As a photographer, you typically feel the pressure to take great photos, which aren’t just great looking but ones that tell a story and show emotion – award-winning photos (to our families and us, at least) if we can help it!
And sadly, this pressure (even for amateur photographers) can be a reason why many people stop picking up the camera. They think capturing a shot requires dolling up, proper posing, a prepared space, and many more technical photographer skills. There are also times we feel we aren’t photogenic enough or simply aren’t able to get the right shots no matter how we try. It simply just isn’t good enough.
Believe me, though, that is what we as professional photographers working in a photography studio in Singapore have to overcome at one point or another. Even now, there are still times when we ask ourselves if we can get a better shot than the ones we already had.
Still, the tips I have here aren’t complicated. It just requires us to have a simple change in perspective and allow us to live in the moment and capture life from where we’re at.
1. Capture everyday moments – not just special occasions
We tend to remember to take photos on the big occasions – birthdays, holidays, vacations – and neglect the daily moments, the small chores, the small things of everyday life.
If we simply think about it, while there are often curated moments featured by the accounts of those we follow, we realise that apart from heavily curated shots, there often come moments where we take an honest peak into the lives of those we follow online. Various online creators don’t shy away from capturing everyday moments, which we can do for ourselves.
Start documenting the minor daily activities that don’t seem as essential using your camera. Take images of the routine parts of your day, such as your meals, your rest time, your hobby, or even a simple trip to the movies or something more special like a date night. You’ll be surprised at what you can capture in time to come!
2. Keep your camera out, even at home
Great moments often pass by whenever my camera is far away. And by the time I get it out, the moment I want to record is probably gone, and all that effort was in vain. Not everyone will want to invest in a great camera, but our phones often have cameras that do a great enough job for our purpose. Keeping our camera (or phones) nearby allows us to capture moments at the snap of a finger – and you’ll often see those small moments can often get you some personal shots indeed.
3. Change your perspective
We often shoot our shots at a familiar angle – either at eye-level or whatever angle, our hands are comfortable holding our phones. But have you ever thought of changing it up? Besides the mandatory bird’s eye view for large meals, you can shoot from the ground angle, below the waist level or simply at your eye level. While these angles might seem like something too simple to do much, you varying up the angle can get you some interesting perspectives and give your photos that extra oomph you never knew you could etch out.
4. Framing and adding depth
Other than using the famed rule of thirds, consider the location at which you’re shooting your angle. How you frame them according to their environment and background or simple shooting while purposefully including other things in your shot can help you add details and elements to your photos.
Shooting your shots through various objects (like windows, railings or even the framing plants) can allow you to get seriously creative and beautiful-looking shots. Play with these angles, and you’ll be surprised at what you can get. Even professional photographers can get surprised at their shots when they think out of the box and frame their subjects creatively.
5. Use whatever light you have to capture the moment
While we all wish to get that perfectly lit shot for all our photos, there is something to be said about photos that make the best use of natural light. While it’s part of working with what we have, learning to use instead of fighting natural lighting can allow us to get the most beautiful shots. It’s not just about using the sunsets (though that beautiful orange hue can give you some amazing photos), but shooting photos near a well-lit window or the overall natural lighting of an event venue can still give us great shots if we know how to position ourselves (and our subjects) in correlation to the light source.
6. Simply embracing the chaos of life
‘There are times in which we want to curate our photos. But there are also other times when we simply embrace life and capture ourselves in our most natural settings. Maybe a messy room with bright smiles can seem like the setting of a crowded photo, but it can tell a story of fun and laughter from those involved. Maybe some photos involve tears, but combine that with a smile, and you can tell a photo of shared emotions between two people who love each other sharing a personal moment.
We sometimes get tighter shots to take away the noise of the background, but at other times, including those can help us give context to the photo. These small hints can help viewers form a story in their minds and give a much more personable feel to the image captured.
Conclusion – real moments mean so much more than perfection
No matter how experienced you are, you don’t get everything right. But to be honest, that’s alright. Life’s moments aren’t perfect, but documenting them, even through imperfect shots, can mean all the more when they are genuine and heartfelt.
Even as professional photographers in Singapore, we often think back to these simple tricks that amount to more than the technical expertise we have picked up over the years. Whether getting the best shots during an official photoshoot or capturing moments in our day-to-day lives, you’ll be surprised at how much these tips and tricks can bring your photography to the next level!