I once cringed looking at a shot of carefree college girls. They were adorable, but the parking lot dumpster behind them not so much. Rid your background of gawkers (sheesh, what’s wrong with people who mill around staring?), unattractive signage, dirty dishes, etc. Being mindful of your surroundings really creates clean, fresh images. It usually only means moving over a few steps here or there. To liven things up, look for colorful walls or architectural details or funky signage–it really ups your photo game.
PROPS MAKE THINGS FUN
Our favorite memories always manage to tell a story. Props can add a special dimension to your photos. The key is to pick things that are authentic to your subject. Go beyond the photo booth mentality (don’t get me wrong–I love mustaches and oversized sunglasses), and pick something that relates to the person you’re taking photos of. It could be as simple as everyone lifting up their wineglasses or wearing cowboy hats at a Miranda Lambert concert. For kids, there’s always something they’re obsessed with at various phases of their childhood from super heros to cake pops to glittery pink cowboy boots.
GO FOR THE LAUGH
An automatic response to having a camera in your face is the posed smile. Go for a real smile–you’ll know it–you can see it in their eyes. And although a true smile is appealing, laughter is absolutely magical. Some of the most memorable photos are actually outtakes before or after the posed smile. Cracking up people you know usually takes minimal effort. Go for it–you don’t have to be Melissa McCarthy or Ellen to get some laughs. Remember just don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. The results will be priceless.
1. I’m a professional photographer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take amazing shots as well.
2. May was National Photo Month, and I’m posting this advice in June. To make up for my slacker ways, I’ll be doling out more photo advice in June, promise!