Tip 8: Practice Mindfulness
Tip number eight is to practice mindfulness and I think this is maybe this is really one of the biggest tip because even capitol leave all of them and it's really learning to see in a whole new way and this is probably the biggest hurdle that I see people struggle with because when we talk about like camera that we even call a point and shoot that's what people do, whether they're using a point to where they're using a fancy pants dslr you end up pointing and shooting if you're not being mindful and that's what makes those snapshots versus a photograph right? So here's a couple of examples um you want to be mindful of a lot of things right? One thing would be light and light can come from different directions that can have different qualities that can be hard it can be soft, it can come from up above, down below or to the side or from behind so here's an example of light coming from above. I used to be an insanely like crazy senior portrait photographer and I would shoot at one point I...
was shooting for senior the day if you can imagine so that meant that I couldn't shoot them all during golden hour in the evening I was shooting people throughout the day, so sometimes there were people being shot or noon and you know the hyatt harsh sun so I would get really creative with how we would capture those images and this is one where we have the blue sky here in this case I'm shooting with the sun the sun is at my back but it's also like pretty much overhead so if I had just had her sit there and just like, look at me she would have horrible shadows under her eyes from the sun because it was up above so knowing that I had her look up and of course uh she would be squinting trying to look up the sun is going to make her clothes arrives but in this case she was giggling and laughing so it it worked out so I have this great shot of her laughing and I am we have the nice shadow under her chin from the sun up there we have the blue sky with her orange to two and the green grass so I fremd this whole image with light as my ultimate like ok, we have to do something this way because that's where the light is but then I chose you know, to stand on this side and such to have the blue sky to go with the green grass and based on all the colors basically I like color and a lot of my work so I composed that scene with all of those things in mind here's another image um with the sun coming more from the side so this was laid in the day this is the sahara where the sun is over here and it's a little bit lower. So we have this line on the sand between the highlight side and the shadow side and then we could see this incredible texture in the sand I don't know how this happens but if you ever get the chance to go it's amazing it's this crazy grid I don't know what the others amazing it's really alive so that's cool and I wanted to capture this pattern so you need light to be able to see the shapes and you need it to be on the side otherwise it would just look pretty flat so I wanted to highlight that coming from the side and have course here's another picture that the portrait in this case where the light is coming from the side that was actually a test shot well, I was just checking exposure and then I thought it's actually pretty neat I like it but she was just sitting in her living room facing a window and that's just ambient light and s so it's coming from directly over here, so she's facing into the light so it's to the side from my view but it was the front for her, and of course light can also come from below so in this case the bonfires lighting us up so that have kind of a creepy effect right it's very halloween esque so we have some creepy shadows on our faces and stuff, but in this case it works because we have that one fire on light can also come from behind and that's gonna allow for the potential of silhouettes and all kinds of different effects so you want to be mindful of where your life is coming from sometimes people will think, yeah, but carrots, the sun so you know, like you're stuck with it because we're not talking about off camera flash here where you can move the flash around you could bring the flashing to augment the son, but in these examples it's all just natural light s so you can't move the sun but you can move yourself so here's an example of just a street forward this is stuff like I see on facebook all the time and it's fine, but it could be so much better for free ok, so here is free huge big lighting tip one be aware of it so this is my husband in our backyard again he's such a good cooperative subjects I wouldn't notice this horrible line across his face, but if you are usedto looking at light and looking for light, you can catch these kinds of things and the fix for this even though I can't move the sun all I did was I he was sitting in the grass so I see the sun on his face I just took like two or three steps to the side I had him turn his head and then I got that it's not an amazing magazine cover but it's a nice picture and the light is at least even on his face and that didn't take any equipment this could have been shot with your phone it's just simple example of just straight up mindfulness and being aware of what is in front of your camera and this this is like the simplest thing and of course also the hardest I think because it's really simple the fix for it is so simple but we are so programmed to just point and shoot and we are not paying attention and this happens all the time to like when I'm shooting a wedding, for example and someone will ask for a portrait and they'll be like, oh, can you take my picture here in front of this waterfall at high noon? Well, you know in the direct sun and I'm like, oh let's not be by the waterfall and they're thinking I just want to stand by the waterfall because it's a great background but it's more important to look for the light, so and of course the photo is not of the waterfall it's of the people, so I want to put the people where the light is good and, you know, I want, you know, not a dumpster in the background, possibly, but maybe who cares? If I'm shooting in the shallows up the field, then that might not even matter, but the light is really key. So you want to learn to see that? And you, you do want to keep an eye on background. I think this picture is funny. It looks like I have ah, green mustache from the strawberry. So anyway, watch out for your background because you could have some unintended oh, I have a really good example, and I didn't think to put it in, but my husband, I went on a camping trip, and we we kept doing this because we weren't paying attention. We were writing our bicycles across the country, so maybe we were exhausted, I don't know, but we would pitch our tent at night, and we kept and it's my fault because I took the picture, I kept taking a picture of my husband with the tent, like standing with the tent, and I will just say that only after the fact that I realized that the placement of the tent with not very family friendly on. I did this at least twice, and we laughed so hard every time we see it now, because I just I don't know. I must have been asleep at the wheel. I miss it, and it was really, really bad, so I'm guilty of it, too, but just be careful.