May is Photography Month
May is known as National Photography Month across the world, and it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the art and science of photography. This month-long celebration is all about promoting the craft of photography, educating people on the importance of the medium, and highlighting some of the most talented photographers around the world.
The history of photography dates back to the early 19th century, and it has since become one of the most popular and accessible art forms in the world.
Photography Month was first established in 1987 by the Photographic Marketing Association (now known as the Photo Marketing Association International) to bring more attention to the industry and encourage more people to explore and enjoy photography.
Today, Photography Month is celebrated in a variety of ways, from exhibitions and workshops to photo contests and social media campaigns. Many photography organizations and businesses take advantage of this month to offer special discounts on photography gear, software, and services, and to showcase the work of emerging and established photographers.
As a portrait photographer, I understand the value of capturing life’s precious moments and preserving them for future generations. While professional photography sessions are great for capturing special moments and milestones, your family albums will inevitably be full of the snaps you take on your own camera – the family moments that happen daily.
Here are a few tips to help you take better photographs using your phone camera:
1) Clean Your Lens: The first step to taking a great photo is to make sure your lens is clean. Over time, dirt and grime can accumulate on the lens, which can affect the quality of your images. Use a microfiber cloth or lens cleaning solution to clean your lens before taking any photos.
2) Pay Attention to Lighting: Lighting is one of the most critical factors in photography. When taking a photo, try to avoid harsh, direct sunlight as it can cause unflattering shadows and highlights. Instead, opt for natural light or indirect lighting. Consider shooting during the golden hour (the hour before sunset or after sunrise) for soft, warm light.
3) Find Interesting Angles: Experiment with different angles to add visual interest to your photos. Get low to the ground or shoot from above to capture unique perspectives.
4) Use the Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is a compositional guideline that can help you create a balanced and visually appealing photo. Imagine a grid dividing your frame into thirds, and place your subject at one of the intersection points.
5) Capture Candid Moments: Candid photos can be some of the most memorable and meaningful. Encourage your family members to be themselves and capture them in their natural element.
Following on from point number 5 and the photo at the top of the page. I took this photo in South Africa last August, after sitting in a traffic jam because a lion cub wouldn’t move out of the road. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a best view of what was happening in front causing the traffic jam. Whispers through the almost closed windows, was that a lion cub was sleeping in the middle of the road. He’d lift his head, look around and then put his head down again. He did eventually move, just enough for cars to drive around him – after about half an hour, a hundred cars later and some bored children in the car. And proof in the photo below, that the whispers amongst the traffic jam, were in fact true.
I don’t advise opening your window with lions around, just by the way. Whilst waiting in the traffic jam, with my window almost closed, I saw myself with my camera reflected in the wing mirror and new I wanted this photo (I prefer to be behind the camera and this photo was the perfect candid shot of me showing just that). I waited until we were far away, with very little shrubs, a thorough review of the area around us and wound down the window to get the candid shot I wanted.
Below are some of the photos that I took whilst in the Kruger National Park. Absolutely magical place. Please also take note of how I’ve used the rule of thirds (point number 4 in the tips) in most of my photos too.