Lights, camera, pose!- How to make yourself look better in pictures

As you rummage through the umpteen pictures in your phone’s gallery, it is quite common to feel disappointed. The dilemma of asking your friend for another picture or settling with mediocre ones is a real thing. And you question yourself whether donning that cherry-red dress or that emerald-green Punjabi that day was worth it.
But fear not! With these photography tips in mind, you can be the star of your crush’s Instagram feed.

The Basics

When it comes to lighting in portraits, there are endless possibilities both indoors and outdoors. Acquaint yourself with the surroundings. Capturing pictures early in the morning, during late afternoons or in overcast weather can result in fascinating natural-light portraits.
However, be careful during midday or indoor photography. As you must always make sure your face is facing the light to help you define the features and minimize unappealing shadows.

Going “Extra”

Wearing that lacy maroon kameez and making your beau get a matching shirt may seem like a lot of effort. But you would thank us when it results in that picture-perfect moment captured in a photograph! The background and the setting are also paramount to the success in taking a good picture. A neutral, uncluttered background; or an interesting wall, fence or even a door can provide the perfect pop of color and texture.

Moreover, you might want to choose a place that goes well with your outfit. If you are wearing western apparel, you might want to go for places such as Edith, Horse and Horse, The Red Chamber or the fancy hotels in Dhaka- as the ornamented furniture, ravishing décor and chandeliers and the gorgeous lighting make the places very photogenic! However, if you are going for a more traditional attire, check out places such as The Green Lounge, Cha Walah, Chows restaurant, Ajo Idea Space, etc. Places that provide picturesque outdoor as well as indoor settings for the photographs.

Props

As someone who carried balloons all the way to Maldives and took a picture jumping with them with the sun-kissed resort; pristine coral reefs and turquoise water in the background; I can’t stress my love for props and how much props can add to enhance the overall photo. Although you have to be careful of not taking too much focus away from the main subject, using props in the right way can add a sense of story and give the subject an extra layer of depth. These could include hats, umbrellas, mirrors, balloons or even everyday items such as a flower or a musical instrument. You can also find numerous videos and articles on the

Google how to use these props in your pictures and mesmerize your social media followers!

Getting the right photographer

Being photographed is an unnatural and stressful experience. Even the most expensive camera equipment and all your photography “wisdom” would go in vain if you are not relaxed and comfortable around the photographer. Make sure you take a friend or someone who is open to suggestions. And is willing to provide guidance like “Raise your chin a little” or “Look the other way for a fake candid!” to help you shamelessly pose without thinking twice.

Before-After

It is true that capturing photos in their natural setting may create striking portraits. Even so, adjusting the brightness and contrast, altering the hues and playing with the shadows can enhance your shots significantly. Editing platforms such as Aviary, Luminar, Lightroom and Photoshop are a great way to help you achieve this and take your photographs to the next level.

Digital Art 101: Everything you need to know

Lately, many artists are diving into the imaginative world of digital art because of the comprehensive opportunities that it holds. Trying to switch to a digital medium is not an easy task. For an aspiring beginner, becoming a digital artist from scratch may seem a like a daunting endeavor. But with some practice and skill, the pen tablet can turn into your wand in no time.

Learning the basics

Even if you’ve been exploring art as early as childhood, you will need to become familiar with the techniques of painting digitally.

Because it is significantly different from traditional art.

Firstly, you need to get an overview of the different tools and brushes that exist and how to go about using them. From personal experience, I would suggest experimenting freely with all of the brushes until you start to understand how things work. And of course, there are millions of tutorials online that can help you get a head start.

Debunking the age-old myth

I hate to break it to you, but no. Drawing digitally is not “easier” than drawing on paper. No matter how convenient it may seem, it does come with a lot of complications, so don’t go into digital art thinking it’s going to be a walk in the park.

You don’t have to stick with Photoshop

When people hear the words “digital art”, they automatically associate it with Photoshop. Many assume that it is the only program available to draw with. While learning Photoshop can be great for you in the long run as an artist, it is not the most user-friendly software for beginners. You can explore a variety of other programs like Clip Studio Paint, Krita, Autodesk Sketchbook (did I mention this is free?), MyPaint (also free), Corel Painter Essentials, etc. All these new programs have truly made digital art a lot more approachable, so try a bunch of them and see which one works for you the best.

Use photo references

Let’s be real, it is unrealistic to expect that you’ll know how to draw everything and anything in this world, and that’s why photo references exist. Using hand drawn sketches or photographs as a photo reference can really ease up your creative process. Additionally, there are plenty of stock websites that solely exist to help you with this, so go on and scour the Internet for whatever you need. But remember, the idea isn’t to completely recreate these images; it is only there to help you start off so you can add your own intricate details to it and eventually be able to draw without the help of references.

Pro tip: When you’re struggling to find the accurate photo reference of a figure, just make your friend pose accordingly and use that instead!

Using layers

I cannot stress how important it is to understand how layers work when it comes to digital painting. It is a magical feature that will make your creative process ten times easier. Knowing how to use layers according to your own advantage will give you a lot of power as a digital artist. Because then, you’ll be able to edit your art without any restrictions. Even though layers might seem confusing at first, it is really is a no-brainer once you start using it.

Investing in a tablet

One of the cardinal tools for digital art is a graphic tablet. Using a mouse will hinder the quality of your work immensely while also making your fingers numb (I kid you not). The number of options out there can make it seem like an impossible task to choose the right tablet. The truth is that there is no one right tablet, and it all comes down to your own requirements and affordability. Some of the most popular manufacturers right now are Wacom, Huion, XP-Pen, Ugee, etc.

The important part is to spend some time researching. Maybe watch some videos on YouTube, and figure out how much you’re willing to invest in this. Some important things that you want to keep in mind are the size, pressure sensitivity, pen, accuracy and of-course, the price. Not all of us can afford the really fancy, expensive tablets, especially beginners, so you can consider going for a modest one to help you get started.

Tip: Wacom Intuos is one of the most recommended graphic tablets of all time at an affordable price and is great for entry-level artists. It also comes with three 3 free drawing software.

Try again and again and again

Most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP.  One of the biggest eradicators of creativity is our own self-doubt. But as a creative individual, you have to push through it and start believing in your own work. Keep striving to improve every day and don’t be disheartened by comparing your progress to other artists who have had years of experience. Remember that they also started off somewhere, clueless, just like you.