8 Tips on Taking Great Photos ...

I have lots of friends who are professional photographers, and I assist at weddings on occasion for one of them. She’s always been fantastic at sharing tips and advice, and I’ve noticed that now that I’ve started as her semi-apprentice, even the shots of my kids and cat have gotten better. What are her secrets? Don’t let on that I’ve told you, but here are her tips for taking great photos… shh!

1. Invest in a Good Camera (like the Canon Rebel XSi)

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Most of the time, it’s not the photographer or subject at fault for the less-than-perfect photos, it’s the camera. Even pocket-sized digital cameras can be good enough for daily use, if they have a fast enough shutter speed and a good flash. Plan to spend about $500 on a camera, and stick to brands like Canon or Nikon, and you’ll be sure to get a good camera.

2. Invest in a Good Flash (like the Canon Speedlite 430EX II)

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Price: $280.00 at amazon.com
Ah, the flash. It can either make red eyes, or make your subjects look washed out. That’s the mark of a bad flash, so if you plan to take a lot of photo, and you want them to look great, then invest in a good flash. Plan to spend about $300 and you’ll get a good flash, one that doesn’t focus the flash on one tiny spot, or make your subjects look bright white.

3. Get down for Kids!

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Photo Credit: JennKstep

If you’re taking photos of kids, get down to their level, either by sitting or kneeling or lying on the ground. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of photos of the tops of children’s heads, and you’ll miss those precious facial expressions. This trick also works when you’re taking photos of cars, for some reason.

4. Open, Don’t Blink!

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Photo Credit: btjones

Ever notice that when you’re taking a photo of a group of people, at least one of them blinks, ruining an otherwise perfect picture? There’s a way to stop that from happening ever again! Instead of posing the photo and telling everyone to smile, and hoping no-one blinks, get everyone in place, and tell them to close their eyes, smile, and open when you count to three. Perfect!

5. Get Close up

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Photo Credit: JennKstep

I suppose you could always just crop the photos the way you want them later, but you’d lose a lot of detail, and a lot of resolution! If you’re shooting anything other than people, get close up and capture some intricate detail. This works especially well if you’re shooting the flowers in your auntie’s garden… or that weird insect on her peonies!

6. Get Everyone else Closer!

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Photo Credit: smoothdude
Here’s another tip for shooting groups of people: get everyone closer together. If there are chairs or other places to sit or stand, stack people in various ways, too. Get rid of dead space in between them, unless that’s going to be part of the picture.

7. Look at Hands or Feet

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Photo Credit: JennKstep

If you’re photographing a baby and mother, an artist or a craftsman, try shooting their hands at work. You’ll be amazed at how wonderful images like these can be, and how detailed. Also, try looking down, or up, and snapping what you see from you own unique perspective… hardly anyone looks up! One of my favorite shots of a famous ballerina was of her feet, after a performance. Amazing!

8. Keep Your Camera Handy

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Photo Credit: ♥ ♥ ♥ Spice ♥ ♥ ♥

Before and after the official shoot, keep your camera handy and set, but don’t let the subjects know it! You’ll be surprised how many wonderful shots you’ll get when people don’t know you’re shooting them! And don’t ever shut your camera off until the last minute…

The tip that I’ve noticed has made the biggest difference is the trick about keeping everyone from blinking, and also the one about getting down to a child’s level when taking their picture. All of them really work, though, so try them and you’ll see how much better your photos come out! Do you have any other tips to share on how to take great photos? Please let me know!

Top Photo Credit: cristiano carli

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