When I was growing up and our family went on vacation my dad always had his camera with him. He would stop every few steps to take a photograph of an interesting building or a beautiful flower, while my sister and I rolled our eyes and waited impatiently. Now I am that parent! I can’t help myself. I love to take photographs, and I do not discriminate, although I’m partial to photos of my kids. I’ve realized that I look at the world through a lens, often thinking “Oh, that would make a beautiful picture!”.
As a mom, photos are a way to capture memories of my husband and children, daily life and the extraordinary too. I take great joy in photographing them. As a craft blogger, photos are a big part of my content. There are tutorials and reviews that require a multitude of photos, and they need to look nice. Over the years I have taken thousands of photos, and though I do not consider myself a pro by any stretch, I have learned a lot and have improved by leaps and bounds. I’d love to share some photography tips with you, if that’s alright.
1. Use natural light whenever possible!
There is nothing better than natural light when you are taking a photograph. Sometimes the circumstances won’t allow it, but if you have it, use it! It makes a big difference. You may have to use a tripod, set up near a window, or just wait for a sunnier day, but it’s worth it.
No flash, evening, low light
No flash, daylight
The second set of photos looks infinitely better than the first. The colors are brighter and it looks intentional. Take advantage of that light.
2. Get a little closer.
When photographing food, a close up can make all of the difference. Get down on the level of the beatiful creation you’ve just made a zoom in! Don’t be afraid to get a tight shot… make ’em drool.
It works with people too!
3. Use a few props.
Props can add a lot of fun to a photograph and they are super easy to make. The props shown in this photo can be found here.
4. Use a back drop when photographing objects.
I create tutorials for my blog and really like to have a clean, solid background for my photos. When you are creating step by step instructions it helps to eliminate as many distractions as possible. I purchased a large piece of white board from our local grocery store. It’s actually white on one side and blue on the other. It works for all sorts of projects and only cost me less than $2! This photo is from an upcoming tutorial for making a travel-sized minky blanket.
5. Wait for it!
Sometimes a great shot takes preparation and patience. The best photos are rarely the first ones that are taken. I can’t tell you how many photos I delete. That’s the beauty of digital photography! I took this series of photos last fall on a family vacation. I crouched down in the ocean and prayed that I wouldn’t drop my camera in the water while I snapped away. The last photo is one of my favorites that I have of my daughter.
The joy on her face is priceless! I was able to capture it well because I was willing to wait.
There are many things that you can do to improve your photographs. These are just a few, but I hope that maybe you have learned something new. The most important thing is to have fun and take photos of things and people that you love! You’ll enjoy it so much.
Jenny is also a contributor for Sisters in Bloom.