• Ailsa Clare

How To Make Your Photos Look More Professional

Hello and welcome back to another blog post!

Todays post is all about, yes you guessed it, making your photos look more professional!

See how professional I look taking a picture of this tiny pumpkin....

I am going to cover styling, sharpness, composition and more! So, get your notepad out, you're going to want to write this down!


Capture Interesting Lighting

Lighting is number one on this list for a reason.  Lighting is the most important thing to making a photo look professional.

Now, what makes lighting look interesting?  First of all, it's different from what we normally see.  Second, it highlights the subject and presents it in an aesthetically pleasing way.

There are SO many ways to make a photo have more interesting lighting.  You could simply place the object in the shade in order to direct lighting on the focal point, or you could put the object in front of the lighting source so you can play with shadows.

Time of day is absolutely imperative.  95% of photos in my portfolio were taken in the very early morning or later in the evening, when the lighting is softer. This important step is often overlooked and people try to make a photo's in the middle of the day.  That's rarely a recipe for success.


Remove Clutter

Clutter or an aberration is something that is left in the picture that doesn't belong there.  It makes the photo feel muddled with distractions that keep the viewer from enjoying the subject.

I most commonly see aberrations around the edges of the frame.  It can be easy for the photographer to pay close attention to the person they are photographing, and forget about a piece of rubbish in the background, an ugly plug socket in the distance, etc.


Zoom In Tight

If you're having a difficult time getting a composition to make sense, the problem is most likely that you have too many props or you're too far away from the object being photographed.  Decide on what one object will be the centre of attention, and you'll have a much more interesting image.

Zooming in on one part of the scene is almost always the right answer.  


Crisp Sharpness

There are so many factors that impact the sharpness of a photo that it can be difficult to know what is causing a reduction in sharpness in your photos. The answer? is usually that the photographer did not get the focus quite right.

When taking a picture, it's essential to put the focus point exactly on the main subject you are photographing.


Creative Composition

Composition is probably the most difficult thing on this list because it takes quite a bit of time and a lot of trial and error BUT it makes a tremendous difference to your images.

I recommend that you start learning the rule of thirds.  The rule of thirds is the most basic rule of composition that basically tells the photographer to imagine a noughts and crosses grid on the frame of the picture, and to put the most interesting part of the photo on the intersection of those lines.

(most iPhones have that function built in)



Mood is an another overlooked aspect of photography, but I find that it's an excellent way to learn to make a photo more impactful.  As you take pictures, ask yourself “What mood will this photo convey?”

By asking yourself that question, you will avoid taking a photo of a person or an object that feels really flat. You'll recognise that the image isn't conveying a mood and you'll change it.  Change it by altering the lighting or the background of the image or allowing different hues or temperatures to come through when editing.

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