Photo Tips for Beginners

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1. Use the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds can instantly improve your photography skills once applied. Look to the right for an example. Notice that grid on the photo? Essentially, the rule of thirds tells you to place your subject of interest where the lines intersect in the photo.
Your natural tendency may be to photograph your subject in the middle of the photo, but the rule of thirds tells you to do otherwise. By photographing your subjects along where the lines intersect on the grid, you are capturing a photo with better balance. By obeying the rule of thirds, your photographs will make better use of the space around your subject and will be more pleasing to the viewer.

Keep your photos interesting by using the rule of thirds

2. Do not take photos behind the harsh light of the sun

Avoid taking photos with your subjects directly under the light of the sun. On a bright sunny day, photographing your subjects under the light of the sun will create harsh shadows in your photos.

To work around this, try to find a shaded area or a place where the sun does not shine on directly. You will need to move around until you and your subject around so that the lighting is perfect. The key is to position yourselves so that your subject is not directly under the light of the sun. Another option is to shoot in the late afternoon when the sunlight is not as strong.

Try not to back light your photos creating a silhouette effect which makes your subject dark and hard to see

3. Do not have too much going on in the photo, keep it simple

Less is more. Do not include any unnecessary objects or elements in your photos that can detract from the main focus of your photo. In this photo of the family on the right, a family is posing in front of a neutral background. This photo does a great job directing all the attention to the family in the photo. Try to eliminate objects such as trees, birds, cars and any other distracting elements in the background unless your intention is to have them as part of your photo.

Keep your background simple and try not to wear busy clothing for the best portraits

4. Experiment with depth of field

Have you ever seen photos that focus on a single subject but have a blurred background? Depth of field is being used. These photos are very fun as they do a great job conveying the distance between your subject in the foreground and the objects in the background.

To recreate this effect, use a wide aperture setting on your camera. On a smartphone, tap on your subjet to create a focus lock before taking your photo.

The depth of field can draw attention to differnt parts of your photo

5. Avoid using zoom

Avoid zooming in when taking photos with your smartphone or camera. Using the zoom function on your smartphone degrades the quality of your photo. Instead of using zoom, move closer to your subject.

When using the zoom function on a camera, even the slightest bit of movement from your hands can blur your photo. Use a tripod to keep your camera steady.

Zooming in can take away available light and with digital zoom can reduce the quality of your photos

6. Use a tripod

Carrying a tripod to photography sessions can help you take better photos in almost any situation. Tripods reduce the need for holding the camera yourself and allows for more creativity when taking angled shots.

Tripods are also available for smartphones! You can google “smartphone tripods” and see all the options available.

Steady your photo taking on a windy day or low light situation with a tripod

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