Chris Howell

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3 Ways to Make Your Photography even more amazing in the next 30 minutes.

I am reminded of a story where a famous photographer was invited to have dinner with a business owner and their family. The family had become fans of the photographer and wanted to learn more about what made his images unique. The photographer was greeted upon arrival by a famous chef. who had been hired to provide a very special dinner for the evening event. The Chef upon meeting the photographer complimented his pictures. The Chef exclaimed you must have an amazing camera!

At the close of an amazing evening event one of the highlights was the special meal that the chef had prepared and the photographer truly appreciated the meal and a desert fit for a king. As they were leaving he thanked the chef for everything he had prepared and expressed how good everything was. The photographer then exclaimed you must have an amazing stove!

The point of the story is that camera makes and models combined with software and plugins are only tools to help you with photography. If you want to make your pictures more amazing the answer may be closer than you think, consider these three steps.

 

1) Capture the Light

One of the first things that professional photographers always consider early when shooting is finding both the best source of light and understanding how that light can enhance the scene. Let's say that you are asked to take pictures at an outdoor function in mid summer beginning at noon. The preparation will be different than if you are considering a reception that is indoors after sunset. Each scenario provides a photographer with a different way to approach the photo shoot. 

Try positioning your subject in a location that best depicts smoother transitions from the shadows to the highlights in their faces. With some practice you will begin to see these patterns of light very quickly and your photos will improve.

 

2) Capture Expression

If you take a great photo that lacks expression it's harder for a viewer to understand the message of the photo. Expressions of joy, pain, laughter or sorrow provide powerful and compelling images for the viewers to see. I like to see images that can stand alone in a story. Images that capture the essence of a point in time like a bookmark woven from the digital fibers of emotion.

You may chose to wait for expression or in some cases you may have to instigate the expression. Ask your subject to remember the time when… and watch their eyes move to the top and right as if they are retrieving the memories from a file system in the corner of their mind. As their lips begin to reshape begin shooting and watch the magic unfold from the corner of your own camera.

 

3) Capture the complete Story

A picture is a full story consisting of a uniquely composed background, a foreground and a story in the center. When all of these areas align you have the makings of a great image. But be careful that your foreground and background don't distract from the subject and the story you are telling.
 

Once you master these concepts it won't matter whether you are taking photos with a portable phone or a new DSLR camera (like the Canon EOS 70D). Your pictures will be amazing. 

Butch McCrackin is a freelance photographer with a passion for capturing great stories, You can find out more at www.butchmccrackin.com

 

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