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Digital cameras have completely revolutionized the photography industry. With more convenient, cheaper and higher quality cameras now available on the market, it seems everyone owns a point and shoot or DSLR. More recently, social media brought this growth explosion to the next level, encouraging many people around the world to share their work online. Popular social media sites like Facebook host over 15-billion unique images and with its current rate of growth, users are expected to upload 30 billion more images this year alone. These sites, whether primarily built for photographers or not, are growing rapidly. In such a huge network how can you differentiate your visual artistry from the rest of the pack? Here are some tips to make sure your photographs don’t get lost in the crowd.
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1. Follow the Road Less Traveled. Search for a different place or angle to take distinct photographs. Don’t just stick to tourist destinations or overly clichéd subjects – look for something unique, rare, or even simple. By thinking outside of the box, you can separate your shots from the obvious. Try to stretch out of your comfort zone and experiment. Put all the rules you’ve read aside for the moment (maybe except these) and develop your own set of rules.
2. Use Patience and Persistence to Develop Your Visual Story— Ask yourself, “Is this the most interesting way to portray my subject?” “Should I try another perspective, exposure, or add a new element?” “Is my composition and background right?” Consider throwing in some foreground interest. Overall, make sure to consider every detail of your image in order to ensure it's the best it can possibly be. If you wait patiently and stay with your subject long enough, you may just capture intriguing displays of emotions and energy.
3. Timing is What Makes Your Photographs Atypical. In a visually compelling image, well timed elements act as the cherry on top of the cake. In this instance, timing is about capturing a rare and exquisite moment in which all the stars align (rather than the time of day you shoot). An example of this, would be capturing an unlikely seagull swooping into your already beautiful frame. Such timing allows you to snap something the next guy may not be able to get.
4. Emotions. There is nothing more powerful than human emotions. From joy and laughter to pain and loneliness, we’ve all experienced a variety of emotions. Human nature leads us to sympathize with those who share our same experiences.
For these reasons, emotion adds a rich dimension to your photography. When your images mirror powerful emotions, your viewer is able to connect with the exact thoughts you’re trying to convey. This adds a deeper meaning to your story and helps you to better engage your audience. Remember getting close to your subject and focusing on their face is one of the most effective ways to capture vivid and tangible emotions.
5. Don’t Overlook Motion. Movement is something that almost always adds interest to a photograph. If you portray motion in a unique way, you can create a dynamic energy that draws the viewer into the scene you’re painting.
6. Shoot candidly. There is no better way of encompassing a personality than photographing candidly. Posed images often seem bland and plastic because they lack a real world, spur-of-the-moment liveliness. Break free of this hackneyed style so your images can have a distinct flavor.
7. Colors and Texture Bring a Layer of Realism and Visual Engagement into Your Photographs.
There is no better or more satisfying way to make your photos meaningful then by being imaginative and inspired. So go out and try it!
Tell us: What separates your work from the crowd?
Chase Guttman is an award winning New York City Assignment Photographer. You can follow him on Twitter or keep up with his great photo tips blog.