Taking pictures with disposable cameras is very entertaining because you have no idea how good or bad they can come out, but you can certainly increase those chances!
1. Avoid Bad Light
There really is no such thing as a bad light if you know what opportunities you have in each situation, for example;
In a place with very little light, always keep in mind that you must always use the flash, and that therefore you must also have a subject to photograph in this situation. Indoors is mandatory to use the flash so you can capture what you want.
It is important to know this because the flash has a short action distance. That is why you must make sure that this subject is not more than 3 meters away so that the flash works effectively!
2. Don’T Forget The Subject
The object to be photographed will not always be a person, it can be many things, a landscape, an object or a mixture of all.
But make sure you have a reason for taking the photo, and highlight that reason in some way; Placing it in the middle of the frame for example, or composing with other elements that add interest to the image
3. Find Patterns
A good way to exercise your eye is to look for patterns that stand out in order of how they are arranged. This will help you use more variables each time you make one that contribute to your composition.
The patterns can work to be the object to be photographed by itself, being these interesting enough for you, or to use as a background or complement when photographing a subject.
4. Look For Symmetry
Like patterns, looking for elements of symmetrical images helps a lot when making a good image, since a symmetrical image is always pleasant to the human eye.
A complement to this tip is to also apply the rule of thirds to our photographs. Since many times that symmetrical image that we see, it can look even more interesting if we move it a little further down or to the sides.
If you use this technique to complement your portraits or landscapes, you will enhance your photos by a thousand.
5. Always Have The Flash On
The basis why this tip is important is given for 2 reasons;
The most important reason is to make sure that there is never a lack of light for any light situation, since it may happen that if you do not activate it you could have a problem of lack of light because you have forgotten to recharge the flash.
Whereas if you activate it always it will not do any damage to your photography, not even in a situation of excessive light. Also, the flash works very well as a fill light.
Most disposable cameras do not come with the flash activated by default for use, they all require to be activated in one way or another. But if you get used to always activating it, you will see a big change in the quality of your photos.
6. Shoot Above Eye Level Portraits
The most important reason to shoot from the proper level in a portrait is for compositional reasons. Since if you shoot standing at eye level, there will always be some distortion of the head of the photographed subject with respect to their body.
Try to place yourself at the average level of the person or thing you are going to photograph, this will of course require that you have to bend down or at least bend down for each photos, this can be a bit cumbersome but you will see that it will really make a difference.
In addition, it is not only a tip applicable to portraits, but for all kinds of reasons to be photographed. Since it not only affects human issues that are head or body, but this distortion also affects the lines of your frame.
So at least apply this technique for when you go to shoot something or someone who is close to the camera.
7. Select A Good Background
There are several ways to ensure that the background you use is the best for each situation, one of them and the most effective is to choose a clean background without too many destructive elements.
A background of one color is very good for portraits, if we add to this that you will have the flash activated to fill in the possible shadows that can be seen in certain situations, because you already have a great shot.
Using a symmetrical background can also enhance a photograph, which can be flat, such as door frames or ordered elements that are behind such as photo frames.
Another interesting form of background is to use the perspective of a space, placing the vanishing point in the middle or on the sides of the image. An example can be a long corridor or an avenue that ends up generating that point effect at infinity.
8. Take Lots Of Shots From Different Angles
One way to take advantage of a particular moment to find the best possible photo is to take different shots of it, alternating the angles of each shot. Moving the subject or moving yourself.
To go further in your photos with your disposable camera, you will also have to break some rules such as shooting below eye level. Since it is important to know that there are many ways to compose an image and enhance a photo according to the creativity that we bring to them.
There are many ways to compose by alternating camera and composition angles. To do this you will have to bend down or climb on something to discover it, but you will undoubtedly find an interesting composition of this experimentation.
Follow this step because it is undoubtedly one of the most important steps to take better shots with a disposable camera.
9. Look For Strong Lines, Curves And Shapes
When you see an element that stands out in a scene, try to relate it to the others to enhance it, zoom in or out to find a frame that helps the composition.
Finding these shapes is relatively simple, you just have to look around you and focus on one of these lines and find a way to compose an image that is attractive to document with your single-use camera.
You can apply them to take photos with people, place them around or in front of them. Try composing whole bodies from a distance to add the feeling of space and magnitude.
10. Shoot And Print Film Regularly
Having a printed record of your disposable camera photos is beneficial in many ways.
It helps you identify which types of shots are the most interesting and which you are good at. And it also helps you analyze the shots that you could improve and definitely take better pictures.
On the other hand, you will never regret having taken any photograph when you have them on paper, because what you have is also a memory. And there is no better way to last a memory than to have it printed and be able to touch it.
11. Show Your Pictures
Showing your photos is a great incentive to keep taking photos. Even more so when you take great photos with a disposable camera.
Feedback helps you gain confidence to continue taking photos, and not only confidence, it also helps you develop a style. Since we do not all have the same intentions when taking a photograph.
And you may not yet know what your intentions are other than just taking photos for pleasure, but it’s there. And that intention will be what defines your style. So share your photos on instagram or share them in person when you have them printed. You will see how people will come to see something of you in them.
12. Remember, This Is Just for fun!
If you shoot with a single-use camera, you already know this. But it never hurts to remember, since the great thing about taking photos with these cameras is experimentation. So don’t take all the points too seriously as you will break it sooner or later when you get to those exceptional photos that you can take.
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Fashion photographer and street photography enthusiast, he has twelve years of experience in the field of photography and has based most of his work on analogue format.