Photography Tips for Scrapbookers
Try a New Lens
The right lens can transform an ordinary, ho-hum snapshot into a memory that lasts a lifetime. If you're still relying on the kit lens that came with your camera, it may be time to venture into new territory.
From Best Buy Lens Buying Guide
Kids too cranky to pose?
You can't force a genuine smile. Take the shot anyway. Some of my favorite pictures are of a pouting tot.
From Jane Hanstein Cunniffe
Megapixels are overhyped
If you use your camera to print 4-by-6 photos or to e-mail photos, a 2- or 3-megapixel camera is fine. If you're going to print 5-by-7 or larger photos, get a 4- or 5-megapixel camera.
From Jim Miotke, author of "The Better Photo Guide to Digital Photography"
End of year school photos
If the school allows it, send a disposable camera with your child the last day of school and ask them to take pictures outside class time.
From Cafe Mom
Take vertical photos
People usually photograph better vertically. It eliminates excess background (imagine your child standing in the backyard—do you really need to have all that grass in the photo?). It also doesn’t cut the person off at the waist.
Try outdoor shots at a different time of day
Sometimes you can turn pretty images into terrific ones by shooting at different times of day. You might ask yourself, "What would the boardwalk look like this evening, when the sun is setting?"
Shoot something else
You don't have to take pictures of your subject's face. The big burly hands of a construction worker or the small feet of a baby make for great portraits.
Great group photos
Better to capture a slightly disheveled-looking bunch who are enjoying themselves than to record them looking like a terrified gang facing a firing squad. Tell a joke (even if it's lame). There's usually at least one live wire in every group, and a good way to get a funny picture is to put him or her in charge of organizing the shot.
Consider camera angle when photographing pets
If you're outdoors and your subject is digging for treasures or eating your neighbor's tulips, get down in the dirt so you can be at the same level. Seeing the subject's point of view can give you an extra creative spark which will lead to better photographs.
From New York Institute of Photography
Photograph kids doing everyday things
Most parents remember to record the special events of their children's lives, such as birthdays, school events and graduations. However, some of the best pictures go untaken; such as bath time, the kids on the swings, or reading a story.
From Fuji Film
Use the LCD in macro mode
For macro photography use the LCD, and not the viewfinder, to check your focus. The LCD is seeing exactly what'll be captured in the frame, so you'll get a more accurate representation of your final picture.
From DIY Network
Protect film from airport security machines
Carry film in a see-through plastic bag and offer it for visual inspection, rather than allowing it to go through airport X rays. Newer X-ray machines are safe for film of moderate speed, but X rays have a cumulative effect; even these films can be damaged if taken through many times.
From National Geographic
Take photos out the car window
Car window images have an entirely different feel than other shots. Objects in the foreground show motion blur while the landscape remains relatively sharp. This juxtaposition gives the viewer a sense of motion -- something that we don't typically see.
Get in the picture
Set the camera on a tripod or table top, use the self-timer and get into the photo yourself. Don't forget to occasionally hand the camera to someone else to take photos of you with family and friends.
Use flash outdoors
Bright sun can create unattractive deep facial shadows. Eliminate the shadows by using your flash to lighten the face. If the person is within five feet, use the fill-flash mode; beyond five feet, the full-power mode may be required.
Take a different view
Don't be afraid to take five shots and throw four away. Find a different, unusual viewpoint. Shoot from high and from low. It's often said that the only difference between a professional photographer and an amateur photographer is that the professional throws more shots away.
Shoot first, ask questions later
If it is at all possible that your subject may move, bolt, fly away, stop smiling, or just get tired of waiting for you to take the picture, shoot once right away. Do not wait until you're absolutely certain all the knobs and buttons are in their correct position.
Take party pics at mealtime
One good time to shoot a party is when guests assemble at a table for a meal. Everybody feels comfortable and is usually having a good time. For best results, you may have to stand on a chair to get a high angle to include everyone’s face.
Use rule of thirds for sunsets
When photographing sunsets, use the horizontal rule of thirds to get a good perspective on the scene. In the shot, include either 2/3 foreground and 1/3 sky, or 1/3 foreground and 2/3 sky.
For great Travel Photography tips, visit the "Ultimate Guide to Travel Photography."[top of page] [more scrapbooking articles]