I specialise at taking bad photos. Scratch it. I specialise at taking the worst photos ever. Since the internet is full of how-to articles on taking better photos, I thought I’d contribute with my valuable experience of how to take worse photos. And since I recently blogged an anti-recipe, let’s continue with an anti-manual.
Taking photos that suck something fierce is an art, like everything else. You’ll need to practise it to perfect your skills—but remember that the practice for crappy photo skills consists in taking pictures as little and as far apart as possible. The next you’ll need is to equip yourself with the appropriate gear (the cheaper the better) and to follow a few principles, listed below.
Gear for the Worst Results
Use your phone camera. If you own an iPhone, give it away to that homeless guy at the corner. If you’re serious about worsening your photo skills, you can’t hope to achieve it with an Apple device. Get the cheapest generic brand phone that is available to you. Make sure to treat it poorly. An important warning: never clean the phone lens! When you get your lens soiled and keep it that way, you’ll be always taking dirty photos. Cool trick, right?
Forget about sweeping panoramas and people portraits. These are unsuitable subjects for a photographer who seriously sucks. Pick as lowly subjects as possible: a manhole, a candy wrapper in the gutter, a supermarket floor. Advanced students of the art of shockingly bad photography may proceed to selfies. Be careful though, your selfie must never contain a face! Aim at your feet, hands or crotch. For illustrations of the appropriate method, see examples above.
Cancel your subscription to Photoshop. Forget about Lightroom. Forget about any post-production at all. Your astonishingly bad photos must be presented as-is, #nofilter. Crooked horizons and tilted walls are highly desirable. Once you master the skill of snaps that suck, you’ll be able never to take a straight picture in your life again. If you publish your work on Instagram, don’t forget the elite tags: #random #whatever #icanteven. Happy shooting!