Five Tips You Need to Know to Take Better Photos

May 22, 2017

We’ve received countless questions about our photos since we started our travels. If you’ve been following us since the beginning or even just in the last few months you know that Amy of Amy Frances Photography took all of our photos up until just a few weeks ago. We were nervous to take the photography on ourselves when we left NYC and anticipated some growing pains, but to be totally honest Amy really set us up for success. Amy has taught Zack and I the majority of what we know about our cameras, how to get a better shot and has even helped us with editing. When the questions started coming in I reached out to her and asked if she could put some tips together for you guys who are interested in improving your photography!

1. Practice practice. The only way you will ever get more comfortable with your camera is by practicing. Yes, it may be a bit of a hassle to bring along your camera everywhere, but if you don’t it will inevitably collect dust and you will be back where you started. So bring it with everywhere you go! Take photos of everything, even if you feel like that annoying tourist. Just go for it! Your future family memories will thank you.

2. Start slow. Learn what capabilities your camera has, and what you feel comfortable with. I suggest starting out with aperture and shutter priority. This allows you to control half the settings and let the rest be set automatically. By doing this, you can ease your way into shooting in manual down the line. I know a lot of photographers who shoot in the two priority settings a lot in their regular day to day even, so that is a perfectly great way to start and continue your journey in photography!

3. Turn off the lights! When shooting at home, turning the lights off can have a huge affect on how your photos turn out(unless its at night and creates a nice scene). During the day, turn off all the lights and try to work with the natural light. This will give you great colors and skin tones. Artificial lights can cast weird colors (usually orange) onto faces and is rather difficult to edit out.

4. The faster the better. In starting out with learning about shutter speed, try and keep it quick (above 1/100) to reduce the chance of camera shake or blur. If you have to go below 1/100, I recommend that you try and keep your body steady as much as possible. Pull your elbows in against your body,or lean against a wall while shooting.

5. When in doubt, throw it in auto! Whether you are having a hard time getting your settings just right, or it’s a really important moment you don’t want to miss, it’s totally okay to switch your camera to auto! This ensures that your camera will take over and you won’t miss a beat (like that adorable photo of your kid blowing out the candles on their birthday cake). I totally admit to throwing my camera in auto when I was first starting out because it can be a total life saver. As you get more experience, you’ll be able to anticipate the moment and prepare ahead of time and get your settings in the right spot.

Still stuck? Google/pinterest/youtube/classes are the best! I still to this day will continue to research things I don’t know. There are TONS of diagrams, videos, blog posts about everything photography. Sign up for a class in your area, like my Documented Workshop ;).

Don’t ever stop trying to learn more and experiment. In result you will learn more than you could have if you just gave up or skated off with what you know how to do already.

Written by Amy Frances.

If you’re in the NYC area Amy will be hosting her next photography workshop, Documented on August 26th. Sign up for her mailing list and learn more by visiting her Documented site here.

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