One of the toughest things for new photographers to do is to get in close to their subject, particularly if it's a fellow human being. Shooting Close Up For Impact (affectionatly known as SCUFI) does not pertain to macro photography, but to stepping in close to your subject.
While you might sometimes need more background in your image to properly set a scene, getting in close often provides greater impact to an otherwise ordinary photograph. Even using a telephoto lens, many photographers fail to fill the frame. Including needless background details often results in images that are best described as snapshots.
Shooting people is quite possibly the most difficult close up to arrange. Even knowing the subject, we are often loathe to invade another human's personal space. Get over it. Get in, get the shot, and get out again if you are uncomfortable, but get in there! The more often you do this, the more comfortable you will become. The more comfortable you are, the more confidence your subject will place in you and your abilities.
While it appears that people might make the best subjects for getting in close, this technique applies equally well to other subjects. Get in close to your inanimate subjects, too! Doing so often separates them from the background, making the viewer concentrate on the subject and not the context. Remember, this technique is not macro photography, but trying to fill the frame as much as possible.
The next time you raise your viewfinder to your eye, ask yourself if you're about to take a snapshot. If the answer is "yes," move in closer and see what results. Remember SCUFI, Shoot Close-Up For Impact!
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