Improve Your Photos: Subjects Rock!

By Amy

Jul 27

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Subjects

Subjects Rock!!

Your photos’ subject may or may not be something you pay much attention to.

You probably take your photos with a specific subject without even giving it much thought.

However, if your photos may be lacking that “thing” that you can’t quite pinpoint.  

The problem may be your photo lacks a true subject.  

I’ve seen photos that are basically a good photos, but they just seem to be missing SOMETHING.  

It checks most of the photography boxes…

Good lighting

Good composition

Aligns with my overall brand

Aligns with the overall mood of the brand

Colors match the brand

 

But, when something is missing and all other technical aspects are right…

It probably lacks a solid subject!

Recently I saw a photo of a large patio type area with a bunch of people meandering around.

Structurally, it was a great photo, but it was just missing SOMETHING…

I realized there was no main subject; it was just a bunch of scattered people.

No one stood out.

No architectural structure was prominent.

Nothing in the landscape was important.

Nothing caught my attention or pulled my eye to a certain thing.

When that happens, the viewer feels uncomfortable because they don’t know what to look at or where to look first.

 

Can you find the subject in each picture?

Try it.

The next photo you look at, see if you can figure out what the main subject is.

Sometimes, it’s easy.

Like when there’s a single person or object in the photo, but when there are multiple objects it may not be so easy.

What do you think the main subject is?

Subjects
If you answered the laptop, you’re right.

The other objects are smaller and insignificant, while the monitor is chopped off.

Therefore, it’ s the laptop in this case.

Sometimes, it takes a second glance.

What’s the subject of these photos?Subjects

You may think it’s the trees, but actually its the brightness of the sunset.

And here?

subjects

Here’s its the grapevines. 

 

So, what should you do?

Next time you’re setting up your photo, determine what you main focus should be.

Your subject can be anything you want.

It will depend on your niche and the topic of the article, as well as what the story is or what you’re trying to convey.

It may be a person, an animal, a tree, the sun, your product, or ANY prop that fits!

The idea is…the subject is what you want the viewer to see first!

 

Make it visually appealing!

Make sure your subject is in a location that will stand out AND be visually appealing.

Have you heard of the rule of thirds?

This is a very popular design and photography theory.

Think of a hashtag symbol (#).

This grid is usually an option on your phone/camera.

Typically, you’d go into the settings and enable the grid feature, but it’ll depend on your specific phone.

Having the grid visible when you take a photo will help you line up the best location for your main subject.

Hint…the best location is usually at one of the 4 points where the lines intersect!

There are many other composition theories out there, but we’ll leave at this for today!

Composition is an entire blog post itself!

 

Isn’t there always an exception to the rule?!

So, before I said the subject is supposed to the the 1 thing that stands out from the rest.

Well….

There are exceptions.

I don’t want to confuse you, but this exception can be a great background for blog photos, so I don’t want you to miss out!

The exception to the rule is repeating patterns.

Have you seen pictures with the same item repeated over and over again?

Yep, it works!

So, if you have something that is a repeating pattern that you can take a pic of, then go for it?

Wondering what type of repeating pattern you could use?

It doesn’t have to be exactly perfect.

Think about nature.

A rock bed, wood floor, leaves on a tree, polka dots, etc.

These are all repeating patterns.  

They can be great background elements for your photos.

Are you shaking your head?

Don’t worry.

You don’t have to keep them at full strength!

You can place an overlay on them and turn down the level of intensity to about 30-40%.

That’s usually enough to make it look like you have a piece of vellum over the photo and will allow your words to stand out when you write over them.

 

Here’s an example of a repeating pattern.  

It’s not consistent, but it works.  

All of the cars are the main subject.

subjects

Now that you understand your subject, do you need help with lighting?  If so, check out these posts and start understanding what you need for great light and fabulous photos!

Lighting 101

Directional Lighting

Soft light vs Hard light

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Do you need additional tips on creating fantastic blog photos?

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About the Author

Amy is the owner extraordinaire at Learn Blog Photography and Amy Paris Photography. She's a single mom to an amazing teenage son. She's passionate about photography and skiing (downhill), the faster the better! Sign up for a FREE 30-min call to light up your photos & biz! bit.ly/2udzBXB