By Heidi Lewis, Owner & Photographer, heidi who photos

Lots of people say “oh wow, that is a great camera, it must take really good pictures!” Well, you know what? Really expensive pots and pans don’t make me an excellent Chef. Far from it! Sometimes the better the equipment, the more operator flaws are obvious.

Here are a few tips to consider, to make your photographs better, no matter the equipment.

LIGHT.

Light can make or break an image. One ‘scene’ photographed in one type of light can tell a very different story to the same ‘scene’ being photographed with a different kind of light.

Dark and moody is reflected (or not so much practically speaking) through light, or lack of, just as bright and fun are achieved through photographing with lots of light and minimal shadows.

When looking at your ‘scene’ look at the light and what the light is doing.

Is there shadow across the face?
Is something too bright?
Is there too much shadow/darkness?

Evaluate and then take action.

If there is a horrible shadow behind the person you are photographing (and they are up against the wall) move them away.

If there is dappled light on their face, move them to somewhere where it’s not dappled.

If there is too much shadow on the front of your object, turn it towards the light – whether its window, sun, flash, torch or lamp/light.

STORY.

Before you even get your camera / phone out you have to know your why. Why do you want to take this photo? What are you saying through this photo? Remember, one photo tells one thousand words.

What do you need to include in the photo to make the story?

Will the person be enough or do you need to include where they are?

What is the most important part of the photo? Make sure there is a focus on that. If someone is doing a fantastic trick, but they only fill 1/10 of the frame, it’s easy for them to get lost. And it’s easy for the viewer not to know where to look.

COMPOSITION

There are a few rules to photography, but they can also be broken. So, don’t hold them as gospel. However, if you do remember them and apply them, it can make a more appealing photo (most of the time).

The main one is the use of the rule of thirds.

Cut your image into three horizontally then cut it into three vertically. Where the lines intersect is where you can place your point of focus.

For example, put your waterfall on one of these points instead of the middle. A portrait of a person with a beautiful landscape behind (that you want to show) can be out on one of these points too.

Sometimes if you only have the one subject in the frame and nothing else to compete with it, it is better in the middle. Examples being a person looking directly into the camera, a product by itself, a group portrait…

So remember, it’s not all about the equipment. In fact, I believe it has little to do with the equipment.

Think about what you want the photo to achieve – your why. Then look at the light – does it suit what you are saying.

Are there bad shadows or too much light?

Then make sure what is inside your frame is right.

Can you move in, should you get more in, are there distracting things in the frame?

heidi who photos is a proud partner of TiCSA.