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Top 10 Photography Tips & Tricks

1. Get on their level

  • Hold your camera at the subject’s eye level to capture the power of those magnetic gazes and mesmerizing smiles.     
  • For kids and pets that means  getting down on their level to take the picture
  • They don’t have to look directly into the camera; the eye level angle by itself will create a personal and inviting feeling.

2. Use a plain background

  • Before taking a picture, check the area behind your subject
  • Lookout for trees or poles sprouting from your subject’s head
  • A cluttered background will be distracting while a plain background will emphasize your subject

3. Use flash outdoors

  • Even outdoors, use the fill flash setting on the camera to improve your pictures
  • Use it in bright sunlight to lighten dark shadows under the eyes and nose, especially when the sun is directly overhead or behind your subject
  • Use it on cloudy days, to brighten up faces and make them stand out from the background

4. Move in close

  • To create impactful pictures, move in close and fill your picture with the subject
  • Move a few steps closer or use the zoom until the subject fills the viewfinder.  You will eliminate background distractions and show off the details in your subject
  • For small objects, use the camera’s macro or ‘flower’ mode to get sharp close-ups

5. Take some vertical pictures

  • Many subjects look better in a vertical picture – from the Eiffel Tower to portraits of your friends
  • Make a conscious effort to turn your camera sideways and take some vertical pictures

6. Lock the focus

  • Lock the focus to create a sharp picture of off-center subjects
  1. Center the subject
  2. Press the shutter button half way down
  3. Re-frame your picture (while still holding the shutter button)
  4. finish by pressing the shutter button all the way

7. Move it from the middle

  • Bring your picture to life simply by placing your subject off-center
  • Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid in your viewfinder.  Now place your subject at one of the intersections of lines
  • Since most cameras focus on whatever’s in the middle, remember to lock the focus on your subject before re-framing the shot

8. Know your flash’s range

  • Pictures taken beyond the maximum flash range will be too dark
  • For many cameras that’s only ten feet – about four steps away.  Check your manual to be sure
  • If the subject is further than ten feet from the camera, the picture may be too dark

9. Watch the light

  • Great light makes great pictures.  Study the effects of light in your pictures
  • For people pictures, choose the soft lighting of cloudy days.  Avoid overhead sunlight that casts harsh shadows across faces
  • For scenic pictures, use the long shadows and color of early and late daylight

10. Be a picture director

  • Take an extra minute and become a picture director, not just a passive picture-taker
  • Add some props, rearrange your subjects, or try a different viewpoint
  • Bring your subjects together and let their personalities shine.  Then watch your pictures dramatically improve

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