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Take Wonderful Photo's Take Em Like A Pro

Updated on August 27, 2012



I wrote this so you can take great photos without getting technical, so you can take beautiful photo's that you'll be enlarging and having them framed and put on your wall or give out as gifts to who ever is in them. You can go to Micheal's craft store and and by the appropriate Mat size and then frame and do it your self. I like to keep my frames and matting all black so it doesn't take away from the photo and they all match on the wall also multiple photo's look better if they are all the same size.

This is a Scenic picture on my farm. I will talk more about this shot but a few key points are that the sun is behind me and my aperture is at a small opening so everything in the distance is in focus thus Giving me a long focal point. I will explain what an aperture is but, first I want to give a few examples so the next time you go on vacation you can take great shots - and there are two types of vacation photo's one would be the scenic, like the above shot. Scenic shots that are most pleasing to the eye, are when the photo is in thirds. For example, a photo is a rectangle, put your main subject in the first third of the rectangle like the barn is in the above photo and other things in the second third of the space, and or your main subject could go in the last third space of the rectangle. The second shot would be with your family and friends in it. The second shots are the one's people usually like the best. But, have you ever come home only to find that the people are these tiny little figures standing infront of a vast scenery? That's because you are trying to do both a scenic shot and a prortrait shot at the same time basically. If pictures of people don't come out well, it means you were not close enough!!!!

Tips on taking great portraits

If your portraits are not good enough, you're not close enough to your subject
If your portraits are not good enough, you're not close enough to your subject | Source

This is a shot I caught Just before she noticed I was going to shoot it so she doesn't have a staged smile. Her face is natural and I think it makes the shot so much prettier and pleasing. Staged photo's don't look as good, I'm using that term loosley as nice natural smiles with a family are very appropriat. But with young kids, like todlers, a natural face is beautiful so if you have a small digital shoot and point with a zoom or if you have a digital SLR (single lense reflex) a longer lens is better to use or the zoom to zoom in on the children to get a close up, so you are not right in their face and they probably are not aware you are taking their photo, which is the point, so you can get that natural face of a child. Sometime's when they are getting tirered, say a half hour before a nap, for some reason I've had good luck getting great portraits of children then. You also have to be patient for the shot. Thank goodness there are memory cards now because you can now preview the shot and erase if you didn't get it instead of burning through roll after roll.

On the portrait above the sun is to the side, so I used the flash set at a filler setting to light up the side of her face better that itsn't in the sun. Also, I have the aperture open so any background is a soft focus. If you are using a small digital point and shoot that has a zoom, and you want to take a portrait, use the setting on the dial that looks like a person and that will set your aperture settings and use the zoom, that will Put you close to your subject

On a SLR there are two things to think about one is the aperture and the other is the shutter speed. Most camer'a will automatically set up these setting for you if you set the dial on either the person for a portrait type shot or a person running for action shots or a scene for a scenic shot so use these to start. Other wise, I could explain shutter speeds and apertures, different types of lighting etc. But this is to just get the best photo's you can on any occasion.

Now Action shots. This is where shutter speed comes in. You have to use a fast shutter speed so the light is only going to be allowed into the lens for a very short amount of time. To be sure you get the shot in focus, you can use your Flash. There is a fun way to take action shots and it takes practice but, If you move the camera with the subject and don't stop moving with it and shoot the picture while you are following the subject with the camera, then hopefully your subject will be in focus and the area around the subject will all be blurred to really accentuate the speed. This is fun and and just takes practice and you can get some really excellent action shots.

Here are some must do's and do not's while taking any photo. Never try to take a portrait with the sun behind your subject, you will end up with very dark shadows on thier faces. Do get close to your subject, I can't stress this enough. Also with scenic pictures make sure the sun is at your back. do take three or four shots espcially if you are using an SLR and you can stagger your settings, most SLR's will do this automatically for you so when you push once, three shot's will be fired at the different settings. Then you can figure out wich one is best. Do use a polorizer, especially if it's hazzy out. It screw's right on the end of your lens and it'll make the blue sky really blue and the white clouds pop, even on hazy days. But remember a polarizer is dark so you'll have to remember that a little less light is coming through the lens and you'll have to compensate for that. Do always use a clear filter to protect your expensive lens from any scratches. It's easier to replace a clear filter if it get's scratched then to replace your expensive lens. These are for the 35mm SLR camera's lenses. I don't think they make filters for the smaller digital cameras with the zoom yet.

Some shots use just can't miss and you may not be prepared and you grab your camera and shoot. You never want to miss a shot because you can fix a lot on the computer too.

Effect of taking a photo into the sun and the effects on the images.


this was a fun picture to capture! Even though I am shooting straight into the sun, it gives the hands a silohetted effect I wanted. I also have a polorizer on this as you can se the deep blue sky and the white clouds pop.

getting a fun shot, this is luck, grab camera and run

Millie climbed this tree and I ran and found the nearest camera and shot it before she jumped down.  I took this with a small digital camera, the others above were taken with my digital SLR cannon camera.
Millie climbed this tree and I ran and found the nearest camera and shot it before she jumped down. I took this with a small digital camera, the others above were taken with my digital SLR cannon camera. | Source

I saw our dog half way up one of our trees, I ran in and got the camera and took it real quick before she jumped down. This was about an hour after the sun had set so the lighting isn't that great but, you can still see her, it's hard as she is a speckled German Short Haired Pointer. But, we had been looking for her for quite a while and it was a picture I couldn't resist. This dog loves birds! Not to hurt, she likes to just be with them

catching a picture of your pet having fun.


This photo is a combination or not a portrait or a scenic and I didn't have much choice where to take it from. None the less, it add's to his personality in his photo album.

Good luck shooting, practice, and with shots of people make sure you are close. Have fun, the more you shoot the better you will get.

Good Luck! PS one more photo below, this was before the digital era, a shot I waited forever for the sun to come down so the sun would be behind my daughter as my husband tossed her into the air over Lake Michigan.

Kallie and her Dad, Lake Michigan

Kallie being thrown in the air by her dad over Lake Michigan with the sun silhouetting them.
Kallie being thrown in the air by her dad over Lake Michigan with the sun silhouetting them.


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    • Ellen Karman profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Karman 

      6 years ago from medina, Ohio

      Dear KoffeeKlatch Gals, Thank you so much, I wish Digital camera's were around when my children were younger! Though it is easy to upload photo's without losing too much. I like my Single Lens Reflex but keep my little point and shoot with a zoom lens right with my gear, as they take great photo's as well. Photography is a mixture of knowing how to light, or if no control, how to use your camera settings to capture the shot, patience, an eye, and luck. That's what I believe anyhow. Thank you for commenting "up and awesome." Much appreciated!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Beautiful photos. Each one in a distinctly different style. I am impressed with your gift. Up and awesome.

    • Ellen Karman profile imageAUTHOR

      Ellen Karman 

      6 years ago from medina, Ohio

      Dear Kerlynb, Oh good you for some people- they just want to be able to take good pictures especially of family events. Remember, If the people don't look good in the photo, you're not close enough. Practice and soon you''ll be happy with the outcome. I tried to write it easy and fun, Did you get that out of it? good luck and Thank you for

    • kerlynb profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      OMG, I need this hub! I often take pictures and ALWAYS get frustrated with how awful they turn out. Sadly I don't have time to take photography classes. Have to vote this one up and useful!


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