the whole frame, use it. Instead of putting the thing you’re shooting front and center, put it on the right or left and include some context.
Look for different angles. I just saw a photo on instagram where the shooter reached down to put his/her phone below platform level. I’d never seen that before. It was cool. Beyond that, we usually shoot at our eye level out of habit. It can be really interesting to reach up or down to get a shot. You’ll often get a perspective that people aren’t used to seeing.
GEORGE CAPALBO: Gncphoto.posterous.com | @gcapalbo
Always be sure it is behind you, i.e. your subject is lit from the front or slightly from the side. Light at sunset or sunrise is always better– it is more reddish and warmer (because it is traveling through more atmosphere). The light right after sunset (called the golden hour) is softer… but does not last long. Cloudy days can make colors pop, and the light is soft and shadows are diffused.
Photography for me is really the art of seeing things differently, geometrically– finding a moment in time where shapes line up and something beautiful is happening. When I walk around in a city I am looking for interesting details, contrasts between shapes, colors, etc. If you just look around you while you out and about on an ordinary day, you just might discover an interesting reality that is otherwise easily overlooked.
Here’s A Tip…
Preach what you practice to get that perfect shot in the comments! Also, what makes a photo stand out for you? If you’re an Instagram user, what do you love about the photos from the people you follow? What photos in the GE Instagrapher gallery stand out to you?
In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that my time and efforts have been compensated for by General Electric. All opinions are mine and all tips listed in this post are from their respective owners, hence the credit given.