Stop Taking the Same Boring Photos - How to Shoot and Think Differently
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If you're like me, you face struggles now and then trying to find new and exciting ways to photograph your subjects.
But creativity isn't something you can run out of; often it's just a matter of finding inspiration to get you over your creative hurdles.
That mantra is certainly put to the test in the video above by Peter McKinnon.
When you watch the video, you'll get a few tips and tricks from a seasoned pro as to how you can change the way you think about taking photos, and how that change in your thinking can lead to more photos and more creative photos at that.
Below, I've outlined a few of my favorite tips from Peter.
Don't Just Think About the Finished Product
This tip cuts a couple of different ways.
First, don't just think about what your subject looks like in its finished form.
That is, if you're photographing a car or a plate of food, think of the processes that were involved in getting that object to its finishing point.
If you can break the subject down into various pieces and parts (like the ingredients for a meal), you might find the inspiration you need to highlight the subject in a new and interesting way.
Secondly, when you're thinking about your photo, don't just picture the final product.
Instead, just like with the subject you're photographing, break your photo down into the different processes that are required to end up at that final product.
Think about lighting and composition, framing and your shooting position.
Again, by identifying the different tasks that are ahead of you, you can identify areas where you can take risks or try something new to get a more exciting final shot.
Try Different Angles and Perspectives
One surefire way to take a boring photo is to take it from the same angle, perspective, and eye level as most other photos are taken.
That is, if you stand up straight, compose the shot, and press the shutter button, there's nothing to differentiate your photo from every other photo that's ever been taken at that spot.
Instead, put a little work into it and move around to find new angles and perspectives that might reveal a new and exciting way to portray the subject.
This trick works for any kind of photo, too, from landscapes to portraits, architecture to food, and everything in between.
Likely the biggest obstacle to overcome when trying new angles and perspectives is simply getting yourself to visualize what the subject might look from another point of view.
But searching for those opportunities to find new ways to highlight something is part of the adventure of photography, right?!
Incorporate Life and Action Where Possible
One of Peter's best points is that boring photos tend to focus on the subject in space.
That is, if you're photographing your kid, there's a temptation to tell them to sit still, sit up straight, and smile at the camera.
The problem with that is - you guessed it - it's boring!
Instead, whatever subject you're photographing, try to insert some life and action into the shot to make it more unique.
If you're shooting a portrait of your kids, do so as they play and run around in the yard.
Likewise, try to capture them in candid moments as they eat, play with the dog or read their favorite book.
The same principle can be applied to other types of photos as well.
For example, don't just photograph a bird sitting on a branch, instead, try to photograph it in flight.
The point is that the more life and vitality that are in your photos, the less boring they will be.
When it comes down to it, if your photos are boring, it's because you're locked in a continual pattern of repeating the same process.
But if you can find ways to break out of the norm - and maybe even break a few photography rules while you're at it - I think you'll find that your photos have a greater capacity to grab people's attention.
For more tips, don't forget to check out Peter's video at the start of this article.