Simple Tips for Taking Better Photos Even If You Are Not A Professional Photographer
As you look through the pictures from your recent family vacation or birthday party, do you notice too many pictures that need be deleted because they are out of focus, blurred, lighting is wrong or they just do not look good? If you would like to improve your photography, I have 5 simple tips that will improve your photography.
Capturing the special moments of life with our family is important. We don’t want to miss photographing these moments or mess up our daughter’s graduation pictures or family vacation pictures. This post is for moms everywhere who need a few tips to improve their everyday pictures of their children playing, at birthday parties, on vacation, in their school programs and just everyday life.
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5 Tips to Improve Your Photography
Know Your Background
How many times have you taken a perfect picture to notice something odd or out of place in the background? Or you wish you had double checked the background before taking the picture? Great smiles, good light, and a terrible background.
As you take pictures, train yourself to be aware of your background. Many times we do a great job focusing on the subject. But we forget to notice the background or make sure we have a pretty background or neutral non-distracting background. Teach yourself to take a few seconds to check the background before you snap your photos.
Remember, if the object or distraction in your background is not too big, you can always move it out of the way and then move it back after the picture. It justs takes a second to get the perfect background.
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Check Your Lighting
Lighting effects your pictures. Natural light is always best. If you have enough natural light, you may be able to skip using the camera’s flash (frequently the flash will over expose the photos).
You also want to watch for shadows. If the light is behind you, it will create a shadow that usually shows up in the picture. Before you take your picture, check for shadows and see if you (the photographer) needs to move to a different position before taking the picture.
Whenever possible use settings with natural, well-lit light for your pictures.
Color Coordinate Family and Group Photographs
If you are planning a family photo, try to color coordinate what everyone will wear. If you have a small group, you don’t want people wearing red, orange, plaid, and many other colors. Simple colors like black and white or white shirts/tops and blue jeans make nice pictures.
I also don’t recommend going overboard with the idea and having all 3 of your beautiful girls wear the exact same dress for a picture either. Being matchies is cute for school and play time, but it might not be so cute in the family picture that you save for all time. Focus on color matching and coordination when choosing outfits.
Sometimes, family and group photos are spontaneous. But you can still coordinate colors and sizes to help your picture look more friendly. Take a step back and look at your group. Decide if you need to move folks around to improve heights (so everyone can be seen) and color coordinate.
To Pose or Not to Pose
For some photos, you will need to pose. A family or group photo usually needs to be posed. Posed pictures usually happen at the annual family picnic or the family picture around the Christmas tree. Choose carefully where you have everyone sit and stand. Ask everyone to smile (don’t forget points #1 and #2 about backgrounds and lighting).
Other times, posed photos will just look fake and unnatural, so it’s best to skip them. I suggest trying to capture moments when your subject is involved in their activity, but they don’t necessarily notice you and the camera. As soon as they see the camera, your chance for a great candid is usually gone (everyone will start to pose).
Use Different Angles
If your photo doesn’t seem framed right, try a few different angles. Usually, the photographer will move or change the angle of the camera to improve the photos. Changing angles is a great technique for candids and action photos. You never know when you will capture the perfect smile or an amazing shot just by changing your angle and perspective a little.
Saving Your Photo Memories
When I was young, we would take pictures and then get them developed at the one hour photo and put them in our family photo albums. Now, pictures are digitized we save them on our phones and computers. You don’t want to miss the fun of making photo albums and sharing all your wonderful memories with family and friends.
Shutterfly offers you a way to make your family photos and memories a photo book. I make several photo books a year to capture important events like summer fun, family vacation, Christmas and more.
This weekend through July 5th, Shutterfly is offering 50% off your first hardcover photo books and 30% off additional hardcover photo books with the code HAPPYFOURTH at checkout. You can also get 101 4X6 Free prints just pay shipping with the code 101SPARKLERS.
What’s your best tip to improve your photography? Do you prefer candid photos or posed photos?
Tons of useful information!
I like a pjotos but I will have to start with a camera.
Thanks for this, Rachel
Michele Morin says
So helpful! I need all the practical advice that I can get with photography!