Are you always struggling with wanting to take better pictures? Do you look at pictures that others post on Instagram and Facebook and wish you could take pictures like that?
You are not alone. I even struggle with that and I am a professional photographer.
However, here a few tips that will help you on your journey to taking better pictures.
Big thanks to my niece, Adah, who was my model for these pictures.
1. This one seems like a no-brainer but I can’t believe how many pictures I see on Facebook and Instagram that have this problem so it must be addressed. Whether you are taking pictures on your phone, a point and shoot camera or a nicer camera……make sure your pictures are in focus. Take an extra 10 seconds to make sure that you focus on your subject and not the background behind them. Usually there is a box that shows you what you are focusing on. Just make sure that box is around the face of your subject. If you are using an iPhone, just tap the middle of the face you are focusing on, a yellow box will appear and it will show you what it is focusing on.
Terribly lit, blurry iPhone picture of my youngest (the only one close by when I was writing this blog). Also, pay no attention to the crap on the stairs. Just keeping it real people.
Still terrible lighting but now it has the yellow box that shows that his face is in focus. Also, he is NOT naked. He was just getting ready for bed and only had his pj bottoms on. And yes…he has a Gator Swim Team tattoo on his shoulder. It’s how we roll.
2. GET CLOSER. This is another big problem that I see is that people are too far away from their subject. You want to be able to see the eye color of your subject. Don’t just use your zoom, but physically move closer to your subject. That way you get better interaction with your subject as well.
Far away is nice when you are trying to show a full body, but let’s face it…..most of time you want to be able to see their face and expressions.
Then I look about 10 steps forward and took this picture.
Now you can see her pretty face!
3. Don’t “Say Cheese”. The subject tends to get a fake, staring bug-eyed, ugly smile. Instead, tell them a joke, have them tell you a joke, use the word “fart” (works every time), play peek-a-boo with them, or do something else that would cause them to give you a cute and genuine smile.
Say “Cheese” Adah.
This time I told her a joke. Why doesn’t Tigger have many friends?
Because he plays with Pooh.
Here is her face the second I finished the punch line.
Then I took another one a few seconds later and got this picture. So much better, right?
4. If it is really sunny outside, always take your photos in the shade. I can’t tell you how often people have their subject looking into the sun and squinting. Don’t do it! Either move to the shade (preferable) or have your subject turn their back to the sun so your camera is shooting into the sun. Your camera can compensate for the sun glare. Squinty eyes cannot.
Shadows on her face and dark circles under the eyes AND squinty eyes. No thanks!
Turned her back to the sun and adjusted my camera settings a bit and…..much better.
Then moved into the shade and VIOLA.
So. Much. Better.
5. If you really want to see your pictures improve BUY A CAMERA! I think it is sad that many people don’t even own a camera. Even if it is a little point and shoot, it is still better than just your phone. Phones are great for quick, spur of the moment events, but if you really want to capture beautiful scenery on your vacation, or get great pictures of your kids’ birthday party you need to have a camera.
See how cute my little model looks?
And just like that, she goes from looking 9 to looking 16.
Stop it girl.
If you do have a step up from a point and shoot camera…..YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Auto only works so well. You are smarter than your camera and your pictures can dramatically improve by learning how to use your camera settings.
If you want to learn about using your camera, take a class. I have one coming on Sunday, July 12th from 1-5. It includes lunch, a class about using your camera and more hints on how to take great pictures. It also includes a photo shoot so you can practice your new skills. It is only $100 so reserve your spot now! Comment below or send me an email at email@example.com.
Want even more advise? Perhaps I will do another few tips in a few days! Let me know if you have any specific questions and I will try to answer them.