I believe that there’s no such thing as an instant improvement when it comes to skills. You should practice and learn and gradually become better and better at what you do. Still, if you’re new at something, it’s good to have a checklist that will help you focus on what’s important for achieving good results. In this video, Rachel and Daniel of Mango Street have created some kind of that checklist. They share ten tips that will help you take more captivating photos, and they’re questions to ask yourself next time you start shooting.
- Is it striking: a striking photo will stop the viewer in their track. It makes them stop scrolling and look at your photo, exploring and observing it more. A striking photo incorporates several elements, and Rachel and Daniel cover it in the tips to follow.
- Is it creative: does it show a new and interesting subject? Or maybe it shows something familiar in a creative, unusual way? Try not to follow trends, but think outside the box and create something of your own.
- How is the color being used: think about why and how you use color in your image. It’s important to know color theory because the way you use colors can make or break your photos. We shared plenty of great tutorials on color theory, so check them out.
- How is the light used: understanding light is one of the fundamentals in photography. Other than color, it’s another element to be thoughtful and intentional about when taking your photos.
- Is the photo composed well: put simply, the composition of your image should draw the viewer’s eye to the subject. You can use different visual cues to do it, such as framing, leading lines, and so on.
- How does the story play a role in the photo: think about whether your photo tells a story and what it is communicating. Is it a story, an emotion, an idea, a theme, or something else? Rachel and Daniel give an example of illustrating a song, and that’s something I also love to do. That can be a great exercise: try to transform the lyrics or mood of a song into a photo.
- Does the location add to the story: if you shoot on location, you can incorporate it into the shot. It can add to the story with its vibe or simply with its color.
- Does your subject pop: an easy way to make your subject stand out is using a shallow depth of field to separate the subject from the background. Alternatively, you can use color or negative space to make them stand out.
- Are there repeating patterns and shapes: these can add interest to your photo, and you can sometimes use them as leading lines to emphasize the subject
- Use all of these tips: as I mentioned, these tips are a kind of checklist that you should have in mind when taking photos. It’s not as simple as it sounds, because some of the elements that Rachel and Daniel mention are not something you’ll master overnight. Understanding light, color theory, or composition takes time and practice, but remember that they’re important and that you should work on learning them. And be intentional about all these things when taking photos so you end up with striking images that tell a story.
[Take Better Photos With These 10 Tips! | Mango Street]