The 9 Best Photo Tips

10 Best Photo Tips for Getting Started

Here’s what we found out busy Mom: there are A LOT of photo tips out there if you have the time to read them all. But you don’t because in front of you is a mound of dirty laundry, a cranky child whose homework needs more than a little directing, and a dog –wait, did anyone feed the dog? You get what we’re saying. No worries. We are all over it here at Tiny Reminders reminding you not only WHAT to take but also HOW to take it. We’ll always be embellishing these tips and adding WAY more tips as we move forward, but we have to begin somewhere.

Let’s get started with what our research and our experience have taught us:

1. Keep your camera with you in your purse. If you have a smart phone, this is even easier. Although snapping your fingers may cause your children to jump, it won’t take their photo. Have an SLR digital? Mine is under my passenger car seat and my car doors are always locked. A good habit even if you live in Amish country.

2. Learn to vary your perspective. Get on a chair and shoot down, get on your knees and shoot up, get behind your subject–mix up. This has the added benefit of making you LOOK like you know what you are doing.

3. Shoot with both eyes open. Use one eye for the camera and one eye for the subject. Alerts you to people who might be walking into your shot and reduces the likely hood of you photographing someone with their eyes closed. Nothing worse. Well, maybe an empty box of Sees …

4. Compose the photo story before you shoot. What are you trying to say with the photo? If the photo is the first day of school, it’s best to get the whole outfit in the shot, right? Turn your camera vertical. This makes such a huge difference and is such a no-brainer, yet so few do it. Sort of like flossing your teeth each night.

5. Frame the shot. Where is your subject and what is going on around them? Don’t neglect their feet. See that pole behind them, the one that looks as if it is rising out of your child’s head? More than a tiny bit bad. We live in a 3-D world so use the shot to convey that unless you are in tight for a close-up.

6. Remember “One and Done”. Many would disagree, but we are holding firm. You’ve heard this from us before. Less is more. Taking fewer photos means less editing time and that’s what you need to get your photos into a photo book. Figure it this way: each photo you take is about a minute of your time. Wow. Stops your heart a bit, eh? 

7. Divide and conquer the photo responsibilities: If your husband or child or mother-in-law wants to take several hundred photos of the giant redwood tree in the backyard, then let them. When you take the images off your camera (download), stick them into a folder marked “Photo Project Hellhole” and never open that folder again. Ever.

8. Keep the sunlight at your back. If your subjects are squinting, is there a place to get them in the shade? If not, go for a longer shot, turn on the flash to even out the light and know that what you are going to get isn’t going to be as good as the same shot on a foggy day. But at least you are getting it!!

9. Shoot the light. A photographer’s trick is to position your subjects near a light source so the light bounces off the source to your subject. Similarly, putting the sun behind and the left or right of your subject will create that beautiful back lighting that directors in Hollywood spend hours cultivating. Now your little angel will actually LOOK like a little angel. Okay, Motherhood has its moments!

EVEN MORE TIPS: We all know “The Close-up” as in “I’m ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille,” but there are two other shots you’ve already taken without knowing the terminology. Read about the types of shots.

Embrace these and you will save time in your photo world. Which is great because then maybe you’ll have more time in your family world, shopping world, and reading world! And we know that you have other photo tips for us because we’ve seen them out there. Be a guest blogger and join us on our mission to rid the Mommy world of photo book guilt!

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