These simple tips and tricks can mean the difference between a magical picture and a marginal one.
- FOCUS! Ensuring that your subject is in focus is absolutely critical to taking a good picture. The cutest pose and most endearing smile are all for naught if the image is blurry due to poor focus. And to make matters worse, while many image problems can be remedied in Photoshop, out-of-focus pictures really can’t be effectively salvaged. Most cameras automatically focus in the center frame, but many will let you focus on your subject in the middle by pressing the shutter button down halfway, recomposing your shot, and then pressing the shutter button the rest of the way down to take the picture. To help with blur that can occur in a shot when not using a tripod, pull your elbows in against your ribcage and hold your breath while you take the picture.
- SNAP! Digital camera technology frees you to take oodles of pictures without the cost of developing film. The more photos you take, the more likely you are to get the perfect shot. So, snap away!
- HIGH RES! Don’t compromise the quality of your pictures by relegating your high mega-pixel camera to a low-resolution/small file mode. High-resolution images equate to high-quality pictures. If you need a smaller file size for emailing, you can reduce the size after you’ve downloaded the images to your PC using image editing software that came with your camera, or use Google’s FREE Picasa software download. You can always decrease the resolution, but you really can’t increase it.
- IMITATE! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Browse through photography magazines, books, and blogs for ideas. See a picture you like? Use it as inspiration for your own pose or setting. No one is born a great photographer; most learn by imitating those they like.
- KISS! Keep it simple, silly! A simple, non-distracting background can help make your subject the focal point of the picture. A solid-colored blanket or pillow can make a great backdrop for your subject. If your camera has different modes, experiment with “aperture priority,” which allows you to open up the lens wide (smaller f-stop # = wider aperature) and blur the background.
- UP CLOSE & PERSONAL! Don’t get stuck in a rut using only traditional poses for your pictures. Try taking close-ups of your subjects and remember to get down to eye level for a really personal shot. You don’t need your subject in the middle of the frame for every photo; mix things up for a different perspective. When capturing pictures of multiple people, making sure that their faces are very close together helps draw the eye to both subjects at the same time. Because of their small size, this is especially important if you plan on using the image on a Simple-Blessings.Net photo keepsake.
- LIGHT! Natural light is best, but the most important thing is to make sure you have enough light. Open a window shade or turn on a light. Be careful when using a flash, though. The flash can cast harsh background shadows, “wash out” details, and render your image “flat” looking.