Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Great Idea: Build a Better Blog #2 - A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

You've all heard the saying...and know what I'm talking about, right?

But here's what you may not know: you don't have to be a professional photographer to take good pictures! In this day of digital cameras, taking good pictures is easier than ever...but you can also fall into mediocre photo-taking traps just as easily.

Today I'm going to share some simple tips for getting (and taking) better pictures! Taking good pictures is more than having a great camera or awesome products!

1. KNOW YOUR CAMERA! Because of the ease of digital cameras, you can often overlook features that can help you take better pictures. It may seem like a really boring and unimportant thing to do, but read your camera's manuel! Get to know the features your camera offers. Do have the option to use a Macro lens? Figure it out! Do have the ability to adjust the f-stop on your exposure? Do it! (Don't know what these things mean? Your manuel will probably explain them!)

2. USE GOOD LIGHTING! It's easy to just use your camera's Auto-Flash when taking pictures, but there is nothing less professional looking than product pictures taken with a flash. Even if you are taking pictures of something in your own kitchen, using a flash makes it look unprofessional. You can use the same setting with good light and get fantastic pictures!

Try to take your pictures during the day in a place that is lit by lots of bright indirect light! If this isn't quite possible take advantage of some good photo imaging software to "fix and brighten" your pictures. Most cameras have some sort of simple photo imaging software included for your computer, so when you upload pictures from your camera you can adjust certain things.

Play with exposure, saturation, and shadows.

If your imaging software isn't quite up to snuff, you can also use another program like Photoshop or Picnik (which is FREE!)! Go mess around with your options!

3. GET FOCUSED! No amount of good light can make up for the lack of focus in a picture. Make sure you're subject is in focus. This being said don't be afraid to get up close and personal...if your camera has the option of a Macro lens setting, you can take some really fun and interesting shots by focusing in on just a part of your subject, rather than the whole.

4. TRY SOMETHING NEW! This one is pretty simple...Experiment with different backgrounds, lighting effects, and compositions. You don't always have to take a picture from a straight-forward angle:

Change things up by putting your subject off-center!

Crop to feature a specific part of a picture!

Tilt your camera to get a different angle!

5. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES! It's easier to eliminate the bad pictures if you have a bunch to choose from! Try to take multiple shots of each angle...this will help allow for lighting discrepancies, angles, and compositions. You can get rid of the ones you don't like with the click of the button...that is the beauty of digital!!

6. DON'T STRESS! Taking photos can be an overwhelming process...don't let it stress you out! Take it one step at a time! Read a little about your camera, and then take a break! Try something new during one photo shoot, and see if you like the result. Take it easy and have fun!!

Hope these little tips will help you start thinking about how you can improve your photos, and get you thinking about trying new things!!

Have fun!!!

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P.S. I'm also sharing this post on the SAHM of Etsy Team blog and one the Olive Smiles fanpage!