Say Cheese  

Is all about the art of turning that good photo into that great photo. 

Here you will find some useful tricks of the trade that I have picked up on my journey of life, also some great tips from other professionals.


Latest Posts

How To Find Your Own Voice

Posted on 4th April, 2020
It is not just enough to be good you have got to find your own unique voice. The question is how?
Focus on what interests you
This may seem obvious, but there are still a lot of people who go about this all the wrong way. They ask themselves, “What field of photography has the most demand right now? What area will be the most lucrative?” And then they go out and try to fit themselves into that picture.
But you will never be as successful doing this as you could be taking pictures of what interests you.
Why? Because when you are interested in something, you will enjoy it more. You will go out of your way to portray it in a good light. You will be more creative and want to try new things. This is so important and yet most people do not even think twice about it.
Ask yourself: “How could I do this in another way?”
If you are serious about photography, you should always be taking pictures of what you are most passionate about. But it is also just as beneficial to try new things and take pictures of different subjects, too. This does not necessarily mean forcing yourself to take pictures of things that you are not interested in but finding ways of taking pictures of anything in such a way that you find it interesting. It pushes you to always stay fresh and always continue learning and growing. Reading books and taking classes is fine, but I believe that the best teacher is firsthand experience. If you are continually searching for new subjects and new ways of photographing them then you are keeping yourself on your toes, and your work will never become stale.
Passion and excitement are the fires that fuel brilliance, and in order to keep that flame stoked you will need to look for ways to keep your own interest pulsing within you.
How To Find Your Own Voice?
Avoid the creativity killer
Contrary to popular belief, reading more books and taking more classes does not always make you a better photographer. Do not get me wrong; they can be incredibly helpful tools that help you learn and grow to an extent. However, there is a point that most photographers reach were studying and learning stops being helpful and becomes counterproductive. How do you know that you have reached that point?
When you find yourself critiquing and criticising your work more than you are simply enjoying it.
Photography is not supposed to be perfect. There are technical tools that we can use to improve our photographs, but they are only that: tools not rules. Just like people, photos are technically imperfect and yet that is what makes them so beautiful. Each photo is an impression of a moment in time that will never again be recaptured. And only you, from your unique viewpoint, have the ability to take that picture.
Take photos every single day
Most photographers believe that searching for the problems and imperfections is not just the best way to improve, but the only way to improve. I disagree. Although this can be helpful to an extent, it is way more beneficial to just go out and take photos.
In fact, this is the best way to get good at anything: do it. Over and over and over and over and over again. By doing it, you train yourself to see the beauty in things and intuitively find the best angles. You get to the point where you do not even have to think about it any more because it comes so naturally.
Take hundreds of photos. Do not limit yourself. Yes, you can ask yourself as you are taking the picture, “How can I make this better? How can I frame this in order to enhance the features that I want?” But in this day and age, there is no excuse not to take a photo if something catches your eye. With a digital camera, there are no negative consequences for filling up your memory card.
Do not worry if you “miss” opportunities
Photography is not how many shots you get or miss, it is about how many you take and keep taking. I have missed thousands of great shots and screwed up thousands more. I take more “bad” photos than good, and though I do feel disappointed sometimes when I really wanted to get something and it did not work out, I always shrug my shoulders and say, “Hey, it was not meant to be.” Then I get out my camera and go take some more pictures.
Take photos because you love to and for no other reason
The most important thing you can do to improve your photos and find your unique voice is to HAVE FUN!
Is it really that simple?
When you are having fun and trying new things and exploring and enjoying yourself, you are naturally more creative. Ideas will occur to you that you never thought of before. Things will naturally fall into place. Having fun is the key to being good.
Taking beautiful photographs is something that comes from the heart, not the mind. So many photographers spend all their energy researching the perfect equipment and collecting fancy lenses and filters. They strive for the technically perfect photo, and if they do not achieve it they criticise their own work and hide it away.
Get inspired!
Do those things that feed your soul eat delicious foods, read inspiring books, spend time with creative people, listen to music that transports you to a whole new world. It is often in those moments when you are simply enjoying a life that the best ideas occur or you have the most wonderful photo opportunities.
Those very things that inspire you are often hints and nudges in the direction that you could take your photography to move it to the next level.

Focus On Life

Posted on 26th March, 2020
A quote to get you focused on life.
Life is like a camera.  
Just focus on what is important and capture the good times, develop from the negative and if things do not work out, just take another shot.

iPhoneography Tips

Posted on 8th March, 2020
Over the years I have taken some really great photos. I have done a lot of photo editing, which often only made my photos worse. I have spent countless hours on social media sharing my work and following the work of other photographers and I have learned many things in the process.  I hope that by sharing the most important lessons I have learned I can accelerate your learning and help you avoid some of the mistakes that I made. But most importantly, I hope to inspire you to become a more active iPhone photographer.
General iPhoneography Tips
Getting a better camera will not make you a better photographer.
Any iPhone is good enough for creating great photography. I have seen great photos taken with iPhone 3G. You really have no excuse.
Consistent practice is the best way to improve your iPhoneography. Keep practising even when you are out of ideas, and you will eventually create something amazing.
Treat your iPhone camera as if it was an expensive DSLR. If you only use your iPhone to create quick snapshots, you will never get anything else out of it.
Taking Great Photos
First, learn how to take great photos. Only then it makes sense to master editing.
Become an observer of light. On a very fundamental level, photography is all about light, so the better you understand light, the better photographer you will become.
Learn to predict how the scene is going to change in the immediate future. Will that person briefly appear in the reflection after a few seconds? Be prepared when that moment comes.
The very best photos convey a strong emotion or tell a great story.
The mystery is the best way to tell a story in your photos. The best stories are already in the mind of the viewer. If you create mystery, the viewer can fill in the blanks and create a story that is uniquely theirs.
Always take a few seconds and pause before taking a shot. Is this really the best angle and the best composition, or should you try something else instead?
The easiest way to improve your photography is to work on the angle and composition.
Turn on the gridlines until you start thinking about any scene in terms of the grid.
Practice composition with simple photos that have a lot of empty space. Large open areas are perfect places to start with iPhone photography.
Always ask yourself what the main subject of your photo is, or what is the first thing that the viewer will notice. If there is no subject, is it really worth taking that shot?
Placing your subject even slightly off the centre will greatly enhance your photos.
Think about photos in terms of balance. If you put your main subject in one corner of the image, you also want to have something of interest in the opposite corner to keep the composition balanced.
Turn on HDR for landscape photography and when the sky takes up a large part of your photo.
Do not use HDR for photos of movement and when you need to take many photos quickly.
Never use digital zoom. Zoom with your feet or crop your photos afterwards.
Use volume buttons for a camera-like shooting experience.
Use the volume buttons on your headphones for remote shutter release or to stay discreet when taking photos in public.
You should be able to take the iPhone out of your pocket, turn it on, and open camera from the lock screen in two seconds or less. You don’t want to miss that perfect shot.
There are some great iPhoneography accessories on the market, but you don’t really need them to take great photos. Buying cool gear will not make you a better photographer.
Editing And Apps
No editing can turn a bad photo into a good one.
The easiest way to ruin a good photo is to mindlessly apply strong vintage filters.
Your editing should enhance what is already great about the photo, and perhaps add a certain feel that complements the message of that photo. Everything else is unnecessary.
Learn the essential adjustments such as brightness, contrast and saturation first. Only then you should look into more advanced effects and filters.
Do not download 50 photo apps. Only get a few and make sure you know how to use them.
Don’t add text on your photos. Text is distracting and never looks good.
Photo Management
Always have several backups of your entire photo library.
Despite technological advancements, the external HDD is still the most practical way to back up a large photo library. Just do not keep it in the same bag as your laptop.
iCloud is great for automatically transferring your iPhone photos to iPhoto.
Keep your edited photos in a separate photo album for easy access.
Do not take multiple identical photos. Avoid the pain of deleting them later. Instead you should change the angle or composition and then shoot again.
Sharing And Social Networks 
Share your work on social networks to stay motivated and get feedback.
Follow other photographers whose work you admire to stay inspired and get new ideas.
It is OK to copy someone else’s style for the sake of learning. You will eventually discover your own unique style, so you do not have to worry about copying someone else initially.
Do not try to be active on 10 different photo-sharing sites. It will drive you crazy. Just pick your favourite and do a good job there.
Always respond to people who took the time to comment on your photos. Simply saying “thanks” can make a huge difference.
Only share your best photos so that your feed looks great. Quality always beats quantity.

UK Copyright

Posted on 23rd February, 2020
In the United Kingdom, there is no copyright office for artists, writers and other creators to register your work and even watermarking your work is not always effective as work is increasingly becoming digital and with that, those who want to steal your work can use ways to remove a digital watermark.    So if you want to copyright something in the UK, you do not need to fill out a registration form or pay a fee to have your work protected.  According to the UK Intellectual Property Office, copyright is an automatic right that occurs as soon as you create something. The key to this automatic right is that the work you have created must be in a tangible form.
It is really easy to do and so cost-effective compared to our overseas counterparts who have to pay for the same privilege and some times it involves legal fees, which we all know can really mount up.
Here is how you do it.
Put your creation in a fixed, or tangible, form. For example, if it is a poem that you want to copyright, then put it on paper. Or if it is a song, then put it on a CD.
Take the fixed form of your creation and mark it with the copyright symbol, a “C” in a circle, along with your name and the year of creation. In instances, such as a CD or DVD, just write on the actual CD or DVD.
Use a special delivery post to send yourself a copy of the creation, which you should leave sealed. With the special delivery post, there is a clear date stamp on the package. This can be useful if you have to go to court to prove ownership of the creation.
And there you have it, your work is now protected and all for only a few pounds.  I find sometimes that I am wanting to copyright a whole project and you can use the same method to do just that, the only difference is to put all of your projects in the same envelope and set it out as a complete project, in effect acting as one piece.
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