February 25, 2011

8 Simple Photography Tips


Let me start off by saying, I don’t claim to be a photography expert. I’m simply someone who loves photography and is constantly striving to learn more. A discussion between myself and PLA prompted me to put together a tutorial on how you can improve your photos without spending any extra money. These simple steps will help you ease out of your comfort zone so you're not taking the same vanilla photos over and over again.

1. Take your camera off of the ‘auto’ setting. Many cameras, even inexpensive point-and-shoots, have portrait, landscape, sports, nighttime, macro and manual modes. Experiment with those. The worst that can happen is that you won’t like how the picture turns out, but at least you’ll have tried. Eventually, you'll get it right.


2. Take pictures of random things around you. Take a picture of the food you’re about to eat. Take a picture of your mailbox. Take a picture of a flower. Take a picture of your favorite book. Take a picture of a stranger.


3. If you’re going to take pictures of your kids, don’t take them the same way every single time. If you have a small child, don’t stand above them to snap a pic. Get down on their level. If this means you get on your knees, you get on your knees. If you have a toddler or infant, you can even lie on the floor. This will ensure you don’t have 20 pictures shot from the exact same angle.


4. It's ok if your subjects aren't always smiling. When dealing with children, it’s ok to tell them to make silly or angry faces, make funny noises or even scream. It’s actually pretty funny to do the same with adults. If you’re taking a picture of several family members and/or friends, tell them to make a face that represents them as a person. You’ll be surprised at what you get.


5. Don’t limit yourself to posed shots. Candid shots are usually the best because they’re relaxed, unforced and natural. Distance yourself a bit from the activity you're photographing and just shoot, shoot, shoot. Sometimes I take 40 or 50 shots before I get one I love.


6. Turn off the flash. Open blinds and windows and experiment with natural light.


7. Don’t always take pictures ‘straight on’. Don’t center your subject in the middle of the frame. Off-kilter photos stand out.


8. Last, but not least... Remember to have fun!



All pictures were taken by me except for #7.

That one was taken by Terri.

Camera Used: Nikon D90

19 comments:

stephanie said...

great tips!

PeaceLoveApplesauce said...

Great, great post!!
I love all the pics & tips!!

JG said...

Great tips and #6 is frame-worthy

Christine said...

Since I'm doing a 365 Project I've been taking the most random photos lately. I would much rather have natural light in my photographs! Flash can be so harsh.

My favorite? #4's finger in the nose! Hi-lar-ious!

jennykate77 said...

Great tips...I try to follow all of them. I've been experimenting with manual and I love it. I love manually focusing too. I feel like when the picture turns out great (occasionally) it's all mine...I did that. It feels good.

Great pics!! Love the one of your little girl playing blocks. The colors are vivid and the lighting is cool.

Nikosmommy said...

Great photo tutorial,,,i agree with so many of these points, especially using natural light and taking multiple shots till you find one you like!!

MiMi said...

Seriously, I have a point and shoot and I was like, "I don't use AUTO."
And so I looked (this was months ago) and found it was on....AUTO.
GAH! I've been working with it now to get the macro thing and have gotten pretty good at using macro.
I need to focus more on the action shots...and what a great tip to have everyone do a face that represents them. :)

Heather In The Land Of Mom said...

Those are some really great tips. I have been trying not to use the flash so much. Hubby just got me a Nikon Coolpix L110. I'm hoping next year I can get a DSLR.

PBJdreamer said...

great ideas!

Love your pics.

My fav is the little girl jumping at the top of a slide!


that is all

Date Girl said...

I think it helps to have a nicer camera. I can't wait to get a new, better point and shoot. When I have kids I really want a digital slr because we all know it's hard to capture that action shot when they're squirming around! :-) I love these pictures. Little Bit in the natural light is my favorite.

Cupcake Dessert said...

Thank you for the tips. I love that pic of the silly faces. I'm usually trying to get one of not a silly face lol. Maybe I will loosen up next time :)

Shelley said...

I really would like a nicer camera. Mine sucks! It always comes out too dark, too bright, or too blurry!

I'm just the MOM said...

great stuff! I have a regular point and shoot that I try to use in manual. I am totally having fun with it too! And I love natural light.

AMY said...

Great Tips!!!
I Love taking photo's and have learned so much by just experimenting with my camera!

Molly said...

Awesome tips! And I love your outfit, btw!

Ed said...

Good tips.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Great tips... most of them I do follow... when I remember the camera... Except turning of the flash... I don't even think I know how!

Dana said...

Great tips!!! I try to follow most of those but not always so great at it!

Karen Peterson said...

I covet your camera and ditto your tips. Especially the one about getting down on the kids' level.