The first photo in this post is rather nice, right? There's the main object, there's depth in the photo with interest in the background, and it is well lit. But, that's not the first photo I took. The first photo I took is below.
So, how can we go from taking a photo to making a photo? Below is a good example of a photo I made. It's a bit more interesting, has more depth, and could even tell a story. One thing that can add a lot to a photo, is adding depth. Adding depth is really easy to do, you basically want to create layers in your photo with background items or foreground items. For the photos in this sequence, I created depth using large mason containers and apples. When you are shooting overhead, it's okay to have your items close together. However, take a look at the final photo in this sequence. I created more depth by adding more space between the main object and the background items. This helped to highlight the main object, but create plenty of depth.
Now, what about story telling? What makes the photos interesting is that they tell a story and they spark your imagination. When I made the photos, I was mostly interested in highlighting the egg crate. I could have simple taken a photo of the egg crate, but that would have been rather uninteresting. Instead, I added items that added to a story. When I look at these photos one of the first things I think bout is pie making. The apples are there, the eggs, and I know that there is flour and sugar in each of those jars. The audience doesn't know that, but that is one great thing about photography and story telling, the audience can add to the story with their own imagination.