Social media might be near-single-handedly ruining the world, but it’s still nice to be able to post a pic on a dusty Sunday and get some kind hearted validation from friends and strangers. Even the most penny-pinched phone presently can procure pictures that will make your pals go ‘phew’. So if you’re prospecting for a few pointers — whether you’re partaking in photography with a pal, or looking to do some professional looking self portraits — ditch the mirror selfies and read on.
Lighting Lighting Lighting
Use great lighting for a great shot — it’s the single biggest technique you’ll need to master to get great photos. Use natural light where possible, so gravitate towards big windows. Cool effects can be found by shooting at either dusk or sunrise, typically known by pros as the ‘golden hour’ on each side of the day.
Try a range of poses and don’t be afraid to experiment. It might feel weird at first, but play around and try stuff out. A lot of it will look downright silly, but you’ll find new ways of looking at yourself that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Think about the emotional range that your body is trying to portray. If your shooting partner doesn’t make you feel confident, ditch them and play around with the self timer instead til you find your angles.
Try different camera angles, backdrops, and outfits. Shooting from up high or down low can really change the vibe of a picture. A range of different backgrounds can really accentuate the aforementioned ‘range’ that you’re going for too. Try and look for locations that other people haven’t done to death already, or if they have, try and be creative in order to come up with a new and unique visual take.
If you’re going to spend an afternoon shooting with a friend, you can get half a year’s worth of posting if you bring a bag of different shirts, skirts, and scarves. Don’t be afraid to try fun new outfits that you wouldn’t otherwise!
The ‘golden ratio’, or the ‘rule of thirds’ is another common technique used by professional photographers. You know that grid that divides your viewfinder into a grid of nine squares? Turn it on! You want to be composing your shots so that they roughly fit into half of these squares. It’s a little tricky to explain in words, so hit Google to see a few pictorial examples, and you’ll have the hang of it in hardly any time at all.
Have Fun & be Creative
If you’re having a good time, it will show. Shoot for self satisfaction, not social success.
Bonus Pro Tip For Solo Shooters
Take a video! You can do a range of poses without having to constantly get up and reset the self timer. Screenshot the best looks.