How to Take a Boring Photo

Boring PhotoEvery photographer aims to take pictures that are engaging, creative and fun. They want to turn people’s heads. But why strive for what everyone else wants? In a sea of great photographers, you can excel at the mundane photograph. It’s actually quite easy to accomplish and here are ten tips that are sure to help you create boring images:

  1. Center your subject
    The human eye is most attracted to a photograph when the subject is somewhere other than the center, so avoid interesting placement as much as possible if you’d like to take unexciting photos. Always make sure your subject, whether it be a person, animal, or your dinner plate, is right in the middle of your frame.
  2. Don’t include a main subject at all
    Like a story, a great picture almost always requires a main subject. To keep from taking an alluring image, it’s best to just take a picture at random, without thinking about what you’re trying to show your audience. Don’t give viewers anything to focus on, and they’ll quickly look away from your picture.
  3. Ask your subjects to say cheese
    The most pleasing portraits are made when the people in them have genuine expressions. Eliminate real emotion by having your portrait subjects keep a stiff grin frozen on their faces.
  4. Schedule photo shoots for the middle of the day
    The hours just after the sun comes up and shortly before the sun goes down are known for beautiful light. Many award-winning photographs are taken during these golden hours. To avoid creating an attractive image, opt instead for harsh, midday lighting conditions.
  5. Use auto exposure at all times
    While today’s cameras do a decent job of metering to get a technically correct exposure, they don’t have the capacity to know how the photographer would like a scene interpreted. To compensate, master photographers creatively over- and underexpose parts of their images to add drama. Keep your photos looking flat by always letting the camera choose your exposure for you.
  6. Evenly light everything
    Compelling photographs tend to give viewers a sense of depth by making use of shadows and highlights. It’s best to always shoot in complete shade or to use even light all around a person’s face if you want your photos to look dull.
  7. Keep your distance
    Photographers seeking to make impactful images often get closer to their subjects. Keep viewers feeling detached from your photos by staying far away from your subjects. If possible, step back even more to include distracting items, like telephone poles or parked cars in the background; this will draw attention away from your subject.
  8. Always stand and shoot from your own eye level
    Getting to the eye level of a person or shooting from above or below a subject helps to engage viewers. But different perspectives just won’t do if you want to make a yawn-worthy photo. Never kneel, lie on the ground, or climb up to a higher vantage point if you’d like to take an uninteresting photo.
  9. Use your camera’s built-in flash
    Lighting from the side or bouncing flash are two common ways that photographers light subjects in a flattering way. To draw interest away from your images, go for the washed-out look that results when you use the on-camera flash.
  10. Follow the rules of composition to a T
    The best photographers learn the rules but know when to break them in order to take striking photos. If you’d rather shoot lifeless images, never, ever stray from the rules. Just stick to the laws of photographic composition without regard for your subject matter or creative vision.

It’s easy to take boring photographs. Adhere to this advice, and you’ll never be accused of taking a riveting photo again!

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Profile photo of Nicoal Price About Nicoal Price

​Nicoal is a New England photographer with a penchant for learning. Her work ranges from nature-inspired portraiture to outdoor product photography. Visit for more info.

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