Have you ever experienced a moment that you wished a photographer was there to capture? Do you feel like your skills behind the lens could use a little improvement? Today, our Visual Media Team is sharing a few easy tips anyone can use to improve their photography skills (in no particular order).

1. Clean off your lenses: Wipe off your front and rear-facing cameras with a piece of cloth to remove smudges and avoid blurry pictures.

2. Enable the “grid” setting: To turn on, enter the phone’s settings and scroll down to the camera option. After enabling, a grid — resembling tic-tac-toe game — will appear on your camera screen when taking photos. Make sure all the essentials are within the grid and remove nonessentials.

3. Understand what you’re photographing: There are many different kinds of photos such as portraits, group shots, and candid images to name just a few. Understanding the kind of photo you want will help inform other decisions related to composition and subject placement.

4. Composition matters: While it’s hard to define, composition is important to every photograph. Simply put, it’s the way visual elements come together in a photograph like: patterns, symmetry, texture, depth of field and leading lines, but there are many others. Effectively using these elements make for more compelling images.

5. Avoid background distractions: Throw out those Aquafina bottles and other trash that might divert away from the subject of the photo. For example, a professional group photo of your team should not have a leftover sandwich in the background or an old cup of coffee.

6. Include visual details from the setting for context: An image without context can fail to resonate with an audience, whether it’s intended to showcase an event, particular person or project. If you are at an event, take a photo by event signage. If you are at a ribbon cutting, be sure to take photos of it. If you are at a group event, be sure to include décor in the shot or some of the people at the event.

7. Know what the photo will be used for: Understanding if the photo will be used online, in print, and/or for social media can influence how a photo should be taken. If the photo will be added to a slideshow presentation, take the picture horizontally so it fills the entire frame. If it’s for Instagram or Twitter, use the square setting or take the photo vertically.

8. Adjust focus for clarity: Tap on the subject of the photo to bring it into focus for a sharper, crisper image. After the camera focuses, consider the lighting and background to make additional adjustments.

9. Choose environments with even, natural light: To avoid dark photos that can turn out grainy, open a window or choose a location outside where there is shade. Direct sunlight can create harsh tones on the subject’s face, which can be hard to edit.

10. Tap on subject to adjust exposure: To avoid photos that are too bright or too dark, hold down on the screen where the focal point of your photo appears. A yellow box and a small sun will pop up on the screen. Use your finger to slide the sun up or down to bring more or less light into a photo. If you are at a midday event where there is a lot of harsh sunlight, focus on the areas that are the brightest and decrease the exposure by moving the sun down.

11. Avoid phone filters: Do not use iPhone filters. Instead, edit your photos after they are taken using an editing app like Snapseed or Enlight.

Email info@smallgiantsonline.com to schedule a meeting with the Visual Media Team to discuss photography services.

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