Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photo Tip Thursday

I'm finally getting around to getting this photo tip segment up and runnin'.  Back in August I guest posted over at Kelli's, and had such fun putting together a short list of easy tips to better your every day photographs.  I thought maybe we could all benefit from a little photo help.  I'll try to post a new tip each week.  I probably won't go into a lot of technical detail.  Most of us are just mamas who want to document the everyday with our little ones.  But we can certainly improve those everyday snaps!

This week I am going to re-post my original photo tips.  Here we go!
Photography has always been fascinating to me.  I would spend hours poring over photo albums when I was little.  I love the way you can come across an old photo, and be completely transported back to that time.  I love to journal, don't get me wrong, but there is nothing like a photo to tell the whole story.  And if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good picture . . . well, that's priceless.

So, let's talk about some simple ways to improve your everyday photos.

Have your camera ready.

Okay, this seems like a no-brainer, but if your camera is hiding away in its bag in a closet somewhere, guess what, it's not easily accessible.  And it's going to be more than a little difficult to capture those fleeting moments.  Get your camera out.  Use it daily.  I take my camera to the library, grocery store, and dentist.  Cameras are not just for birthdays, holidays, and vacations.  Capture the little moments.  You'll be so glad you did.

Now that you have your camera ready . . .

Say no to "the cheese"

While posed photos definitely have their place, if you really want to document every day life, you're going to have to be sneaky.  Catch your littles playing Barbies, brushing teeth, climbing trees, even pitching fits {hey, someday you'll miss the feisty moments too!}


Remember and implement the Rule of Thirds

Subjects don't always need to be centered in the frame.  In fact, eyes are not naturally drawn to the center of a photo.  Try to compose your shots by envisioning a grid of sorts on top of your photo, dividing it into nine equal parts.   Then place the most important subjects on or near the "lines", especially where those lines intersect.  A simple way to make your photos even more interesting!

Photography Tutorial, Rule of Thirds copy

Look how little Miss' eye and mouth fall right on the lines.

Find the Right Light

Lighting is probably the single most important factor in photography.  I won't go into a long explanation of how ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture work together to give you a properly exposed photo.  That would take way too long, and probably bore you to death.  What I will say is that, whenever possible, find natural light to work with.  I stay away from flash completely because it is difficult for me to use without creating harsh shadows and giving an overall unrealistic feel.  Sometimes you have to experiment with lighting to see what works best.  For example, on our camping trip, my daughter had crafted a bracelet for her American Girl doll.  She wanted me to get a picture of her with Meghan {her doll}.  It was sunny, but we were among many trees.  The lighting was very uneven.  I snapped a picture:


Hmmmm.  Dark shadows.  Not real flattering.

I simply moved my subject a couple of feet over . . .


And voila!
Okay, so the photo is not phenomenal, but I think you can see that moving a little made a big difference.


There you have it, a few simple tips to make your photos spectacular.  Now, go find your camera's manual, and read up.  And remember, practice makes perfect!

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Kelli said...

I have been thinking about your rule of thirds when taking my pictures! Finding the right light has been my biggest struggle but it's getting better. I can't wait to see all of the tips that you have to share :)

MiMi said...

I LOVE your rules! I also love those candid shots. Some of my favorite pictures of my boys are just random where they aren't paying attention to me and the camera.

MomBrose said...

Great tips! :) Some of my favorite shots are the ones that are not smiley and posed :)

Foursons said...

Really great tips Liz. I love that you gave tips that don't really require knowing the camera.

Impulsive Addict said...

Your tips are perfect! I've taken one photography class and it definitely fascinates you. I try to experiment with different settings on my camera but sometimes the pics come out blurry. I know it has to do with what I have my settings set on. I'm still learning so these tips help me! Thanks!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Awesome!!!!! You are a good sharer. :)

Anonymous said...

I remember reading this the first time - so helpful! Especially the part about the grid and the lighting. I hadn't heard the grid recommendation anywhere before, but it's so true!

My sisters bday gift to me was Canon T3i for Dummies. It's perfect. :o) I'm so excited!


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