Now that you have started thinking about the light that you take your photographs in, the next important step is to really think about your composition.
Again, some of you will have spent time learning about composition with me before but you can never practise this enough. I have been taking pictures for over 30 years and I am still improving the way I compose images.
I think it's really important to start by thinking about your background. Images can go so wrong if the background isn't right. Backgrounds make a difference whether you are photographing a flat lay indoors or a portrait outdoors. Every image has a background. So spend time thinking about them.
I have an ever growing collection of backgrounds to use for my Instagram images. Wrapping paper, old wood (new wood just doesn't have the same feel), painted wooden boards, big pieces of card in different colours, fabric (I particularly love linen because of its brilliant texture), a small piece of marble and even old baking trays all make wonderful backgrounds. I bet you have lots at home that you haven't even thought of using. Take a look around and see what you can find!
Try taking the same image of different backgrounds, so that you can really see what a difference the background can make.
When I am out and about I like to spot backgrounds for taking portraits of my children. Old doors, pretty trees, interesting walls, colourful fences...all make great backgrounds for portraits. Are there any local ones to you that you can think of?
Colours also make up an important part of composition. Really think about the colours you are putting together. Do they go together? Are any of the colours sticking out and ruining the balance of the image? Would an additional colour help lift your image?
Unless you want to give the impression of a rainbow of colours it is usually best to stick to no more than 3 colours. You can of course use different tones and shades of theses colours.
If you need help knowing what colours go together you can use a colour wheel.
Rule of Thirds
On your smartphones you can turn on a grid on your camera. This grid helps us with the rule of thirds. If you haven't, turn the grid on as it will really help you to frame your images and place your subject is a good place.
On an iPhone you do this in the settings. Android phones usually have a grid setting on the camera itself. Please ask me in the group if you get stuck.
The grid enables you to think of your image in thirds. By placing your subject in one of the thirds you create a balanced image that makes our eyes happy! It also helps you to create images that are a bit more interesting. By placing your subject to one side, for example.
Find a simple subject and take some different images of it, really thinking about where you position it in the grid. If you want to share some in our Facebook Group that would be lovely! Have a think about which ones you like best. Do some make you feel differently? Can you create a feeling simply from where you place your subject in the frame?
I know there are a lot of things to practise today. I hope it doesn't leave you feeling overwhelmed but rather it leaves you inspired with a big list of things you want to try!
If you share any images that you'd like me to see on Instagram please tag them #makelightsocial. We are going to create a beautiful gallery like this one, so it will be lovely if you do post some. And of course keep asking questions and posting images in the Facebook Group.