After working as an art director in the fashion capital of Paris, Olivia Thébaut gradually became more and more interested in photography. A few years later, Olivia decided to return to the west coast of France to follow her passion in the wine-growing region of Le Médoc.
Photography has now become a way of life for Olivia, working full time as a photographer, stylist and content creator. She finds a lot of her inspiration in nature, capturing those simple moments in her everyday life with such grace and elegance. It, therefore, seemed only fitting to ask her to reveal some of her tips on how we too can take picture-perfect shots.
Taking a good picture is easier said than done, so if you want to ensure you have a number of photos that you would happily hang on the wall then these tips are for you. Whether you decide to go to the beach, a city or take to the open road; these 5 tips are sure to help you take wonderful photos and maybe even win a year's worth of photo books as part of our Instagram summer photo competition.
Tip 1: Give your photo a story
Before clicking the shutter button, ask yourself ‘what story do I want to tell’. A photo should reflect an idea or emotion and once you have chosen your subject, you can then focus on the surroundings and their details. It is important to eliminate distractions before taking the picture as it will make the idea behind the picture a lot easier to understand. For example, if you're photographing your kids on the beach, try removing the sunscreen or water bottle, and bags from your field of vision.
Tip 2: Think in thirds
When it comes to composition, a good way to create a balanced image is by applying the so-called ‘rule of thirds’. Divide your image into nine equal parts (in your mind or using the option on your phone or DSLR camera) so that you are left with a sort of grid. With this grid, you can place the points of interest in the intersections or along the horizontal lines creating a well-balanced photo. It will also allow the viewer to interact with your image naturally. However, this rule only serves as a guide, and should not limit your creativity!
Tip 3: Time of day
It is best to take photos at the beginning or end of the day to benefit from the soft light and beautiful golden tones. Avoid midday sun for portraits and do not let your subject look directly into the sun, otherwise, you will have lots of squinting and frowning faces and you won’t have to worry about the harsh light shining into your subject's eyes.
Tip 4: Pay attention to the sun
Take photos with your back to the sun for vibrant, high-contrast colours during the brightest hours of the day. If you can handle your DSLR camera well, do not hesitate to shoot against the sun to get soft and nuanced colours.
Tip 5: Always be ready
Always keep your camera or smartphone on hand. The most beautiful photos usually happen in those candid moments, an emotion or facial expression that lasts only a second. If you are handy with a DSLR, make sure to switch the setting to burst mode (high-speed shutter mode) as you’ll be more likely to catch fleeting moments like children playing or water splashing.