6 tips for taking great photos of your study abroad year

Are you planning on entering our INTO Experience photo competition? It’s worth a shot! To help you to win the Ultimate Welcome Prize (worth £200), we’ve compiled 6 simple tips for taking great photos …

1. Shoot from the hip
Taking photos from eye-level is a common reflex but why not experiment? Try squatting on the ground, looking at a scene from above, or holding your camera at hip angle. Look through the lens from a different perspective – it creates interesting results.

2. Make friends with light
Want to create interesting contrast and shadow effects? Try taking photos in early morning or late afternoon. But if you have to take a picture in the middle of the day, find some shade – despite what you might think, muted light on an overcast day is best for photos.

3. Move closer
You don’t always have to stay at a polite distance from your subject! Sometimes, the most interesting shots are close-ups (this applies to objects as well as people). The further you are from your subject, the messier and more cluttered things can look. Remember – less is more.

4. Go off-centre
Placing your subject off-centre can create a more dynamic image. Imagine that your image is divided into 9 blocks, like below:

If you place the subject on one of the red crosses above, it makes it easier for people to “read” the images (known as the “rule of thirds”). But it’s not an iron-cast rule – feel free to break it by placing two subjects at opposite extremes of the frame. It’s all about experimenting!

5. Take your time
Creating a good image takes time, care and patience. Try to position your subject in a way that’s interesting and that creates an atmosphere. Think of your audience – what would be visually appealing to them? What would YOU want to look at?

6. Don’t think – just click
However, sometimes it’s OK to break all of the above rules. Try wandering around taking random photos. Follow your impulses without pausing to think or second guess your choices. It releases your inhibitions and creates unexpected results.

So what are you waiting for? Take a photo of your INTO experience so far (trying the tips above)!


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