As Photographers we get distracted (well, I know I do anyways), which is not always a bad thing when it comes to the creative process. Although, the other day I was organizing a styled shoot, and I was thinking about which powered strobe I was going to use, debated between a beauty dish, and 5 foot octabox, and don't even get me started on lens selection. I thought to myself, I need to go back to basics, I need to remember my roots, and KISS!!! Yes, kiss my husband, but also Keep It Simple Stupid! So, don't over complicate things, and try to getting back to basics with these 3 photography tips.
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid, don't over complicate your images. Make a plan for your day, and make a plan for your shots. Have a vision for what you want to accomplish, and don't over complicate the shoot. Try using simple repetitive patterns, leading lines, and keep the subject unmistakable. The Rule of Thirds can be as a guideline to creating visually gratifying images as well. The rule of thirds breaks your frame into 9 squares that are roughly the same size. Attempt to line up the subject of your image along these lines, or where the lines intersect. This rule gives simplicity to your images, and is more captivating then a subject being placed dead center of the frame. But, remember kids, rules are mean to be broken!
2. Negative Space
What? An image with less? Negative space, or the absence of clutter can be as powerful as the above, rule of thirds. Simply put, Negative Space is the space that surrounds an object in an image. This area often creates a simplification of the image, and creates greater focus on the subject. Negative Space can be very powerful, and should be uncluttered. This can often be achieved though different methods, such as compression - grab a 70-200mm and take advantage of the compression you can achieve with that $2500 paperweight. Shallow Depth of field - choose a low f stop 1.2, 1.8, 2.0, etc and use that bokeh to your benefit to declutter, and create beautiful Negative Space.
3. Spotting the Light Source
We often overcomplicate our light sources, flash, strobe, natural, overcast, direct sun, or not enough, this often creates boundless amounts of stress for photographers. Although, and easy way to alleviate this stress is practice in everyday situations. All you need are your eyes, and awareness of your surroundings. In everyday situations notice where the light sources is - lights, windows and the sun, and what is creating that source, and make note of the tone of light that is being producing. If you are out for a walk at high noon, look at how light is effecting faces, where are the shadows, highlights, and mid tones. If you were taking an image right then and there, where would you put yourself, and your subject to get the most flattering light. I often find myself in hotel rooms while brides are getting prepped for their big day. I make note of where light is the most flattering indoors in relation to windows. I often think of windows as large soft boxes, and if used properly you can reproduce the ever flattering Rembrandt Lighting, or silhouettes. Also, pay attention to how lighting acts at the edge of the window where it meets the curtains, and how the light is modified on your subject.
Any questions? email me, I am more then willing to help!