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What is the secret to taking a good picture?

What is the secret to taking a good picture?


During your journey throughout life, you will have amazing experiences and memories that need to be cherished.  The best way to lock in those moments is through photography.  Being able to capture amazing high-quality photos that ignites your passions of your favorite memories and things is not rocket science.  Although it can be overwhelming to think that achieving good pictures is difficult if you’ve never done it before and that’s understandable.  Rest assured though that just about every person has the potential to take great photos.  Sometimes it’s as easy as looking in your camera, deciding if you like what you see, and then simply take a picture.  For many, this is perfect.  However, if you’re looking to enhance your photography game and achieve better photos, there are a few simple photography tips and knowledge that can quickly take your photography skills to the next level.

Confirm your composition

One of the most important things you can do when taking a photo is check your frame prior to taking your shot.  This applies to when you’re using your camera as well as your smartphone.  You want to ensure that your subject is positioned within the frame exactly as you envision, and you will need to check the borders of the frame, so your photo is cohesive.  You can always edit and crop your photos later, but it’s good to get your composition right because cropping and editing photos can often distort, pixelate, and change the dimensions of the final product of your picture.  Taking an extra moment to double check your frame is probably on of the best tips for beginners.

Get the right Gear

Using the right tools is necessary to achieve any goal.  Sometimes tools of lesser quality can get you where you want to be, but it’s so much easier if you have the right tools.  Take college for example.  Knowledge is your tool for your future career.  Sure, you can make it without a college experience but it’s a lot easier to get a good job with a college degree.  This applies to photography as well. 

Utilizing great photography tools like a Nikon DSLR or Mirrorless camera can help make your photos look professional, even if you are not a seasoned photographer.  The amazing advancements in digital optical technology can make it seem almost easy due to all the powerful automated features these cameras provide.  These cameras will automatically adjust important aspects of photography, like focus and light exposure.  A good DSLR or Mirrorless camera will also enable you to go full on manual mode as well, which is how most professionals take their photos.  This means that whether you’re a beginner or a pro, these cameras will get the job done while also giving you more versatility as you continue to grow your skills and tackle new photography techniques.

Professional cameras use compatible interchangeable lenses.  Meaning you will need to know what type of lens will work best for the photo you’re trying to achieve.  If you’re a pro, you already have an arsenal of lenses, but for beginners, it is important to have the basics such as a wide-angle zoom lens, and a telephoto lens.  When you find your sweet spot or favorite focal length, you should get yourself a prime lens with that focal length.  Often times you can get more out of your camera and lenses using adapters and rings which can enhance the versatility of your current lens, make other lenses compatible, and give you more manual control over your lenses functions like when using zoom or focus.

For beginners not seeking to invest in a professional grade camera, look for cameras with a built-in lens, such as point and shoot cameras or uber popular vlogging cameras such as the Sony ZV-1F.  The ZV-1F has fully automated focus and exposure features which will help you get the perfect shot every time.  Cameras like the ZV-1F are typically compact enough to fit right in your pocket or handbag, so they’re easy to take with you anywhere you go.

The tripod is one of the most overlooked photographing tools by beginners and intermediate photographers.  Using a tripod does many things for your final product and eases your labor during your photoshoots.  Using a tripod is the only way to achieve full stabilization which means, every detail in your photo will come out with amazing precision and clarity because there is no shake.  No matter what kind of stabilization features your camera has, and some are great for reducing shake in your photos when shooting handheld, nothing will help stabilize your camera like a tripod.  Tripods are not something to cheap out on either.  They can turn a long photoshoot into an enjoyable experience as well since you’re hands free.


Getting your settings just right can sometimes be easy, and other times, it can be stressful, especially if you don’t know what they do.  Most cameras today, even the less expensive ones will have different shooting and picture modes which can come in handy and are fun to use, but the most important settings you need to know and understand are pertinent to focus and light exposure.

First you need to determine what kind of lighting environment you are in and what kind of exposure you will need.  The 3 most important settings regarding exposure are ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.  All 3 work together in synchronization, so when you adjust one, it effects the other two.  It takes some experience mastering this technique but it’s not difficult.  The most important thing with these settings is to be patient and carefully review your frame which will provide you insight on what you need to adjust.

  • ISO – This measures the camera’s sensors sensitivity to light. The higher the number, the more light that will be exposed to your camera’s sensors.
  • Aperture – This is the size of the hole in the lens’s diaphragm that allows light to reach the cameras sensors. This one is a little weird because the numbers work opposite what you would think.  The smaller the f/#, the bigger the hole.  The bigger the hole, the more light that gets into your camera.  However, even though your camera will pick up more light when shooting with a super low aperture, it will be much more difficult to get the right focus.  Balance is key between the ISO and aperture.  Opening your aperture is one of the best photography tips for highlighting your subject over a blurry background.
  • Shutter Speed – This measures the amount of time your cameras shutters are open with each shot. The longer the shutters are open, the more light will reach your sensors.  This also can enhance movement in your photo because your camera is snapping a photo over the course of the shutter speed.  This is how action photographers and star photographers achieve that cool trailing effect in their photos.


Capturing your subject in a flattering way that looks natural is a combination of posing and lighting.  Some helpful tips for poses would be to look natural whether your subject is sitting, standing, or leaning.  One of the easiest photography tricks to get this natural look is to slightly bend elbows or knees according depending on the pose (you will know what to do), and to tilt the subjects face or head in a natural way that highlights them in a flattering way under the light. 

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to achieve artistic expressions when photographing.  Incorporate your environment such as interesting shading or the use of props.  The most important thing is to stay calm, relaxed, and be patient with your shots.  Do it with a friend or your dog, have fun and don’t pressure yourself, you will grow closer to master status with each shoot.

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