Recently, I had an enquiry from someone needing to learn how to take top quality photographs of her products for her online shop. Added to this, she really wanted to start taking photographs during her downtime, but she really didn’t know what she wanted to take photographs of!
This is a common quandary for fledgling photographers and I have the answer. It really is very simple…
Photograph what you love.
By following this simple idea, you will certainly be putting your heart and soul into your photographs. When I come across student clients who say this, I get them to do this simple exercise…
Imagine that you have absolutely no idea what yo are going to take your photograph of, you just know that you want to be able to take better photographs that you do. A good place to start is to make a list of 20 things that bring you joy – absolutely anything in your life – completely unrelated to each other. Then choose three. Now with each one go deeper. Say you wrote food as bringing you joy – which food? Say it is one particular dish… what are the ingredients? Do you cook it? Do you go out to eat it? To a particular place? Keep asking yourself the questions and by teasing out information you will slowly get your idea.
You could tell the story of the ingredients that you have brought home from the farmers market to make a salad with some vegetables that you were drawn to. It can be that simple.
Sketch your idea out – a simple line sketch is just fine. Annotate it. Make lists. List of props, ideas for backdrops and your ground surface, Think of your scene as a play or a film… what is the star of the show? What are the supporting roles? Going back to your farmers market salad – you will have the vegetables as star or maybe one and the others secondary.
Once you have your working idea, consider this… can I refine my idea if I consider my five senses? Touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste… can you evoke any of these senses by refining your scenario? Touch and hearing – adding texture with props or cutting vegetables open? Smell and taste – a steaming cup of coffee? Something to keep in mind.
Once you feel you have finished, then make a list of the props, backdrops and any other things that you need to gather – mental or down on paper.
This is an extract from THE LITTLE BOOK OF PHOTOGRAPHY: adding that little EXTRA to make your photographs EXTRA ORDINARY – ORDER YOUR COPY – IT’S FREE
Also in the book is the bonus check list on the right – do feel free to download and print it out… my gift to you.