10 tips for better pictures
Avoid distracting elements such as too much light / dark, light / dark elements. Try to set either a light or dark tone for your overall image.
Eliminate distracting elements that draw your eye in a bad way. Examples: If things are too close to the edge they will create unwanted tension because your eye wants to close the small gap. If there’s red in a picture it usually is the brightest element and can draw your eye even if it’s not what you wanted the viewer to focus on.
Don’t center things, it creates more interest when things are off center. Asymmetry moves your eye around the image more than if things are exactly centered. When things are centered rather than in thirds, your eye just looks and rests only in the center.
If you want to really impact people with your work. Think of how to photograph the subject from a different view (physically or emotionally).
Depth of field matters. You want to elicit emotion and movement of the eye. You want to focus on one subject and let the rest fall away / become the background. Your other option is to have everything tack sharp (everything all in focus). For sure, one thing in your picture has to be tack (meaning REALLY) sharp in the photo. Pick your focus: all in focus or only one element that’s focused really well, that will create your one emotion.
The fewer the elements, the stronger the composition. As you don’t need too many words in a sentence, you don’t need too many elements in a photo. It gets distracting. Have a resting place like the sky or the ground. Plus, if you have that space you can create images like this for your brand:
Give scale by not all things being the same size. If everything was the same size in the photo it wouldn’t be as dynamic. Same goes for a headline in an ad. If it was the same size it wouldn’t draw you into the article.
When taking pictures of people, make sure that they don’t have a tree coming out of their heads.
If the photo is a close up picture of a person, make sure their eyes are in focus. That is the most important thing on the face to focus on. It will draw you into the portrait.
Remember that posture also matters a lot when taking pictures of people. You want them to shine in your photo, not look like Oscar the slouch that has no figure.
If you are trying to figure out what to do for your own head shot session, check out this blog post for tips.
If you like this post I have an ebook. It has expanded tips as well as example photos.