Creating Content Like The Pros
by Aiyla Beau
Hey everyone, have you ever wondered WHY professional photos always seem so effortlessly captivating? Well you're in luck, because I'm going to let you in on a few industry secrets to get your pics popping.
When putting an image together, I like to think of 5 main points and make sure that I'm hitting each of them as best as I can. They are, background, the rule of thirds, triangles, leading the viewer's eye and engagement.
So first things first …
Background: when you're setting up to shoot, look at the area you are shooting in and ask yourself: is it clean? Is it tidy? Are there things that don’t “fit” with the image you're creating? For example, if you're shooting in the bathroom and behind you is the washing basket, but behind the washing basket is a lovely white tiled wall... move the washing basket and wipe over the wall. It sounds like an obvious thing to say but so many times I see great pictures of beautiful people and above their right shoulder will be a dirty sock on the floor, an overflowing bin or a bedside littered with make-up and general stuff. Remember you're not the only thing in the shot! You don’t want to be outshined by a pile of washing!
The rule of thirds: This rule is an artistic law in some respects, where you divide a picture equally into thirds, vertically and horizontally, so it is made up of 9 sections. it basically means that things should only ever take up or be accented within a third or on a third line. To explain what I mean imagine you're taking a photo of the ocean from the beach, you have beach in the lower third of the image, sea in the middle third and sky in the top third, you can play with how much sand and sky you have but only using those thirds, so top third and middle third sky, then the bottom third sea and a tiny bit of sand or the other way around. When you add a person into the picture, try and put that figure on a third line, or try to fill two thirds of the space. This rule is probably one of the hardest to explain but if you look at the picture below, the majority of my image is centred in the middle third, making it more pleasing to the eye.
Leading on from the rule of thirds is a rule I like to call “triangles” - the eye basically loves triangles, so try to incorporate them whenever you can, something as simple as a bent leg with a bent elbow resting on it is automatically pleasing to the eye, this rule is best performed naturally, an awkward triangle is still awkward, so try to be loose with your structuring of this.
Trying to make your image as pleasing to the eye structurally as well as with the actual content itself is the aim of the game, which leads me onto leading the viewer's eye through the image. Try to imagine a thread going through the image, coming in from the side, through the image and out the other side or top, so if your head is near the top left corner of the image try to have a foot or something leading away from you head near the bottom right corner, this simple leading makes the viewer truly immerse themselves into the whole image rather than only notice one part.
Last but not least, another thing that sounds obvious but is important to remember, especially if you're shooting using a smartphone, remember to make your content engaging. You can do this by always shooting while looking into the camera hole directly, not at yourself in the phone screen. Really try your best to engage with the person who will be looking at the content by looking straight through the lens into their eyes to get their attention, this will only heighten the viewers experience of the image and therefore you as a creator.
By simply following these five rules you'll be on your way to creating photos like the professionals and keeping your fans engaged and wanting more!
Hope this helps and I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!