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Are you looking for a way to improve your photography RIGHT THIS SECOND?! Well, I’ve got some amazing tips for you. These tips are perfect for beginner photographers and mom photographers looking to improve their photography.
If you’re a mom or new photographer, this site is the perfect site for you!
I love free things, don’t you?! I hope to see you on my email list. And I hope you’ll tell me a little bit about yourself, as well! I send out post updates, special tips, freebies, and announcements through my subscription. I do advertise my course from time to time, but I promise to not bombard you with sales pitches! I want you to be educated and learn from me, not be annoyed that I’m sending you my sales pitch!
Alright now for the fun stuff, how YOU can improve your photography TODAY! Do any of the tips below right now and you will see improvements in your photography!
1. turn off flash/light in your house
Probably the best tip ever if you’re not already doing this. Turning off your flash will improve your photos drastically. I recommend you use natural light for all of your photography (of course, unless you have some off camera flash and know how to use it!). Natural light is any light that comes directly from the sun. Turning off the flash will help you get that beautiful natural light.
I also recommend to turn off all lights in your house! Having artificial light and natural light is hard to work with (it’s called mixed lighting in case you were wondering). So, I typically try to avoid mixed lighting as much as possible.
What to do now: turn off that flash! And NEVER use it again (I’m serious!). That built in flash is the WORST. It creates bright images, makes your subjects look like a deer in the headlights, and also creates unflattering shadows. Don’t get me started on the white balance issue either.
ANY time you want to take pictures of your kids, turn off your lights in the house and open up all the blinds (or not, depending on what type of look you are going for) and you will see an improvement in your photography almost instantly. I have a great tutorial on how to use window light you can check out if you need a little more help.
2. use a higher shutter speed
If you are getting really frustrated with always getting blurry images, this tip is for you! Using a higher shutter speed will help freeze those fast little ones you probably have running around. As a general rule of thumb, I never let my shutter speed go below 1/250. Now, if your little ones are running or even walking as you try to snap their images, I would up the shutter speed to around 1/600. That’s if I want to freeze movement. If I want to capture movement, I will go below my general rule of 1/250.
By always making sure your shutter speed is at 1/250, it will help eliminate any issues with camera shake and blurry images (usually). I usually always check my shutter speed, set the aperture I want, and then use whatever ISO I need to get my exposure correct (and no, I’m not scared of a little grain! Check out my tips on how to take sharp low light images).
What to do now: check to see what shutter speed you have set on your camera right now. Is it lower than 1/250? That could be the culprit for your blurry images! Go back through your Lightroom catalog and see what your shutter speed typically is for your images. And then….never go below 1/250 again! You’ll thank me later for it. 😉
3. change your angle
Every time you pull out your camera and take a picture, you should practice getting more than one angle in your shots. Start by taking a photo of your subject straight on. Then move to the side of them and document them turned. Next try shooting from above your subject. Or below your subject. Or make faceless images. Changing your angle can improve your photography so much.
When you go and upload your images on the computer, look at all the angles you got and ask yourself ‘which angle works the best here? which one do I like the most?’. You never know, you might find that you like shooting from above the best and want to practice this angle more.
What to do now: practice this technique on an inanimate object! Sometimes using a subject that won’t move is a lot easier. Use a kids toy or a statue and practice capturing the different angles. Then the next step would be to practice on a moving subject. Good luck, those little ones move so quickly. 😉
4. declutter the scene
Cleaning up the scene will improve your photographs almost instantly. I’m not recommending you always have a clean house. I’m simply suggesting you look at the whole scene (before you ever pick up the camera) and decide what you want in the scene. What will help your image look better? Will clutter add to the story? For example, a time when clutter would add to the story, is a picture of you tackling the dishes with a tired look. That would tell a story of a mom with a lot on her plate (ha!) but she still does the dishes. Think about what would add to your image. And if it doesn’t add to the image, simply tidy up the scene a little bit and then take pictures.
What to do now: well, clean. I’ll wait. 😉
5. take a photography class
When I first started photography, I thought I was such a good photographer. And REALLY good at editing (why, yes, I did apply random blue filters on my images and thought they looked good, don’t judge me!). But after taking my first class at Clickin Moms, my photography started improving and I have never looked back! I really love the way Clickin Moms classes are laid out and organized. They are very professional and great for learning new things!
I also have my own course I wanted to tell you about real quick, it’s about How to Capture Your Everyday Life and Create ART. If you are struggling with getting beautiful, normal, everyday life moments, then this course is for you. There is a 173 page PDF included in the course, as well as 5 lightroom editing videos, 5 exercises to do, and more! I’ve put a lot of information into this course and I feel like you will benefit from it. It is recommended that you already know manual mode before starting this course, but other than that, beginner or intermediate photographers are welcome!
What to do now: ENROLL IN MY COURSE! Ahem. Or find a course that will benefit you the most, I mean!
6. upgrade your lens from a kit lens
If you are stilling using a kit lens…get rid of it right now! Spend your money on a lens that will actually benefit you a lot. And I really, truly believe that! I even wrote an excellent blog post on what lens is the best one to buy first, if you’re interested in my reasons for choosing this lens. The lens I recommend you buying first is the 50mm 1.8 lens (here’s the canon 50 link).
This lens (at least for the Nikon lens, sorry Canon users, I’m a Nikon gal!) produces such BEAUTIFUL bokeh! And it’s sharp. I love how easy it is to learn manual on this lens, too. If you’re trying to decide if you should buy spend extra money and buy a lens when you purchase your camera, don’t buy any of the kit lenses and buy this one! Kit lenses are usually included, as a kit, with your camera. They typically are very difficult to learn manual on and they aren’t as sharp. Use your money and buy a lens that will produce beautiful images. 🙂
What to do now: Sell that kit lens (if you have one) and purchase a better lens. You’ll images will thank me for it, your wallet….probably not. You’re welcome.
7. start a photography project
A photography project is the perfect way to help improve your images! I love to challenge myself with projects like, ‘use only one lens for a month’ or ‘focus on one color for the month’. There are many many photography projects you can start! And all will most likely improve your photography! I have a few photography projects on my blog you can start.
- 12 photography projects to start
- Creative exercise: 30 day photo challenge
- Creative exercise: 30 photos in 30 minutes
- Day in the Life Photography Project
I plan on adding more projects to my blog very soon, and I’ll come back and update this post when I do.
What to do now: start a photography project! This could literally be anything. And Pinterest has TONS of great ideas on photography projects.
what to do now
Practice the different tips in this post and even combine more than one of them! But the most important thing is practicing. That’s the only way you will get better. There’s this quote that I absolutely love that I’d like to share with you: “Don’t compare your first year with their fifth year”. How important is that wonderful advice?! Keep practicing and you’ll get there eventually! I’m still learning and growing as a photographer, and so should you. 😉
Alyssa (sometimes going by Aly) is a hobbyist photographer who loves to teach. Her love of photography started before she ever had any kids. Now a mom of two, she loves to photograph her kids, flowers, and landscape. She specializes in capturing her everyday life. She loves to teach fellow beginner photographers how to take control of their cameras and get the images they dream about getting.