Today, I decided to write about taking photos! My sisters and a few friends have demanded to know the secrets of how I take beautiful photos (their words!) with just my cell phone. I decided that if I was going to spill my secrets then I would share them with you, too! I hope you enjoy this piece and please feel free to add any of your own tips!
First, let me introduce my beautiful muse! Above is a picture of my little girl, Lola. She’s actually ten and is more motherly to me than I am of her! I’m not even kidding: she wakes me up in the morning everyday at the same time and makes sure I’m in bed at the same time, she always knows when I’m sick or upset, and she’s very protective of me. She’s been with me through the toughest moments of my life and the happiest ❤
*On a side note, I researched that roses are an actual plant that cats can be around! They aren’t poisonous and as long as you trim the thorns, your cat will be safe! However, you will not be safe from bees… *
I chose this photo because it covers a lot of the tricks I use to help make my photos look amazing. I don’t have a fancy camera or anything (though I would love one *Cough Cough* for my birthday ;p). I’m actually using a Samsung Galaxy S3 mini. I don’t know any technical lingo except that this phone has an amazing camera! My first trick: always have your camera ready! I charge my phone nightly so I can take photos during the day. You never know when inspiration will strike or when you need to capture a moment.
Here’s my tips for a perfect photo!
- Always keep your subject in mind: Your aim is to capture the beauty of the subject. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see it. It’s your duty to show everyone the beauty of your subject.
- Aim to elongate: Don’t be afraid to take vertical shots either. I find that vertical shots just look better than horizontal shots because it adds height rather than condensing the subject and adding width. I always aim to elongate the photos. Keeping that in mind, if Lola was lying down I would have taken a horizontal shot because the width would have added length.
- Watch the light: Always shoot with the light and not against it! If light is coming into your screen, no one will be able to see your subjects! It makes them dark and emphazises on shadows causing them to look tired and old. Sometimes, shadows are fun to play with but I would work the light first and then play with shadows.
- Work with angles: Don’t be afraid to look silly when taking a photo! In this photo, I was plastered against the wall so I could work with the light and get a beautiful shot of Lola’s eyes. Of course, people in the room thought this was extreme but after I showed them the photo, they loved it! For a more natural shot, get on your subject’s level. In this photo, I wanted to capture the softness of the image and shot looking down so it would seem more passive and demure. Had I shot from below, she would have looked more assertive and powerful but with the flower I thought soft would be a gentle touch for a pretty picture.
- Don’t be ordinary: Most people will place the subject in the middle. Don’t do that! Unless, it’s a happy-go-lucky family picture. Even still, I would take at least one picture with your camera turned at a 45 degree angle for a really vibrant and fun image! I like to imagine a tic-tac-toe grid and then I place my subject at one of the intersections. I naturally just favor the upper right quadrant but I’ve seen some amazing pics in the lower quadrants!
- Half empty, Half Full: In this photo, Lola and the flower fill the bottom half. If you do a center photo, fill the photo by getting closer to the subject. However, if you move the center, fill at least half the picture with the subject and the other half with a simple background. It’s okay if some of your subject is cut off, just as long as the beauty you’re aiming to capture is clear.
- FOCUS: Always, always, always focus. On my phone, it automatically focuses on the center. Play with the green box while shooting but to remember to allow the box to lock before snapping a pic. Focus on your subject or focus on the background for an interesting blurring effect. Just experiment with this tip because focusing is the the most important tip I can ever give you.
- Aim for Natural: Yes, you’re in charge but too much direction from you will make your picture too posey. Aim for Natural!! If your subjects are posing too much, make them have fun! I know one person who always gets nervous when taking a photo and then it’s captured in the photo. When that happens, just make them laugh! I crack jokes at them and then snap a photo of them when they aren’t ready. I am now their personal photographer for all events!!
- Take a lot of photos: Sometimes, the first shot is the best! But take a lot of photos from different angles anyway because sometimes the last photo is the best shot!
- Have Fun: Don’t think too much about it, just aim to capture the beauty and you’ll be fine!
For my next post about photos, I’ll share some secrets about the editing process and how to save your photos forever. I never use photoshop but there are some ways to help brighten your photos in a quick minute if need be. Just so you know though, this photo was not edited at all! If you have anymore tips or suggestions, please add them below! I will definitely incorporate your ideas. Of course, I’ll give you credit and link to you if I do add your suggestions!