Between assignments, trusted Virtuoso Life magazine contributors share trade secrets about capturing memorable moments.
Leave the bulky camera bag behind. “Because big camera bags count as carry-on items, I protect all my gear—the camera and lenses—in Domke wraps and keep them in a tote or backpack.”—Korena Bolding Sinnett, art director, Virtuoso Life
Understand the rule of thirds. “The basic principle behind this rule is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds—horizontally and vertically—to create nine equal parts. Make sure to place the object of the shot in a third of the frame, not in the middle.” —Sivan Askayo
Set your clock for golden hour. “Golden hour, the time right after sunrise or before sunset, is a great time to photograph outdoor scenes because the lighting is ideal.” —K.B.S.
When shooting food in restaurants, natural light is your friend. “Make sure to choose a big window and place the dish next to it. Sometimes, if I don’t have a reflector, I use a white tablecloth to create a ‘soft box’ effect to enhance natural light and softness.” —S.A.
Don’t limit culinary photos to restaurants. “I love shooting in local markets to see what produce, seafood, and meat items are specific to the location. Since you likely won’t be buying anything, I recommend being polite and shooting quickly so as not to disrupt vendors or customers.” —Kevin J. Miyazaki
It’s okay to break some rules. “Contrary to what the rules say, I like to shoot into the sun in the late afternoon to get a golden glow. It gives beautiful backlighting to portraits and landscapes.” —Lauryn Ishak
Embrace cloudy days . . . “People, food, and foliage often look best in diffused light. On a bright, sunny day, if the light is too harsh, seek the open shade of trees or buildings for a softer glow. Blue skies are overrated!” —K.J.M.
. . . and rainy days. “I love shooting after the rain, when the air is dry and clear. There’s a feeling of freshness, and the colors are deeper and stronger.” —S.A.
When it comes to editing, apps are your friend. “I prefer all my images to have a similar look and feel when I post them on Instagram, so I use the same two or three filters on the VSCO app. I also use it to edit exposure (lightness or darkness of an image) and saturation (how muted or bright the colors are). Finally, I use it to crop—that can turn an okay image into a great one!” —K.B.S.
Don’t forget to print them! “Get those photos off your phone or memory card! Artifact Uprising is my favorite. Its print quality and paper are the best.” —K.B.S.
—Brooke Porter Katz