Hello, Laura here with a tip for improving the variety of photos on your pocket pages or breaking out of your photography rut in general. It’s called the Five Levels of Photography. It’s basically a checklist for shooting a moment or event and it really improves your storytelling capabilities.
The 5 Levels List:
- The scene
- A group
- A person (head to toe!)
- An action
- A detail
The wide shot. This photo sets the scene and gives the reader a sense of space. This shot is often left out of scrapbooks but it can be very important for telling the whole story (and for historical purposes.)
Examples of SCENE in a scrapbook: The outside of the house, theatre, restaurant or the sign at the park. The field, pool or court with bleachers. Maps, Google Earth and aerial pictures can also count for SCENE.
The storytelling shot. This photo shows people interacting. From a crowd to a small group of friends, try to capture emotion.
Examples of GROUP in a scrapbook: Families dining together, playing games, or having conversations in the living room or yard. Kids playing, dancing or participating in a sport. When possible, get yourself in these shots!
A full body shot of an important person in the event. This photo may be cropped later, but if you have the full body, you can extract/cut out the person from the background.
Examples of PERSON in a scrapbook: This is what most of us have. Pictures of our children doing something cute, our spouse napping on the couch, a selfie or the family pooch in a strip of sunlight by the back door. Get creative with angles and lighting to spice them up.
These are usually the award-winning shots and you KNOW when you’ve got it! These are the shots the professionals make their money from. The game-winning touchdown and the reaction shot filled with emotion. Smartphones are great at capturing action shots these days because you can keep holding the shutter button down for rapid-fire shooting, it’s called Burst Mode!
Examples of ACTION in a scrapbook: Kids doing anything active (try shots while they are running away from you for variety), people laughing together, usually anything candid or unposed involves action.
Time to use the Macrophotography setting on your camera, Zoom or just get up close and personal. These are the photos that are the icing on the cake. Sometimes they are emotional, sometimes they are objects, but they always help tell the story.
Examples of DETAIL in a scrapbook: Favorite products on the fridge shelf, your child’s hand on their favorite toy, a close-up of your pet’s face, a wide-grin, tear-filled eyes, snow- or sand-covered anything, a book cover, you get the idea. These make great additions to pocket pages!
Good photography still requires an understanding of the rules of composition and camera handling, but by using the Five Levels of Photography, you can instantly transform your scrapbook into a storytelling book.
Try it, next time you’re shooting an event such as a birthday party or family celebration, get the five required shots: Scene, Group, Person, Action & Detail. You may not use all of the photos in your layout, but you’ll certainly be happy you had the option! (It may even be worth printing a card with the 5 Levels List to put in your camera bag!)
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