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beginner photography tips


Myrtle Beach Photography Tips: Rule of Space

Myrtle Beach Photography Tips


This rule states that if the subject is not looking directly to the camera, or looks out of the frame, there should be enough space for the subject to look into. This technique creates interest in the minds of the person viewing your image. An interesting fact is, the person viewing you image will look where the subject is looking.

If you are taking action images or landscapes with animals, the rule of space also applies. For example, you are taking a image of a horse running, remember to leave an active space for the motion to continue. (don’t always center the horse in the frame but rather leave space for motion in front of the horse. This simple rule will show in the still image that the horse/object is actually moving and has a destination. This also enables viewers to instinctively look to where the object is heading, thus, building excitement within the image and sets its mood.

Not only does it add dramatic accents in your photos, but it also creates a flow to naturally drag the attention of viewers to the direction of the subject.

While following this technique can help you achieve your desired photo, it can also be very interesting if you break this rule.

Breaking this rule, especially in moving objects where the space behind is what breaks or makes the image. Doing this kind of tactic will give the viewer an idea how fast the object had been and where did it come from.

Changing the framing and the look-space direction will also give a different meaning. A subject who runs and has too much dead space behind, means that he is leaving swiftly. But if you put active space in front of it, then it would suggest that the subject is leaving with a goal or target in front.

Play around with your photography to create a story within your image.Let Myrtle Beach Photography know how this works for you in your own photography.See examples of Rule of space below.Would love to hear your comments.Also, if there are things you would like to know, please post and we will try and get to them.

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To Flash or not to Flash

Fill Flash

The biggest misconception in outdoor photography is the use a flash. Most people know that if they are indoors, they use a flash. Most point and shoot camera flashes default to auto flash, meaning, if the camera detects there is not enough light for a good picture, the auto flash will kick-in, in low light. What most people don’t know is when you are outside and your camera is set to auto flash, it will automatically shut down your flash. This is perhaps when you need your flash the most. For example, you are out of the beach and it is 5pm, shadows are heavy and your subjects faces are shaded. This is where your fill flash can help. Go to your settings, override the auto flash(make sure that the flash icon does not have a line through the lightning bolt or flash symbol) and force your camera to flash. This will fill in the shadows (often cast by hats, glasses, noses etc) and light up the faces of your subjects. On the other hand, if your subjects look overexposed and washed out, you can’t decrease the flash strength try moving back a little from your subject and using your zoom to get a tighter framing as this will decrease the impact of the flash. Also remember, with most cameras, about 6 or 7 feet is a normal flash range. Experimenting is the key. Sample images above show the difference between an image outdoors with the flash on and the flash off.

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Vacation Picture Basics


A family is on vacation and wants to get a nice portrait shot with the wondrous background scene. The problem is when the family gets home and looks at the portrait and realizes that they tried to get too much background into the shot and they can barely tell who is in the picture. This scene can be anywhere: on vacation, at the beach, even in the backyard. The most important thing to remember with portraits is that the subject is the person or people in the photograph. I recommend head and shoulder shots for the most part. It is okay to pan out a bit to let some background in, but too much background may cause a subject conflict and the viewer’s eye may not be able to tell what to focus on.


If you pan out to get a better picture of an action portrait then the background is too distracting. To fix this you can decrease the aperture setting on your camera to narrow the depth of field and this will cause the background to be out of focus while keeping the subject in focus. This technique takes a bit of practice but the effect is worth it. Depth of field means your subject is in perfect focus while the background becomes out of focus causing a blurred effect. Notice in the sample photo, the subjects are clearly in focus while the ocean background is a bit fuzzy. This is a nice effect. Most people tend to shoot what they see with there eye. This becomes too distracting with much more background than necessary


While a point and shoot camera usually does not allow the user to change aperture setting, this same depth of field effect can be obtained by simply moving closer to the subject. The closer the subject is to camera, the narrower the depth of field it will appear in. Notice in the sample image, the subjects appear perfectly in focus and the background a bit blurred. This is an example of depth of field. It is a beautiful effect.

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What To Wear To A Photo Shoot

Tips On Clothing Style And Accessories

  • Very simple garments always photograph best.
  • Turtle necks or V-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep V-neck garments as well as bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
  • Long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will overpower the face.
  • Women being photographed in full length should wear long skirts, pants, in order to keep the eye from being directed toward the legs and away from the face.
  • Men should have their hair cut about one week before the portrait session. Women should be photographed whenever they are happiest with their hair in relation to the time it is styled.
  • Light colors are always best, especially on the beach. Try to be coordinated without looking too uniform. What I mean is instead of everyone wearing white shirts and khaki shorts, women wear white dresses, men where khaki long slacks and white button down and kids wear khaki shorts and polo (for boys) and white sun dress (girls). This makes for a much more natural photo.

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Do It Yourself Photography Accessories

When our studio was just getting started and money was tight, we had to get really creative. Talent aside, one of the reasons that photography studios charge what they do for sessions is the very expensive equipment they must have to make your session a success. Back in the day, my photographers would come to me and say, I need this filter for a shoot or we need a new backdrop set up because the only one we have is out on another shoot. I am going to share with you some of the crazy and creative things we did when money was tight.



Lets start with backdrops. A good portable backdrop set up can run into the hundreds even thousands of dollars depending on your tastes. PVC pipe can be your friend in these situations. Go to your local hardware store and look in the plumbing department. Everything you need is there. Draw out on a piece of paper the dimensions of your backdrop. Lets say you want a 10 foot wide backdrop. All you need is a 10 foot piece of PVC for the top bar, two 8 to 10 foot pieces for the sides, and two bases. For the bases, we used a base from an patio umbrella table. You will also need utility clips, also found at the hardware store to clip your backdrop cloth and you are ready to go. The back drop cloth is a breeze. The fabric will need to be a long bolt so go to a store that has fabric for sofas that are much longer bolts than regular fabric. Muslin or sheer fabrics work well. Always have utility tape on hand as a backup. All you really need to do is draw out what you want and the nice men at the hardware store can set you up. Amazing how creative they are.




On to homemade filters can be made from a variety of objects that can be found around the house and an inexpensive UV filter that can be bought at most photography shops for around $10.

To add fog to an image, you can smear a little bit of petroleum jelly on a UV filter. The layer should be very thin for the best effect. For different looks, the petroleum jelly can be spread on only the bottom of the filter, on the top, or anywhere that the photographer wants a little fog.

To add an artistic blur to an image, a little more petroleum jelly can be added to the filter. Smearing it on thick for works for very blurry images and a little thinner works for softer images.

Colored filters can be fun to play with to add a certain emotion to a photo. To add a little extra color to photographs, you can simply cover the camera lens with colored cellophane and secure it with a rubber band. For a less intense color, a piece of plastic wrap can be colored with permanent markers and attached to the lens.

Want that diffused look, a filter that will give aged skin a more airbrushed appearance. To create this filter, the you can cut a square of fabric from an old pair of pantyhose and stretch it across lens, securing it with a rubber band. The photographer may want to experiment with different hose colors for different looks.

Lastly, polarizing filters can be as simple as taking your sunglasses and putting them in front of your lens. This will do the same thing for your photograph as it does for your eyes.

Being from Myrtle Beach, aka The Redneck Riviera, rigging homemade photography equipment and accessories seems like second nature. I hope some of our tricks will help you beginners take some great new images.

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