10 Tips to Take Better Photos

I wanted to do a quick post about some tips that have personally helped me take better photos in the last few months to share with you. I humbly admit that I get asked quite often how I manage to take such great photos and I attribute most of that "greatness" to these tips below!

1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Good Light

Lighting can honestly make or break a photo. Use natural light when possible – think early morning or around sunset when the light is not so harsh. Depending on what you’re shooting, this can make all the difference.

2. Check your ISO!

Try to shoot in Manual mode when you can instead of only on Auto or AV Mode. I know this sounds scary but it’s not as difficult as you may think. ISO is the first thing I personally set when setting my camera up to take a shot. ISO is the image sensor – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the less grain you will have. Typically, higher ISO settings are used in darker situations so you can use a faster shutter speed.

3. Check your photos / Zoom in to make sure it’s in focus

If I had a dime for every time I took a photo, loved it in the viewfinder and then got home to see that it’s blurry and out of focus on my computer monitor…I’d have a lot of dimes. But seriously! Use your zoom on your camera to double check your favorite photos – Zoom in to make sure they are clear and in focus. If you need to re-shoot something, you can do it right then instead of maybe never getting the chance again.

4. Framing / Composition

An important aspect of taking better photos is taking the time to set it up. It doesn’t have to take twenty minutes but take an extra five seconds and think about how you need to frame your photo. SO many times I have just snapped away and loved the photos but later when I’m trying to edit them, I have such a hard time because some of my favorites have a huge trash can in the back or a pole coming out of my head or whatever (and sometimes this stuff is too much for me to edit out!). Be mindful of your surroundings and compose the shot to what you are shooting.

5. Keep It Simple

Don’t over-complicate things. You definitely do not need a bunch of fancy, expensive equipment. Majority of the time unless I am shooting an event indoors, I shoot with only my camera (and occasionally a reflector). Keep things simple and stick to the basics – you can always build on those if needed.

6. Always carry a camera

This tip sounds almost too obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve missed a shot because I didn’t even have my camera. Beautiful things happen all the time – a lot of times when you least expect them so it is important to always have a camera with you – whether it’s your DSLR, your phone, a disposable camera – just always carry one with you!

7. Perspective

Perspective is how you look at things and it is completely OK to look at things differently and move things around and do weird things. Photography is art – as cheesy as that may sound – it’s SUPER important to make each photo your own – even if it’s just a flatlay of your morning coffee and sunnies. Look up and point the camera at a crazy angle; If you’re shooting fashion, don’t be afraid to switch it up - squat down like a frog or tilt the camera forward a bit to give it a cool angle.

8. Post Processing

If you don’t post process, you should really start. I say that so boldly because it really does make all the difference. I’m not taking about editing everything to make it a completely different picture but light, natural editing. This will make your colors pop and make the image overall sharper. Post Processing is my secret sauce on how I get my images to look the way I want.

9. Break the Rules

Photography is all about breaking the rules. You are given the chance to create anything you want and freeze it in a frame so make sure it’s worth seeing. Be proud of what you shoot and stop believing lies saying you have to do this, this and this to get perfect images. Be you and show yourself through your photos! Besides…Isn’t it fun to break the rules sometimes?

10. Stay Positive

My final tip is to stay positive. I know sometimes it seems daunting or hard but don’t get discouraged. Keep shooting and keep shooting things that make you happy. Typically I don’t get the shot I want or even get a shot I like for many, many frames. Yes, you can compose and frame the shot all day and follow you heart and break the rules but sometimes your photos will still not turn out. That is OK – that is part of the process. Keep snapping shots and you will keep growing and keep getting better!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post – these are just my personal tips I have used that have helped me take better photos. If you have any questions or suggestions – please add them below! I would really love to read them all :)