Monday, November 15, 2010

Quick, easy steps to snap photos like a pro

Christmas is right around the corner! Time to get that perfect photo for your Belle Announcements holiday card.  Now you don’t have to be Alfred Stieglitz or Ansel Adams to take a great photo.  Understanding a few basic concepts will have you snapping pictures like a pro!
Read the manual.
Well maybe not the whole manual.  But honestly, become friends with your camera.  Learn the different features it has and experiment.  Any camera can be a good camera if you know how to use it.
Show me the light.
Pay attention to the lighting around you.  Avoid shadows over your subjects.  For outside shots, try to keep your light source (the sun) behind you.  For the most dramatic lighting try sunrise, sunset, or when the sun is just peaking out from behind the clouds. Honestly, I’m not getting my kids up at sunrise so the partly overcast day is my favorite.
Flash Gordon!
Many people have their cameras flashes set to automatic or automatic with red eye reduction.  Basically, your camera is deciding for you if the flash is appropriate.  While that is fine for an ok photo, it doesn’t make for great photography. If you have an adjustable flash, try bouncing it off the ceiling. If you have a built in flash, consider using a diffuser. You can find how to make an inexpensive one here or here. Practice using the flash in different lighting; remember making friends with your camera.  
What’s your angle?

As a mom, I’m used to looking at the tops of my kids’ heads.  I don’t need to take a picture of it. Get down, I say! Bringing yourself down to the level of your subject is a must.  

Let’s focus, people. focus.
I use a basic point and click camera.  Love my auto focus, but it doesn’t always focus on my subject. Most auto focus cameras have a feature where you can hold the shutter release half way to focus. Focus on the subject you want then, while holding the button, recompose the shot. Voila! Your loved one’s face is in focus and not the tree in the back ground.
Keep It Simple Silly!  Props and dramatic backdrops can be fun, but don’t clutter your frame.  You want your subject to be what people notice first.

Lastly, here at Belle Announcements we can tweak almost any photo. Red eye, not a problem! We can crop, brighten and adjust, just give us your best shot.  
Jenna ~
Guest blogger for Belle Announcements


  1. Such Very Helpful Tips!!! Awesome Blog!

  2. GREAT tips. It's hard for a novice, like me, to get a great shot. The "make friends with your camera" thing really hits home. I guess it's like anything you do--it's not practice that makes perfect, it's perfect practice makes perfect.

    AND, really good to know my goof-ups can be corrected before the final product is done!

  3. This makes me want to go buy a new camera. I guess I need to become better friends with mine.

  4. Ditto Missy! Thanks for the tips Jenna!