It’s no secret, teacher online accounts are growing in the hundreds. If you want your images to stand out of the crowd there are 7 photography tricks to help your images pop!

1. Use Natural Lighting

Nothing beats natural lighting. Instagram photography is more about light than it is about your photography subject or content. Think about your classroom and office area. How many sources of natural light do you have in these areas and what times of the day to you have the best light? (This will depend on the direction your windows are facing.) If you have a planned photo that day. Schedule a time to take the photo with the best light. Hands down, natural light will always look better than your phone flash. It is worth scheduling your best photography times. 

sunlight

2. Nature’s Own Instagram Filter

There is a time of the day most photographers know called, ‘golden hour’. A lot of wedding planners schedule wedding photos for this time of day because it is mother nature’s own Instagram filter. As you are testing the light in your workplace and home try different times of the day and weather patterns. 

If you are photographing a person or yourself, clouds diffuse the light and create a softer more flattering effect. If you shoot at midday the light could be quite harsh in the images.

Golden hour

3. The not so Secret Rule of Thirds

Professional photographers all know this secret! It is the secret of a well balanced photo. Imagine your image divided into a 3x3 grid. Align your subject or object along the grid lines to create balance. You can practise this by setting up the grid lines on your phone in the settings of your camera. 

Thirds

4. Be Aware of Overexposure

You can always brighten a dark photo so underexposure is key. In contrast, you can’t fix a photo that is overexposed. You can adjust the lighting in each photo you take by sliding your finger up and down the screen or tap your finger on the brightest part of the frame. Always play with the lighting options on your phone when taking photos of products or student work.

If you have a photo with lots of detail keep the High Dynamic Range (HDR) off. This function takes many different exposures and layers them in the same photo, this can look unnatural. Less is more when it comes to taking good Instagram photos. 

Overexposure

5. Resist the Eye Viewpoint

When cameras were first distributed commercially, you held the tiny eye piece to your eye and pressed down hard on the button which took the image and whirred the film across ready for the next photo. Today technology has blessed us with a large wide screen where you can see exactly what your image is going to look like before you ‘click’. 

Use this view by taking photos from different vantage points. Shoot from high and low perspectives to gain that different view point. The different viewpoints are eye catching and interesting to the viewer.

Viewpoint

6. Everybody Needs Space

At times you can gain a more interesting image effect from leaving space around your focal point rather than zooming in. This can sometimes increase attention to detail and field of view. Try to include the surroundings, which you can edit out later if needed and just tap the subject in focus. 

Space

7. Leading Lines

Pay attention to the lines in your image. Lines direct the audience’s attention. This could be a road, building, tree or anything with a strong sense of line and depth. 

Use these lines to your advantage by ensuring they direct the audience’s gaze to your subject.

 Lines

Get Snappy Happy

Gone are the days of taking 350 photos and spending hours in front of a computer screen trying to pick the best one. Take more time when taking the photo, pay attention to detail and try to make sure the photo is perfect before you take the shot. 

Kat Mardell

kat.mardell@tiptheteacher.com.au