by David Tong

Most of us bought a camera for the same reason, to take portraits of our love ones. Quite a number of people are content with the idea of “I’m after the person in the picture, I could care less about photography techniques!”. While that reasoning is justified, as capturing the subject take precedence over technicalities of photography, you have to ask yourself, “if I’m taking a photo anyway, why not make the photo nicer since it’ll take the same amount of effort, film, storage, anyway?”

Here are some simple tips and pointers to improve your day-to-day snapshots to make your love ones look better in your photo album!
The series of photos below are taken in this small area. A typical Singapore housing void deck with the public parking lot in the background.


The most common mistake that snapshots show is a busy background. Before you take a shot, do a simple scan of the background through your camera’s LCD or viewfinder. If the background is not an important element (a tourist landmark, for example), don’t include it in the scene.

In this example, the background is competing with the subject for attention and the viewer’s eyes wander around the frame trying to see what’s behind the subject. How do we improve this shot? We have a couple of tricks up our sleeves.
[*]Zoom in closer - By using a longer focal length, you crop out other parts of the scene and keep the attention to your subject while blurring the background as well.

[*]Find a cleaner background - By simply moving your camera position and finding a blank wall or less cluttered background, you can effectively clean up the clutter of the image as well.

Strange Objects

Another common problem I see in snapshots are objects sticking in and out of the subject’s edge, such as the photos below:

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