A Beginner’s Guide to Taking Better Photos

When I started this adventure last year, I told myself that I was going to use my own photos for as many posts as possible. I believed that this blog should be entirely my own work. I quickly discovered the magical joy of pexels.com. With the simple search of a keyword, I could find photos far more creative than I will ever know how to manage.

But I still wanted to have my own photos to use, especially when it came to posting recipes. And then I remembered that I am terrible at taking photos. I really don’t think my skills improved beyond learning how to aim the camera and click. So, I asked my photographer-by-career husband to give me a crash course. He broke down the top 3 must-knows for basic photography.

Although I am still on an amateur level, his lessons have really helped me improve. If you feel that your skills could use some improvement, read on! Then grab your camera and practice, practice, practice!

1. Finding your light

According to my husband, good lighting is absolutely the most important aspect of taking good photos. And the best type of lighting you can find? Believe it or not, a cloudy day is the best time to take photos because it diffuses the sun and creates a soft light on your subject. Harsh, direct lighting will create unwanted shadows that can ruin the focus of your photo. If natural lighting is not an option, consider using a light colored sheet or a thin white shirt to place between your light source and your photo subject.

“If you don’t have good lighting, you won’t have a good photo, period.”

2. Background

This one may be pretty obvious, but my husband included it for me because I am the worst at not paying attention to my surroundings when taking pictures. If you are trying to photograph the awesome dinner you just cooked up, no one wants to see the mess of papers and bills laying on the counter behind it.

Pick a clear, appropriate background or create your own with a solid colored fabric. Avoid clutter in the background, anything that would draw the viewers eye away from the subject. If you feel like the clutter is impossible to avoid, consider shooting a close-up of your subject, leaving your background out of focus.

3. Composition

To put it simply: this is what items your photo is made up of. The main subject should be the largest and most focused piece of your photo. Any accompanying items should compliment your main subject. This could mean a complimenting color, texture, or pattern.

Composition also includes the set up of your photo scene. A big part of this is using leading lines. They are just what they sound like. Lines that lead your eye to the main subject. Take the photo below, for example:

Photo by Brooke Lewis from Pexels
Notice how the yellow lines lead your eye right to the subject.

So there it is: Tyson’s Top 3 Tips for Taking Great Photos!

Did you find this post helpful? Would you like to see a follow-up post? If so, let me know!

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