Ten Truly Simple Tips For Taking Great Pictures

It's not just about pointing and clicking.

If a Digital SLR camera sounds like a hefty business expense, then you're just going to have to become a good photographer.

There are a few things the amateur product/service photographer can do to take print ad quality photography with ye olde digital (note: whatever you do, don’t use a disposable camera!).

Ten Great Tips on Taking Pictures for Print Ads

  • Take a lot of pictures! Digital images don’t cost anything, so don’t be afraid to give yourself or your designer 50 or even 100 images to choose from.
  • Lots of Pictures
  • Blurry images are worthless. No matter how great the shot seemed at the time, an image that is even slightly out of focus has no place on a print ad.
  • Blurry Images
  • When shooting a product, use a plain background. As nice as the patterned tablecloth looks at Christmas, it’s not going to look good behind your product. Use plain poster paper as a background whenever possible.
  • Plain Background
  • Make sure that your product is very well-lit, and completely in-frame. This ensures that the image can be incorporated into your design in all kinds of fun ways.
  • Well-lit, In Frame
  • Use your camera’s zoom function to make sure that your subject is in focus. This will put your back or foreground out of focus, which is a good thing.
  • Zoom
  • When taking actions shots, show people enjoying your product or service, not staring awkwardly at the camera.
  • Action Shots
  • When photographing people, places, or events, always be sure that your light source is indirect, not right behind you or your subject. Lighting at an angle produces the most attractive results.
  • Indirect Lighting
  • Unless you’re taking a straight product shot, place your subject off-center in the frame. This creates perspective and emotional impact. Okay, okay, it's not a photo, but you get the idea!
  • Off Center Subject
  • Use the flash even in well-lit areas, especially when photographing people. Shadows that your eye didn’t notice will appear on film, and the results can be pretty scary.
  • Use the Flash
  • If you’re taking pictures outdoors, time the shoot for early morning or late afternoon. These times of day offer the most dramatic lighting effects.
  • Good Lighting
By using these techniques, you can create images that are more like what you see in professional advertising, and less like what grandma shot during her trip to Arizona. Professional-quality images instill consumer confidence and are a key tool of effective marketing. By making high-quality photography a priority, you make sure that your designs, and the designs created by our team here at Hotcards, have the professional look required to generate a great ROI.

 

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