It is time to get snap happy (and we are not talking about social media)!

When you hear talk of snapping, you would be forgiven for thinking that we were talking about social media – and specifically Snapchat.

But not this time, as it is Photography Month and we want to encourage you to get out there and practise your snaps (take photos). We want shutterbugs* everywhere to just give it a go – and we have some tips for you!

In our Media Cubs workshops, we often set our Snap It, Film It challenge, where we challenge young people to take shots of different objects around them or in different styles. Armed with only a tablet camera, we see fantastic photos being taken every day! You don’t need an expensive camera to get started – simply grab your phone and start snapping.

Here are our top seven tips:

Rule of thirds: when taking a picture, you want to imagine that your picture is split into nine squares – think of it like putting a noughts and crosses grid over your image. This will help you to line your subjects up to create the best photo. It is best to line up your subjects with one of the vertical lines, or use the lines to get your subject perfectly in the middle.

Framing: Make sure your person or object fits inside the framing of your photo. Don’t cut off any foreheads or lose any important details!

Background: When capturing a person or an object, think about your background – is there anything distracting behind it? Would it look best against a pattern or a plain colour? Can you see your object clearly? You don’t want anything in the background that will take away from the object you’re capturing. This photo works well because the background has something related to the person but is not too distracting.

Landscape or portrait?: Think about whether your photo would look best in landscape or portrait to get the best view – try both if you want to compare!

Lighting: Lighting is very important when taking a photograph, we want enough but not too much. Taking photos outside in natural light works well, but think about when you might also need to use the flash to help you.

Angles: Not all photos have to be taken straight on, you could use height and different angles. Photographing something small? Make sure to get low to get close! Photographing something tall? Try tilting your camera like the examples below.

Ask permission: An important rule if you’re photographing someone – make sure to ask them first if it is okay to take a picture of them. If they say yes, snap away!

Some ideas to get you started:

  • A head and shoulders shot of a family member or friend.
  • An ‘in action’ shot of a sporting event – this means the people are doing the sport when you take the picture.
  • A photo of a building.
  • A photo of your pet/an animal/teddy.
  • A close up picture of a plant/flower.
  • A selfie of your head and shoulders.

Get practising and show us your best snaps by tagging us on our social media.

SHUTTERBUGS *People who enjoy taking photos