How can you start taking better photos today? How can you start taking bright, crisp, and clear images that are visually appealing? In this article, I share 5 amazing photography tips and tricks that you can start working on now, to improve your photos.
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First, let me make this very clear: I’m not a professional photographer. But… wait! Hear me out. As a blogger, I’ve had to learn a ton about photography so I could share better images with my readers. In the beginning, my photos were dark, out of focus, and they had a very poor resolution. I would post pictures of great moments, but that were unquestionably not visually appealing.
Then, I started realizing that I loved to read blogs and spend time on the feed of Instagram accounts that had bright, crisp, and clear photos for me to look at. That’s also when I realized that my readers sure felt the same way that I did.
Not only that but as a mom, who doesn’t want to collect the best photos of her family? I love taking beautiful photos of my boys and husband so we can look back at them and cherish those memories.
Even if I hadn’t turned out to be a blogger, I would have definitely taken photography lessons to be able to capture better photos of my family.
We still hire professional photographers, because first, we can’t take photos of ourselves. And second, it’s always good to have professional family photos.
But we have surely saved a ton by learning how to take better photos ourselves. We used to hire photographers for every occasion. Now we decide when to hire them.
Before we get started, though, let’s take a look at the equipment I use to take my photos and recommend.
Inexpensive high-quality camera and equipment that will create beautiful photography
In the beginning, all I had was my smartphone and it’s absolutely possible to take beautiful photography with just that. However, if you’re interested in taking this photography thing a bit more serious, you’ll want to invest in a good camera and lens.
My DSLR camera is certainly not among the most expensive ones, but it takes pretty amazing photos. It’s the Nikon D5200, which has been replaced by the Nikon D5300.
I bought mine with the landscape lens because that’s what the original package came with and I didn’t know any better. But later on, I bought the Autofocus 50mm lens and it made my photos a lot better. They’re usually good for portraits but they also work really well for food photos.
Here’s an example of a food photo I took with this lens:
It makes the background blured and soft. This effect is perfect for when you want something to stand out. In this case, I really wanted the Cornbread to be the star of the photo and that’s exactly where the focus is.
Take your photos from blah to amazing with these simple (yet powerful) photography tips and tricks
The best lighting for your photos is always natural light! Always. They are the main component that allows you to take high resolution, bright, crisp and clear images.
Poor lighting will make your photos look grainy or yellowish. Especially when taken with a phone. It’s also very tricky to set up the camera settings for a picture with low lighting to look good. And most of the time they just don’t.
The safest route is definitely to go with outdoor pictures or indoor in a bright room!
Now, if you decide to take pictures outside, the best time to take them is called the golden hour, which is the one hour prior to the sunset. This is the absolute perfect lighting for your pictures.
Also, you want to avoid taking pictures in direct sunlight, because this can create awkward shadows on whoever you’re taking pictures of. It will cause high contrast, oversaturated colors, lens flare, and a bunch of other things you won’t want to see in your photos.
That means, avoid taking pictures when the sun is at its brightest and always move the person/or people to a shade where it won’t be too bright.
#2. Plan ahead
Obviously, this won’t work for every occasion. If you’re on vacation with your family, going to wherever the wind takes you, you can’t really plan your photos ahead of time.
On the other hand, if you want to go for a mini family session, that totally works. You take pictures of your husband and kids, the hubs takes pictures of you and the kids and you both try capturing all of them in a good pose at the same time! Haha
Anyway… Getting back to where we were. Plan your clothes in a way they look good together. They don’t need to necessarily match, but at least colors that would look good together make for much better photos in the end.
Chose a place that you’re comfortable taking your family to. Think about nice spots in that specific location that could look great for your photos. Think about poses (if you want posed photos). Or think about a way to make them laugh!
Do you want to take any props? Do a little search on Pinterest before you go for your photos. You can find a lot of inspiration there.
#3. Click away
When I first started photographing, I would keep waiting and waiting until I saw the perfect smile to push the button. By the time I took the photo, that moment was gone.
After doing that several times, I realized there was never one single good photo at the end. So I started taking as many photos as I could even though I thought that wasn’t the best moment.
Chances are if you take a thousand photos, you will find at least a good one in there. Aren’t you? So click away.
Experiment with different angles, different backgrounds, smiling, serious face, whatever comes to mind. The more you click, the higher the chances of you taking a good photo!
#4. Edit your photos
I always edit my photos. There’s always something you can make better by editing. I usually just mess with exposure, brightness, and contrast.
Sometimes there’s the need to reduce shaking, haze, or improve the colors and saturation of the images.
I absolutely love using Photoshop Elements for that, like I mention here. But you can use simpler programs, including apps. I absolutely love VSCO cam to edit the photos I take on my smartphone. Another good one is Snapseed.
And since we’re talking about apps, if you like posting your photos on Instagram, there’s this great app to plan your feed and make sure your photos will (somewhat) match after you post them. It’s called Snug.
#5. Don’t create a moment, live the moment
In my opinion, the best kind of photos are the ones that look natural. If you like candid photos, don’t create a moment. Live it!
You can plan ahead, as I said on tip #2, but what goes on at the moment can be 100% authentic. Plan the clothes, the place, what you’re going to be doing, etc. But once you get there, live it.
You can plan a family picnic and take photos of the amazing moments you’ll create there as a family.
I really hope these tips help you improve my photography skills like they helped me once I decided to implement them more seriously.
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