If you're trying to step up your Instagram game or even just want to become a better photographer, knowing the basics are crucial. Fortunately, there are no exact rules you have to follow. Photography like any art is completely subjective, but there is a science behind it. Luckily many photography apps out there such as VSCO, Adobe Lightroom CC, or Snapseed can help take your pictures from wow to... OH MY GOSH THAT'S AMAZING. Here are the ten tips I try to follow when I do a shoot or want to post content on social media.
1. Use Natural Lighting
Shooting outside is easily my favorite place to take photos. Lighting is the key factor in achieving a given look for a picture. Natural light is a simple tool that can influence the way your audience feels about your work. I try to shoot when the light is a bit softer around sunset also known as the "Golden Hour".
2. Apply the Rule of Thirds
The grid feature on Instagram should be your best friend! This asset ensures your pictures look like a balanced and even piece. The concept is that an off-center composition is more appealing to the eye than when a subject is placed in the center of the frame. When deciding which elements of a photo are most important try to place the elements are or near the grid intersections.
3. Sharp Contrast
When taking a photograph contrast comes in two forms - tonal contrast which is the difference between blacks and whites or color contrast. In the above photograph the contrast between the blues and orange work well together since they are opposing colors. Cold colors and warm colors almost always contrast and light colors offset dark - easy enough.
4. Shoot with a Neutral Background
This may seem like an obvious one, but often times people take pictures with very distracting backgrounds. An image looks a lot cleaner if shot against a white, black, or gray back drop. Simplicity is key.
5. Consistent Filters
When taking multiple pictures for a gallery or even social media, it is important they all have the same aesthetic. Apps like VSCO are very helpful to set the same filter to all your photographs.
6. Create Depth
This picture was taken on the mountains closest to my house in NH. Although, I appear to be the focal point the background is more interesting to viewers. Having a strong depth of field makes your picture appear three dimensional.
7. Have a Clear Focal Point
What draws your eye to this picture? Since the image is primarily all blacks and whites- the yellow on the cupcake pops. Do not confuse the viewer with too many competing focal points. The focal point should occupy only a small part of the image, but will ultimately have a big impact overall.
8. Use Angles
Normally when shooting tablescapes, I prefer to shoot from an aerial viewpoint. But sometimes it is better to take it horizontally or vertically to get a different vantage point. Get creative when taking pictures--nothing has to be in a perfect straight line.
9. Understand Aperture
Aperture controls the amount of light allowed to travel into the lens of your camera. The smaller the number the wider the opening. Hence, the smaller that f number the blurrier your background will be.
10. Shoot What You Know
Definitely most important out of any of the "rules" is to find what your passionate about shooting. My mind changes daily from travel, food, to fashion.
© Copyright 2018 Rachael Maurais & Elizabeth Masibay
Welcome to my blog, my name is Rachael. I'm a twenty-something year old from southern New Hampshire. I'm studying marketing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Follow me as I adventure through my senior year.