5 Tips for Beginners

Hi, there! For this blog post, I wanted to throw some tips out there for anybody that's having fun with a new camera! If you just got a new camera for Christmas or maybe even your birthday, here are a few things that might help you out a little bit.

1: Learn How Your Camera Works

This is a crucial thing to learn if you want to control how your photos turn out. Some people are okay with keeping their settings on auto and letting their camera do all of the work. I'm not that person, and maybe you aren't either! My camera isn't as smart as people think it is, you know! Switch that dial to manual mode and see what happens. Learn why your photo is too dark or too bright. Was the ISO too high? Too low? Shutter speed too fast? There are lots of simple tutorials online to help you with this!

2: Try a Different Angle

If you're taking a photo of a child or a pet, sometimes being above them won't give you the best photo possible. Get down on their level and experiment with different perspectives.

The photo below would have been very different if I would have been standing up to take it. I was on the puppy's level!

 Ciera - 2016

Ciera - 2016

3: Pay Attention to the Light

Move your subject around to see how the light changes on them. Watch the shadows and highlights change as they move. I like to have my clients in a position where their back is to the sun. In this next photo, Kaitlin was positioned to where the sun was directly behind her. It was getting ready to set behind the mountain in the background. This gave me a pretty even light on her face. To give you an example of bad lighting, I'll post one of my very first photos below Kaitlin's. 

 Kaitlin - 2016

Kaitlin - 2016

Yes, this is very embarrassing for me, but it did happen! Obviously, I was clueless. I thought it was pretty good at the time too! I even slapped a watermark on it! Let's all take a moment to be thankful I kept practicing!

 Colton - 2014?

Colton - 2014?

4: Editing

With the really bad photo of Colton up there, I added a lot of contrast. I added some fake sunlight on the left side of the photo too. It's just a bad edit. I mean, I could have at least lightened his eyes a little. A little bump in contrast or a simple black and white goes a long way. Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes a lot of editing is needed for those beautiful and dramatic photos. There are countless different styles for photographers. I like a clean and simple look, but some photographers prefer a dark and moody look. It doesn't mean one is right and the other is wrong, it's all in what you prefer. Find your style and rock it!

5: Printing

Ready to hang those gorgeous photos? You better be! It would be awful if something happened to your hard drive or flash drive and those photos were lost. Always keep digital back ups of your photos and print those important ones! If you'd like help picking out a printing lab, I'm happy to help! Here's a cell phone shot of one of my canvas groupings!

If you're interested in a small mentoring session for more in-depth tips, you can email me at info@atownsendphoto.com or click the "contact me" button below to be directed to the contact form.