How to take reference photos?

  • Does anyone have tips or links to taking better reference photos? I want to improve this area of my art practice.

    Mostly I take more than is necessary and with different settings (not as easy with a phone).  I move further away than is necessary for some, and if there is detail then I take closeups.  I take photos for our business and cannot come back for a missing shot so this ensures I get the shot 99% of the time.

    Thanks Kate. I will not be shy about taking multiple shots anymore.

    Definitely agree with Kate on lots of photos, I can’t remember how many times I wish I’d captured 2 inches more of a scene. Or most recently, I needed more material to fill out a painting and I had more photos from the same set of flowers, but the lighting was opposite, so I could use the shapes but had to imagine/alter the coloring.

    If you’re also looking for some creative inspiration for shooting or want to experiment, give “Creative Photography Lab: 52 Fun Exercises for Developing Self-Expression with your Camera” a shot. It has fun little assignments to flex your compositions, and you may be able to find it through a library to give it a trial run. Some of it you can even do on your phone.

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