Swing thoughts for better photos

Visitors to our site are usually very complimentary of the photographs. I'm often asked if I went to school for photography or if I have a really great camera. Sometimes people will say, "I could never take pictures like that." The truth is that you can. I didn't go to photography school and I don't have a great camera, but my design background gives me an eye for this sort of thing. Here are some simple swing thoughts — pardon the golf analogy — that you can use next time you find yourself pushing the shutter release.

  1. Frame your subject.
    If you do nothing else, do this. Look at the area around your subject. Are you cutting off the feet, but leaving an abundance of sky? Or, are you chopping off an elbow on the left while leaving enough room for a small mammal on the right? Software makes it easy to fix these problems using a crop tool, but you should give yourself a head-start. You'll end up with higher-quality photos because your camera will be more successful auto-focusing on your subject.
  2. Change your perspective.
    The human brain wants to filter out sameness. Make your photos stand out by changing the angle at which you shoot your subjects. It seems like the majority of photos I see of kids are shot from above. That makes sense... an adult who is over 5 feet tall is looking down at a child who is 3 feet tall. Change it up a bit. Squat down and shoot from a lower perspective. Your photo will stand-out because it's not the same.
  3. See the background separately.
    Before you push the shutter release, study the background. Are there trees growing out of the heads of your subjects. How about unsightly power lines? Move left or right a couple of paces to give your photos a more professional appearance.

Give it a try. You'll be shooting like a pro in no time.

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