The oldest form of the art, still life photography started off as more of a necessity since the earliest cameras required long exposure times to capture decent pictures. However, even in a time when it is not even remotely a requirement, still life photography continues to be a popular field. Just from the business point of view itself, still photography can be a lucrative trade since every magazine, catalogue and website requires several still shots of their respective products. In case you are considering taking up still life photography as a profession in the near future, take a look at the following tips on how to do just that.
Find Subjects that Appeal to You
At its core, photography is a form of art and therefore it is important that you start with subjects that appeal to you the most. Go out and shoot a few stills if something catches your eye on the road. Stick to single shots in the beginning and once you get a hang of it, experiment with multiple subjects in one frame, preferably contrasting each other in colour, size, shape, texture, etc.
Look at Work Done by Other Photographers
Just like in any other form of art, you need to look at the work of established photographers to improve and understand more about still life photography. If you are looking for portfolios from a still life photographer in London, check out Howlett Photo. They have some great shots there for budding photographers to learn from.
Learn to Work with Light
Photography is largely about understanding the effects of light on your subject and the good thing about still life photography is that you are in complete control of the light here. Even if you cannot afford to buy studio lights right away, experiment with the lights that you do have or can afford and most importantly, make the best out of natural light.
Get a Good Tripod
A tripod allows you to use longer shutter speeds and smaller apertures, but it can also limit your angles if you are not careful. Move the tripod around and try out multiple angles from the level of the subject, right up to a bird’s eye view. When you are done shooting, you should have a number of shots which actually look different from each other, rather than looking like copies.
Mind the Backdrop
When it comes to still photography, the backdrop is very important. The main idea is to choose something simple and plain that doesn’t take away the attention from your subjects. White paper backgrounds and neutrally coloured walls are good options for beginners. Once you have mastered the art, it might not be a bad idea to also try and select a background that compliments your subject in some way.
While these are good tips for beginners and will serve you well to get started on the right path, you will learn much, much more along the way. It is also recommended to take a photography course if you can, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a necessity.