Lunch, Backpack, Camera: Back to School!

On July 30, 2017 by Kelcey Flynn

Lunch √ Backpack √ School Supplies √ Camera? Mmh…

Lunch is packed and ready, now it is time to get out your camera!

Five Simple Ways to Take Better Photos

Hello, friend! Are you ready to take better photos this school year? Summer has passed us by so quickly. I know you’d like to capture those first day of school memories on camera, but how will you ever have time?

No fear, warrior-mama, I’m going to tell you!

The first thing you need to know is that THE BEST camera is the one you have with you. It’s true. No matter if you have a fancy pants DSLR or smart phone camera at your disposal – you are winning either way. Follow my five simple ways to take better photos and you’re going to have great results!

Since you’ve already invested in either a DSLR or a smart phone, let’s make the most of it! I’m not going to give you a must-have equipment list. Au contraire. We’re going to optimize what’s in front of you right now so you can instantly take better photos! Let’s do this!

1. Find Good Light

  • The word “photography” means to draw/paint with light. See how important it is to the process? If you have bad light, your photos will make that obvious.
  • Look for consistent light {all sun or all shade} to eliminate harsh shadows or glaring highlights.
  • Get the sun behind your subject. On your big-girl camera, add flash {yassss, even during the day!}. If you’re using a smart phone, tap your subject’s face {on the lcd, not their actual face [giggle]} to get your lighting on-point.

2. Clear the Clutter

  • Choose your subject. Are you taking a pic of your dirty dishes {with your son in the frame} or a picture of your son in your kitchen?
  • Remove distractions. Get those dirty dishes out of sight before snapping your pic. Be totally aware of your surroundings. Move any papers, books, bags, stray hairs, and other clutter that doens’t add to the artistic value of your shot.
  • Be intentional. Spend the extra time to make your photo awesome! That may mean doing a quick clean-up, de-clutter, or sweeping. You might want to do the 30 second hair and wrinkle check, also. It does take extra time, but, it’s totally worth it to get the lasting impression of a fabulous photo.

3. Stop Taking Blurry Photos

  • Recognize that there’s a reason your photos are coming out blurry {and it’s usually not the camera’s fault – sorry!!} There are several really easy ways to get better action photos!
  • Your photos will turn out blurry when you move; your subject moved; or you don’t have enough light in the frame. If your subject is a wiggler, use a faster shutter speed {chose the sports mode or select a bigger number, like 1/500, for your photo}. If you moved and caused the photo to be blurry, maybe you should drink a little less coffee {j/k}!
  • If it’s a little dark where you’re shooting, throw open the sheers; move closer to a window; turn on the flash; and welcome that light in! It makes all the difference in the end-product.

 4. Get the Pretty Blurry Background {aka Bokeh}

  • It’s simpler than you think to get that much sought-after bokeh effect in your shots.
  • On your phone, flip the setting to “portrait mode” – the new iPhone does a pretty amazing job with this. It’s not perfect, but it’s close! On your fancy pants camera, set the dial to A or AV and scoot your aperture {aka the f-number} down as low as it will go {you’ll see weird numbers like 3.5, 5.6, etc}.
  • Also, move your subject away from the background a little. There needs to be some separation between your subject and the background to get that glorious depth of field in full-effect and embrace that beautiful blur!

 5. Get IN the photo {yeah, you!}

  • We are the most photographed generation IN HISTORY! But, in 100 years, will there be evidence that YOU existed? If you’re always the one behind the camera, maybe not.
  • Take the selfie; make the book; order the prints.
  • Photographs are your legacy and in 100 years, your ancestors will want to see you! They will want to compare your features to theirs; put a face with a name; and trace lineage. So, just do it already! Get in the photo and make some memories with your people.

Want to learn more {I know you do!}? Get three more {sneaky} tips for taking better pics right here! It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a DSLR or a smartphone – I can help you!

Or, if you’re excited and ready to take your photography skills to the next level right now, I invite you to join my “Dear Camera” workshop. You will take away so much valuable information and enhance the value of the investment you made when you purchased your camera. As my little gift to you, for being a savvy mom who likes to save both time and money, get 20% off when you use “OAMM20”at check-out!

I’ll see you in class!



PS – Already comfortable with your camera?! Awesome, check out my summer bucket list for photographers!

Cyrissa owns Immerse Photography and is a business coach at Sparkle Society; known for her contagious energy and social media savviness! With a Master’s in Art Education, experience on the CreativeLive stage, nationally published work, and thousands of sparkly photographers in her online communities, she is well prepared to help YOU take better photos and shine online!

Are you ready to take better photos this school year? We’re going to optimize what’s in front of you so you can instantly take better photos with these 5 tips!

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