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Photos bring a website to life. If your website only had text, it wouldn’t be much to look at and certainly wouldn’t be user-friendly.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to take original photos that look great without much money or effort. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can elevate your low-budget photography and create your own stunning website visuals.
You don’t need a digital SLR camera or expensive equipment to take great photos. Instead, just pick up your smartphone. As PCMag points out, most smartphone cameras these days are superior to the less expensive point-and-shoot cameras.
There are lots of other gadgets you can buy to enhance your smartphone photography, including special lenses and lighting kits. But, if you’re on a budget, you can get creative with everyday items that will enhance your photography game.
No tripod? Balance your phone on a stack of books or a chair to steady your shot. Need better lighting? Use lamps, or head outside to take advantage of natural lighting.
Chances are your smartphone or camera has a zoom feature that makes it easy to zero in on your subject from a distance. However, if you rely too much on zoom, you may end up with grainy, pixelated photos that don’t do justice to your subject.
Instead, take a tip from pro photographers and “zoom with your feet”: get up close to your subject by moving toward it instead of staying back and depending on the zoom feature.
The composition is “a way of guiding the viewer’s eye towards the most important elements of your work,” according to Photography Life. Whether you’re taking a photo of a child’s birthday party or a bowl of peaches, consider how the photo’s composition frames and highlights your subject.
Use grid mode on your camera or smartphone to see where objects fall within each photo. A helpful tactic for beginners is to follow the Rule of Thirds: instead of placing your subject in the center of the frame, aim to photograph it in the left or right third of the frame to increase visual interest.
Understanding the basics of lighting in photography can instantly improve your images. Avoid taking photos in a backlit environment where natural or artificial light filters in behind your subject, creating shadows. For the best natural lighting, stage photoshoots during the golden hour, which is either two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset, according to Shutterfly.
Experiment with free photo editing apps like Snapseed, which comes recommended by the New York Times’ Wirecutter. You can also opt for a specialized app like Foodie, which offers filters designed to enhance food photography.
A few small tweaks or a single filter can make a big difference. Just be careful not to go overboard with the filters — sometimes, less is more.
By sticking to these low-budget photography tips, you’ll be well on your way to taking photos that are worthy of your website.
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