Thursday, 27 March 2014

Photography Tips | Photo Cards

After receiving an email last month, I was inspired to explore Tiny Prints' newest collection of photo cards. I've been looking into creating some business cards and thank you cards for my clients and it just so happened that I stumbled across this versatile brand that incorporated photography with stationary (my two favourite things!). As I was browsing through their pages, I thought that perhaps others might be looking to do the same and now here I am sharing some tips on how to take photos for photo cards such as these.

Let me start off by saying that this passion of mine only started to grow around August last year. I haven't been doing this long and I still have much to learn. I am no Jonas Peterson, nor will I ever be. I am growing into a photographer of my own and will continue to grow everyday. 

While I hardly consider myself a professional, I would love to share with you all some tips I have learnt along the way that help me take a photo I am proud of.

1. Plan - Going into a shoot without knowing anything about the subjects, outfit choices, location or weather can lead to a total disaster. Iron out all the details you need for your envisioned photo to ensure things run smoothly.
2. Manual - Move away from that little green box on your DSLR and learn how to shoot manual. It is a lot trickier to understand but trust me the results will be worth it. You can adjust the settings as you like and really create photos that you want rather than what the camera thinks you want. Switch that dial to 'M' today and never look back. Do it!
3. Lighting - I am a sucker for natural light. As an amateur who doesn't have the access to studio resources, lighting, diffusers, etc... I am left with the sun and the light that it provides. My favourite time of day to shoot is in the morning or the evening when the light isn't so harsh. If you don't have that time frame however, work with areas that are shady but warm and don't allow for that horrid 'dapple' affect to occur on your subjects faces.
4. KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid - Don't try and overdo your photo. You want the subject to be the main attraction, not the backdrop or the props. Find a location with a simple background that don’t have a lot of distractions–an open field, an old brick wall, an empty beach, a clump of trees, etc...
5. Be Patient and have some FUN! - Why so serious? Photography is a fun medium and should be taken lightly. Be patient with your subjects, especially if they are your own kids, and if things aren't working then take a break, rethink and come back later. Have a laugh and enjoy yourself
N.B. Don't overpose either - the best moments I find are the ones that are natural and raw.
6. Experiment It's always better to have too many photos to choose from than too little. That means shoot till you drop! Try close-ups or step back for wider shots. Experiment with various angles (get low, climb high) and use different lenses, if you have them. Give yourself plenty of options
7. Touch Up - And if all else fails, a little bit of photo editing can make all the difference. Fix that overexposure, or that overly warm white balance. Crop your photo to get rid of that ugly street sign in the corner or the neighbour's cat that managed to guest star in the background. Black and white? Sure! Give it a go. Remember this is your photo and you have the creative capacity to produce a photo of your liking.

I am still, day by day, trying to implement all the seven things listed above. No photographer is perfect and getting that ideal shot takes a lot of practice, much of which I am yet to do. However, if you are looking to create some photo cards, whether it be an invitation, a thank you card or an announcement, these tips should be able to set you on your way.

Do you have any tips for me? I would love to know some of your secrets.

20 comments:

  1. These are great photos! You should do a ppst on tips for shooting manual! I don't own an dslr yet but it would be great to get more detailed ideas on how to use one. Is there a common dslr camera for beginners? What would you recommend?

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    1. Thank you!

      I started off on a Canon 600D - it is a great entry-level camera and is a wonderful practice tool for using manual! There are so many youtube videos and short courses you can do to understand manual better. Trust me, it'll be worth it!

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  2. I love these photographs !! Especially the one on the sofa =] I think you have given some really useful tips too!! I love your blog and have nominated you for a liebster award =] Just to show how much I love reading your posts ! You can join in here =] ! >> http://alfandemilio.co.uk/2014/03/27/liebster-award/

    x Victoria @ Alf & Emilio
    http://alfandemilio.co.uk

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    1. Oooo thank you! That is super excited. I will definitely join in with a post next week :) thanks so much for the nomination, you are too kind

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  3. loved this! and every one of these is fantastic!! really great post sam!

    xoxo

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  4. These are such good tips! Helpful for me as I am just starting out with my DSLR :)

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  5. Your photos are really beautiful so I think I'm going to go ahead and take your tips - particularly the one about taking photos on manual. I've never tried before, but I'm kind of a crappy photographer, so it can only help, right?

    belle + compass

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    1. Goodness me, thanks so much. You must try manual. Your photography will love you for it! Have a look at some youtube tutorials and you'll be on your way...or feel free to email me and I can help you out with what I know :-)

      p.s. your blog is rocking. Totally a new follower

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  6. This is such an exciting post for you Sam! :) I saw it on Facebook and I got a little excited haha

    I loved these tips, I will never go back from the switch to Manual! haha. So proud of the things you have achieved since you started doing photography full time :) xx

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    1. eeee thank you Meg! This means so much coming from you. You're always the kindest.

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  7. Wow! You are one talented lady! These photographs are absolutely fabulous! I have a huge passion for photography as well, and the minute I switched over to Manual, everything changed for the better. Such an amazing difference! Wonderful tips, Samantha!! Hope you have a beautiful day! xo

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    1. It seriously saved me. Manual is so tricky but you can do so much more with it and make images that are truly your own. Glad you enjoyed the post Sarah

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  8. This was a fantastic post, thank you for this!

    x leah symonne x

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  9. Love these tips. I am having a photography confidence crises at the moment. Think I just need to go back to basics... and think about what you have said! Thank you thank you friend :) xoxo

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    1. No Lucy, thank you! Your blog has always been an inspiration to me and encourages me to keep moving forward with my career. Self-doubt can be the worst sometimes so yes it is really good to come back to the basics when that happens.

      You're amazing, never forget that x

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  10. All of these pictures are beyond adorable! Great tips :)
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  11. I'm just learning myself, but am a total sucker for natural light! You may have given me the push I need to set that little dial to M...more experimenting! Yay!

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  12. Thank you so much for these helpful tips! I am IN LOVE with your photography. You are absolutely brilliant. ;)

    Thank you also for the sweetest comment on my blog. Your words mean the world. It's so very nice to "meet" you. xx

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