10 Ways to Add Variety to Your Digital Photography

1. Shoot your subject at different focal lengths
Using the zoom on your photos will not only change how close your subject appears but it will also change the depth of field (i.e. the blurring of the background). It also allows you to shoot from different distances which can really impact how relaxed your subject is (there’s nothing better than a photographer in your face to make you tense up!)

2. Shoot your subject from different angles
It’s amazing how much you can change a shot by getting on your knees or taking a few steps to the side!

3. Shoot using different formats
There are different ways to grip a digital camera. The two main ones are horizontally or vertically but you can also get into all kinds of diagonal ways to do it. Mix it up.

4. Avoid the Group Shot Blink
When photographing people try to take multiple shots, especially group photos when someone is always bound to be blinking

5. Use continuous exposure modes 
Most digital cameras these days will have a mode that allows you to shoot multiple frames quickly. So instead of taking one shot at a time you can take multiple ones by simply holding the shutter longer. This can be very effective at capturing people in that second after they post (quite often when they are looking a little more themselves).

6. Move your Subject around 
If it’s appropriate, move your subject around.

7. Try Exposure Bracketing
This is a technique that Pro photographers use to make sure they get the perfect exposure. Some cameras have a built in bracketing function but with others you’ll need to do it manually. The basic principle of it is to take numerous shots in a row and purposely shooting them at a variety of exposures. Start with under exposing them and gradually dial up your exposure levels until your last shot is over exposed. Read more about Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB)

8. Experiment with different ‘modes’ 
Even the most basic point and shoot cameras have different ’shooting modes’. These are usually things like ‘portrait’, ‘landscape’, ’sports’, ‘night’ etc. Sometimes it’s worth flicking through these to take shots at different settings. What these modes do is simply change the basic settings (like aperture, shutter speed, ISO) – all things that can change the look and feel of your shot considerably. Read more on Digital Camera Modes

9. Play with your Flash
Try turning your flash off or forcing it to fire in shots. Sometimes adding flash to a scene where there’s lots of light behind your subject is essential (even though your camera might not think it needs it). This stops those silhouette shots where it looks like you’re trying to hide the identity of your subject.

10. Tell a story
Rather than trying to sum up a whole occasion in one shot, think of the shots you take as an opportunity to tell a story. Try to have the sequence of shots in mind as you're doing a shoot – look for a beginning shot, a middle shot and an end one. It’s almost like a movie but with still shots.

One last tip: 
When it comes to shooting lots of images – take note of what you’re doing. One of the problems with shooting lots of shots at different exposures and in different modes and settings is that you get home to your computer and find a brilliant shot but can’t remember how you did it. Many cameras will store your settings in the images for you to look at later but it is sometimes helpful to even jot down what you do as you take images or at least to make a special mental note of what you're doing as you go so that you can reproduce the types of shots in the future.

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