10 Tips for taking better photos

When it comes to photography, I’m nowhere near professional but I’d like to think I’m a step above amateur. Here is what I’ve learned in my quest to become a better photographer:

Have the camera ready and snap it quick

My number one frustration is not capturing a fleeting moment. If the opportunity for a great photo is imminent, have the camera powered up and ready before the moment has passed.

Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty

Sometimes getting close to a subject may invade his or her personal space (or yours), but the result is often a better photo. Don’t rely on the zoom to capture something from far away.

Switch up your angles

One of the first lessons I learned some years ago is photos don’t have to be shot straight on all the time. Tilt the camera or find a different perspective that is interesting to the eye. (Thank you Valerie Soe, wherever you are.)

Look for the unusual

If a fire is happening, its easy to start taking pictures of just the flames, but the real story is what is happening around the fire. Find those interesting, human moments that tell the story behind the tragedy or triumph.

Here are some non-work related photos I took recently around my hometown. You be the judge:




More photos from me are up for viewing at Flickr. Now let’s hear from the professionals. These tips were culled from the web and I encourage you to visit each site for even more lessons on great photography:

From modemlooper’s 7 Excellent Photography Tips:

Learn your camera’s settings

Chances are you shoot most of your pictures utilizing your camera’s “automatic” mode. This will get you average results. If you are striving for great shots, you’ll need to learn about other modes too. Take the time to read your camera’s manual to understand when to use each shooting mode.

Take more photos

Before going crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away, you had better take more photos because the more photos you take, the more you’ll know about what kind of camera to get when it’s time to upgrade. In other words, you can always delete the bad ones later.

From SEO Smarty’s How To Optimize Images For Search Engines, Social Media and People

(Clean, clear) faces in an image get more eye fixation. (don’t use abstract images too often).

Keep them relevant: images are not the first thing a visitor sees on a web page but they can compel him to stay

From Photojojo’s Ten Legal Commandments of Photography

V. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy.

VII. Although “security” is often given as the reason somebody doesn’t want you to take photos, it’s rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a company’s trade secrets.

(BTW, Photojojo is an excellent blog for both aspiring and professional photographers.)

For examples of beautiful photography that we all can aspire to, check out Smashing Magazine’s (Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos.