A few weeks have gone by with it on my mind to share a class I taught at my local Scrap Club last year. I remember several years ago getting frustrated about learning how to use my camera correctly. I would always ask my husband why my photos were not turning out and he would always tell me that my settings were not right. I didn't get it. Actually, some times he would talk to me about it and it was like listening to Charlie Brown's teacher. All I heard was, "Waawaaawaah."
So, I tried to understand what he was talking about. I shot more with him by my side correcting me. Then, I looked online to try and find other scrapbookers who could speak in a language I could understand. I read my camera's manual. (ummmm, I did, but didn't understand most of it) and read photography magazines to fill in some gaps. I am in no way ready to do a wedding on my own, but I feel comfortable enough in sharing some simple information with my fellow scrappers.
The first question I asked myself was, "What makes a good photograph?" When I looked at some of my favorite shots that my husband took or other photos online, there were certain things that I loved about them. Usually it was the focal point.
So, I want to ask you, "When you pick up your camera, what is the focal point or what are you trying to capture? To help me make that focal point stand out, I like to use the Rule of Thirds, different perspective, and the emotion of what I am photographing.
I love the photo above because my niece loves to play cards. If I got just a photo of the entire table playing with her it wouldn't capture the detail of the game as the photo above.
I always love it when we shoot photos above the subject. Just getting above who or what you want to photograph gives a great perspective. Sometimes just stepping on a stool to get above your subject works! There have been many times I have brought a stool along with me to a photo shoot just in case. ;)
Here is a good example of using the Rule of Thirds. It draws your eye to the subject of the photo.
The last question(s) I ask scrapbookers that are learning to use their camera is, "How do you scrapbook?" Are you an event scrapbooker or do you scrapbook the photos you take that you are inspired by? Do you scrapbook the every day?
If you want to scrapbook the every day, then you want to keep your eye out for little details as you go through your day. If you are just an event scrapbooker, you want to think about getting the best shots you can on those special days.
I am an everyday memory keeper or what Ali Edwards likes to call a "life artist." Years from now, I want to look back at my albums and remember the moments easily forgotten. The simple things that gave us joy. I don't always scrapbook Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, only because those are the days that I most remember. It is in the hard times that I want to be able to remember why I am living this life in the first place.
Asking yourself these important questions will help train your mind as you go to look in the view finder. If you don't know what you want to photograph in the first place or what story you want to tell, how are you going to be able to capture it correctly? Begin training your mind to look at your day in a new way.
A good exercise is to use your phone's camera for a few days to help you train your mind. As you go about your day, snap pictures that help capture a story you might want to tell. Below are some photos I have taken just with my phone's camera to help me remember those little details still using the Rule of Thirds, different perspective, and the emotion of what I am photographing.