Ann Dierikx, who edits FYI Talgarth is much too modest to say this herself, but over the past four years she's gone from being a photography enthusiast to an in-demand and amazing pro photographer.
With the great outdoors awaiting us in Wales, we thought it timely to ask Ann for some tips on taking photos which look good on social media. (nothing to do with making cack handed friends feel envious, of course...)
Here are her suggestions:
1. When you take a photo for Fbook what should your main considerations be?
Try to pick a photo that pops out and if it features a person, then close up shots often work best, as it is the person's expression that connects emotionally.
Facebook changes its photo formatting frequently, so use this link for guidelines on size. https://www.facebook.com/PagesSizesDimensions/
Also a good caption for your image helps. And if it relates to a story or website don’t forget to include the link.
2. What type of photos do you think work best?
As I get hired to take photos of lots of rock bands, sometimes the lighting at a gig can mean the images only work in black and white.
If you're using your images on Instagram, a square format works best, unless you use an app adaptor like App for Instagram. On Twitter, landscape format works better.
It may be obvious, but worth emphasizing - you 'find your eye' by lots and lots of practice and experimenting. Technical skills and confidence grow this way.
(Michiel van Hulten, previous chair of Dutch Labour, and Visiting Senior Fellow London School of Economics, speaking here :http://talgarth.fyinetwork.co.uk/my,39112-Gwernyfed-High-School-hosts-Post-Brexit-Conference )
3. Do you have any favourite and easy photo editing apps you recommend?
I shoot RAW ( with full data) to give me plenty of scope for best quality of size and image I need for the job. I use Adobe Creative Cloud Suite for my photography and graphics. My main tool is Lightroom CC (2015). Most of the time I just use a gentle crop or brighten. Occasionally i use Photoshop but not often.
Learning to see an image through the viewfinder definitely helps. Try not to pepper spray when shooting. Think about what you are looking at and the purpose of your image. Is the image for marketing or simply to capture a quality for the client? If you are shooting images for marketing you might want to make your subject hang to the right or left of an image, or equally top or bottom to allow room for text.
It’s too late to put space back into a photo if you don’t shoot in there in the first place!
4. What are the most common mistakes people make?
You can take great photos on an iPhone or other smart phone. But take some time to learn the settings.
A most common mistake with a camera is shooting on Auto, which stops you thinking about the what sort of image you want. If you always shoot on Auto you have no control on depth of field or where your focal plane will sit. Shooting a child's birthday party, for instance, you'll want the focus to be the child not the lovely spread on the table behind or the plants 20 feet away in the garden...
The view finder is your best friend. If you look on the screen at the back you are not seeing the image through the lens as the camera does. Use the viewfinder and make sure you have adjusted to your eye’s focus. You'll take better compositions if you do this.
Be patient when taking photos and don't lunge at the first image you spot. When shooting people, spend some time to put them at ease first with a chat to help them relax. If you stick the camera in their face straight away it will show on the images.
When shooting landscape , walk about and reccy what it is you want to shoot. Is there a telegraph pole in the way maybe? - remember you can’t replicate the image again. Photography captures a one off moment and that is its great joy for me. Even a building will never look the same again in different light!