Woman taking photographs

Professional photography tips to help you capture beautiful memories

Want to take better family photos? Try these top photography tips from the pros

By Amy Lewis, 17 December 2015
Professional photography tips to help you capture beautiful memories

Whether you’re sharing your images on social media or keeping them safe in a family album, we all want our snaps to be as beautiful as possible. And now they can be!

Start using these professional photography tips straight away to take your pics to the next level

Start using these professional photography tips straight away to take your pics to the next level.

ALWAYS TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS IN THREES

Photographers like to work in threes, because taking three versions of every shot normally ends up getting you the very best version. Try it next time by snapping each picture three times (one will always be sharper than the rest) and trying a wide shot, one a little closer (a medium shot) and then a close up too.

USE THE RULE OF THIRDS

We told you they like to work with threes! For the rule of thirds, imagine a grid that has splits you can see in 9 smaller squares (like a noughts and crosses grid). The theory is that an image is far more powerful and eye-catching when the main subject of the image (the person, tree or building you’re shooting for example) sits in a place where these lines intersect, rather than simply being placed in the centre.

GET THE SUN IN THE RIGHT SPOT

It’s better to take a snap with the sun behind you and the camera, so that your subjects are well lit. If you can’t switch things around however, or want to avoid any squinting from the people in the pictures, try putting the flash on. It can help to stop your subjects appearing as shadowy silhouettes.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO CROP

The beauty of digital photographs is that you can edit all you like. If the composition isn’t what you want it to be, don’t be afraid to start cropping away to shift the main focus of the image. So long as you’ve saved the original, you can always start over.

TRY A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

Move around to get the best angle for your shot. Rather than simply standing straight ahead of your subject, try moving to the sides or getting higher and lower. It can change the whole feel of the image. Especially if you get down to eye level with a little one!

GET CLOSER IF YOU NEED TO ZOOM

While zoom can help you focus on a certain point in the distance, your pictures will be of a much higher quality if you can move physically closer to the subject. Even when shooting photographs of people, experiment with super close-ups to get a feeling of intimacy in the final image.

CAPTURE THE MOMENT

If you’re taking a snap of the kids having fun or a precious family moment, take a few action shots where no one’s aware of the camera. You’ll capture the feelings and atmosphere of the moment much better than if you arrange everybody in a pose.

DECIDE ON A FOCAL POINT

Especially useful if you’re taking photographs of still lifes (an impressive meal for example), decide on a focal point for the picture and aim to make that the sharpest point.

MAKE EYE CONTACT THE CENTRE POINT

If you’re taking a close-up of a person, make their eyes the centre of the image for a powerful shot; the kind that feels as though it’s looking at you no matter where you stand in the room! If the person in the image is looking at you side-on, make their dominant eye the centre point or if they’re looking at you front on, get the centre point right between their eyes.

PLAY WITH FILTERS

Try switching full colour shots to anything from black and white to grayscale or sepia tone to see what looks best. Sometimes even a small change like this can completely transform the feeling of a shot especially if there’s blurring, darkness or over-exposure distracting from the subjects.

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