Today I will share here some of my techniques to capture better photos this year. These are techniques that I have been testing and improving for years, but that are also always evolving, as a good photography enthusiast.
I almost always have a camera in my hand, either just my cell phone or something bigger to capture things that inspire me or moments that go by everyday.
These days it’s so easy to take photos, isn’t it?! You can retell every minute of our current lives if you want.
And with so many attempts, mistakes are more avoidable and I try to focus on successes, when it comes to photography. The good thing is that now I can focus on my photography style (amateur, by the way) and try to improve with every click.
First, I shot with those old digital cameras (point and shoot) and then I bought my first crop-sensor camera (semi-professional) back in 2009, which was my Christmas present that year, if I’m not mistaken.
Since then, that one has worn out, I bought a similar new version and more recently also got a lighter but also versatile (digital mirrorless) camera, for travel. Maybe the day I own a professional (full sensor) will come someday.
Anyway, my point here with this post is that regardless of the camera you currently have, even if it is only your cell phone (which nowadays has excellent photographic quality), it is possible to make better and more interesting photos.
The techniques are simple and apply to a good percentage of the photos we take on a daily basis, such as those you will take at home, for walks or trips (of course, also in more prepared photoshoots and unique places).
If you also want to take better pictures either of your home, your kids, pets, family, etc. Then stay tuned and read below!
Don’t be afraid to change your position, bend down or stand higher up depending on what you are photographing.
I always find it more interesting, to stay in line with what you are shooting, for a more “human” view of the subject.
Example of the photo below: in my eyes, it was much more harmonic focusing on Eddie closer to the ground, than just stopping in front of him and taking the photo from above.
This applies to photos of children, animals and adults. Don’t be afraid to test and see what “works” best and get down or up, if necessary.
SMILES ARE NOT MANDATORY
This is one that does not always come naturally, for those who have not read or studied a little about photography styles.
There are people who just don’t really hit the camera shutter if people aren’t smiling, looking at the lens… Does it sound familiar?
But nowadays, less posed and more natural photos are more popular than ever, so you don’t need a smile for, in fact, have a great photo!
Or in other words: more spontaneous and less posed photos have an incredible value.
Look at the example above: We took the tripod (our usual photographer) on this walk in a castle/hotel here near the house, but Arthur was no longer collaborating for the family photos. I wanted to see the fountain, get the pebbles from the ground, everything but sit there with us and smile for the photo. Alice almost stayed hidden, Diego and I are not even looking at the camera.
It wasn’t rehearsed to come out like this, but then a spontaneous photo came out, of the very moment, and it was all right for me, it served its purpose as a “family photo”. I loved it!
Of course, when the photos are spontaneous (no pose), there are great chances to come out with reduced potential (or no chance of correction through editing), but they also bring a unique chance to see the moment as it really was. That’s where the beauty of digital photography, guys, comes in handy!
Photos that catch the moment, even with exaggerated laughter, frowning face, jumps or any other expression!
A very important part of good photos in my opinion, the light!
And 1000 times better if it is natural and diffused light (i.e. not direct on the lens or subjects).
Simply go near a window or door, without the light shining directly, there you have the best scenario.
On the outside also has great potential, but you have to observe the formation of the shadows, which can leave the photo a bit dark and not show exactly what you want (hidden in the shadows).
Of course, there are beautiful photos that go completely against these techniques that I just said, but I’m generalizing to more typical photos of our daily lives.
WITH OR WITHOUT ZOOM?
In my opinion, try to take photos that show more, rather than less. Instead of zooming in, leave more room for editing, when you can crop and adjust things with more flexibility.
And of course, if it’s a portrait, like Arthur’s photo in the previous tip, it makes sense, but in landscapes and general photos, I always start from the principle that the wider the angle, the better (and then I edit, if necessary).
In the photo above, one of the things I edited the photo was to cut some things that I thought were not important to appear in the final photo (the metal stairs and safety pedestals, for example).
There are some photos that already come out with a great light, straight from the camera, without editing.
But in my reality as a mother of 3, I usually have only fractions of a second to think about the composition, adjust light, and everything else that is possible to perfect the photos. So in short, it never comes out the way I want.
So to make a photo shine to my eyes, I always post-edit.
As you know, photo editing has almost a parallel universe of possibilities and tools, through apps, software and even right in the cell phone gallery.
My approach is not to interfere too much with the photo concept, so in 99% of my photos I only adjust light, contrast, colors, angles, things like that, but I don’t remove or retouch with Photoshop (image editing and creation software). You have to decide what works for you.
Worth remembering, photo editing is something very personal!
My favorite software is Adobe Lightroom, which is paid (on the computer). But Lightroom also offers a mobile application, which has a free version and is already enough to edit a wide variety of situations on photos.
Remember that over-editing can destroy a good photo, so not going to far with the tools is ideal.
Want to learn more?
In a next post, I have MORE 6 TIPS to take better pictures and capture all moments successfully!