By Simon Takk
All Photographers Take Pictures. But only a few actually have their eyes open.
Most photographers take photo after photo, distracted by a bunch of technical lingo, rules, composition tips, and camera-know how.
Here’s what ends up happening…
The amateur photographer gets too distracted by shutter stop, exposure, and focus that they might as well have tape shutting their eyes!
Great photography doesn’t come from focusing on all this technical mumbo-jumbo!
If it did, a computer could take all the photos for us.
What makes photography so amazing is the CREATIVE part of it–and you already have what it takes!
You see, this creativity is already INBORN in all of us.
Problem is, after growing up in a society that doesn’t support creativity the way it should, we lose touch with this side!
Some more-so than others.
The exercise I am going to share with you will help you channel your inborn creativity and use it for your photography.
Now, I’m no PRO photographer.
This is my hobby and love teaching.
With that said, I have help hundreds of amateur photographers improve their skills and some even make a living off of their photos – part time and full time.
The reason I’m telling you this is because these tricks and exercises I have for you are NOT usual.
Most photography training courses and schools will NEVER have you go through these types of exercises.
But the truth is, they work.
These exercises cut through all the bull-shit boring exercises and “practice” and gets you taking better photos… fast.
In addition to the exercise I’m about to share with you, I want to talk about…
Why People Photographers Are the Most Loved
The great thing about people photography is that it’s fun!
And there’s a built in feedback to it as well….the people you photography usually let you know if they like the photo you took of them.
Can’t say the same with nature photography…
As much as I love it a tree isn’t going to tell me it doesn’t like my photo of it.
How Do You Take Good People Photos?
The key to great people photos is knowing how to interact with people and using composition techniques for people.
Having the skill to consistently take high quality photographs of people is very valuable.
Not only in marketing yourself as a photographer but also in creating and sharing photos for yourself and friends and family.
Being a good “people” photographer also makes sharing photos of your family and friends fun and rewarding.
With that said, lets begin with composition techniques for photographing people.
The Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds helps you make your subjects look more visually attractive.
For photos of people the point of interest is the eyes.
This is what you want to avoid placing dead center (unless you’re going for that desired effect).
Most point and shooters (not photographers) point at the person, making the head the center of the image.
This makes for a very boring photo.
Instead, try placing the eyes off center to the left, right, top, or even bottom!
Give Your People Space…Literally
Giving your subject the right amount of negative space can makes them look much more appealing.
Negative space is all the space in the photo that isn’t the person (or empty space).
Start paying attention to what is around your person when you take the photo.
Look at the background. Does it fit well?
Simply moving the camera position a few inches can drastically change the background and make the photo much better.
When you want the person photographed to be the main subject of the photo use little negative space and close in on the subject.
Of course, leave enough space so that the person doesn’t look “Trapped” within the confines of the photo border.
Leave space particularly where the face is pointing towards.
For example, if you have a profile shot and the subjects nose points to the left, you want to leave breathing room to the left and less space on the right.
Doing the opposite will make the photo feel and look “wrong”
Focus on Focusing
One of the biggest errors I see in point and shooters is the lack of precision focus on their people.
The photo may look clean and focused but on careful inspection you’ll notice that the face is out of focus.
When taking photos of people I recommend using MANUAL focus.
Automatic focusing mechanisms on cameras tend to create an “Average” focusing and often selects the wrong point of focus.
An example is a photo of a person sitting down with their feet being in focus but the face being blurry.
The solution is to focus on the eyes.
When you take a photo, zoom in on the eyes and focus them properly. Then zoom back out and take the photo.
This will ensure that the eyes are properly in focus.
Also, be sure that your depth of field is properly set so that the entire face is in focus. If you use too small an aperture often times the eyes will be in focus but the rest of the face won’t!
Having covered a few tips for photographing people, here’s the last one that has the most impact.
How to Create Powerful, Sexy People Poses
You see, most photographers suck at taking people photos just because of this.
Your main goal should be to make your model relaxed and at ease.
You do NOT want the photo to look posed.
And that’s the secret of great portrait shots.
They look completely natural.
They’re like an open window to the models soul.
People photos that make the model look fake, stilted, or nervous are not genuine.
The model must seem genuine. And REAL. You want viewers feeling like they know the person, just from one glance.
That’s photography power.
Nevertheless, there is an entire art and science to posing models the right way.
You can figure this out with trial and error…and lots of error.
Or you can take a look at Malcolm Boone’s Posing Secrets.
After trying his secrets out, you’ll discover new poses that make everyone you photograph instantly look:
- Beautiful and innocent
- Powerful and Respectable Professional
- Honest and Happy
- Oozing of sex appeal
- Mysterious and intriguing
You’ll know three simple head movements that make a powerful difference in how slim and sexy your models look.
You’ll also know about the ten simple solutions on what to do with your models hands to avoid awkward, ‘unattractive’ shots.
Even more exciting, you’ll uncover the ten simple ways to create your own model poses out of scratch.
And develop a personal style no other photographer has.
Whether you want to gain a reputation as a pro photographer for models, build a solid set of portrait shots, or just take better photos of your friends and family, Malcolm Boone can show you how.
Now, let’s get to the next nugget of advice for today…
“The Painters Palette” Exercise
Imagine yourself as a painter.
Instead of ‘paintings’, though, you are painting a picture.
Each ‘stroke’ of the image should be carefully planned and executed.
The difference between an amateur painter and a Picasso is the attention to each stroke.
The same holds true for photographers.
Each ‘pixel’ in your photograph should be on purpose.
I know that’s a very ridiculous example, but it illustrates the importance of paying attention to detail.
Now for the exercise.
If you have a tripod, place your camera on it. If not, just hold your camera steady for the duration of this exercise.
Simply place your camera somewhere and look through the viewfinder. Point it anywhere.
Next, while looking through the viewfinder, notice everything that is bright within the frame. Take a minute or two if you’re looking at a complex scene like an entire park. Or a few seconds if you’re looking at the sky with a cloud.
Now notice everything that is dark.
Notice all the vertical lines.
Notice all the horizontal lines.
Notice where the brightest and darkest areas of room are
This is all your PALETTE – the materials that will make up your photo.
Now, your job is to use everything in front of you and capture it with your camera – in a pleasing, captivating way.
Every time you take a photo of an object, focus on that object.
Look at it from the left.
From the right.
You are doing DETECTIVE WORK.
Focus ONLY on that object.
Get to KNOW your object.
The better you know your object and its surroundings, the better your photos are.
There is no ‘talent’ to it.
The better photographers that seem ‘gifted’ really are just more in tune with their five senses – and can share this with their viewers.
The next step is to use this exercise in every day life.
Open your eyes.
Notice details of everything around you… in every way. Go through that list I mentioned whenever you have free time to relax and look around.
When lying in bed.
When at lunch.
For a walk.
To Mastering Your Photo ‘Eye’,