Taking Better Photos

Do you want to improve your photography skills?  I’ve always loved photography and have been more interested in improving my photos since I began this blog.

I signed up with Emily at The Start-Up Wife for her Photography for Bloggers one day course.  Emily has been taking photos since childhood and was a professional wedding photographer for 15 years.

Here are five general tips for photos from Emily that I’d like to share with you.

1.  All daylight is not created natural.

Who knew?!  I assumed any daylight would work.  Apparently, the best daylight is in the mornings and the evenings when it is softer.  Avoid harsh midday light in sunny countries.  Any light that is filtered through clouds is good (that would be English daylight right??).

bright sunlight

2.   Have everything ready BEFORE you take your children and pets’ photos.

Sounds simple, right?  So simple, I never thought of it.  Flaffing around fiddling with your camera while your children are ready just exhausts their 2 minutes of patience.  Also, you should take a photo of the scene without the children to make sure that it photographs as well as you think it will.  No point, once again, in exhausting your children’s goodwill immediately.


In the above photo, I had my children wait until the sailboat was perfectly positioned in the middle of the frame.  Of course, they got bored and I completely missed the shot.

3. Use your camera phone.

Your phone is always with you but I always think the camera on it is second best.  OK, it may not be as good as your ‘real’ camera but camera phones have come so far, they actually are pretty good.  Also, your camera phone works really well with children because they are not aware of the photograph being taken.  You can take their picture without having that fake, forced smile (you know the one!).

dumb smile

4.  Be aware of the background of the photo.

Get rid of clutter, make sure nothing ugly is in the background etc.  If you can’t move it, you can always move either the subject or yourself to get a better position.

cambridge family shot

photo credit: Celebitchy

I don’t know if the above photo from one of my favourite blogs, Celebitchy, is fake or not but  the pooping dog behind the happy Cambridge family well illustrates my point.

5.  Take photos regularly.

Your photography improves with practice.  I, too, am guilty of bringing out my nice camera only on holiday.  I’m going to try and practice more each day so that I can improve slowly.  I can’t be bothered to drag around the big camera with me and so I shall use my camera phone instead.

Tuscany photo collage

If you are a blogger, I highly recommend Emily’s one day courses.  She’s very knowledgeable and inspirational.   I hadn’t actually thought about photo composition before this class.  You really do learn a lot through a mixture of discussion and practical photography.  Even after the course ends, she sets up a private Facebook page for attendees to share photos and critique.

You’ll be seeing more of my photos on Instagram as well. I’ve been inspired by Emily to take at least one photo a day.   I think that is an achievable goal and hopefully I can improve in small increments!

Are you guilty of any of the mistakes I mentioned above?  Come on ‘fess up.

9 thoughts on “Taking Better Photos

  1. Lisa and Stella (@_LisasLife_)

    I don’t remember seeing the extra dog in the royal baby photos but it’s very funny and brilliant photoshop skills! I’ve been taking a photo every day for my Blipfoto journal, it has made me look at everything around me differently. These are some good tips 🙂

  2. Mandy

    I’m definitely ready to take my photography to the next level – I seem to have hit a plateau an fallen out of love with my camera. But yes, I love dawn and dusk photography, especially as dawn is around 8am in mid-winter!

    1. nylonliving Post author

      and golden hour here hits around 3 pm in mid-winter! good point! I wonder what they do in the far Northern countries in winter when you get no real dawn and dusk for a couple of months.

      1. Mandy

        I have a friend who lives in Norway. A lot of her winter shots feature a distant red glow on the horizon – not necessarily golden but beautiful nonetheless!

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