How to Make the Most of Your Professional Photos

by Mark Sharron

As a professional photographer, one of your main concerns is how to maximise your photos for the best quality- your business depends on it.

When it comes to digital images, there are several tools that make this possible. In this piece, we will guide you through basic techniques to make your photos pop. It’s easy, even a beginner can have a go at it.

Once you master composition and exposure, you are well on your way to producing crisp quality, professional photos.

Capture interesting lighting

Lighting is easily the most underrated technique among beginners, however, experienced professionals don’t overlook it. When done well, it adds magic to the look and feel of an image. Lighting is the most important feature that will make any photograph look professional.

If you are shooting a portrait, one way to capture interesting lighting is to place the person in the shade so you can add uniform lighting on their face. Alternatively, you could make them back the sun so that their face is not raked by hard shadows.

It is also always worth having plastic sheets which can be used as light diffusers in order to help you catch interesting lights and shades.

Digital styling

It is not always enough to take photos and submit, particularly if you are building a professional portfolio. Add verve to your pictures with digital styling. It allows you to creatively alter the contrast, colours and exposure.

While some real photographers frown at Instagram filters, many will admit that images look better with digital styling. The same concept can be applied to your professional photos. Learn to play with lighting and photoshopping skills is a necessity.

Animate your photo augment

This is a cheeky photography skill and it is always fun to try. While the Ken Burns effect is a common way to bring your still image to life, it is quite overdone. Interestingly, you can use YouTube to give your 2D images 3D depth.

Tools like Movavi can teach you how to make a YouTube video. Simply open your multimedia file, add some special effects, incorporate fades, include a soundtrack and so on. An enhanced image is pixels better than a plain 2D one.

Unique perspective

Sometimes you will find an interesting subject, but the location is not nearly as interesting. Professional photos look the way they are because they are taken from a unique perspective. So instead of just accepting any position, see how you can manipulate the environment to augment the photo.

For instance, photograph the photo of a company founder from below- that is looking up at him or her to make them appear more powerful. Or, for a city skyline, take the picture from an altitude to give an aerial perspective of the whole city.

Finally, don’t forget the mood of the photo is just as important as the lighting. It is an ideal way to make you picture look more expressive. Always ask yourself, “what mood will this photo exude?” This way, you’ll avoid taking a photograph that comes out bland- a common mistake many photographers make.

As you build a portfolio worthy of professional value, you will be paving the way for bigger commissions, and hopefully more recognition in your craft.

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