Bring a Photograph to Life

There are three major pieces that I think really make a difference when it comes to taking good photographs. The first is the subject matter. This is honestly an easy one that doesn’t require “artistic skill” and anyone can really start to get it. Can you make an emotional connection with the subject? This is not necessarily about design, or color, or photo composition. But try to make that connection especially when you are just out there taking quick point and shoot pictures – what is the subject thinking or feeling. Or if its a landscape or an animal, how does the way that image make you feel? At the end of the day you will prefer taking shots that either you feel emotional about, or somehow making that human connection with the person you are taking the picture of.

The other two pieces that I like to focus one when I take photographs are lighting and framing the image. Lighting is honestly easiest if you are taking shots outdoors. There is nothing better than natural light to really bring that electricity and beauty to an image. Natural light helps you capture the moment. So when I set up lights specifically for an indoor shoot, I almost always try and replicate natural lighting.

Framing the image. This is about telling the story of your picture. At the end of the day, a picture is one part of the beginning and end of the story. But what is the story of the image? I try to focus on playing with the elements of foreground, background and mid-ground. Does your eye want to move around the piece and see different points of interest? Does the framing of the image help lead the viewer where you want them to go? These are a number of questions that I try and keep and mind as I’m taking that “perfect” shot. And most of all, take lots of photos – have fun with it. You never know when something exciting may happen.

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