How To Get a Great Photo (part one)

Photos are the most important aspect of scrapbooking! You will hear me preach, over and over again, to do these tips I have listed. These are the tips I use everyday when I’ve got camera in hand.

You are sure to get some amazing shots, if you concentrate, spend time practicing, and don’t get discouraged by the poor quality of a picture or two.

First, let me discuss the film. I am not going to recommend any one name brand film, as I use them all. I use film speed 400 for everyday photos most of the time. There is almost always a 400 roll in my camera. I do buy the higher speeds for night photos or high action photos. But not always. I try to buy at least 4-6 rolls of black and white film over the year. Black and white photos are timeless, and they are a great way to get the eye to “see” without all the distracting colors. I try to snap a roll every few months. For more information on film speeds, please see Choosing the Right Film.

Now, onto the photography tips!

Quantity of Photos

When I’m taking photos at a specific occasion, I try to snap at least five to ten photos, sometimes a handful more. With new digital technology, this doesn’t have to happen quite as much, because you can see on your screen if you like the photo you captured or not. But those of us who also still use our SLR – mine is a professional camera – no matter HOW cool digital is, my professional camera is far superior! – with our SLR’s we need to take more photos.

So, take several photos. Even a few extras. Just so you can be sure to get a few good ones. Be sure you’re not just standing there shooting the camera, to where you get 4 photos that all look exactly the same. Move around. Turn the camera. Get Vertical and Horizontal photos. Try to zoom in even more. Just move around, even when you’re taking those “extras”. This gives you plenty of options when you sit down to scrapbook.

Zoom In!

My favorite photography tip! Zoom that lens or camera in on your subject as much as humanly possible. It’s called filling the frame. Why? You won’t end up with a photo, with distracting background, your subject is close up and personal, and often you capture amazing features this way. I have a photo that I was just playing around with one day. For fun, we zoomed in on my daughter’s and son’s eyes and took photos for a “through children’s eyes” layout. It is incredible, the specks of copper and green, flakes of even blue and yellow in my son’s very normal looking hazel eyes. Because I really zoomed in, you really see it! Now I am not necessarily talking about that close up, but if you are taking a photo of your child reading a book, angle yourself so that the child and the book are in the frame and then zoom in as close as you can keeping those two objects in the viewfinder at all time. An added benefit? Not as much cropping has to be done to your photos. Look at this photo I got one day in the pool with my daughter. I don’t know why, but it’s one of my favorite photos. It was an accident too, but it shows why zooming in can really make a difference.

Please see How to Get a Great Photo (part two) for additional great tips!