4 easy tips improve your photos using iPhone or DSLR

Louise from Click.Love.Grow is guest posting today and sharing some of her fabulous tips to help improve your photography using either a iPhone or DSLR Camera.  These simple tips will help you make great photos!

If you’d like even more fabulous tips on photography, or you’re ready to master that camera of yours and start capturing great images that you love, check out Louise’s Online Photography Course for Women.  Read more details here.

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Lesson One – Fill the Frame

When you want to take a photo that has that extra wow… pick a subject and get in close… super close.. that’s right, I want you to Fill the Frame!  It’s all about improving your composition by keeping things simple and creating beautiful images that pop!  Photos that show off your subject and include fantastic colours, textures and detail! 

Improving your Composition

The composition of a photo is the way in which all the elements in the image work together. Great composition will be balanced and harmonious, and as a result the overall effect will be pleasing to the eye. In short, it’ll stand out and look great! Get in Close and FILL the Frame.

img 1 get in nice and close

Lesson Two – Find Soft Light

Oh light – we could talk forever about light! How it’s the essential ingredient in photography, and how we can use it creatively and wonderfully in so many ways! But I want to introduce the concept of hard vs soft light! It’s the perfect place to start when it comes to identifying and using light that will let you take gorgeous photos just like you imagine!

Hard Light: Think direct, harsh sunlight that you squint at in the middle of the day!  Hard light is dramatic, it creates strong shadows and can be used creatively to capture beautiful strong colour and strong lines. Artistically hard light can be awesome, but for portraits or showing off products hard light isn’t ideal. Our subjects usually end up squinting and strong shadows can be distracting.

Bright sunlight is great for vibrant colour and skies…

Soft Light: Soft light is just that!  It’s diffused non direct light that lacks contrast and softens shadows, so it is perfect for bringing out the richness of colour and detail and for photographing flattering portraits.

You can find soft light on a sunny day, but we need to look for it in shaded areas! We’ll also find it outside on a cloudy day, inside your home near windows and doorways, or during those sweet golden hours at sunrise and sunset.  Soft light is great for portraits and for simple effective images that show of the subject beautifully!

In the example below, the first shot is not ideal! They’re squinting, their faces are all scrunched up, and the strong shadows are unflattering and distracting!  I simply moved them into the shade up against our house, and you can see their faces are filled with soft beautiful light! No squinting or shadows… we can see their lovely expressions and all of their faces clearly!  A simple technique that makes a huge difference!

Hard Light vs Soft Light for Portraits: (yes, my poor tortured family)

image 2 family soft light

Soft Light inside near a window:

img3 soft light indoors

Getting Technical: If shooting inside, you do want to make sure there’s enough light, and if you’re finding your image is grainy, or your shutter speed goes too low that your shots are blurry, then the only solution is to move into more light.  This probably means heading outdoors.

Lesson Three – Clear the Clutter

You know when you’ve baked an awesome cake, or are taking of photo of your kids’ gorgeous grin! You line up the camera, frame the shot and you don’t even see that barbie, odd pair of socks, and handbag lying across the background, can you?  This my friends, is clutter!  And the easiest way to take better photos is to start paying attention and clearing that clutter for a shot that shines!

This is the EASIEST way to improve your photos! Honestly, I used to not know this, I didn’t see this.. but when I did.. BAM.. I saw it all the time and voila.. nicer images.

Move the subject or move yourself! You might have to get in and pick a few things up, move them around or out of the way.. or you may have to move yourself to get the shot you’re after. It’s not so much the physical moving, but the seeing what’s in your shot that will help you out.

Clean backgrounds free of clutter leave us in no doubt what the subject of the image is. There should be nothing left in the frame that is not relevant to what?s going on or which doesn?t add to the story!

Here’s a portrait example! Cute shot of my daughter – but not a fantastic portrait… it’s busy, cluttered, screams snapshot! So all I did was move her towards a nice plain background, I got in nice and close so we could see her face, she was in lovely soft light so I could see all her face and by doing this we can create something much more effective!

Simple changes = big impact!

Img 4 Clutter example take better photos

Lesson Four – Look Down

Also sometimes known as a vignette of a flatlay when we arrange particular items in a certain manner and take it’s photo.  I like to call it the look down shot and oh boy is this a versatile trick to have up your sleeve for showing off items, telling a story, or capturing beautiful details!

Image 5 Layflat Example Learn Photography OnlineWhy this shot?

  • You can create your own fabulous backgrounds
  • You can go to the light! Set yourself up wherever the light is best… no worrying about cluttered backgrounds!  Place yourself near windows, open doorways or outside under shade for great soft light!
  • You can experiment with colours… try using all similar colour tones, or go for big and bold and find colours that work well together!
  • These type of photos are so much fun, and now you know what they are you’ll see that they’re used very regularly across the instagram world, from big name chefs, to fashion brands, to bloggers and friends sharing what they’ve been up to that day, creating or enjoying!

Look down, use fun blankets and have fun with your kids!

Img 6 look down fun with portraits

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click love growAbout Louise Glendon

My name is Lou, I’m a Boudoir Photographer in Adelaide Australia and I happen to love all things beautiful, colourful and filled with light!

Click Love Grow is here to inspire! We’re bringing you beautiful online photography courses for women who love photography, and for business women who’re looking to enhance their brand through strong imagery. We’ll help you connect and engage through your images whether you?re sharing with friends or reaching out to your online audience!

Check out our tips and tutorials for improving your own photography, and hang with us as we grow and build a community of women who love to take gorgeous photos and like the occasional wine.

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6 comments

Caley July 17, 2015 - 7:02 PM

These are great tips! x

Reply
Carla and Emma: The Merrymaker Sisters July 19, 2015 - 4:25 PM

Great tips! Especially ‘clear the clutter’ less is more 😉 e + c

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 20, 2015 - 10:59 AM

Absolutely.:)

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Lucy @ Bake Play Smile July 20, 2015 - 8:33 AM

These are fantastic tips! It’s amazing what a difference is makes when you take the ‘clutter’ away!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 20, 2015 - 11:31 AM

I agree Lucy, i am loving it.:)

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Melissa @ All Around Oz January 27, 2017 - 6:40 AM

These are great tips…especially the one about clearing the clutter. I don’t know how many photo’s of mine feature the ironing board or a basket of folding up!

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