Every photo project comes with its own set of challenges. Shooting locations and conditions may vary, but there are certain aspects that you should always try to incorporate to create your own style. COOPH’s founder, Ulrich Grill, shares key ASPECTs to consider when out on a photo shoot:
A great photo series requires the photographer to set an atmosphere that dictates the look, feel, and mood of the photographs. Atmosphere for a photo shoot can be set by the selection of colors of surroundings, dressing up of the subject, and lighting, among other factors. In the video, Grill shares that he and his crew painted the entire house blue for a dark and eerie atmosphere.
Shadows can be used to tell a story and add depth to photographs. By shooting in such a confined space, it would have been very difficult for Grill to avoid shadows. Instead, we can see that he has positioned the lights to project incredible shadows on the walls and ceilings. The shadows also help by accentuating the shapes of the athlete and adding more drama to his actions. If it were a portrait session, you would want to avoid harsh shadows on the model’s face and adjust your lighting accordingly.
How and where the camera is positioned determines how the subject and his actions will appear in the photograph. For instance, in action shots, we can add more drama by shooting from a lower angle to accentuate height. Grill also looked for ways to reveal the full shape of the athlete’s body profile to make him appear more dynamic; he avoided shooting from above. On the contrary, in the case of shooting a portrait session, you would want to look for flattering angles by positioning yourself at the subject’s eye level or slightly above the subject.
Photographs in which the subjects project energy instantly grab the viewer’s attention. Energy level sets a mood. While shooting sports, the energy level is dictated by the motion and movement of the subject. In portraits, it’s the emotion and expression of the subject that provide energy.
Look for ways to use contrasting colors and lighting to produce more impactful images. You can use contrast either to differentiate the various elements of the image or to isolate your subject. As Grill demonstrates in the video, the athlete’s bright clothes helped him to stand out from the dark surroundings.
Timing is important in all genres of photography and is closely related to the photographer’s ability to anticipate the things going on around them. By properly understanding what is it that you want to shoot and what is happening around you, you can time your shots so your subject is at their best. Depending on the situation, you may need to use a very fast or even a slower shutter speed to capture the best moment.
While at first it may be challenging to incorporate all this aspects in your projects, mastering them will allow you to create your own signature style. So keep on practicing, and try to implement these ASPECTs in your photography.
“Do your research, try for yourself, and always get the subject’s input and feedback.”
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