I love taking pictures of my boys. LOVE. I love taking shots of my food! I love recording my life on Instagram. But I’m definitely not a professional. I have picked up a thing or two along the way, but I have a long way to go.
Good thing I like to learn new things!
For the past few years, I’ve been playing around with my camera (I have a Canon Rebel), and I’ve found that I fare better when I follow a few simple rules:
Yup. You’re not Annie Leibovitz, and neither am I. If I expect to take magazine-worthy pictures as an amateur, then I’m just lining myself up to have massive disappointment. I started taking better pictures when I stopped trying to be a professional.
I’d rather lower my expectations a bit, and take a few extra photos so that I am blown away by the few that turn out well. Not expecting perfection also lets you have a little fun while you’re taking pictures-and you’re more likely to get a good shot when you’re trying new things.
Use Natural Light
I used to rely on my flash, but when I look back at my older photos, they all have this glaring, unflattering quality. I started using natural light when I got my “forever” camera, and holy moly has it made a difference.
You don’t necessarily have to be outside-I actually take my food photos right next to the window to get the best lighting possible.
Pay Attention To What’s Around You
If you want to get a great shot of your lunch, or your kid, or a product, make sure that you’ve picked up your laundry, tidied the table, and removed any distractions. Once I started cleaning up what was behind my focal point, my pictures improved tremendously.
Don’t Be Afraid Of A Different Angle
Some of my favorite pictures are either from above or below my boys. My absolute favorite picture of Smalls is actually a picture I took of his feet as he lay in bed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.
I love pictures where the focus isn’t the face-I love the intensity of this picture, where Smalls is learning about chemical reactions (don’t worry-it was safe) by making “elephant toothpaste”.
And quite honestly, in today’s world of blogging, not showing your child’s face is kind of trendy.
Take Advantage Of Tutorials And Classes
My number one rule is that I never stop learning. Tutorials, classes, especially when they don’t cost anything, can teach you volumes. There are lots of great blogs, but sometimes it’s nice to have it all in one place (like on my Kindle!).
In fact, for a limited time, you can get this free download (seriously, it’s free!):