Seven Powerful Tips For Taking Photos

Here are seven powerful tips for taking photos so that you can improve your digital photography quickly and easily. These tips for taking photos will provide you with hours of fun and enjoyment.

1. Always aim for well balanced light (not too dark, not to bright). Taking photos on a cloudy day is a great idea. The sun won’t make your brighter areas too bright and the darker areas hard to see. Taking photos well depends heavily even and balanced light. Each time you get your camera out just remember that you would ideally aim for the same intensity of light to be on your subject i.e what you are taking photos of. To have light that is not well balanced tends to be too bright in some areas and too dark in others. It’s best to begin taking photos on a cloudy, overcasr day (not too dark), so that you can have the same amount of light reflected off each surface. This is because the camera does not see as well as you do. It see’s 50% less light than you, so you have to do all the thinking and planning when you begin taking photos for that day.

When you start taking your photos for that session, examine the light carefully. Ask youself “When I am taking pictures of my wife and child, does the light look well balanced and evenly spread accross the photo?” If the darker areas don’t cause any problem, and neither do the brighter areas then you can bet you have a pretty good chance of taking photos that are going to be pleasing to your eye and turn out well.

2. Don’t center everything- have your subject a little off center.

When you start taking photos, just remember that our natural eye doesn’t center everything. We want the camera to mimick what our eyes see. Creating reality the same way our eyes do is very important in taking photos that turn out well.

When you have something off center and leave some space around the main subject, it gives the impression of nice space and some room to breathe in the photo. This is called Negative space. This works really well when someone is looking in a certain direction.

Taking photos of pets is the same. If you pet cat or dog is looking in a certain direction, don’t center the animal in the middle. It will negetively impact the sense of concern and curiosity we will develop about the photo and loose interest quickly.

Taking photos that are interesting means your viewer, or the person looking at the photos, keeps their interest at a maximum for the longest time possible. When someone simply does not want to look away, you know that you’ve taken a good photo.

3. Think about the level at which you take the photo

Taking photos of children at your level don’t create good photos as a general rule.Taking photos like this can be improved dramatically. When you take photos at your level, you don’t really get a good idea of what the child is like or is feeling. By taking photos of children at their level offers us a perspective into THEIR world, that we may not otherwise get in any other position.

We went to see into the hearts and minds of children and get a feel for who they are. The best way to start taking photos whereby this is reflected is to simply squat down or sit down next to them and shoot at lower angle. You can start taking photos of children by sitting down next to them at dinner time, or playing with some paints or crayons or toys.

Even better, place an animal in their arms and see their face light up! Taking photos of children with a beloved family pet in their arms, or on their lap will give them great pleasure. You will be able to take some wonderfully, happy and spontaneous photos.

4. Cut out irrelevant objects in the photo (that have nothing to do with what you are taking)

Can you see how taking photos successfully depends very much on what is in the background? The reason we want to cut out irrelevant objects in the backgroun is because they are distracting. This photo doesn’t work well because the womens red clothing in the background stands out too much.

Taking photos like this where there are competing colours and objects in the background can really detract from your compositon (where you place things in the photo.) Not to mention that this photo was not taken at the childs angle, it was taken at the photographers height- it does not work.

So what can work? Well, we can simply take the photo at a height to match the childs height. Plus, we can zoom in more to reduce the distrating red clothing. So lets see how this photo works we we crop those things out.

Can you see how much better this looks now? I’ve deliberately allowed some space for the little girl to look into. It keeps the interest and curiosity. When taking photos like this, be careful not to have too much inthe background that has nothing to do with the child you are photographing. Keep taking photos in this way and you’ll be amazed at how much your photos improve.

Simple adjustments when taking photos always has the most impact. You can easily begin taking photos that shows the sweetness of your child by keeping our interest on their face and eyes. When you do cut out distracting objects in the background we have nothing else to look at but the main subject. This is a good thing- this is what we want to do!

It’s easy to start taking photos in this way. Simply look around the outsides of your main subject when you look through the view finder for any objects that don’t have any connection or meaning to the child or person you are photographing. It will make more sense for taking photos in the long run. This leads directly into our next point…

5. Simple backgrounds are best

Why are so many portrait photos taken in a studio? Apart from the controlled lighting conditions, one of the biggest reasons that portraits are taken in a photographers studio is because of the simple backgrounds. There is nothing worse than a distracting, cluttered background to detract from the veiwers interest.

Even when a photographer is taking photos outside or on the street they will still opt for a simple background. They can do many tricks and techniques with the camera to acheive this (depth of field is one). You can see that this photo of this woman was taken outside. Taking photos similar to this requires that you have a “non-background”, which means to have a background that you can blur into a large block of non descript colour and identification.

Taking photos outside with a non descript background work effectilvey because all we do, as the viewer, is look at the portrait. It’s the biggest challenge without outside work. But once we start taking photos with backgrounds we can “hide” our portrait photos become so much more meaningful. We begin to see the soul of the person and enjoy the photo so much more. Combine this with some beauatiful light from multiple angles, complimentary colours and taking photos will take on a whole new meaning.

6. When taking photos of people, turn the camera vertically

If you struggle with taking photos with distracting backgrounds, and you are unable to crop the image anymore, then you can simply turn the camera vertically. By turning the camera the other way you are changing the whole look and feel of your photograph. You can include their head and shoulders, plus torso. And, by taking photos like this, you’ll be able to take a photo of them that shows more of their body.

This technique is good for lengthening people, removing the side distractions and including more of their clothing in the photo. When their clothing is something you want to include then turn the camera vertically to get as much of the oufit in as possible.

Taking photos of people in sharp outfits vertically, on a very slight angle, makes for an interesting and captivating photo. It adds that extra sense of creative control when taking photos this way. It can give you a new, fresh perspective.This is often used in model shoots and a fun angle for portraits and studio photography. Professionals photographers use this angle when their start taking photos when they want to convey a sense of energy and fun.

7. Don’t stand too close when the flash is on

Taking photos of people when you have to use the flash is a great way to capture moments during the night time. Taking photos with the flash is on is a handy way to increase the light in your photo. However there is one thing to watch carefully.

tips for taking photos, photography tips, photography tips and tricks, photo tips, digital photography tips, taking good photos, taking photos, taking good pictures, photo taking tips, professional photography tipsTaking photos of people with the flash on is very easy. Just place your camera in auto mode and the flash will pop up automatically if it’s night time and there is no other light on the scene.

Just don’t stand too close! If you begin taking photos with the flash on and accidently stand too close, then two things will happen. The flash will cast to much light on your person and will make it look too bright (overexposed.)

The second thing that happens when you take photos like this is that you won’t be able to lock in a sharp focus if you are too close.That’s why because you’ve stood too close and lost the sharp focus due to the cameras inability to keep sharp focus under intense lighting conditions such as the flash.

When taking photos with the flash on, it’s important that you see it as a super intense flash light. It mimics daylight conditions- which is why it seems so bright in the semi darkness. Stand about three meters away when you are taking photos with the flash on, in the dark.

Taking photos depends on these seven secrets. Keep each one of them in mind and you will be amazed at the incredible improvement you see in your photos.

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

Comments (7)

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  1. Linda says:

    A home photography business doesnt necessarily require formal photography training. What it does require is a passion for photographic art, an artistic flair, the technical skills to operate the equipment and the ability to market the business.

    Someone who is still in high school or college can start out preparing for a home photography business by taking photos for the yearbook or the student newspaper. A basic photography course would be very helpful as well. Nowadays its good to know how to operate both a 33 mm and a digital camera. Local community colleges often have very reasonably priced community education courses, many that involve just one class in the evening or on the weekend. Colleges that offer Lifelong Learning Centers for folks 50+ have courses as well, and some of these are taught by very experienced retired home photography business professionals and little or no cost.

    There are many types of photography and the home photography business entrepreneur may want to specialize, perhaps in photography for news organizations such as the local daily or weekly paper, in advertising photography for local magazines and local firms that need to market their products. One of the most common forms of home photography business is for events and celebrations such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, and other events. These can be especially lucrative as repeat business and excellent multiple referrals.

    Travel photographers have exciting home photography business lives, although it takes a lot of skill and a lot of travel expense and practice photography before that first paid vacation is finely paid for.

    Some folks create a home photography business working as photojournalists or specializing in medical or science photographers. While quite lucrative, these almost require a four year degree with extensive photography and communication training. A college photography internship is a wonderful foot in the door for a home photography business as well.

    A portfolio is a must for building clientele for a home photography business. This means taking lots and lots of unpaid photo shots to show off exceptional talent to potential clients.

    Helpful ways to learn the ins and outs of home photography and a home photography business are by working as an assistant to a photographer, by joining associations and organizations of fellow photographers and by attending seminars and workshops on home business and photography.

    There are also much cheaper ways to learn them directly from your home by downloading eCourses from the web.

  2. Bob Johnson says:

    A great piece – thank you so much for posting it. I would definitely recommend thet every one else should have a look at it.

  3. John Andrews says:

    Thanks for your tips on taking photos, it’s really helped my photography.

  4. Tony says:

    Thank you for the useful information. The best thing about photography nowadays is that the marginal cost of taking pictures is almost nil if you store them digitally.
    Now, if I could only find the time to really look at all the pictures I take!

  5. Mariel says:

    I love photography posts, thanks for this! I’m always trying to brush up on my photography skills to improve my blog. These are all great reminders. Keep it up!

  6. lexale2011 says:

    Thank you for the Tips. Glad to find a good resource of the info like this.

  7. TC says:

    Excellent photo taking tips. If you’re serious about taking good quality photos pay attention to the little details as described in these tips. They will greatly enhance your photos and make them much better. I have had several times when I thought I had the perfect picture but missing a little detail here or there can certainly ruin your perfect picture.

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