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Hey photographers! Do you find that many of the photos you take look similar? Perhaps you photograph your spouse and always place him or her in the center of the frame, or constantly shoot at eye-level. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with either, there are tons of ways you can switch up your shots and create something entirely new. The possibilities are endless and remember– There. Are. No. Rules. Explore, discover, and have fun!
  1. Rule of thirds– Don’t let the word “rule” trip you up here! This is just a simple concept for positioning your subject in places other than the middle. As you look at your frame, divide it up into a grid of 9 equal rectangles, 3 down and 3 across (your camera has a grid option that does this for you, and your manual will tell you how to turn this on). You can place your subject where the lines intersect, which generates more interest in the photo. Find an example above!
  2. Create depth– Your subject doesn’t always have to be right up against the background. You can create space between the two and discover drama in the foreground! If you want a blurry background, lower your aperture number so the lens is wide open and your focal range is much smaller. 
  3. Leading lines– There are lines all around us. Buildings, horizons, street intersections, trees, windows, etc. They can be straight, curvy, sharp, soft, and the list goes on and on. You can manipulate your photos so the lines in your environment direct the observer’s eyes to your subject. 
  4. Fill the frame or leave negative space– Filling the frame means just that- whatever you are photographing takes up the entire space of the picture. For example, if you’re shooting a portrait, a closeup of the person’s face is really striking, for it allows you to see deeper into the eyes and observe the textures and details of their hair and skin. On the contrary, negative space is another way to create drama. Say you’re photographing a person against a blank wall and place them to the right of the frame (rule of thirds!). The middle and left of the frame (the blank wall) is your negative space, therefore our eyes immediately go to the person on the right. 
  5. Find a different perspective– As I mentioned above, it is great to shoot at eye-level, but there are countless angles and views you can play around with. Get higher, lower, above, below, behind, to the side, closer, further away, and see how your photo changes. The result can be completely magical!

Happy shooting!

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