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Over 300 Incredible Photography Tips from MCP Fans


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Photography Tips: 300 Ideas to Help Your Photography

Here are photographers favorite photography tips (in the order they were submitted) from the MCP Facebook Page.  You may love some and disagree with others, but these are the things that work for this select group of photographers. If I missed any while moving them over here, I apologize. I know some duplicate too, but it would be too time consuming to extract these.

And if you have a favorite tip, please share it in the comment section below.

  1. The angle of light should be taken into careful consideration whenever you feel like you want to create a specific effect.
  2. Favorite tip . . . properly expose in camera. Sure makes your work a lot easier later on :).
  3. My favorite tip is to find the light!!
  4. I shoot my kids a lot so my biggest tip for myself is to be on their level…otherwise you got them looking up down sideways and it definitely can take away from the picture.
  5. Practice, practice, practice, patience, practice, practice, practice, patience. Never give up! You don’t get there overnight!!!
  6. Don’t be afraid to use different angles – it will get you out of a rut!
  7. Put the focus on the eyes and the pic will look in focus
  8. Shoot lots of pictures! Use natural light if at all possible!
  9. Fully explore the subject to find interesting angles.
  10. Practice makes perfect. And don’t forget to look behind the subject too! Sometimes there are distractions in focus!
  11. Spend more time shooting and practicing and less time on the computer looking for the latest tips and secrets – except MCP – check in there every day!
  12. Always shoot in manual and always manually select your focal point, it makes for more dramatic pictures.
  13. My favorite tip is: “Believe in your own ability. Don’t worry about trying to compete with others. You have your own talent!”
  14. There is less grain in a properly exposed photo with a high ISO than an underexposed photo shot with a lower ISO.
  15. If I’m doing fun formals of the groom and his guys, to get them to loosen up a bit, I yell at them “Everybody hold hands now!” They crack up and I get some genuine smiles which are sometimes hard to get from the guys.
  16. To prevent orange skin tones when you pop color in an image; do a levels layer, pull the lever to the left to lighten, invert the layer, then “paint” the skin lighter before you do your curves color pop.
  17. Never leave home without a camera! An SLR or a compact..It’s no good seeing a beautiful photo if you dont have your camera with you!
  18. Study your camera guide well so you know all its features.
  19. My favorite photography tip is this ….do it, create it because you love it…don’t try to copy someone else for the sake of copying…make your art your own, and love what you do!
  20. I will second “get on their level” – always change perspectives! It keeps things fresh!
  21. Pay attention to the light!
  22. Fill the frame
  23. This may not be my favorite but it’s the one I have to use the most: When trying to get a group shot with everyone’s eyes open, tell everyone to close their eyes and open them on the count of three.
  24. Be aware of the background. You don’t want a pole growing out of someone’s head.
  25. You are in control of the images you produce. If you feel that you haven’t got what you were hoping for..try..try again. Don’t settle. Great images happen by accident seldom.
  26. Set your camera to the continuous shooting mode to avoid missing those once-in-a-lifetime photo ops! The more pictures you take, the more good ones you’ll get.
  27. Basic tip, but one I love is fill your lens, dont be afraid to get up close. Another rule I love to live by is back up, back up, back up ~ back up those precious pictures.
  28. Shoot in RAW! Especially if you’re fairly new and aren’t 100% sure about how to nail the exposure. Having the ability to tweak in ACR can really help a lot.
  29. Use back button focusing. That and taking many photos to make sure you get some good pictures to use.
  30. Best tip is let the subject be natural, capture them being who they really are! oh and watch for things coming out of their heads in the background.
  31. Get down low or get up high. Its all about perspective!
  32. Drop the flash, use natural light.
  33. Take tons of pics you will find a great one in the batch!! Be patient with the kiddos. Most of all have fun!
  34. Take pictures every day – nothing will help you improve more than practice, practice, practice!
  35. When photographing siblings and wanting them to look natural and having fun: I have parents stand behind me & the kids race to their parents. Kids can only run to their parents on the word Go. I instruct parents to say Ready Set Go… but instead of Go, they say another silly word and that get the kids laughing naturally (and that’s when I shootRead More the close-ups of their faces). When parents finally say Go, I get action shots of the kids running to their parents (full body shots). Kids love this and we do this like 3 or 4 times, giving me lots of great opportunity to get sibling shots.
  36. I’ve asked my pro photog friends, my friends, sought answers on the internet, flickr, and my camera, I continue to improve with every shoot.
  37. Never leave the camera at home and don’t be afraid to pull it out in the middle of the grocery store.
  38. Develop your own style, from your own DNA, be YOU and don’t be afraid to try something different!
  39. BBF! It allows you to actually focus on a moving child! (And it prevents anyone else from picking up you camera and being able to figure it out. LOL!)
  40. Basic but important…natural light does wonders for your photos!
  41. light first!
  42. Dragging the shutter to 1/60 when using flash. I do quite alot of event photography and this improves the look and feel of these images dramatically.
  43. Have your subject turn their head away from you, then at the count of three, turn towards you. You get a better natural look that is not “posed.
  44. When working with kids, telling them “no smiling! There will be NO FUN today!” usually gets REAL, natural, relaxed smiles from them.
  45. Get the client to relax!
  46. If you cant take a good picture with a point and shoot camera…chances are you will not be able to take a good picture with a 5D.
  47. well…learn to see light 🙂
  48. slow down and take your time. Just b/c you shoot digital doesn’t mean you have to be snap happy. Carefully expose and compose and you will have less work later!
  49. Use Photoshop to refine your style, not define it.
  50. If using off camera flash, remember that your appeture controls the flash and your shutter controls the ambient light!!
  51. The 1st 10,000 frames are your worst… Shoot!
  52. When shooting outside, move your subject in a circle until you find those natural catch lights in their eyes. Works best for close ups.
  53. I mostly take pictures of my own kids. They get really sick of me pointing a camera at them. I’ve found that miniature marshmallows make great bribes. They are small enough that I don’t feel too guilty about the sugar, they chew up quickly and since they are white, they don’t leave a mess. I can even get them to hug each other for a couple of marshmallows.
  54. (1) Shoot in RAW. (2) When shooting children, I’ve learned to just allow them to be themselves. I use a zoom lens, back up and allow them to interact with one another. (3) I don’t shoot in mid day (12 pm) as the sun is harsh. I usually shoot a an hour or two after the sun has risen or an or hour two before the sun sets. (4) Practice definitely goes a long way. So spend less time researching and go out a practice.
  55. Get down to their level when shooting kids.
  56. I love Back Button Focusing on my Canon… That has helped me tremendously…
  57. move around and get down to their level and shoot lots
  58. Never be afraid of an adventure when searching for the perfect location to shoot! Sometimes they’re hidden in the weirdest spots.
  59. Make sure you check your ISO and didn’t leave it high for the last use. (I really like Sylvia’s tip)
  60. Practice practice practice
  61. Get down low on the ground or way up high – different perspectives of what we see in real life is key to a geat and interesting composition, particularly for nature/wildlife shooting.
  62. Practice, practice, practice, read the manual, read Understanding Exposure, and practice some more.
  63. Always get some fun shots in – for kids or adults! Jumping, running, tackling each other, making silly faces… gets you some really genuine smiles and everyone has fun at their session!
  64. Don’t be afraid to take risks! Step outside your comfort zone!
  65. keep an open mind, there’s always something new to learn! (especially when you are just starting out!!)
  66. Learn to shoot RAW…and practice!
  67. Learn everything you can about light! If you learn to read the light, you’ll never be in a situation you can’t handle!
  68. Woo Hoo! I could definetely use this 🙂 You guys rock
  69. If shooting children/babies–have tissues. Less boogies and runny noses = less editing. Also bring bubbles, they make everyone happy.
  70. When your taking pictures of children have something for the parents to do so they aren’t *helping* you. That way you get the eye contact and smiles and not them.
  71. When shooting, leave enough room around the subject(s) for cropping. I always forget this one.
  72. Find out about the kids that you are photographing before the appt…..their interests, favorite sports, etc….don’t be afraid to act silly or make up funny stories…the parents may think your a little loony, but after they see their photos they will completely understand!!!
  73. When shooting with natural light, use a reflector to bounce light onto your subject. It’s AMAZING what you can do with a reflector.
  74. Become one with your tripod-it is your friend.
  75. be yourself and trust yourself–the clients has hired *you* so do what YOU do 🙂 thanks for the contest!
  76. With a family shoot, I ALWAYS instruct the mom right off to stand directly behind me and follow me. That way when she starts calling Junior’s name, he/she looks directly at me and the camera. Also, the first thing I do is look for my lighting source and make sure I am getting the reflection in their eyes, especially for those close-up “money” shots… catchlights are subtle to someone who doesn’t know to look for them, but they can make or break a photo.Shoot from your heart and never let anyone else ever tell you who or what you are! It is your art and if you love it don’t worry about other people!!
  77. Wear comfortable shoes – LOL!
  78. With kids, getting them to move (instead of sitting, posed) garners much more natural smiles and “poses”
  79. Don’t sell yourself short. I’m horrible at giving and giving and giving. I’ve learned tho, that I do need to set prices… and I have to stick by them 🙂
  80. Wear white to create good catchlights in your subjects.
  81. learn how to use ALL the functions on your camera and shoot, shoot, shoot!! mastering all the controls and knowing how to adjust them quickly makes all the difference when you are on a shoot!
  82. Education has definately been a huge factor for me!
  83. TIP: When one finds a subject of interest to them, take the time to practice the following: Shoot all around the subject effectively positioning the focal point in different areas of the frame, then do the same in the other orientation (Landscape or Portrait). Then consider your subject from a higher or lower perspective. Remember that most viewersRead More see things from a standing position. When you get lower or higher it adds an additional element of interest to the shot. This prompts the thought of “not seeing this before.” Lastly, if your are not above average with exposure control bracket each shot.
    You will be glad you spent the extra time later as you view your shots. Much less chance of those terrible “I wish I had…” thoughts.
  84. Close ups have always been a client fav!
  85. Thanks, Jennifer Bray Fluharty–I always forget this one too! My tip: The most flattering shot for clients is getting them to look up into the camera. Stand on a stool, wall, or ledge and get a shot from the perspective of looking down onto them. The clients always like this flattering shot.
  86. Get LOW!
  87. Relax when working with children because they can sense your anxiety and they will be anxious too! When they are relaxed you will get a beautiful more natural expression!
  89. Find your style and stick with it! What works for some may not work for you! Let your style be YOU!
  90. When shooting groups, make sure your aperature is set to a minimum the number of people in the group! I mess this up a lot 🙂
  91. Try to get the best shot out of the camera first, that’s the ultimate goal!
  92. Just keep working with your Heart as you all do anyway ♥
  93. You’re all inspiring!!
  94. Read your manual. Know your equipment inside out. I’m talking to myself here.
  95. If shooting portraits get them comfortable with you first by chatting with them about their personal likes, and dislikes. Find some common ground..especially with kids and teens. Bubbles are great to use for a reward or to just get the kids playing so you can get some lifestyle shots. Don’t be afraid to get dirty…on the ground shooting at the kids.
  96. Take a few minutes to get to know your subjects before you even get the camera out. Sit down and play with them on their level so they are comfortable with you.
  97. Owning a “good” camera does not make you a photographer.
  98. Take a extra step back to allow for cropping.
  99. A $1 rainbow feather duster has been invaluable to me when photographing preschool kids.
  100. Don’t be afraid to GET DIRTY…..
  101. Whatever you can do (move) to get the shot right out of the camera when doing commercial work (lighting, objects sticking out where they shouldn’t) do it! Instead of having to correct in PS.. shoot RAW.. compose in camera.
  102. Understand all the functions of your camera and practice!
  103. Never stop learning and growing!
  104. When shooting a group of 3 try to use an f stop of 3.5. Use an f stop of 4 with a group of 4 and 5 with a group of 5. This helps to prevent getting a face or two out of focus.
  105. Don’t crop too tight in camera. Leave a little wiggle room. You can always crop in post-processing. (My own bad habit.)
  106. Always make sure to shoot a few images that are just for you. Not about selling to the client, just about what you want to create.
  107. Don’t be afraid to explore all angles high and low when shooting.
  108. Be your own artist, find your own style! Every shoot has it’s own unique “something” about it…capture that! 🙂
  109. My photographs started to look better after I learned to spot meter.
  110. When you think you’re close enough…get closer!
  111. Find the light…it’s all about the light!!!
  112. Learn how to use your camera in Manual Mode!! The difference is life changing 🙂
  113. Not sure if it’s a “tip” but I’ve found the Sunny 16 rule (widely known) really handy in a pinch. If shooting In bright sun set your aperture to f/16 and your shutter speed to the inverse of your ISO. so if ISO=200, ss = 1/200. really helps get good exposure quickly, especially if hurrying trying to grab a moment.
  114. I mostly work with actors. I tell them they’re gorgeous. I never lie!
  115. My favorite tip to share with my friends who want better pictures of their kids is to stop taking the shot from however tall you happen to be! Stop aiming down at the kids. Get down on their level. Eye to eye. The perspective is so much better and the kids interact with you, creating much better images!
  116. The best advice I have is proper exposure. That is KEY!!
  117. read your manual…and try to make it a goal to shoot in manual mode – it gives you THE most control and makes the biggest difference in the final results.
  118. Everyone who owns a SLR thinks they are a pro. Make sure you are not one of these people who “pretend”. Know your camera. Know how to properly expose an image with out using the “Auto” button. Know the F-Stop and Shutter settings and what they can do for you. And lastly, don’t just “click” away. Be selective in your shooting. Make sure every shot is precise. It will dramatically cut down your post-processing if you don’t have 10 pictures of the exact same pose and look.
  119. Wear comfortable (but polished!) shoes. 🙂
  120. make sure you wear clothes that are comfortable and dont be afraid to get them dirty!
  121. Something I am not always good at remembering- Try not to take the picture where you are cutting off someone’s limbs- this doesn’t make for a good photo!!
  122. Try shooting in the last 2 hours of sunlight. It gives everything a golden and yummy look. Is that a tip? lol
  123. When taking pictures of kids…let them be themselves…chase them around….lay down and take the pictures from their level.
  124. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t like your photo. As long as you like it, go with it!
  125. Understand that it doesn’t take a $2500 camera to become a photographer. It takes skill and understanding of light. If you can’t shoot that camera in manual and know why you are shooting those settings, then you shouldn’t be charging!
  126. Turn your camera at a slight angle to give a little different perspective. Also…google photographers that do not live in your area to get new ideas. I love looking at other photogs work!
  127. Seriously? Bring extra batteries and wipies everywhere! And don’t be afraid of baby pee and boogers!!! Then learn everything else and you will be great!
  128. Instruct families to get CLOSER, bring it in tighter, and everyone touch at least one person.
  129. Give the parents a job like holding something, etc…Parents tend to get all keyed up and it passes on to their children.
  130. Practice, practice, practice! Be comfortable and have fun!
  131. Take the time to white balance for better captures and less Post Processing
  132. PEZ dispensers make awesome bribes!!!
  133. Get a Pez dispenser and fit it where your external flash goes and it is great for getting kids attention…
  134. When taking pictures of kids and let them be themselves…chase them around and lay down and take the pictures from their level.
  135. Always keep parents busy while shooting there kids pictures. Like ask the mom to help you out by holding the photo reflector over her face so the child doesn’t see the mom and the mom doesn’t see her child.
  136. When shooting children, especially 6-18 months take a whistle, blow on your whistle to get them to look at you and then get your shot, otherwise GOOD LUCK! This also helps great when shooting families with small children, tell the parents to keep smiling and looking at your and then blow the whistle and the kids will turn heads! (this only needs to be applied if the kiddos are not cooperating.)
  137. Gear doesn’t make the photog!
  138. Take advantage of each and every educational opportunity you can…apprentice with another pro, online webinars, blogs like MCP that provide incredible inspiration as well as education, read everything you can get your eyes on.
  139. I use candy to keep kids focused. I tell them they will get a reward when we are done and I hide some in my pocket just in case. I rattle the wrapper and it really gets their attention. They want it so badly and I get genuine excitement and smiles.
  140. Talk to your client before you start snapping…they usually need time to warm up before you start telling them to look this way or that!
  141. Using a frosted shower curtain for light diffusion. Easy to pack, easy to hang, easy to replace.
  142. It’s not how good of a camera, it’s who is behind the camera. you will never stop learning!
  143. This is a tip I learned from Sandy but it works! If you have a mom or parent who keeps giving directions to the kids or insisting they smile, etc. give her a job of holding the reflector so she can’t see them, even if you don’t need it for lighting.
  144. Learn the proper way to hold a camera.
  145. I still keep shooting when the subjects are taking “breaks” – I have had some of my best shots when the people I am shooting didn’t even realize that I was.
  146. Get down to their level, don’t shoot from above for little ones.
  147. To get distracted children to look at me when I’m shooting, I tell them a bug is in my camera! Then, I start wiggling like the bug getting me to make them laugh.
  148. Get close to the subject, fill the shot.
  149. Turn your subject until you see the light in their eyes!
  150. In order to get the one special shot, I have to take 100 pictures. It’s like trying on jeans. You have to try on 100 pairs of jeans before you find the special pair that fits like a glove. So don’t be afraid to keep snapping!
  151. Try lots of other angles….skip straight on!
  152. I don’t like to count down etc when taking a picture. I snap away and get there real expressions. Don’t try to take such posed pictures.
  153. Do not try and balance yourself on an odd shaped rock next to a large body of water. Lesson learned the hard way.
  154. Never never never give up. Those shoots that go all wrong will help you next time.
  155. Relax and have fun! If you are having fun then so will everyone else and that makes for a great picture.
  156. One thing I’ve learned in watching my husbands work is “lighting, lighting, lighting!” It’ll make or break your images.
  157. Be fearless. If your always afraid of what your client will think then you’ll always end up with mediocre images. If you have an idea go with it! Sometimes they don’t turn out the way we hope, but when they do it’s amazing!!
  158. If a child is looking in the direction of the camera…take the shot! (with OR without smile)
  159. My favorite photography tip — BREATHE!!! Just breathe and take it slow so you can concentrate on the subject and the settings.
  160. Shoot portraits just a bit above your subject and watch those eyes open up.
  161. To get good expressions AND have kids looking at you ask them to blow a stuffed animal or rubber duck off your head. (make sure you catch it before it hits the ground) They will think its hilarious and they will be looking right where you need them to. This also works easier with your camera on a tripod, but it can still be done with a camera in one hand!
  162. In portraits, always expose for the subject. The rest of the shot can be adjusted a lot more without sacrificing overall quality of the image so much.
  163. “A good camera or better glass will not necessarily make better pictures.” I LOVE this piece of advice because it absolutely pushes me to improve my shooting techniques and learn more about post-processing to make my pictures what I want them to be. I think having a nicer camera would probably give my pictures a bump in clarity, but I think with a not-so-fabulous camera you can still do amazing things (or maybe I’m just saying that b/c I can’t afford a new camera right now… LOL).
  164. I like to let kids come up with at least one of their own poses. They feel more relaxed and it comes across more natural.
  165. Under patios or porch covers provide great shade but light faces up so wonderfully.
  166. Stay calm, especially working with children.
  167. Got this idea from Tara Whitney: for family shots, give everyone to the count of 5 to reposition themselves in a different place (take pictures as they are doing this too of course) then yell stop and fire away. Repeat as necessary.
  168. My best tip is to relax, have fun, and get to know the family you are shooting so you can truly capture their personality. And, for sharp sharp sharp focus…. use a tripod!
  169. Talk to kids when trying to photograph them — but DON’T ask them to say CHEESE!!
  170. Relax and have fun! When you are stressed, everyone feels it!
  171. My favorite tip is to try overexposing by 1 stop whenever you can get away with it – even flawed skin looks gorgeous like that!
  172. My favorite photography trick is uping the aperture to get amazing sun flare in photographs!
  173. Use the Rule of Thirds and then break them!
  174. Great tips! Mine would be, when you think you’re done, take one more shot. Many times this is my favorite of the whole shoot.
  175. Some of the best photographs come when we least expect them. always be ready.
  176. “The lower the better” is my motto when photographing children. You have to get on their level, even if it means doing a belly crawl in a city park! Also, I recently tied a fun helium balloon to my wrist to keep a one-year old that I was photographing interested in looking at me and the direction of the camera.
  177. When shooting newborns try to keep your heat up around 80 degrees! If the baby is warm they are more likely to stay asleep while you move them about 🙂
  178. Its not the camera its the person behind the camera that takes great photographs! And remember, its digital…practice, practice, practice…get comfortable.
  179. I love all these tips! I’d say my tip would be to relax, have fun and if you’re shooting kiddos, talk to them/ask them questions to get them to open up, look at you and create some natural expressions! I put things on top of my head and act super goofy… I love to catch them giggling too! 🙂
  180. To get great pictures of kids having fun and acting naturally, play games with them like tag, peek-a-boo, jumping on bed.
  181. I have a hard time with this, but don’t toss a shot if it’s not technically perfect if it captures a special moment. Look at top photographers’ blogs – the shots aren’t always perfectly sharp or perfectly lit, but they show emotion that draws people into the shot.
  182. My Tip: Don’t automatically disregard a photo that looks technically wrong. It may actually be the best pic of the bunch (especially of kids!). Some of my favorite photos are a little over or underexposed, a little blurry, etc.
  183. HAVE FUN!! I think people are too serious about the photography, forgetting that they are doing this because they love it!
  184. When shooting at lower shutter speeds, try bracing yourself by leaning against something immobile. Also exhale deeply as you release the shutter for less shake.
  185. Back button focus & patience.
  186. This one has been mentioned several times, but I agree with it. It’s the photographer that takes the great pictures, not the camera.
  187. I always talk to the kids I shoot just to make them feel comfortable and natural – if you are relaxed with them, they are relaxed with you.
  188. I find that when I “pretend” I’m done shooting everyone relaxes and starts having a little fun, that’s when I start snapping away. I find that I often get the best pictures when the families think they are free…. 🙂
  189. The best advice I think I received was READ the MANUAL!!!
  190. Always shoot from your heart. Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing, do what you feel. Feel what you do. If you do that, it can be magic.
  191. Wear Comfy Shoes on Location. Go Barefoot in the studio!
  192. Know your camera in and out, use Manual mode. It’s ok to use flash (not the pop-up) if you know how to control the light.
  193. I agree with much of the advice I love–but my favorite photography tip is practice EVERY day!
  194. Have fun. If you aren’t having fun, it shows in your photos.
  195. Always look at your screen after taking the first few shots to make sure everything looks as expected. Then snap away!
  196. Best tip I ever got was when I started and a photographer I admired said you need to take control of your camera. It needs to do what you want it to do and not what it wants to do and that made so much sense because the camera was totally controlling me
  197. My fave photo tip…. when in a session – HAVE FUN. it makes a HUGE difference in the photos and in the clients!
  198. I think my favorite tip is making sure that the person you are photographing has the light in his/her eyes!
  199. I try to imagine the image as I’m working. I try to see deeper into that exact moment – I try to think with my eyesight and my heart for just a few minutes, then jump into all the technical stuff. it all starts in your heart.
  200. Get to know your client and get that shot. Do not be afraid to look silly crouching down, lying on the sand or standing on something tall (and stable).
  201. Use a shutter speed of 500 or higher for good actions shots.
  202. Wear a white shirt it helps with the catchlights.
  203. Don’t compare yourself to others. We all have our own journey.
  204. Rule of thumb: Minimum f/stop for a group set equal to the number of subjects.
  205. The best advice I got was to just shoot in manual until I got it,even if your pictures look bad they will get better and then they will look far better than they ever did in auto. I took lots of practice and I am glad I did. Now I control the camera and not vice versa.
  206. I recently taped candy to the end of my lens to keep the attention of the children during a family session — worked like a charm!
  207. I like to use my 50mm 1.8 lens for close up portraits. The subjects are crisp, the background is blurred out, and there’s no distortion. (I was using my 24-70mm for everything, but close ups were a little distorted)
  208. I would say the ‘Sunny Sixteen Rule’ has been very helpful. The trick is to set your shutter speed to equal your ISO and your aperture set to F16 for shooting under bright sunlight (not in shadows).
  209. For the 3-6 yr old crowd…mess up while counting or reciting ABCs – they think it is hilarious.
  210. Talking with my subjects through out the session seems to work well for me. I talk, tell a funny story and snap away in between. I love the natural feel I end up with.
  211. I tell my clients to think about making their necks as long as possible while I’m shooting. It helps avoid double chins and bad posture.
  212. To save a lot of time editing in Lightroom, create presets for your default ingest settings (i.e. sharpening, clarity, etc.) to automatically do the things you would normally do to each picture anyway.
  213. Also, set your Library filter to “unflagged only” and go through your images marking your rejects with the “X” key. Go through once more if you need to. What’s left are your picks.
  214. No matter how many pixels you have-it isn’t worth squat if you don’t hold your camera still!!!!!!!!!
  215. Inspire yourself!! I look at magazine and catalog photos and ask myself, how was that done, how can I do that, was that sooc and then learn from it. Ultimately, you will make it your own and learn from it!!!
  216. This may sound obvious – but always double check all your settings before each session – fstop, ISO, +/- compensation, white balance, that your lens is CLEAN, etc. Make sure your settings are appropriate for the environment & subject.
  217. Dress to get messy and sweaty when shooting kids. You always have to work hard for good shots of a distracted toddler.
  218. Laura. YEP! so true. Nothing worse than realizing later you had your camera on the wrong settings. doh!
  219. My favorite shots are when the subject or group forgets you’re even there taking their photo, especially with children. I’m anti-pose and pro-serendipity.
  220. Always always have extra batteries and memory cards on hand….you never know when you’re gonna need em!
  221. My best tip…. treat your clients with respect & as if they are a genuine “friend” verses a business transaction. Of course there is a fine line there… because it IS your business. However, by following this ‘golden rule of photography” my photography business has doubled over the past year!
  222. If a toddler is shy, I will let them take a picture of their mom with my camera…of course, I don’t let go at any time…lol. They LOVE to see themselves on the camera, too. Helps them feel more involved.
  223. The best shots are always taken when the person you are taking pictures of doesn’t notice it. If I’m taking pics of kids I try to get them to play then I start snapping away.
  224. I just taught a home school group a little intro to photography class. These were high school kids who just had point and shoots. This brought to mind the most important thing I can think of – learnYOUR camera. You don’t need to have a top of the line camera with 16 different lenses to get great images. If you learn the limitations of your camera, you can still shoot great pictures.
  225. Carry a couple of varying densities of screw-in ND Grad filters anytime you’ll be shooting outdoors. They’re not just indispensable for balancing exposure in landscape photography, but assist in achieving proper initial exposure in any outdoor work where there is contrasting available light. The screw-in filters are quick and simple Read Morecompared to other complicated mounts. You’ll save time at the shoot and after, and you’ll have more creative latitude in PP when you have access to the full potential range of tool settings and adjustments in your editing software. Beginning with a better balanced image right out of the camera will make the extra investment and time seem inconsequential.
  226. See the light. Know your camera. And don’t just click away. Oh, and don’t rely on your editing to “make the picture.” The editing should enhance not be the “fixer-upper” for mediocre images.
  227. Some of the best advice I got when starting to get interested in photography, is learn your camera inside and out! You have to know how to get it to give you the results you want!
  228. Practice every day and don’t be afraid to try anything.
  229. I love using the rule of thirds. I know~ everyone knows this, but I can never get over how much of a difference it makes!
  230. Simply have fun.
  231. I love to shoot at 1.8 or 2.8 whenever possible!
  232. I took your workshop on curves workshop some months ago and it has changed the way I edit.
  233. Place a 10 dollar bill in front of you built-in flash if you forget your diffuser at home.
  234. Practice Practice Practice and just when you think you got it, go Practice some more!
  235. My tip would be “relax”
  236. Zoom with your feet!
  237. The best tip I got starting out was to hear someone say to start shooting in manual when I got my dSLR. I don’t even know how to shoot in AP, SP, etc. But I do know how to completely manipulate my camera into shooting what and how I want it to!
  238. Always have a “Plan B”. Be prepared for weather issues, location issues, camera issues, lens issues, etc.
  239. Don’t be afraid to try something new or something that breaks the rules.
  240. Learn to use Back Button Focus…it takes time to get use to, but worth it!
  241. Try to stay as still as possible, hold your breathe if you have to.
  242. Learn to shoot in manual.
  243. Always keep learning and trying new things. Sometimes the silliest poses turn out the best.
  244. Find your style and stick to it!
  245. Relax and have fun!
  246. Take lots of pictures, you’re not wasting any film.
  247. Keep learning! Keep reading every internet tip you can and try them all! Mentally throw out what you don’t like and keep what works for you! Have fun and always try different angles when shooting a session. If your outside- look behind you!
  248. only use ONE focus point. It’s hard to get a tack sharp image with multi focus points lit up.
  249. Keep a point and shoot camera in your camera bag, it comes in handy sometime in a session.
  250. “A good rule to follow is to break all the rules.”
  251. Enjoy what you do, or it wont reflect you….
  252. Bring lil toys/lollipops for toddlers, really helps for posed family pictures!
  253. My fave tip….to get killer catchlights with natural light position your subject on the edge of shade and have them look towards a sunny patch. TONS of sparkle!
  254. My tip is to make sure you have your camera with you when the image presents itself. ***sigh***
  255. Try shooting portraits from a higher angle than your subject. It avoids unflattering double chins.
  256. Instead of saying “cheese”, ask the subject(s) to say “yes” – it produces a more natural expression.
  257. Have your clients tell funny stories from when they were kids to achieve a natural smile.
  258. Playing pick a boo behind the camera…
  259. I tell my clients that a straight back is a happy back… helps them from slumping over.
  260. Get in close to your subject.
  261. Practice…Practice…Practice…and don’t be afraid to try something different!
  262. Always shoot for the client first and then finish off the session w/ some for “you.”
  263. Know the technical aspects and capabilities of your equipment. But most of all remember photography as Art and make your art represent who you are.
  264. Always have your camera on and your lens hood off cause you never know when a good photo will come along!
  265. Favorite tip is have fun. When you start stressing out, your subject can stress out too, and no amount of technical knowledge can save you.
  266. Always, hold your elbows in to have a steadier hand. I still need to work on this to prevent shake.
  267. Have fun and better yet, get your subjects to have fun!
  268. When you see 50 photographers shooting from one spot, move away from them. See things from a different perspective than the norm.
  269. There are times when i like to use the flash outdoors!
  270. Favorite tip?? Shoot RAW! Then you can fix things you might mess up.
  271. practice, practice, practice
  272. This tip I learned in my last photo shoot, keep your lens cap on at all times unless your shooting! Strangers dont like your lens pointed at them (without the cap) they tend to get nervous down here in FL.
  273. Since I shoot mostly kids.. Have patience!! And don’t be afraid to get dirty.
  274. Always look for different angles. See everything in the image through your lens, not just your subject.
  275. Use a marble in between your thumb and forefinger to find the best catchlights for eyes. I love that trick. 🙂
  276. In additional to investing money is great equipment, invest it in yourself. Take classes, attend seminars, do whatever it takes to make YOU a better photographer no matter what kind of gear you use.
  277. Don’t be afraid to use your flash in bright sunlight. You can get some awesome results from it.
  278. When shooting children, count or say the alphabet in silly mixed up ways to get them to laugh.
  279. My tip: Let everything else go before the shoot. Your emotions will determine the tone and the way your clients respond. If you let everything else go, stay happy and full of energy… so will they and it will rock every time.
  280. I like to try and “Think outside the box”. Learn the rules first, then learn to break them.
  281. Wear a white shirt when shooting to act as a natural reflector. Put a Pez in your hotshoe to get kids to look at the camera. That’s two.
  282. Be true to yourself and find your own unique style.
  283. Practice your best crazy dance move for the kids you are going to photograph.
  284. Try different perspectives and don’t be afraid to get down and look up or get up and look down. 🙂
  285. Learn to shoot in RAW
  286. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Shoot like crazy and the most important thing – HAVE FUN doing what you LOVE!!
  287. Always check your settings before you start shooting…it could happen that you shot the last session at ISO1600 but only need an ISO of 400.. 🙂
  288. Try to do your cropping while you’re taking that picture. Less work in pp!
  289. Shoot in RAW!
  290. Always remember that know matter how much you know about photography, there is always more to learn – embrace that understanding, always keep an open mind, and hang on and enjoy the ride…
  291. For groups, have everyone close their eyes and tell them not to open them until you count to three. No more shots with someone’s eyes closed! 😉
  292. Be true to your style and get close to your subject!
  293. Don’t let your spouse see your receipts after you’ve purchased anything photography related, just wait for the bill to arrive and then say “I told you about that!” 🙂
  294. Only show your best work- everyone takes “bad” pictures but a good photographer doesn’t put theirs on display for everyone to see.
  295. My Dad gave me the best photo advice I ever received: “Don’t photograph your subject. Photograph the light.”
  296. Learn you camera. Does it shoot dark? Do you need to meter differently? Learn your camera and then learn to shoot in manual mode.
  297. Always have a back up camera! Never leave home without it!! Charge the batteries and make it part of your being! Trust me!!!!!!! 🙂
  298. The best camera is the one you have with you.
  299. try to think outside the box, and wear comfortable shoes… wedding days are long
  300. You can tell what kind of sunflare you can expect by squinting your eyes looking at the sun. Then get your aperture up around 11 or higher.
  301. Bring props for kids or pez and enjoy what you do!
  302. Parents get a big kick out of me telling the kids to say “money” instead of cheese! You can get a really natural smile when they say it cause it makes them laugh!
  303. When you have a parent or grandparent that keeps trying to get your child subject to pose a certain way or whatever, hand them a reflector and have them hold it a certain way. It might not really be doing any good in terms of reflecting but, they’re focused on holding that reflector the right way and not on telling the young’n to do something.
  304. Get your subject to loosen up by talking to them and then you can get the real smile and personality out of them.
  305. Rule of thirds for sure!
  306. Find the light!
  307. Be true to yourself and your style. Never try to be “the next _____”.
  308. Play with the kids during the session to make them get comfortable with me taking pics of them.
  309. Take your time – check your settings and equipment!!
  310. Always be aware of the subject’s surroundings, and watch the light!
  311. Keep your eyes open! You don’t want to miss an opportunity to capture a moment.
  312. I love the tip to expose to the right (when shooting raw) – has totally changed my pp life!
  313. Don’t chop off heads!
  314. Best tip, find your style and let it flow.
  315. Trust your instinct!


No Comments

  1. Linda Johnstone on November 19, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Fantastic – Thank You!!

  2. Barb Ray on November 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    What a fun list…not sure why, but I started at the bottom and have made it up to #200 and had to stop and get back to work…I've printed it out for later!!! Thanks to all those that shared!!!

  3. Erica K Larson on November 19, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Great tips 🙂 I’m most likely going to feel stupid after I find out the answer to this question but…In #39 what does BBF stand for?

  4. Michele Friedman Abel on November 19, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    After trying to fix my son-in-law's face with your actions to no avail, my daughter suggested your next action be "microdermabrasion"!

  5. Jodi Friedman on November 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Michele – for bad acne or markings – you will need to use the clone and patch tools and other healing tools 1st. Hope that helps :)Jodi

  6. Janie Pearson on November 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    What is back button focusing?

  7. Rebecca on November 20, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I would like to know the answer to this question too (BBF) I have heard women talking about it in clickinmoms. And I have no clue how to figure it out.

  8. Erica K Larson on November 20, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Yep…feeling stupid 🙂 Thanks Janie!

  9. Kerry on November 21, 2009 at 12:18 am

    These are all great. Thanks again, Jodi!

  10. Elise Walker on November 21, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Such a long list but most are very helpful. Thanks so much for this!

  11. Christine on November 22, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Wow! Those are a lot of tips!! I think I’ll print them out and read, digest, and try one a day in 2010. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Brandy Thompson on November 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Is there any tips left, I son;t think so. Thanks for providing all those tips at one place, this has saved a lot my time.

  13. Penny on November 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Terrific, thanks everyone!

  14. Jennifer on May 4, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Fun read with some great reminders! Thanks!

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