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Tips for Taking Better Photographs

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   Hello, everyone! If you have been reading my blog recently, then you will know all about my new passion in photography. I'm not quite sure how it started, but last summer, I really took an interest in it and literally fell in love. Since then, I have literally looked at countless posts, videos, and even attended a few "webinars" on how to be a better photographer.

   Now, I am in no way confessing that I am now a expert photographer and making cash money because of it. I am saying that I have seen such an improvement in my photos and have gained a massive confidence in the photos I take. Because of the positive effect I've noticed in my own work, I thought I would share the various tips I like to remember when behind the camera! Hopefully, these tips will help you improve as well!

1. Camera

   I am so not an expert in cameras or what camera is fan-tabulous when it comes to taking photos. I just wanted to point out that the type of camera you use has a huge effect on how your photos will turn out. Obviously pictures taken on your phone won't have the same clarity and what not as photos taken on a DSLR camera. If you're taking an interest in photography, then start out by researching your cameras and what type will suit the kind of photos you want. Just a quick FYI, the camera I use is a Canon Rebel T3 with a 58mm lens.

2. Auto to Manual

  I can 100% guarantee that you are going to see a difference in your photos when you switch from the auto settings to manual. After over a year of using my DSLR, I recently fiddled around with my camera settings to finally get it on manual settings, and oh my goodness - my photos are so amazingly different. There are a few important things to know and remember when changing settings, and I'd recommend using some help, especially if you're new to cameras. So you won't have to go searching the giant world of the internet only to findcomplicated tutorials, check out THIS post from Through the Mirror. Caitlin does an amazing job of explaining the settings, and it's actually the post I used!

    In the pictures below, it's easy to see the difference in clarity and crispness of each. The second photo has more definition, his whole body is in focus, and the texture of his fur isn't lost like it is in the first photo. Also, this is my little pup, Boomer, and the photos are actually taken a little under three months apart!


3. Backgrounds

   When taking pictures, paying attention to the background is just as important as what/who is in the foreground. Having a cluttered background can take away from the subject of the photo, and it can also make the photo look "messy." That's the last thing we want in our pictures! Also, the color of you background effects is something to pay attention to. I would say that the ideal shade and color for photos are lighter shades, such as white, baby pink, or lavender. It doesn't make your photo as harsh as a black or dark blue and allows your subject to stand out.

   Notice how the left picture has a simple light colored marbled background, allowing the subjects to "pop." The right picture has so much going on in it that you aren't sure what you're supposed to be looking at. If this picture was taken in front of a solid light colored wall, then the flowers and other objects would stand out much more.



4. Lighting 

   There are two types of lighting one can use when taking photos. You either have artificial lighting (ew!) and natural lighting (yeay!). Trust me when I say that if it's possible, then always use natural lighting. Whether you have to go outside or near a window, you will see such a difference than if you only use artificial lighting like those big bulky soft boxes. Also, a good tip to remember when looking at lighting is how it's reflecting, more specifically reflecting on a person. If you are taking any sort of portrait photos, then having the light reflecting back onto the clients makes them look more awake and lively. You can either reflect the light using a reflector or simply putting your client in front of  white wall. The light will actually reflect off the white color and back onto the client!

  I unfortunately do not have any photos that use artificial lighting because I frankly don't like using it and got rid of the lights I did have. However, do you see how much of an effect the natural light has on the photos? You're able to see the true colors of each object, and I actually hardly edited either of these photos!



5. Angles

   I feel as though this tip relates more towards taking photos of people, rather than objects or nature, but I still think it's important to know. When your subject of your photos is a person, you always want to remember to angle down. What I mean by that is that your camera should be pointing down just slightly toward your client. Whether you are already taller than your client or need to stand on a small stood, you always want to be up higher. It effects the way your client looks in the end photos, usually taking away that dreadful double chin!

  These photos were actually taken by my mom, but they still show the difference angling has on the client. The first photo is taken with my mom standing up and I sitting down, causing her to have to angle the camera downward towards me. The second photo is taken straight on. Do you see how different my jaw line looks and slimmer my face seems? Angles are so important when taking portraits!



   Phew, even though I only shared five tips, I feel as though I gave y'all so much information! I'm hoping it wasn't too much and that you found this post helpful. Again, I'm no expert, but I wanted to share the useful tips I have learned recently!

Have a fabulous rest of your day!

♥ always,
Kelsey

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