Nothing beats a studio shoot, but with the advent of smartphones everyone is carrying a camera. As new technology advances and photo-editing mobile apps becoming readily available, everyone can take amazing images. However, having the camera does not make you a photographer; technique does. The pioneers of storytelling, Venture Photography share their professional tips on how to photograph like a professional, allowing your photos to stand out.
Rick Reeder, Art Director of Venture Photography Hong Kong and Dawn Austin, Digital Art Director of Venture Photography, Hong Kong share some, not all, secrets of their trade. So if you think yourself as a budding photographer, here are serval tips:
UNDERSTAND YOUR SUBJECT
A camera is your tool to capture the subject, but to understand the subject is what everyone forgets. Communicate with your subjects and coach them for the best shot. Pointing a camera at them and hoping they will always look good results in uncomfortable portraits. Remember the adage of working with children and animals, you need to take extra time to engage with these subjects .
THINK MORE AND TAKE LESS
Slow down and think about what it is you want to capture and try to minimise distractions in the frame. Look for a background that is non-intrusive and does not distract from the subject.
MAKE IT QUICK AND FAST
For home photography, if you are photographing your special people then find a camera that is quite fast focus so you don’t miss the moment!
BEGINNERS, PLEASE AVOID FLASHING
For a beginner flash can be a disruption from learning the fundamentals. So avoid it unless absolutely necessary until you have grasped the core skills needed. Soft and diffused light is easier to work with for beginners. Look for some shade or an overcast day.
A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY
After effects and retouching are extremely important, to get that “darn you look good today” effect, but don’t overdo it. If you airbrush at home, try using a Wacom tablet to get better results.
MAKE GREAT USE OF YOUR PHONE
Many mobile apps have filters and skin softener’s built in, for every day, casual snaps. Use Instagram and Rookie, they are not as slick as studio shots but great for posting on Facebook!
Great framing is the key to show off your photo, to get your finished products hanging on your wall and impress your guests. Venture Photography carries a variety of frames to create the bespoke art for your home. e.g. ‘’Vue’’ suspends the image dramatically within the transparent glass with the edge framed ; “Lumino” is an innovative metal print wall product produced using the state of art high definition print technology, the best bet for vibrant coloured images.
Meet the Pro - RICK REEDER
At the young and tender age of 14 years old, Rick persuaded his father to let him borrow his Fujica STX-1 camera so that he could take photography as part of his GCSE examinations at his high school in the UK. Rick was extremely fortunate that his school had a darkroom on site and a photography lecturer who was only too willing to show Rick the ropes. As soon as he developed his first role of film and produced a contact sheet of the images, he was hooked.
Portraiture is his favourite style of photography. Rick explains that the type of subject is not important, it is the connection he shares with the subject (be it man or beast!) and how he portrays them through the lens. When asked what he loves most about working at Venture, Rick said: “What I love about Venture is that as a team we differentiate ourselves from the preconceived ideas of what the family portrait is. Behind the scenes such a large part of our work is looking for ways to master our craft and implement innovative ideas into the portrait industry.”
On the selfie phenomenon, Rick is on the fence: “If that’s what people like doing then go for it! I have photographs in my collection of people taking selfies but you won’t find one of me I’m afraid.”
ALL THE GEAR AND NO IDEA?! (Great advice by Rick Reeder)
Rick Reeder, Art Director at Venture Photography, concludes: ”The best camera is the one you have with you. Don’t let the equipment weigh you down. Whether you have a phone camera or a Hasselblad they can both be as powerful as each other in terms of producing a great image. Photography should never be defined by the equipment you use. Great photography comes down to hours, weeks, months, years of constant critique of your images. So practice, practice, practice and don’t fear criticism!”
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