If you are in to scrap booking or thinking about scrapping to do something cool with that giant box-o-pics you have at the bottom of your closet, then you have probably spent some time looking at other peoples scrapbook pages for ideas and inspiration. I'm sure you have admired the colorful papers and embellishments, and journaling, but I am willing to bet that the pages that truly 'grabbed' your heart the most were the ones with one or two quality photos where the photos were the star of the page. Right?
So now let's think about this.... What makes a quality "photo" vs. a snapshot?
Here are some really high-level, simple rules that will immediately improve most photos:
1. Fill the frame with the main subject. Get close or zoom in.
2. Take candid shots instead of rigidly posed shots.
3. Take the photo at a fun angle. Don't take a picture standing with the camera straight on every time. Tilt the camera, hold it high and have the subject look up, hold it low and angle up to the subject. Get down on the ground with kids and pets.
4. Don't force a smile. The most moving images are when the person has a natural expression.
5. Catch mid-giggle pics of kids.
6. Make sure there is lots of natural light. Avoid the harsh light of the flash whenever possible. Daylight with the subject near a window works great or outdoors on overcast days or at sunrise/sunset when the light gives the subject a warm glow.
7. Don't center the subject in every shot. Move the camera so that the main subject is off to one side. Also, don't center horizon lines when taking outdoor shots. Follow the "Rule of Thirds".
8. Use interesting crops to show just a portion of the photo, like maybe the whole body without the head in the frame, or just show the hands or feet.
Please check back to this blog for photography tips on how to take better photos part 2 coming soon.
Here is an example of some pages found on flickr that I think exemplify some of the tips mentioned above(permission to blog granted by the owners):
Sweet Tender Moments Digital Scrapbook Page by Christine Smith
Originally uploaded by Christine_Smith
The pages above, IMHO, are embellished in a way to bring the photo more attention vs. draw attention from it. The memory is the foremost subject of the page, and that is what tugs at our hearts, makes us smile, or gives us warm fuzzies!
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