5 Simple Tips to Help you Take Your Photos from “meh” to Amazing!

With our super smart phones always in easy reach, it’s never been so easy to capture our life in pictures as it is today. With all the practice we get, we should be experts, but sometimes it’s frustrating that the picture we think we’re capturing is not the one that appears on our camera screen. Can you relate?

We asked Megan Connelly, a local photographer based here on the Mornington Peninsula, for her top tips on getting a great shot. Megan loves using natural light to capture a beautiful portrait. Whether you’re taking photos with a phone, instant camera or impressive long lens, Megan has some great tips to increase your photo appeal.

  1. Lighting
    Without a doubt good lighting will transform an image from ordinary to awesome! Once you get your head around the fundamentals of lighting your photography will improve massively.

    • Soft, diffused light is typically the best
    • Placing a subject in the harsh midday direct sun will cast shadows and be unflattering (ever noticed your photos are best when it’s overcast?)
    • When indoors find an indirectly lit window (subjects against a bright window will appear as silhouettes unless you use the flash), and;
    • If outdoors look for an open shaded area. ‘Golden hour’ the hour before and after sunrise and sunset is soft, warm and flattering…utilise this!

  3. Opt for the manual setting
    Whether it be an iPhone, point and shoot or DSLR camera, ditch the auto setting and educate yourself! Read your manual, YouTube or Google it! Learn how to use your camera on the manual setting – you’ll have complete control over the images you create!

  5. Perspective and composition
    We’re used to seeing photos taken from eye level directly in front of the subject…yawn, so here are some other options that will take you from standard to stellar!

    • Change your perspective – move around the subject, to the side, above, get down low, from behind, far away, up super close and focus on details rather than the bigger picture.
    • Composition and the rule of thirds will also help. Have you noticed a grid across your camera frame? Try lining up your subject where the lines intercept rather than the middle of the frame. For example, line a horizon shot up along the bottom third of the frame, or keep subjects to one side.

  7. Simplify, aka de-clutter!
    Take the time to remove distractions from your shot, whether it be a pile of clothes in the corner or your kids bright yellow truck on the floor. Move your perspective and make your subject the focus, that way distracting objects won’t draw your attention away.

  9. Get creative and practice
    Photography is art and although there are technical guidelines and rules of thumb, use your creative flare, your eye, your heart; capture moments and feelings to tell a story! Use your camera…a lot! Practice, practice, practice and your photos will go from meh to AMAZING!
    Megan Connelly specialises in weddings, newborn and family photography. Find her at http://www.meganconnellyphotography.com or on Facebook Megan Connelly Photography