How To Take A Better Picture

Do your friends ever tell you, “your camera takes amazing photos!”? I’m sure you’ve seen great photos taken from an iPhone, but also horrible images from expensive professional equipment. The type of camera can help, BUT one of the real deciding factors on whether a shot is good quality is who takes the picture. If they know how to incorporate composition and lighting just right, it can make all the difference.

camera 1842202 640Composition

When you hear “composition” in photography, it is referring to the individual objects inside the frame and how they come together to form the final shot. We can usually change how we are situated by zooming or changing our angle. We can also position the subjects in the frame depending, although that can prove very challenging.

There are a lot of options when it comes to this subject. Many people have different techniques that work for them. This aspect can make a vast difference in the finished photo. When you start to get an eye for this you will actually begin to have fun with it.

Quick Composition Tips:

Rule of Thirds – Separate the photo into 9 rectangles to create grid lines. Look for balance within the intersections. These are where the eyes usually are drawn to first.
Leading Lines – Use the natural occuring lines within the photo to create depth instead of 2 dimensional strait lines across.
Eye Movement – Think of how people’s eyes will move around the scene to create flow. Check if there is anything distracting that will take away from the primary subject.
Borders – Check the borders to make sure there are no photo bombers. You’ll have less editing to do later!
Non-Uniformity – Stagger or position things differently to add some interst! 


The correct lighting is absolutely essential to capturing the best image possible. Once you really get a feel for this, photography will be much easier from a control standpoint. It can be very complex and frustrating to deal with in the beginning.

Here are some specific things to pay attention to:

Hard and Soft Lighting – Determine whether the light source is producing deep shadows (hard) or not (soft). Both types can be used correctly. It is all about the feel of what you want to capture. Are you trying to create drama or subtlety? Distance is also important. Tools can be used, but also natural lighting. It takes practice to know what works and what doesn’t with this.
Positioning – A good light source can bring detail, create depth and shadows, or even give the image a unique creative edge. It all depends on what you are trying to capture. Pay special attention to what the light source is effecting. This can be seen in the edges of the objects. Check the lines in your photo to determine if the lighting is helping or harming the effect that it is creating. Is there too much shadow or not enough? Are the details fading and do you want that effect?

Color Temperature – Once you can understand how to adjust settings based on the Kelvin scale, it will take your photos to that next level. It is a scale ranging from warm to cool, with white balancing in the middle. There are also tools you can use to adjust lighting color.

Bottom Line

While this is not a comprehensive list of all the aspects of taking a quality shot, there is a lot to consider here. It can seem overwhelming, but that feeling usually goes away after you put it all into practice. One of the last and most important aspects we’d like to mention is passion. If you have a passion for capturing moments, that alone will add a bit of magic to every image you take. Don’t discount it. It is a very important notion to keep you creative.

Just remember to have fun! You don't have to be a professional to take a picture, so don't worry too much. If you are studying to be a professional, take it a tip at a time. Cincy Photo Pro is always here to help out!

While you might love the pictures you are taking, at some point you might consider professional photography services. Cincy Photo Pro puts passion and years of technique into every shoot we do. We are proud of our work and would love to add your special moments to our portfolio. Contact us today with any questions or to book a session!

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