The word photography means 'writing with light', and that is what a camera does every time it takes a picture. While most people use a camera to capture memories, you can also use it to express your creativity. If you are intimidated by fancy cameras, don't be! No matter what type of camera you have, a little know-how is all you need to get started taking creative pictures.
Of course, there is obviously much more to photography than I can cover in a few paragraphs here, but if you keep these tips in mind, you will be surprised at the inspirational photographs you can take.
- Move in Close - When you find a good subject for a picture, move closer or zoom in to get a close up shot so that the thing you want to focus on fills the frame. If you have a digital camera, take what you might consider a 'normal' shot, and then take one close up and compare them.
- Lighting - Since a photograph is a picture 'written with light', you can imagine how import good subject lighting is. When taking photos indoors, try to use natural light coming through a window. If that isn't possible, use your camera's flash. Taking pictures outdoors can sometimes be tricky. You might think that bright sunlight is best, but actually a bright overcast day is ideal. The best time to take photos outside are morning and late afternoon, when the sun isn't as harsh. If you have to shoot in bright sunshine, your best bet is to shoot a picture with the sun behind you, not your subject. You will want to try to position the subject so the sun is not in their eyes causing them to squint. You may even want to put the subject in a lightly shaded area. Play with different angles and options, there is nothing quite like learning by experience. Liz has a wonderful article about lighting and photography if you want to learn more.
- Interesting Angles - Instead of standing in front of your subject and shooting them straight on, play with some different angles. Kneel in front of the subject or shoot from off to the side, you can even get out a ladder and shoot them from above. If you are taking a straight on shot, try to get down, or up, to your subject's eye level. When taking photos, you might want to follow the Rule of Thirds.
- Quick Clicking - Shoot fast, especially when taking pictures of young children and animals. I have a setting on my camera for sports action shots that is great for any subject that might move. I also have my camera set on burst mode which allows the camera to take one photo right after another if you hold the shutter button down. I have to sort through more pictures this way, but I almost always get "that perfect picture".
- Watch Your Back - Pay attention to what is in the background of your photo. Something unappealing in the background can ruin a picture. Zoom in, reposition your subject, or switch your angle to discover the best background to enhance your subject.
Follow the steps above and you will be on your way to becoming a better photographer. Remember, when taking pictures, you are the director so keep rearranging the scene and snapping pictures until you get that perfect shot. Once you have those perfect pictures you can use them to create fun crafts such as refrigerator magnets, iron on transfers, and personalized gifts. You can also display your pictures using homemade picture frames.