Let's say you would like to create some sort of specialty product that features a photograph, but you can't afford to hire a professional photographer. If you don't already have the perfect photo, you're going to have to take the picture yourself. How can you come up with a great composition that grabs attention? Just think of the image as a simple painting that gets copied onto something that is not canvas.
It might be situated on a calendar, coffee mug or mouse pad, but it is still considered a work of art. Not to put more pressure on your project, or anything, but the work you are about to create, may very well last longer than you do. These things have the capability to exist into perpetuity under the right conditions. That means they could last forever, so it had better be good.
As in a painting, you'll need to apply certain fundamentals such as, using an even distribution of light and dark, an uneven center of interest, lines leading into the picture (including textures), and an uneven horizon line (or division line). In other words, try not to make everything evenly balanced.
Close-ups are infinitely more interesting than a garbled mess of many subjects, or a too busy background where the subject gets lost. Try and capture the details with simplicity. Fill the frame with a face or flower and try to have no more than three people in a group. If you must use a shot of a large group, be sure the background is uncomplicated with good contrast.
Wearable art is all the rage, and a great way to express your individuality. Photos presented on tee shirts, baseball caps, aprons and totes should be easily discernible at a glance, without too much complication. Make sure the photo is taken with enough light, so it is clear.
Transfers tend to lose some of their clarity, so the initial picture needs to be crisply in focus. Scan for color with your eye. Only look at the shapes of the colors, and how they balance within the borders of the frame, then situate the subject matter in a pleasing fashion.
Once you use a few professional tricks in your photography arsenal, you'll be well on your way to creating personalized gifts and fabulous keepsakes that people will appreciate like fine art, for generations to come