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Do you have a blog, an online community, or social media account? Most people fall into one or all of those categories. Do you wish you could paste better quality photos, like the ones you see on top fashion blogs? Here are five easy tips to improve your photos instantly!

I went over to our Facebook Page and asked the professional photographers who are part of our Pettigrew Crew this simple question: “What is your #1 tip for people who are learning photography.”

I’ve chosen the top five tips I received and I’m sharing them with you!

TIP 1: LOOK FOR THE PHOTO IN EVERYTHING YOU SEE

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Thank you to photographer Kyleen Hafferkamp of Kyleen Olson Photography for the advice.

I chose this as the first tip, because I think its a great starting point. Photography can start in our imagination, with our mind’s eye, before we even pick up our camera. I practiced this tip by going into my own backyard. I laid a blanket down on the grass, and my son and I just laid there in the sunshine looking around at everything. I pretended I was about to have a photo shoot and viewed everything I saw as a photo op. It’s amazing the little details I noticed and the pictures that started to form before I ever took a single one.

I think part of what makes a good photographer, is the ability to really see beauty and to know how to enhance it and bring it out with angles, lighting, cropping, etc. I believe you can practice having an “eye” for photography all of the time, even without your camera. I love learning how to think like a photographer, and I feel it lays a great foundation for all of the other photography skills.

TIP 2: LEARN HOW TO HOLD YOUR CAMERA CORRECTLY

This sounds simple enough, but many people hold their camera in an awkward fashion with their arms and elbows away from their body in all sorts of directions. Then they wonder why they end up with blurry pictures. It’s true, a tripod is your best bet if you want to get those perfectly still shots, but if you’re like me (learning photography) and you sometimes want the freedom to roam around with your camera without other equipment, it’s great to know proper camera holding technique.

Thank you to Laura Huneycutt from AkiPhotography for this tip. She also went on to explain the idea of being a “human tripod.”  She explains how your right hand is on the hand grip, your left hand is supporting the weight of the camera around the bottom of the lens and your left elbow should be pressed into your stomach when possible.

This is great info. I will add, that it’s good to bring both elbows in to rest on your sides when possible and keep your body as steady as possible. You can also try putting one foot slightly in front of the other to give more balance. I also take every opportunity to lean against the solid objects around me, i.e. a tree, the ground or a table. Its so simple, but it works like a charm in getting non-blurry, crisp photos!

TIP 3: KEEP VISUAL DISTRACTIONS IN A PHOTO TO A MINIMUM

Thank you April Reppucci from Images by April for this great tip!

One of the things that can turn me off in a photo the fastest is too much going on. I like photos that have a very clear subject, beautifully featured and not competing with a bunch of other stuff that’s trying to steal it’s spotlight.

The above photo has some awesome props in it, but I’m so overwhelmed by all of the “stuff,” I don’t know where to look. There is not much structure, and it ends up looking a bit messy to me. I think it’s best to stay away from death-by-props and settings that distract and overwhelm. (This goes for editing as well. Editing techniques should enhance your photo, not knock it over the head and hijack it)

The phrase “less is more” comes to mind here.

TIP 4: LEARN THE RULE OF THIRDS

This tip is so important, that more than one photographer suggested it as their #1 tip for new photographers!

It can be refreshing it can be to try different placement and positions of the same subject. It can very much change the feel and look of your photo. I agree, and when you get creative and try new things, you may happen upon a photo you might have missed otherwise.

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The “Rule of Thirds” has to do with the composition of your photo. Basically, when taking your photo you want to picture these imaginary lines over the top of it and the goal is to try to put your subject (in this picture it’s the model’s face) on or near one of the lines and place your main focal point (in this picture the model’s eye) on an intersection of two lines.

The rule was first written by John Thomas Smith and it helps you set up your photo so that it’s viewed in a way that is most pleasing to how the human eye looks at an image. If you would like to learn more about it check out this great article here on Wikipedia’s site: Rule of Thirds.

This is the simplest way I can say it. If you want to be a better photographer instantly, stop putting every subject you photograph smack dab in the middle of your picture and move it to one side or the other.

TIP 5: NOTICE HOW LIGHT AFFECTS EVERYTHING

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Last, but certainly far from least, is this tip given by Photographer Jan Quantrill from Life Still Photography. I’m learning that lighting may be the single most important aspect of photography. I mean the very word photography comes from the Greek words: photos, meaning “light”, and graphos meaning “written.” You could say that a photographer is someone who writes with light.

This is not something that can be perfected over night. It takes time, study and lots of practice to understand the relationship between your camera, your subject and light. Jan said it beautifully when she wrote, “You can take a picture of almost anything, and make it into a great shot, if the light is right.”

Thanks again to all of the Pettigrew Crew photographers who gave of their time to answer my question. Your tips were very helpful and  full of wisdom. Oh, and one last bit of advice that was repeated in some form by almost everybody. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE & DON’T GIVE UP!

Yes, it takes years of practice to become a professional photographer, but if you apply these 5 tips, you can improve your photos very quickly and that means you will also be improving your blogs and favorite social media sites quickly too.


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Beauty Buzz Question: What’s your favorite photo on your social media/blog and why?

{Email it to me MissPettigrewReview@outlook.com and it might be featured (along with your blog/site) in a future MissPettigrewReview.com photography article. I love featuring Pettigrew Crew members!}

17 thoughts on “5 EXPERT PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS: To help Social Media users take better photos”

  1. I love these tips. Especially the rule of thirds. There is so much to consider when taking a photo.. Helpful post, I hope more will read this as it’s wonderful for anyone who loves to take photos. -Zaychishka

  2. Hi! Found you on the Hive. Great advice, I’m an aspiring photographer (who no longer has a DSLR so I’m stuck with my iPhone for a bit) but these are great tips and spot on. Really enjoyed the tips and was a great reminder of some of the details that can matter so much!

  3. Hi BBB, so glad you stopped by. I will go check out your blog. Thanks about the post! I could talk about photography all day. It fascinates me. I want to have a photo contest soon on https://www.facebook.com/MissPettigrewReview/ Make sure to like us and enter the contest when we have it. I have a really fun and creative idea for the theme. I will feature the winning post and runner-ups on the blog and fb page with their links. I might have a prize, not sure yet.

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