Since starting my blog I have developed a real love of photography. I have always enjoyed taking photos of my girls but being able to take beautiful photos is a great feeling and I am always looking for ways to improve.
My gorgeous friend Paloma is a professional photographer, takes the most beautiful photos and has had her photos published in magazines and on lifestyle blogs around the world. I asked her if she would mind sharing a few tips to help any budding photographers make the best out of any situation and she kindly took the time to write down her top 10 tips!
Without further a do let me hand over to Paloma!
I have had a camera for as long as I can remember. I always used to spend my pocket money buying film and then developing the photos at the local shop back in Spain. My front room has a special picture wall, I absolutely adore it and I think everyone should have one!
There is just something special about capturing a moment. After all, photos are one of the only tangible memories you get to keep of holidays, special events and people you love. When people ask me What is the best camera to have? or What is the best setting to use? I always give them the same advice- so here it is for you to take away to try and give it a go!
1. CAMERA The best camera is the one you have with you. You may have spend quite a bit of money on a DSLR, but that doesn’t mean you always have it on you. Some of my favourite photos were taken with my good old smart phone.
2. KIDS & ANIMALS Never work with kids or animals… Only joking!! I shoot both on a regular basis and my golden tip is be patient. Get on the floor to their level and have treats (for both the pet and the child!!) a squeaky toy works wonders as it will capture their attention so they look at you. Be prepared to take a lot of shots and end up with only a few decent photographs.
3.GROUPS Try and capture a natural reaction. Having a group of people you’ve never met pose in front of you can be a bit awkward (even when you have met them before!) Some people hate having their photo taken and force a smile so try and make them laugh! I often ask the little ones to scream as loud as they can, or have them jump in the air to get a reaction.
4. DETAILS Look out for tiny details, try and capture what no one else can see or when people don’t realize they’re being watched. Nothing beats a natural pose.
5. LIGHT The sun, believe it or not, is your enemy unless you really know what you are doing. Where possible always shoot in the shade, or on a cloudy/overcast day. If you’re not confident with your DSLR the chances are the sun will make your photographs too bright, people are likely to end up with harsh shadows on them and possibly half opened eyes trying to avoid the sun if they are facing it. One way to avoid this is using your on camera flash to create “fill light”.
6. MOVEMENT Action shots are great fun! The best way to capture an action shot with your DSLR is a fast shutter speed (generally 1/500 or above) This is likely to compromise the lighting, so you may have to increase the ISO or go for a lower F number.
7. BE CREATIVE Don’t listen to all of the composition rules you’ve heard- rule of 3rds, balance etc… Sure, these exist for a reason, but sometimes rules are to be broken!
8. CREATE A BLUR As much as possible you want to try and have a clutter free background so that the subject is the main focus. Sometimes real life (toys and general junk) doesn’t allow for this and this is when blur can really work wonders! Use a shorter focal length so that only the subject is in focus- everything else (including the mess) will be a blur in the background.
9. BLACK AND WHITE Some photos will automatically look better in black and white You can also get away with a slightly blurred photo if it’s in black and white and it just adds that timeless look!
10. HAVE FUN That’s the most important thing. Get your camera and take photos. Lots of them. Practice makes perfect, set yourself challenges, shoot at different times of the day to see how the light changes and the effect on the photographs.
Thank you so much Paloma! I love all of your photos, especially the last one! How cute is that dog?
So there we have it, 10 tips to help you make the best out of any photo opportunity. I will definitely be making use out of the blur more as my house is always a mess!!! I also really like the idea of making children scream to get a reaction- my girls will love that!
If you want to take a look at more of Paloma’s work then head over to her website, she is based in the south-east so if you are looking for a photographer then get in touch!
Do you have a favourite style of photo that you take?