>WMFW – Basic Tips for Better Photos

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works for me wednesday at we are that familyI first picked up a camera, a real one, when I was about 8.  I didn’t even realize how much of an impact my dad’s love of photography had on me until I started going through photos for the Recording Your Youth series I’ve been doing.  I couldn’t believe it when I found snapshots of blurry photos with the label “Sarah’s Yashica” written in my father’s handwriting and dated 1983. I don’t even remember that camera. I do remember the Vivitar 110mm I had during our trip to DisneyWorld in 1984.

There are a few things I wish I knew when I first picked up a camera that I know now, and I’d like to pass them on to you. 

1. Photos of people are far more meaningful in the long run than pictures of places.  My family traveled a lot and my dad took tons of photos of the places we went, but not nearly enough people photos.  One tip is to put more people IN the photos of the places. 

2. You may love the cute outfits you buy for your kids, but you will really love your photos that focus more on their faces, expressions and eyes.  So zoom IN.  Get closer.  Fill the entire frame.  Don’t be afraid to cut off a bit of their heads.  Trust me on this.

3. Try really hard to remember the rule of thirds.  Imagine your frame is divided into thirds. So it has four grid lines, evenly spaced, two vertical and two horizontal.  Put the main subject of your photo along those gridlines, rather than centering everything.  It makes for much more interestng photos.  When you’re shooting a portrait, put the person’s eyes right at the intersection of two gridlines. 

There are so many more basic tips I could offer, but I really don’t like to overwhelm people.  So keep those three in mind and practice.  If you want more tips, let me know in the comments and I’ll post some more here or there.  Thanks!

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13 responses to this post.

  1. >Very nice post! So happy to have stumbled across your blog – it looks amazing and I can't wait to read around more 🙂

    Reply

  2. >Like your tips! Looking forward for more… Casey

    Reply

  3. >thanks so much for these tips. i just bought a real camera vs. my iPhone and am trying to do better. i think i need a photography class….i want to take one soon but need to find time! someday!

    Reply

  4. >thanks so much for these tips. i just bought a real camera vs. my iPhone and am trying to do better. i think i need a photography class….i want to take one soon but need to find time! someday!

    Reply

  5. >Yes! I learned the rule of thirds a few years ago and have never turned back!

    Reply

  6. >thanks for the great tips

    Reply

  7. >I just "bumped into" your blog – very fabulous! Keep speaking into the lives of moms! You are too fun! Blessings to you!

    Reply

  8. >Love your tips and I agree..definitely take more pictures of people, especially your family!!

    Reply

  9. >Love the tips! I believe in focusing on faces. That's important to me. Capturing those that I love. If I am taking the kids to have a picture done, I usually just put them in solids, so the clothes don't grab any attention.

    Reply

  10. >I would add one more, especially in this day of digital photography: don't be afraid to take more than one photo. While conserving media may have been important back in the days of film, the cost of "processing" additional images is close to zero. So, take that extra shot – you'll never know when it saves one that otherwise would have been lost to someone blinking, or standing there with mouth agape, or some other embarrassing moment.~EdT.

    Reply

  11. >Love the tips! I believe in focusing on faces. That's important to me. Capturing those that I love. If I am taking the kids to have a picture done, I usually just put them in solids, so the clothes don't grab any attention.

    Reply

  12. >thanks for the great tips

    Reply

  13. >thanks so much for these tips. i just bought a real camera vs. my iPhone and am trying to do better. i think i need a photography class….i want to take one soon but need to find time! someday!

    Reply

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