Subject is the star of your photo!

Find out more how to ensure the subject is the star of your photo and never mess up the focal point of your photograph ever again!
Gaurav Achpalea

What is Creative Life?
Creative Life is a series through which I share my knowledge about photography and videography skills. Both these crafts have become quintessential for people wanting to become digital content creators. The more you develop these skills the more you raise the production value of your digital content. This eventually could translate into producing quality content that has the potential of gaining traction and popularity with time.

What usually happens is, especially in jewellery photography or even people who photograph apparels and accessories, the star of the photo ends up being the model instead of the product. So, this post is to help you not make that mistake and how to ensure the subject is the star of your photo!

Well lit
Ensure that your subject is well lit or in most situations the best lit in the photograph. Why? Because our eyes tend to first go at the brightest spot in the photograph. So if your subject is well lit, your eye will directly jump onto the subject. If it is evenly lit, just like everything else, your eyes might find it difficult to figure out what the focal point of the photo is. Another way to ensure this through lighting is by making sure your subject has really high contrast, like a really bright highlight and deep shadows. Because even high contrast catches our attention equally as the brightest spot in the image does. So if you don’t want to keep the subject as the brightest lit part of the photo, you can definitely make sure that it has the most contrast in the image. This is a really creative way to use lighting and draw focus on the subject. A well-lit subject definitely ensures that it stands out in the photograph.

Colour pop
If your product is having colours, colour pop is another way of making your subject pop in the image. So try to keep the rest of the photo clean by not introducing other distracting colour elements. Make sure that the subject, because of its colour, stands out and nothing else is as colourful as your subject because then it will start competing with the subject to grab the attention of the viewer.

Eyes in focus
Let’s say you are not photographing a product, you are photographing a person. In a model portfolio photoshoot, for example, the subject is the person being photographed. The first thing we tend to notice when looking at a photograph of a person is the eyes. So if the eyes are not in focus in the photograph, that photograph is a big mess. This is because the viewer will feel a bit confused, “the eyes are not in focus… so what exactly am I supposed to look at in this photograph?” Every photo that you take needs to have sharp and clear eyes if you are photographing anything with eyes. That’s why cameras have now developed technologies like Eye-AF or eye autofocus because that’s how important it is in photography to capture perfectly sharp eyes. 

Minimise distracting elements
Minimise any distracting elements in the background or anywhere else in the photo. If you want to be sure that your product is the star, nothing else should be in competition with it, not even the background. So if you are having a really catchy background which registers quicker than the subject itself, then you are defeating the purpose of that photograph. The purpose of a photograph is always for the subject to register the quickest in the viewer’s mind, not the background or not any other element.

Leading Lines
If your frame has any elements like poles, staircase, road marks, curvy lanes or pathways it should ideally lead the viewer’s eye towards your subject. When that happens it adds another level of interest in the viewer’s mind. So if your frame has any kind of leading lines that can lead the viewer’s eye towards your subject, make sure that you make full use of it. Doing so will definitely ensure that your subject is the star of your photograph.

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