Wednesday, February 9, 2011

YOU take GREAT photos... (guest post by Jen Kinkade)

Today we have a guest post from the lovely Jen Kinkade.  I've known of Jen for quite some time, thanks to scrapbooking.  Turns out, she's a pretty amazing photographer as well.  I encourage you to check out her blog. (PS - Her 52-week project is awesome!)

Have you ever heard or thought,
“Wow! Your camera takes great pictures!!! What kind of camera do you use?”

While a good camera helps, your skills will take you further than the equipment.

Case in point...would you ever say to your hairdresser...
“Wow! Your scissors give great haircuts!”

or would you say to your friend...
“Your oven makes delicious cookies!”

Now that I have gotten my point across... ;)

I am even guilty of thinking such things like, “I need a new or better __________to take great pictures.” Let’s look @ how our mind and our eyes can be a big factor in improving our skills. Below are some tips to get you started on improving your photography skills with whatever piece of equipment you might have! :)

  1. Know your camera! Chances are whether you shoot film or digital, point and shoot or SLR your camera came with a manual on how to use it. One of the BEST things to do is READ the manual and know the settings on your camera.
  2. Tell the Story Is it purely a way to keep a record of a moment? are you trying to capture the emotion of a moment? is it possibly a shot to give to someone? is it part of a larger series of shots or will it be the only shot to commemorate the moment?, etc.  Photography is a way to freeze a moment in time and remember the person, the activity, the event, the emotion FOREVER!!!
  3. What is in the background and foreground? One of most common places for distractions in photography is the background of your shots. Run your eyes over the space behind your subject to see what else is in the image (do the same for the foreground). Look for toys, furniture, plants, etc Omit those things that might give distraction or add an extra appendage to your subject!
  4. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!! The #1 thing you can do is practice. Trial and error goes a long way, and with that comes experience. I guarantee the more you practice you get, the more “light bulb moments” you will have and you will see your pictures improving!

And this is what you do next time you hear....

all material was taken and adapted from with the exception of the cartoon strips that can be found at

**visit for more basic photography tips.

*While this post is to encourage you to take better pictures in a very basic way, it is in NO way diminishing the hard work, education and time that custom photographers put into their career. Please take the time to find a custom photographer in your area.


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Great tips! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

EverydayMe said...

wonderful tips... really needed this... I've been slacking on the photo taking... although I am doing the 52 week project... just haven't posted many.... need to get on that... thanks for inspiring me...
{{hugs}} Michelle

*kim* said...

What a great post! I love me some Jen Kinkade. :)

Inka said...

Nice tips! And I looooove those comins! :)