20 question pre-photo photography mental checklist

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20 question pre-photo photography mental checklist

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20 question pre-photo photography mental checklist
Tips to consider prior to tapping your smartphone screen
Taking a moment to run through a photography checklist will help to transition your images from snapshots to more engaging and intentional photographs. This will also save you time in the mobile editing stage.

In summary, my 20 pre-shoot considerations are:

1. Clean the lens!
2. What is my subject or photo intention?
3. Am I close enough to emphasise the subject and still capture the context?
4. Should I hold the phone vertical or horizontal?
5. Is the background clutter-free and distant enough to provide depth?
6. What is the light quality, direction and intensity?
7. Does an alternative height or angle create a more interest perspective?
8. How does this scene make me feel? Create mood through light, colour and composition?
9. Where is the subject positioned and how do they interact with other elements in the frame?
10. Should I use the rule of thirds or an alternative compositional technique?
11. Are there available leading lines existing in the photo opportunity?
12. How does my eye flow through the scene? Are there distractions pulling my attention the wrong way?
13. Do I need to override the auto mode and use a camera replacement app to access manual control?
14. Would this be a great opportunity to use the portrait, live focus or another mode available on my smartphone?
15. Is tack-sharp focus critical in the photo?
16. Do I need to shoot in RAW for extensive editing or printing or is JPEG file format sufficient (95% of the time)
17. Is this intended to be a black and white image?
18. Do I need to use a tripod or a lens attachment?
19. Do I need this photo?
20. You check the photo and are not initially satisfied. Do you need to check the list of questions again?

1. Clean the lens

The first thing you check when your images are starting to become blurry!

2. What is my subject or photo intention?

Taking the time to stop and think about your motivation for taking the photo will help you to make it clearer in the image. It will also encourage you to think about how to best make it clear to the viewer.

3. Am I close enough to emphasise the subject and still capture the context?

Keeping the surrounding area in the image contributes to the story being told in the scene. If you are cropped closer, it becomes all about the finer details.

4. Should I hold the phone vertical or horizontal?

If like me, you view your photos on a TV screen then vertical images are going to have extra blank sections on the side. Some images definitely should be vertical.

5. Is the background clutter-free and distant enough to provide depth?

Isolating the subject against a busy background will minimise the chance of the viewers' attention wandering, looking at everything else in the image. If you are using the portrait mode or another app to artificially blur the background, they are much more effective when there is a distance between the subject and the background.

6. What is the light quality, direction and intensity?

You may not notice images that have beautiful lighting. You sure notice the bad lighting images. This could be strong overhead light that casts a shadow over a face.

7. Does an alternative height or angle create a more interesting perspective?

We all experience life at eye level! Sometimes, even the most common scene can become instantly more interesting and intriguing by simply capturing it an alternative angle. Low angles of children and pets become much more intimate. It is also fun getting down to their level and looking at the world from their perspective.

8. How does this scene make me feel? Create mood through light, colour and composition?

Bright sunshine can contradict a scene that has a more dramatic and gloomy subject matter. Conversely, an overcast day can make it more difficult to evoke a fun, energetic sun-loving activity..

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