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Strike a pose, it’s World Photography Day

Posted: 8am 19 Aug 2020

What will photographer Dominika Lis be doing to celebrate World Photography Day? Taking photos of course! She reveals the secrets to nailing a winning shot every time.

For Dominika, photographs not only earn her a living as a professional photographer, they also capture a moment in time.

Her passion for photography goes back to childhood, and was partly inspired by her parents.

“I got one of those cameras in a showbag when I was 10. I never got the film developed, so I never saw the result,” Dominika says.

“I’ve always loved taking photos. Both my parents were photographers in Poland. They had a darkroom set up (in the kitchen) in our tiny apartment in Poland. They’d pull a curtain closed when my brother and I went to bed, and process their photos and film.”

Taking the next step

When Dominika’s youngest child was born 12 years ago, she wondered what work she was going to do next.

Her partner bought her a camera, on the condition she learnt how to use the manual settings, and a friend asked if Dominika would take her family’s portrait.

She took the photos, was paid for work and her friend loved them.

“I thought I could do this instead of going back to an office job, and that’s how it started,” Dominika recalls.

Documenting life in photos

She may be working most days as a professional photographer, but Dominika still enjoys taking photos in her spare time.

“They’re the ones that go on the back-burner,” she says laughing. “There’s always something happening, an excuse to get the camera out.

And when the camera isn’t handy, there’s always a phone in her pocket that will do the job.

“I wish we had cameras in our pockets 20 years ago. It’s documenting life … those photos jog our memories,” she says.

It’s especially important to document these moments as your children grow.

“In those images, they’re still in that moment and you can go back in that moment when you look at them,” Dominika says.

Secret to taking a striking photo

First and foremost, you need to make sure your image is well-composed and in sharp focus.

“How you frame it can transform it from a boring photo, to something interesting. It depends on how much you want to squat and roll around on the ground,” she says.

It’s a good idea to apply the rule of thirds, but Dominika says rules are meant to be broken.

The rule of thirds is a well-known composition technique, where you divide up your image in your mind using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. You then position the important elements of the photograph along those lines, or at the points where they meet.

The theory is that an off-centre composition is more interesting than one, where the subject is in the middle of the frame.

“If you’re taking interesting photos and composing them well, you’ll find you’re using the rule of thirds,” she says.

Want to see more of Dominika’s work? Visit the website.

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