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Even the best professional photographers will admit that from time to time, they have an off day or even period when a lack of new ideas and the inability to get the right shots just seems to take over. Even with the ability to know and use the best techniques, many professional photographers admit that some days, their photos which technically are perfectly correct just lack interest and could even be considered boring. If you talk to leading photographers professional and amateur, they may be prepared to give you some great tips that can help you get those creative shots that you are seeking just right. Remember there is no cast iron guarantee of getting a perfect shot but knowing some useful tricks can always come in handy.

1. Make your photos tell a story

When you set out to create your photo collection you need to have a story in mind that the photos will reflect. Every object in every photo have to contribute to telling this story and encourage interest in the viewer who should want to know: “What is this object?” “How did it come to be here?” “What’s happening here?” “Who is the protagonist?” Your photograph should be like the climax of a film thanks to its great effect. When the viewer sees the photo they should be able to work out what took place before and should be able to imagine what will happen next. When you consider the photo you are going to take make sure it fits in a storyboard consisting of the beginning, the middle part and the end, having done this you can capture the culminating point where the photo is taken.

2. Mind maps:

How to create and use them Photography experts swear by mind maps and recommend that you use them at all times as you plan your creative photo shoot. What they point out is that mid maps are great mental exercises to get your mind working lucidly and fully up and running. You can find a great deal of detailed information about mind maps on the internet, however this summary will serve you well to get started. First of all, consider and select the main subject of the photos that you are planning to shoot, now figure out the mood you wish to convey with the subject and any other important aspects of this subject. Once you have made up your mind get a sheet of paper as large as you like and write these details down directly in the centre of the sheet. Now prepare the branches radiating from the central subject. Each branch should terminate with an object for example:

• Shooting location

• Shooting Conditions

• Available props

• Associations

• Photo equipment

List a number of entries, for example shooting location options and continue until you have run out of relevant ideas. Now stand back and examine your subject and the branches so that you can match the best choice on each branch category with your subject matter. Some people are of the opinion that mind maps are pointless, often because these people are hasty or want to get to work taking pictures immediately, they comment that simply making a list of important points in a column will do. However, mind maps have proved time and again that they are more effective as they give a better structure and allow you to discover connections and relationships between the elements that you probably would not have originally thought of. While you may make a few false starts with mind maps be persistent and over a short period of time you will wonder how you ever managed without them.

3. Don’t be overcome by your equipment or lack thereof

Everyone wishes that they could have the latest or better camera equipment, many lament “if only I had a camera like that “ or “if I could just lay my hands on that prop”, but what you probably don’t realise is that you more than likely have everything that you need in hand already. Creative photography does not rely on expensive cameras and a huge wardrobe of props but pure imagination, remember that creative photographs don’t have to be realistic but imaginative and you can use some paper, cardboard and a colouring brush to create great props that won’t break the bank.

4. Making a tribute

This project idea allows your creative juices to run riot. Think about a director, artist or musician who you admire and whose work inspires you. Try to use your creative photographs to reflect what you think that they might produce and look to produce a shot in their style carefully using colours, subjects and angles to express your own story given these parameters. Not only is this type of project useful to develop your techniques, but it should also be an enjoyable experience for you.

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