Photography 101 isn’t a real thing. There is no perfect “how-to” for creating images and telling people’s stories. However, there is a structure to creating images that are perfect for adding your creative flare. Here are the 6 key elements to creating amazing photos:
Lighting sets the mood. It creates depth and adds texture. Whether you are using the natural light pouring in from the windows of your home to create a crisp and clean photo, using a studio light in a dark room to highlight a subject’s face, or basking in the gorgeous sunset to capture a silhouette, lighting is essential to adding emphasis on the story you are trying to tell your audience.
The background of your photo is what helps you draw attention to the subject. It’s what grabs the viewers attention. Is it a busy street? Is it a plain white wall? The background has full control over the composition of the image. While you don’t need the perfect location to create quality images, you do need to be mindful of how busy your background is. Essentially you want your subject to be the star of the show.
This is the focal point of your image. This doesn’t always have to be a face. Do not be afraid of focusing on hands, motion, or little details. Remember, your goal is to tell a story. Tell a story about your child’s favorite toy. Nothing is off-limits here! Another tip for your subject is that they do not always have to be in the CENTER of your image either. Change it up and use the rule of thirds to capture your subject in a corner or side view of your camera.
This is where you can evoke emotion in your image and make your photo come alive. This is a great opportunity to add your own creative flare and create depth. Warmer images tend to make the viewer feel cozy and romantic. Whereas cooler images tend to evoke emotions like clean and fresh. There are many more examples of editing styles and the emotions they portray, but you get the idea! Editing is where you can truly stand out as an artist and creative.
Exposure is the amount of light that reaches your camera sensor. It’s a crucial part of how bright or dark your images are. However, this is a topic that is rather confusing. It requires a lot of practice and a lot of research for your camera. In a nutshell, this is the balance of three other elements: shutter speed, aperture and ISO. I have more information on these in another blog post linked here.
Detail such as the having toys scattered everywhere, a blade or two of grass in the corner of your photo or even condensation from your water bottle: they all serve a purpose. They are all equally as important as the subject of your image. Don’t sweat the details, but don’t let them slip your mind, either.
My biggest tip to you, however, is to remember that photography is a creative art. There is not an exact science to curating perfect images. Just practice and throw perfectionism out the window. You’ve got this. Now go create some stellar images!
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