Tuesday, January 26, 2010

13 Ways to Better Photos...DAY 7 {focus}


I think every “photographer” (hey! That includes you!!) has to decide where their niche lies. I had a Biology professor in college who loved birds. He cried tears of joy (not. even. kidding.) one day in class when a rare, presumed-extinct type of Woodpecker was found. Me? I could care less (no offense, bird lovers).

I know plenty of photographers who prefer to take photos of scenery—people just aren’t their thing. Others tend to snap photos of life in action, taking on a more ‘photojournalist’ approach to pictures. And then there are those who want the photos to be perfect & genuinely prefer posed pictures where necks are straight & chins are poised.

And honestly? I’m not sure what category I fall into. I tend to think of myself as an “all around” photographer. But the truth is that I just like to hear the snap of the shutter. If a pretty sunset falls into my viewfinder, I’ll gladly take a picture. I notice details--& don’t have a problem snapping away. People are my favorite, but I tend to be better at photo shoots instead of the hilarities of the everyday.

We ALL have a LOT of room to improve. And part of that improvement is finding where your niche lies. In a sense, we all need to write our own “Photography Mission Statement”. As ridiculous as it sounds, having a solid idea of where you need & want to improve will help you mentally hone your skills & improve in the areas that need it the most.

Here are some suggestions:

Do you really want a photo of that statue? Decide WHAT your focus is—WHAT do you want your pictures to say? When you look back on photos from past events, what common theme runs through those you call your favorites? This doesn’t have to be a conscious thought process…you know which photos catch your eye & which ones you’d rather turn away. Once you find your focus, you’ll just get used to telling a “story” that reflects that.


day 7 people shadows

What do you want to remember? For most, the primary purpose of taking pictures is to capture memories. Case in point: the mom who finds herself drowning in 5000 pictures after a 4 day trip to Disney World. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of her photo folders contain photos from trips or birthdays or important events. We tend to overwhelm our families/friends with photos of trees or mountains or weird cars or good food from our vacations—but they are most interested in US! After all, they aren’t “friends” with our houses or our “stuff”—they are friends with PEOPLE! So focus on the PEOPLE, wherever you are!


What will you most likely forget? Remember those details…& get in on the angle! You’ll be able to get creative…here are some ideas:


Use reflective surfaces: this is a great way to get yourself in the photo while also capturing the hustle & bustle (or quiet solitude) of the city you are traveling to…it is also a great way for people to see what you do during the day!

day 7 people reflective surface & place

day 7 people refelective surfaces

day 7 people reflective surfaces to show WHERE

Use the timer on your camera…want to be in the photo too?

day 7 people self timer 1

day 7 people self timer 2

Use the light to your advantage.
Capture life in action.

…stay tuned for more…

Resources: read this

This post is part of a photography series...
Day 1 {angle}
Day 2 {the golden rule}
Day 3 {composition}
Day 4 {lighting}
Day 5 {perspective}

Day 6 {details}

1 comment:

Brianna said...

I seriously heart your blog.

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