It seems social media has made everyone and their mother fulltime lifestyle photographers. But from all the photos you see every day on your feeds what exactly makes an artsy photo? What photography techniques can you employ? Many factors, but one is them is a composition that is strikingly simple in its frame. Steve Jobs once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and when it comes to artistic photographs a harmonious composition is usually one that makes you stop and say…wow.
Photographs that lack an artistic quality often tend to be over-complicated in composition. Too much going on in the frame only distracts the viewer from the subject at hand so aim for only one interesting subject to shoot. Don’t worry if the majority of your photo is filled with empty space since that will only make your subject stand out more.
Another trick that photo experts suggest is shooting your subject from an unusual viewpoint. For one, shooting your photo from a low angle gives it a unique perspective. Think about it, the average photo is taken at chest height because that’s the most convenient way for an adult to take a photo. You can totally make your photos more unique by squatting or kneeling when you take the shot so you can capture your subject from a lower perspective. This technique is used in art and fashion photography.
For those of you who have kids, the following is an especially handy tip: shoot from the level of your subject. Whether it’s a two-year old or the family pet, avoid taking your photo while standing and looking down at your subject from a bird’s eye view. If you kneel down to their height, it’s instant closeness and beauty. And if you really want to get arty, know how to make the sun your best ally for art photography. When the sun is located directly behind you, the subjects in photos are instantly turned into silhouettes. Try to get outside close to sunset or sunrise when the sun is low above the horizon since this is the best time for taking breath taking photos. If you are focusing on a person as your subject, then make sure the light is coming from behind them for a silhouette photo. Shadows are also instant drama makers and relatively easy to capture. Wait until the sun is low in the sky to start shooting.
If you want an easy way to make your pictures look arty, skip the whole notion of photography techniques, as there are plenty of apps out there like the popular Instagram, with multiple filters and more even more editing options to choose from. For instance, with Camera+, the iOS app, you can add a soft focus, flash or “clarity” to any image. Finally, there’s VSCO Cam, a free iOS and Android app that is popular among artsy types because it will adjust the focus and lighting on your photos and then edit and modify them with an extensive collection of minimalist filters. Ultimately, true art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, so experiment away.