Lighting in photography is everything. It can take a dull image and make it magical. Lighting can help set the mood of an image and be part of the story telling process. Natural light is this most flattering type of lighting. If you’re taking photos at home, make note of when and where you have the most sunlight. Try to set up your subject near a window or doorway (wherever the light source is). If you’re outside, taking photos early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is low and provides soft lighting. If those times of days don’t work for you, find large areas of shade for your photos so that you can avoid harsh light and shadows.
2. Use the Rule of Thirds
The "Rule of Thirds" is probably the most popular photographic composition "rule". Essentially, it's the principal that an image is most interesting if the subject is at the intersection of two horizontal and two vertical lines such as a tick tak toe board. All cameras and most smart phones have the ability to turn on a grid so that you are able to find those intersecting lines. To learn more, view this article
3. Change your Perspective
People tend to take our pictures from the same height and angle. It’s comfortable, quick and easy to get stuck in this mode. To add more interest to your images, change your perspective. Move your feet and shoot from above, below or to the side of your subject. Get down on the floor to their level. Challenge yourself to take 3 photos of the same scene but from different angles.
3. (don't) Say Cheese
Growing up I think we were all conditioned to say ‘cheese’ when taking a photo. The challenge with this technique is that it creates a need to ‘perform’ in front of the camera. When you perform by saying ‘cheese’ , eyes can look closed, expressionless and mouths look stiff. Here are a few tips to get a natural expression.
- Make them laugh – tell a silly joke, talk in a funny voice, make a funny face. You know your child best, so appeal to whatever gets them smiling
- Get them moving – have them run or jump. When kids are moving and having fun those smiles come out naturally
- Do nothing. Observe your subject and wait for the right authentic expression to come.
5. Be Mindful of What's In the Frame
As the photographer, you are responsible for everything in the frame of the picture. Be sure to quickly scan the edges of your photo and double check the background to make sure that there isn't anything distracting that would take the focus away from your subject.
Ready to learn more? Join me at my Camera and Photography Basics workshop!