3 Photography Hacks for Beginners

 

Here at High Five, we love our team and their creative brains. The hours and mad skills they put into their work leave us in a state of shock on a regular basis. Meet one of our photographers, Jonathan Burkhart

Jonathan was picked as one of TIME Magazine's 50 Instagram Photographers to Follow back in 2015*, and continues to embark on crazy adventures with friends, gathering a vast array of portraits and landscapes for his portfolio (and his 51k+ Instagram followers).  

We’re not quite sure how he does it . . . some in the office theorize that he listens to Baby Got Back to get in the zone, while others say that he does exactly five jumping jacks to find his Zen mode. Regardless, we are proud of all that he is and most importantly, we're proud of his humility and how he handles his talent. 

So after we finally found a free moment for Jon (he’s a busy man), we asked him for some tips and tidbits for all the budding photographers out there. Here’s what he said: 

1.) Composition is key. “You’ve got to think outside the box,” he said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but until you really dig in, you won’t be able to fully commit and get the results that you want. You’ll be working against yourself; you have to get out of the box and stay out of it.”  Another important thing to remember about a photo’s composition is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is all about balance and the natural way that the human eyes looks at photos. If you imagine a 3x3 grid when looking through your camera lens, place the points of interest on the intersecting points of the grid. 

2.) Lighting is make or break. “You want your lighting to convey the emotion of the subject,” Jonathan said. “To make your message most effective, use lighting to your advantage to create the mood, whether that be using shadows or fully exposing your subject.” It’s also important to be aware of the sun when you’re shooting outside. “Golden hour” is a term used for the time in the day (either right after sunrise or right before sunset) that has the best natural light. Be on the lookout for sunrise/sunset times! 

3.) Jonathan’s favorite editing apps. Apps are some of the greatest tools for beginner photographers—and professionals, too! “Apps are some of the greatest tools for getting your feet wet in the photographing world. If you just take a little time to explore the app and learn, you will become a little better versed in the terms and tools of the trade."

Below are some of Jonathan's favorite editing apps: 

Taking professional-grade photos is hard and takes a lot of time and attention. Don’t stress yourself out—find a professional! We’ve got a few around here who will get the job done AND give you some high fives.