I am not a photographer but since I started blogging I also started taking more photographs and it has slowly become one of my favourite things to do. Some (mainly my darling husband) may even say it has become a bit of an obsession! To be honest with you I see it as an extension of myself, as a way to document my everyday moments with my children, my husband, my family and the world around me.
From the moment I started falling in love with taking photographs something about the way I see the world around me changed and I was desperate to capture it and explore it further.
Photography is a love affair with life. - Burk Uzzle
Over the past few months I have had many lovely compliments on my photos and even people asking me for advice on how to take better photos. At first this really puzzled me. 'I have no advice to give' I would say blushing or 'I have no idea, I'm not a photographer you know? But thank you very much for your kindness'. In all honesty I have very little technical knowledge on how to take good photographs but I have been trying to work out what is it that I instinctively do when I take photographs and I have come up with a few non technical tips that I think might help you improve your photography.
Non-Technical Tips to Improve Your Photography Now
1. Take lots of photos
Here is the thing, in this day and age where most cameras are digital and camera films are no longer an issue (unless you choose to use it) taking lots of photographs is free and easy. I don't shoot in a controlled environment and I don't stage my photos either so all the elements are constantly changing. Light changes, children move around, expressions shift and suddenly you got it - you have the perfect photo!
2. Shoot Action
I find this quite hard to do because I am still figuring out how to get action photos that are not blurred but I love to capture movement. I love the way it brings photographs alive.
3. Think about the composition
I come from a creative background and as such, having an eye for composition is something I believe comes quite naturally to me. My art teacher always used to say 'This is not an embroidery lesson so there is no need to draw everything in the middle of the paper'. This is something that has always stayed with me since my school years (funny how that happens really) so I never put my subject in the middle of the frame. I always move it slightly off centre. Also I don't my backgrounds to be too busy because it takes the shine away from my subject.
4. Get close
I love getting really close without zooming in. By close I mean REALLY CLOSE totally invading personal space. My husband and kids find this quite annoying most of the time. I find the result is quite intimate and powerful.
5. Shoot at the same level as your subject
I love getting down to the same level as my children in an attempt to portray the world from their perspective and better capture their mood and facial expressions. I also find it gives photographs a very personal and warm touch.
6. Be physical
I am a physical person by nature and so when I am taking photographs I move around a lot trying to get the right light, the right perspective, the right expression, the right detail, the right composition, etc. This has led to some embarrassing moments as I am often so lost in the moment that I fail to notice what else is going on around me like people, steps, water and even dog poo!
7. Be inspired by the moment
I don't spend any time staging my photographs because what I'm after is a captured moment in time, a reaction, an expression. I'm after the 'feeling' of the moment I want to capture. Life is after all a collection of moments is it not?
Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything."-- Aaron Siskind
As I said before I am not a photographer and I have very little, if any technical knowledge of how to take good photographs. The purpose of this post was not to teach you how to take a good photograph but purely to share with you some of the things I have found - through trial and error - that improved my own photographs.
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