Not everyone is a skilled photographer, but everyone can improve their skills. Taking good photographs is not a born-in talent. It takes time, a critical eye, and practice, practice, practice. Photography is a great way to market your farm or food business. When the term "food porn" is officially part of the industry, you know consumers are clamoring for photos of edible delights.
It does not matter if you have a film camera, a digital camera, or your use your phone; these four steps will help you take higher quality photographs that will help draw customers.
1. Framing, The Rule of Thirds
Follow the rule of thirds. Your photograph is a rectangle. Divide that rectangle into three horizontally, then vertically. Those four dividing lines (two vertical, two horizontal) will give you four intersections. Place your subjects on one of those intersections. This can give your photograph direction as well as make it more dynamic and interesting. You want to avoid photos where the subjects head is at the bottom or middle of the picture with a million feet of head space above them.
2. Interest, Point of View
You see the world from one vantage point, your own. Somewhere around 4'6" to 6' high, and at a comfortable distance. To add interest to your pictures get up close and personal, take them seated very high up (get on the roof), or very low to the ground. Looking at the world from a different perspective will give your photos interest and attract more attention.
3. Lighting, Too Bright or too dark?
Where is the sun? Is it shining in the person's face causing them to squint? Is it at there back causing them to show up like a shadow in the middle of a bright sky?
Are you inside? If so, where are the light sources? Is the focus of the photograph pulled toward a bight lamp in the background? You want to make sure your subject is properly lit and is the focus of the photograph.
Lighting is a HUGE factor in photography. When shooting indoors, beware of low-light that will blur your images. When shooting in direct sun, be aware of harsh shadows on people's face that make them less attractive. You can save a picture by asking the person to turn a little.
4. Keep Shooting, Practice Practice Practice
Keep shooting! Good or bad, the only way you learn is to keep doing it. Your pictures might be terrible in the beginning, but learn from them. Ask others for advice. The only bad picture is the one you did not take. Digital photography lets you keep shooting cheaply.
Here are some questions you can ask to assess how good your photo is:
- Where do your eyes go first? Do they land on what you meant to be the subject of the photo?
- Is your subject blurred? Based on the information presented in the photograph, what can you change next time to ensure a crisp clean photo?
- Is there a lot of weird extra space around your subject? Can it be cropped out?
- Would the subject of your photo look more interesting at another angle?