Introduction: Ten Top Tips of Taking Photos

About: Philosopher and educator

Try out these tips and see how gorgeous your pictures will look.

Step 1: Get Down on Their Level

  • Hold your camera to the subject's eye level
  • 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

Step 2: Use a Plain Background

  • Before taking a picture, check the area behind the subject
  • A cluttered background will be distracting while a plain background will emphasize your subject

Step 3: Use Flash Outdoors

  • Even outdoors, use the fill flash setting on your camera to improve your pictures
  • Use it in bright sunlight to lighten dark shadows
  • Use it in cloudy days, to brighten up faces and make them stand out from the background

Step 4: Move in Closer

  • 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

Step 5: Take Some Vertical Pictures

  • Many subjects look better in a vertical picture
  • Make a conscious effort to turn your camera sideways to take some vertical pictures

Step 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 halfway down
    3. Re-frame your picture (while still holding the shutter button)
    4. Finish by pressing the shutter button all the way

Step 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 is in the middle, remember to lock the focus on your subject before re-framing the shot

Step 8: Know Your Flash's Range

  • Pictures taken beyond the maximum flash range will be too dark
  • For many cameras, that's only ten feets
  • If the subject is further than ten feet from the camera, the picture may be too dark

Step 9: Watch the Light

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

Step 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