I’ve taken my share of photos with poles sticking out of people’s heads (and they weren’t grisly ER moments), backlit photos, people with glasses looking like Little Orphan Annie with no eyes… some really scary stuff. So when I married a pro photographer, I had to kick up my game! What I found helps is to ask myself 5 questions before I snap – the Who, What, When, Where and Why of photography.
You can remember them as FFLAB:
Focal Point – what will be the focus of the photo, and where do I want to put it? Rule of thirds comes into play here, as well as identifying any competing focii and minimizing them.
Foreground – is there anything in the way? A water bottle on the table getting in the shot? The lens cover string? My FINGER?
Light – check where the light is coming from. Is there a light source behind my subject? Would this shot look better if my subject turned toward the window more?
Angle – could I make this a better photo by using a different perspective? Don’t forget to get down on a child’s level, or even below. And us ‘pleasingly plump’ girls look way better when photographed looking up!
Background – last but not least, look past your subject! Does that ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ billboard take away from Grandma and Grandpa’s dignity? Is there a pole growing out of someone’s head? Stan says he runs his eye over the head and shoulders of each person in the pick to check for things ‘growing’ in odd places.
So next time you’re set to snap off a shot, think of me and think of FFLAB! (Ok, so you do that anyway, but think of what FFLAB stands for!!) See if you don’t have as many photos that need fixing!