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3 Tips for Better Photos

Photography is more accessible now than ever before. Between smartphones and digital cameras, most people have the tools to take good photos at their fingertips. But having the right tools doesn’t necessarily mean your photos will accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish when you take them. Below are 3 tips to help you take better photos for your business.

Tip #1: Use good lighting

Lighting is one of the most important things when taking photos. Good lighting can illuminate your image and show the product or person you’re trying to show. Bad lighting can muddle up the photo’s message and create confusion instead of clarity. Good lighting doesn’t always have to equal super bright lighting, but it does have to help your image rather than hinder it.

Generally speaking, you want to avoid having harsh shadows in your photos. This is especially true when photographing people. Harsh shadows across someone’s face can wash them out or it can give them a more menacing appearance. If you are relying on natural light, photograph someone in a shady spot rather than direct sunlight. If you’re using indoor lighting, pick a spot with multiple light sources to diffuse the shadows, or try bouncing some light toward your subject with white poster board.

Two photographs side-by-side. The photo on the left shows a woman and puppet smiling in direct sunlight, with harsh shadows and a dark background. The photo on the right shows the same woman and puppet, but there are softer shadows and a lighter background.

Tip #2: Use the rule of thirds

If you’re new to photography, it can be tempting to perfectly center your subject in the photo. There are times and places for this. But, if you’re feeling like your images aren’t popping enough, the rule of thirds is here to help. Imagine a 3 panel grid over the subject of your photo. (A lot of smartphones and digital cameras have built-in features that put a grid across the display so you can actually see it while lining up your shot.) Keep your subject in either the first or third column of the grid, rather than the center column. This can give you a more interesting image than if your subject were perfectly aligned in the center. It’s a small adjustment, and it’s easy to make, but it can make a world of difference for your photos.

Two photographs side-by-side. The photo on the left shows a young man standing in the center of the photo. The photo on the right shows the same young man standing off to the right side of the photo.

Tip #3: Keep your background clutter-free

While this tip applies to photographing both people and objects, it is especially important for things like product photography. Most professional product photography is done on a plain, solid-colored background (usually black or white). That can reduce a cluttered background very quickly, but it doesn’t work for everything. If you’re photographing a subject that’s too big to put on a plain background or if you’re at a location where you cannot control the background, you’ll need to rely on framing and cropping to keep unnecessary things out of your photos.

Two photographs side-by-side. The photo on the left shows a Lady Justice figurine, law books, and the bottom of a picture frame and an outlet on the wall behind. The photo on the right shows Lady Justice and the law books with a blank white background.
In this example, the clutter was covered over by a white poster board.

Bonus tip: Call us for help!

Photography can be an important element when marketing your business. At Bold River Marketing, we offer real estate photography services, product photography services, and staff portrait services. Call us today and we can set up a time to photograph for your business.