The Thoughtful Photo

Blogging is fun- I LOVE writing.  However, my favorite element is creating both attractive and interesting images that could easily tell the narrative without my written words.  Using only my trusty smartphone, I take and use almost all of my own photography for À La Prochaine. Even though I have a background in art, you don’t need one to craft gorgeous photos for your creative endeavors.  Once you know a few basics, the rest is easy! Today, I’m sharing my tips and tricks for optimizing your photography- making it as captivating and thoughtful as possible on a friendly budget:

Create strong composition:  Symmetry. Geometry. Perspective. Sounds technical and challenging, but it’s not! I promise.  Considering these three elements will take your photos to the next level.  Shooting a landscape?  Look for hidden shapes that complement one another. Adding a bit of intended symmetry will give your work stunning results.  Perspective draws our eyes into the scene, beckoning you to be completely absorbed by the image.  Don’t be afraid to use your camera’s grid to help keep your composition in check!

Paperless Post Collage Composition
Elements of Composition.

Celebrate color:  A strong palette is exciting!  Experiment with complementary, contrasting, or monochromatic colors. Blues and reds.  Purples and yellows.  Release any inhibition and let color be your subject!

Paperless Post Collage Color
Celebrate color.

Find movement in still subjects:  If shooting a group of objects, give them life by allowing them to run out of the frame.  Movement adds intrigue and interest to your work.  Our eyes will naturally want to follow and move across the image.  I have the most fun shooting scenes with inanimate objects that burst with life in my photos.

Paperless Post Collage Movement
Movement matters.

Focus on food textures:  Having a blog about French culture means that I’m shooting food A LOT.  Since we can’t taste or smell photos, capturing food texture is critical if you’re going to provoke any sort of sensation.  I love shooting food up close, catching all the different, fascinating textures.  Think of all the symmetrical seeds lined across a deliciously ripened ruby-red strawberry.  The floury, speckled crust of a baguette fresh from the oven.  The parallel lines that drape the shell of an escargot.   Food is its own work of art if we take care in capturing its tiny details.

Paperless Post Collage Food
Explore food textures.

Pretend you’re part of a photo shoot: Don’t take just one picture of your subject.  Take multiple pictures, and at different angles.  How you envision the subject in your mind might look different in production.  I tend to take a dozen photos at all angles of one subject, and my favorite shots are almost always different than my original idea! The baguette in the previous collage? Here’s the shoot:

Paperless Post Collage Shoot
Make it a photo shoot.

Experiment with different backdrop materials:  Paper. Wood.  Brick. Grass. Cloth scraps.  Aluminum foil.  Nothing is off limits.  If you’re a frequent reader of À La Prochaine, then you know that my favorite backdrop is a roadmap of New England- Little Red loves it too!

Paperless Post Collage Backdrops
Experiment with different backdrops.

Find services that flawlessly integrate and enhance your creativity:  Being a blogger that stands apart from the rest requires much thought and imagination.  I am always looking for better ways to engage readers and supporters who make this delightful francophile community thrive.  Recently, À La Prochaine has formed a partnership with Paperless Post and Anagram Interactive, and I couldn’t be more excited!  Paperless Post proves that communication can be convenient, affordable, and most importantly, thoughtful in any medium.  The interface is simple.  The stunning stationery options are limitless.  I can easily upload my photos to create personalized invitations, save-the dates, birthday cards, holiday cards , and beyond.  For À La Prochaine, the coming year is going to be filled with new blogging adventures, and I’m thrilled to use Paperless Post as an innovative means to interact with my blogging community on an entirely new and beautiful landscape.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an Apéro to plan!

Paperless Post Screenshot Sample
Paperless Post integrates your photos beautifully for thoughtful communication.


Love photography too?  What are some of your tips and tricks?  Feel free to comment below.

À la prochaine!

  1. Elizabeth

    September 21, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Great tips. I also like pattern and repetition when photographing. Bon week-end

    1. Jessica

      September 27, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Merci Elizabeth!

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