Rockin' Art Mom Photography Series - Font, composition, styling, lighting, backdrops and photo editing tipsOh, I am so excited about this photography series.  It’s been weeks and weeks in the making and it’s finally here.  A bunch of Rockin Art Moms have gotten together to offer up some of our best tips on photography, titles and fonts, composition, backdrops, lighting, and photo editing.  These tips are great for bloggers and anyone working or playing around in the world of graphic design and photography. I’m always trying to improve my skill set when it comes to blogging and photography.  There is just so much to learn.

I’ve been tasked with sharing some tips about composition.  According to my RAM family (scroll down to read more about the RAMS) this is something I am good at.  Who knew?  I bet we all have a lot of qualities like that, don’t you think?  It’s nice to have friends point them out, that’s for sure.  Anyway, according to Wikipedia, composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art.  In simple terms, it’s the way things are arranged to create or compose something larger, i.e.. your work of art.

Simple Tissue Paper Flower Art for KidsI asked some RAMS to share which photos of mine they thought were right on composition wise.  I was so happy to see that they were some of my own favorites as well.  I never went to art school. (One of my biggest regrets, that, and not playing college volleyball) Most of my knowledge is from hands-on experience and my personal motto, fake it till you make it, so I wasn’t sure I was the best person to be giving tips on composition.  Having said that, I did notice some similarities between the photos that my friends shared with me and I think I do have some tips to share about this subject after all.  I’ve compiled a list of what I hope are helpful hints when it comes to composition.  If you have any others, please don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below.  Like I said, I am by no means an expert but I do think there may be some tips here to benefit from, even if they are just reminders.  (see the post from the image above here)

Make a Playdough 7 Layer Birthday Cake - Invitation to PlaySo, here goes.

1.  See Beauty Everywhere – This may be my best tip actually.  I remember when I first started blogging I took some pics of the “mess” after a painting activity at work.  (I was teaching first grade at the time.) The colors on the table looked so beautiful.  I remember posting them on Facebook or somewhere and getting comments like wtf is that?  My audience was like three friends and their moms at the time.  It struck me as so odd that not everyone saw what I saw.  I saw color and movement and possibility and that’s what I look for in all the photos I take.  Or at least I try.  So next time you’re walking around, ask yourself, what looks beautiful to me?  Is it the way the trees look at the very top?  Is it the shoes and socks of the little girl standing next to you at Trader Joes?  Is it a certain section of books on a shelf at the library?  Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to say, hey, this looks beautiful! I’m going to take a picture of it. (see the post from the image above here)

Day at the Races - Duct tape and friends for a great Toddler Activity2.  Notice your background. – If there is a lot going on in the background, your pics might not come out so hot. I’m a big fan of the crop button.  Do you use it on your photos?  I often crop out a lot of yucky background stuff to get to the best part of the picture.  I  I try to make my pics look like a small world you want to jump right into, like the chalk sidewalk scenes in Mary Poppins.  If you see a lame table edge or a big ‘ol tv wire in the picture, it kind of takes you out of the mood. (see the post from the image above here)

Spin Art Rocks - Awesome Art Project for Kids3.  Pay Attention to Color. – What kind of colors make you happy?  Are they bright and cheery or pastel and soft?  Think about the mood you want to create and try to capture it through your colors.  I rarely give my girls black, brown, dark green or dark purple paint to work with.  All of the colors would turn to moosh.  In fact, here’s an art secret for you, I love to add white to almost all of our paints to make them super pretty and pleasing to the eye. (see the post from the image above here)

How to make tinker trays for kids for open ended process art - Reggio Inspired4.  Use “rest stops.” – I’m pretty sure this is not the technical term, but what I mean is, give your eye a place to rest.  That means, have some space in your pic that is just open space.  If there is something happening everywhere in the picture, it’s kind of confusing for the eye.  Leaving a little space, especially on a neutral or soft color, gives your eye a place to go and chill, while it’s taking in all the other information.  Give your eye a break yo. (see the post from the image above here)

Temporary Mosaics - Great easy art activity for kids5.  Placement – I’ve read a bunch of photography posts over the years and one thing I see over and over is that off centered equals good.  You don’t have to place your subject in the center of your picture, in fact, it’s better not to.  Showing an object or activity from a unique perspective adds interest to your photo and engages the reader.  Try it.  You might be surprised to see it looks pretty cool.  (see the post from the image above here)

Balloon Art - Great Painting Activity for Kids6.  Move Around – This is a biggie.  I always get mad at my husband when I ask him to take photos of me and my girls because he gets in one position and takes a bunch of pics all looking exactly the same.  It’s great to move around.  Stand on a chair.  Get on the floor.  Move around the space.  Get up close and then go far away.  You might discover a really interesting angle that totally captures what you’re looking at.  (see the post from the image above here)

7.  Last but not least, have fun with it! – Photography is such an exciting practice.  It’s something we can all get better and better at the more we do it.  That’s my favorite thing about it I think.  I look back on the photos I took when I first started blogging and I’m slightly horrified.  Flash forward a few years and I’m pleased with so many of them.  I’m hoping this means that in a few years, I’ll be at another level and feeling that much better about my composition and styling choices.  In the meantime, it’s about having fun and the willingness to learn.

For more fantastic info, check out my fellow RAMS and get ready to learn.  I can’t wait to scour over each post below and inject all the info into my brain.

About the series:

The Rockin’ Art Moms (RAMs) are 16 mom bloggers who believe in the power of creativity as a necessary part of family life! Make Better Blog Photos was developed in response to a question we hear often: “How did you take such a great picture?” We decided to show you how! Each RAM participating in the series will be speaking about a different photo related topic.

And be sure to follow the Rockin’ Art Moms on Pinterest:

http://www.pinterest.com/acitr/rockin-art-for-kids/

http://www.pinterest.com/jeanette_nyberg/rockin-diy/

Oh, and if you found this at all helpful, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below, as well as any composition tips you might have.  You can also connect with me via instagram, aka my happy place.  Hope to hear from you and thanks for reading along!

Rockin' Art Mom Photography Series - Font, composition, styling, lighting, backdrops and photo editing tips