Focus on composition. Start with a still life. Make a common object look good by shooting it up close, mid-distance, and far away.
Shoot a lot. It’s digital. Don’t worry about film. Take 200 to 300 shots at a time. This will help you figure out what works aesthetically.
Simplify. Make your subject the most important object in the frame. Mix it up by reducing the size of your subjects within the frame to include simple backgrounds, or blur the backgrounds by using a shorter depth of field—something many cameras have built in to the “portrait” and “macro” modes. That allows the focus to be on your subject and not on the stranger in the background.
—Zachary Magoon ’96
Magoon (www.zmagoon.com) has been both a photographer and art director for more than 13 years. He lives in Portland, Maine.