7 tips for taking better photos

boy standing in puddle

Whether you’re using your cell phone or fancy DSLR, grabbing one tip that can help improve your photos can make a world of difference in your photos and your confidence to go out and know that you are taking better photos. 

Here I’ve listed out 7 tips for taking better photos in the hopes that it helps you improve your photos this week!  

1 – Open shade is your friend on sunny days

personal branding photographer for realtor

Super sunny days lend themselves to harsh shadows and squinty eyes.  If you can find some open shade – like under a tree, garage or somewhere that blocks the overhead sun from your face, you’ll be much happier with your photos.  In the example here I had my client stand beside the building which took the bright sun off her face.  This shoot was in the middle of the day so the sun was pretty much directly on top of us but we still managed to get some great shots!

If you’re stuck inside, go for natural, indirect light coming in a window or door.

2 – Clean off your lens

Seems like a simple tip for taking better photos, right??  I know, but I will keep giving this advice until I don’t see any photos posted that are smudgy because of a finger print on the lens.  A quick gentle rub with your shirt or soft cloth should do the trick.  The easiest way to a more clear photo.  boom.

3 – Tap the screen to focus & adjust exposure

When taking a photo with your cell phone, you can tap on the screen where your subject is to adjust the exposure (balance of light) and the focus.  Cameras are machines and they don’t know what you want to focus on unless you tell them.  Don’t be afraid to boss that thing around.

This tip for taking better photos doesn’t really apply to DSLR cameras, but we all take photos with our cell phones and knowing this trick was a game changer when I learned it!

4 – Pay attention to the angle

boy standing in puddleKids photos are especially impactful when you get on their level instead of shooting from above.
Plus they love the extra attention.  

If you try to bend down or kneel down so that their eyes are in line with your camera lens, you’ll end up with a photo that tells a better story and likely is one you’ll enjoy more.


5 – Use the grid for a straight photo

In your camera (phone and DSLR) settings you should be able to go in and tell it whether or not you want the grid overlay to show up over your photos.  I love having this turned on because it helps me to get the photo straight from the start.  You can always edit it later, but sometimes you accidentally crop out important parts of your photo when straightening it after the fact.  And it’s always easier to get it right first “in camera” rather than having to do it later.  

In my phone (an iPhone 11), I go to <settings>, then <camera>, then toggle the grid on or off.  This way it’s on or off any time you open the camera.  Hopefully that’s similar to how your phone camera is set up!

6 – Use editing software to adjust things after if needed.

I often edit even my cell phone photos because nearly every photo I take can benefit from a little added brightness and contrast.  There are several options when it comes to editing your photos and I don’t know that there’s one that’s better than another, you just need to find one that has a layout that makes sense to you and that you like. Some of my favorites include:

      1. Photoshop (they have a cell phone app)
        1. apple
        2. google play
      2. Snapseed
        1. apple
        2. google play

7 – Wait for the “in between” shots – them are good too.

Some of my most favorite shots are ones that I took when no one was looking, or when my child WOULND’T look at me.  Go ahead and just keep shooting.  You’re documenting your life and more photos are better than not enough.

I hope these tips for taking better photos give you some confidence to go out and take some photos!  Do you have a tip to add?  I’d love your input below in the comments.

Until next time,


7 tips for taking better photos today


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