Submit your best photo to our Life in Michiana contest by Jan. 1

By: Grace Maher, Programming Coordinator

I recently purchased a camera of my own because I know how much I enjoy taking photos of family, fun events and scenery here in South Bend. While I was apprehensive about my purchase, it quickly paid off in dividends as I was able to help capture photos for my sister’s small business, snap a few adorable portraits of family dogs and take advantage of a truly stunning yellow tree in my yard thanks to the recent fall weather. As the Programming Coordinator here at the St. Joseph County Public Library, one of my favorite parts of my job is overseeing the Life in Michiana Photography Contest.

As someone with an admiration for photography and the process that goes into taking a good photo, I was so excited to hear that I get to kick off this contest and curate the display of our submissions in January. While I am not a professional photographer, nor am I judging the contest, I do have a few helpful pieces of advice I’ve received over the years from teachers and the internet alike that I would love to pass along. 

  1. Use the rule of thirds: divide your photo is into three equal parts, make sure you place your subject in one of the thirds! 
  2. If you are using your phone and it seems too sunny for a good picture, try using your hand to provide just enough shade over your camera so that your subject stays in sunlight but you avoid the glare.
  3. Experiment with different kinds of cameras! There’s something to be said for the artistic nostalgia one can capture using disposable or other film cameras that might not be considered “top-of-the-line” anymore!
  4. On a vacation but only have your phone? When you want to take a picture of a person in front of a tall building, use the “pano” mode on an iPhone and move the phone upwards to capture more of your subject! (Thank you, TikTok for this tip!)
  5. Take a photography class! Find one on our Bendable website, at your school or check out photography resources from the library such as books and videos, and of course PRACTICE! The only way to know what kind of photos you like to take is by practicing! 

And remember– submit your photos to our Life in Michiana Photography Contest by January 1, and you just might come away with a prize!

Photo by Grace Maher

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