Category Archives: photography tips and ideas

tample cambodia photography

8 Breathtaking Photography Locations to Capture

Great photographers can find exciting photo opportunities virtually anywhere. When inspiration starts to run low, traveling to some of the world’s most exhilarating photography locations can take your craft to a whole new level.

Not sure where to start? Check out this list of awe-inspiring photography locations.

The Top 8 Worldwide Photography Locations

Whether the subject of choice is nature’s raw beauty, amazing architecture, popular tourist areas, or remote locations, there’s a photography location to meet every photographer’s needs. Here are eight of the best travel destinations for photography enthusiasts to visit.

1. Kenya, Africa

Kenya, Africa is one of the world’s most popular locations for both professional and amateur photographers. Here you can observe exotic animals in their natural habitat, capture the magic of Mount Kilimanjaro, and interact with the vibrant Massai community.

2. Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

(above) This ancient Buddhist temple, built in 1186, is engulfed in jungle vines. The Ta Prohm Temple is shrouded in mystery and exudes an other-worldly energy and aura. Join the thousands of photographers who have attempted to capture the essence of this experience for decades.

3. Dubai

dubai ceiling

The city of Dubai offers photographers the chance to explore the stark contrast of an explosion of humanity, thriving in the middle of a desert. Grab a great shot of the imposing downtown architecture from the top floor of a hotel or office building. Don’t take a chance at missing the gorgeous sun sett behind the Burj Al Arab, your trip will be incomplete without it.

4. Great Barrier Reef

Advances in technology have opened up the world of underwater photos to even the most casual photographer. Travel below sea level to photograph thousands of species of fish, sharks, whales, and other sea creatures. Don’t forget to take some aerial shots to capture the astonishing scale and natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

5. Havana, Cuba

cuba photography

The colorful buildings, classic cars, and friendly locals in Havana make this city a photographer’s dream. Visit the streets of Old Havana, check out the pier, and be sure not to miss the El Gran Teatro de Havana.

PRO TIP: If you happen to come across a magical moment when you aren’t completely prepared, don’t dismay. You can still take a great photo with your camera phone. Make sure you’ve set up the camera grid ahead of time so your pictures come out as perfectly as possible every time.

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6. Borneo

This remote island is home to many endangered species including clouded leopards and orangutans. Explore the diverse rainforests and photograph these majestic animals before they go extinct.

PRO TIP: To give your photos a professional look, don’t forget to adjust your camera’s aperture settings. This allows you to take artistic license by blurring backgrounds adding depth of focus.

7. Hawaii (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park) 

Capture the rarely-observed active lava flows in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Catch the locals in action as they surf and kiteboard, and photograph the area’s stunning tropical foliage and waterfalls.

PRO TIP: One of the most important pieces of advice for travel photographers is to look beyond the obvious. Some of the most interesting photography locations are well off the beaten path. Talk to the locals after you’ve arrived or plan ahead with personal travel recommendations from an excellent concierge.

8. Paris (Catacombs / Pere Lachaise)

moulin rouge paris

Beyond the obvious landmarks like the Eifel Tower and the Louvre, Paris is a treasure-trove of photographic opportunities. Expand your horizons by taking your camera deep into the catacombs, by the moulin rouge at night, or spending the day exploring the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

OMG Photos: The Ultimate in Photography Inspiration: OMG Photos features Instagram’s most breathtaking photos, informative blog posts, and deals on photo printing services. Follow the OMG Photos Facebook Page today so you never miss a thing!

social media photography

5 Ways Social Media Inspires Professional Photography

Did you know that we’re now uploading a staggering 1.8 billion photos to social media sites every day?

But how is the world of professional photography influenced by these user-created images? We’re here to tell you.

From reducing the need for fancy equipment to increasing authenticity, social media has had a huge impact on the kinds of photographs valued by the world’s biggest brands.

Keep reading to find out exactly how social media is changing and inspiring the landscape of photography.

smartphone photo filters

1. Being Innovative Is More Important

With so many images being shared all the time, taking a bog-standard snap just doesn’t cut it anymore.

To have any chance of standing out online, photographs need to be highly creative and unique.

This could mean anything from using an unusual piece of equipment, experimenting with composition, applying a unique filter, or choosing a rare location.

Photographs now have to make people stop scrolling and take notice, and that’s a big challenge.

2. Authentic Images Are Valued Highly

With the rise of social media, the popularity of staged, ‘perfect’ looking stock photos has quickly lost momentum – a trend some have called the death of the stock photo.

Say goodbye to models with pearly white teeth set against bright, white backgrounds, and say hello to pictures of real people in imperfect locations.

Brands have realized that posed, unrealistic images provoke little emotional response, and now favor candid images which look as though they were taken using a smartphone.

3. High-End Gear Isn’t Everything

Having the best camera was once a huge part of being a professional photographer, but that’s no longer the case.

Combine the increased accessibility of high-end equipment with the desire for authentic images, and you might find that a smartphone snap is more likely to sell than an uncreative image taken on the best SLR.

Professional photography is now more accessible than ever, but it’s also way more competitive.

4. Photographers Can Inspire Each Other Online

Connecting with other photographers is now as easy as tapping on a touchscreen, and finding inspiration has never been easier.

Photographers can check out rival snaps to get inspiration on everything from composition to locations, models to filters.

Sites like Pinterest are full of boards specifically created to help provide inspiration, and new trends can gain traction quickly.

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5. First-Person Shots Are More Popular

Modern photography is all about capturing a moment and feeling like you’re right there in the picture.

It’s no surprise, then, that first-person shots are becoming more and more popular.

These catapult viewers into the driving seat, creating a feeling of immersion that other photos just can’t achieve.

Has Social Media Been Good for Professional Photography?

The answer here is a resounding ‘yes’.

The proliferation of images on social media has increased creativity and innovation, lowered the entry barrier for new photographers, and helped create greater immersion for viewers.

Check out our blog for loads of handy smartphone photography tips.

how to turn on iphone camera grid

iPhone: Why You Should Use the Camera Grid (Turn It On Now!)

Why you should turn on your iPhone’s camera grid, and how: Want to take professional-looking photos with your iPhone? Wondering how to take your snaps to the next level?

There’s one cool iPhone camera feature that you’ve probably been missing, and it’s called the, “camera grid.”

It’s surprisingly simple and requires no extra downloads. Scroll down to learn more about the iPhone camera’s hidden secret and how to use it.

iPhone Photography

Gone are the days when we all carried digital cameras around with us. Smartphones are now starting to dominate the photography world.

In 2016, 48% of all photos uploaded to Flikr were taken on a smartphone. Of those photos, 47% were taken on an Apple device. And for good reason.

iPhones are known for having fantastic cameras. As well as an ever-increasing number of megapixels with each model, there are numerous features that make them a rival of DSLRs.

One of those is the camera grid.

What Is the iPhone Camera Grid?

iphone camera grid enable

The camera grid is a feature which divides the frame of your photos using four lines which run horizontally and vertically along the screen.

When activated, it shows 9 squares overlayed across the screen. It looks like an empty tic tac toe grid, but there’s much more to it than that.

Placing objects in your photos at the points where those lines intersect can make them much more visually striking.

How to Turn on the Camera Grid: (settings)

iphone settings camera grid

In order to start playing with the camera grid, you need to know how to use it. Here’s how to activate it.

Enabling the camera grid:

  • Open Settings
  • Select Photos & Camera
  • Select Grid and turn it on
  • Open the Camera app and you’ll see the grid.

*If you’re using a version of iOS earlier than iOS7:

  • Open Camera app
  • Select Options
  • Find Grid and turn it ON.

Benefits of the iPhone Camera Grid

The iPhone camera grid can add a lot to your photos. Here are the top reasons why you should be using it.

It’s Based on a Technique Used by Professionals

The entire premise of the camera grid is the rule of thirds.

It’s a technique commonly known amongst professional photographers, which has been used in art since the 18th Century.

To most photographers and artists, the rule of thirds is second nature. To untrained iPhone photography enthusiasts, it’s not so obvious. That’s where the camera grid comes in handy.

With the camera grid, anyone can take photos like a pro.

The rule of thirds is the concept of dividing your shot with a 3 x 3 square grid and matching the subjects up to the lines on that grid.

As a result, you end up with much more captivating photos. Add in a great iPhone filter, and you are set. It’s really that easy.

camera grid settings on iphone

It Makes Your Photos Level

The camera grid enables you to make your photos level by matching objects up with the straight lines on your screen.

You can avoid wonky, uneven photos and line things up perfectly. This means there’s no need to rotate or angle the photos when editing.

The camera grid Improves Your Landscape Photos

The camera grid is especially useful for landscape shots, as it shows you where to frame the horizon in order to get the most interesting picture.

Putting the horizon right in the center of the photo is just plain boring. Anyone can do that.

You can match up objects of interest in the foreground to the lines, making sure they complement your shot and draw the eye into the scene.

The area of the photo that is most interesting to you should take up two-thirds the frame. The grid makes it incredibly easy to place it that way.

It’s Easier to Frame Your Subjects

When we take out our phones to snap a photo, we usually put the subject right in the center and think nothing of it.

The subject is the entire focus of the photo, so, therefore, should be in the middle, right?

According to professional photographers, that’s not the case. Not only is that method bland and unimaginative, it’s not even the best way to display a subject.

Using the camera grid to match the subject up with lines on different sides of the screen actually draws more attention to them in more subtle, artistic ways. That way, you get the most out of your pictures.

When shooting portrait photos, align the subject’s eyes with the grid; they’re usually the most important part of the shot.

It Improves Photo Composition

iphone camera grid how to use

Activating the grid highlights different areas of your photos to show the exact composition of the frame.

It forces you to focus on the entire frame rather than just the subject alone.

By placing points of interest along the lines of the grid, you create a much more balanced photo and avoid using a lot of negative space.

This results in a picture which is much richer in composition.

It Will Get Your More Likes

300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day.

With so many photos on social media, you want to make sure yours are getting their share of attention.

The camera grid is a sure-fire way to do that. If you start using it, you’ll already be a step ahead of many others.

Get Creative with It

Use the camera grid to your advantage, but don’t get too sucked into it. It’s there to help you, not to dictate you.

The rule of thirds is a general guide and doesn’t need to be strictly followed. Subjects don’t need to match up with the grid precisely; placing them relatively near them could still do the trick.

If you feel it doesn’t complement your picture, throw caution to the wind and do it your own way.

What to Do with Your New Photos

With this newfound technique, you’re sure to be snapping some beautiful photos. Why not get them printed so you can admire your work?

  • Snapfish: Click here for discount coupons for Snapfish, a printing service which can turn your photos into prints, calendars, wedding invitations, notebooks and more. We also have their latest shipping times.
  • Walgreens Photo: A hugely popular way to print your 4×6 and 4×4 digital photos. Coupons here
  • Shutterfly – Probably the best place to print photos online – coupons here ,

Now, get out there and give it a try!

photography tips camera

5 Photography Hacks Perfect for a Special Occasion

Most of us associate professional photographers with expensive, bulky cameras and a process where the professional controls every single nut and bolt of their photography gear. With the simple photography hacks they use, however, it’s just not that way.

Unlike many photography enthusiasts that make a big deal over every detail and talk a lot of jargon, most professional photographers take the KISS approach (keep it simple, stupid!).

Professional photographers pursue simplicity. In fact, they even follow rules that the photography enthusiasts would consider amateurish.

Find that hard to believe? Well, it’s true.

Here are 5 incredibly simple photography hacks to use at your next special function. They’ll help you capture everything perfectly while keeping it as simple as possible.

Let’s have a look.

1. Shoot Your Images in JPEG. Yes, Really.

Talk to a photography enthusiast and they’ll tell you that shooting images in JPEG should be illegal. They believe that the only way to shoot photos is in the RAW.

That’s simply not the case.

RAW is a digital negative that’s used to process images using photo processing applications such as Lightroom and Photoshop.

The files are also incredibly large.

Fewer and fewer professional photographers are shooting RAW files these days. Instead, they’re shooting in JPEG, which is a compressed version of the image.

Do you really want to spend the money for terabytes of storage for all of your RAW files? Not to mention, do you want to spend hours upon hours to process all your RAW files once the shoot is done?

Instead, shoot in JPEG. Take a look at the image after it’s shot. If you like it, keep it. If not, hit delete.

It really can be that simple.

Doesn’t it make sense to spend more time shooting and getting the best possible images in JPEG format, rather than going through flawed RAW images and spending hours fixing them in Photoshop?

The answer seems simple.

KISS! (keep it simple…)

black white camera mode

2. Using Camera Modes is One of the Easiest Photography Hacks

Almost every camera you buy comes with a bunch of funky modes like B&W or Sepia.

Most people think that these are for amateurs and new photographers.

That isn’t the case. Professional photographers are more than happy to use them when it makes sense.

Most pros use features like miniature mode or some of the various other features that cameras offer.

They even use the grid.

After all, if you’re shooting a wedding and the bride wants several black and white photos for the album, why not do the shooting in black and white?

The different modes are fun to use and save a ton of time otherwise spent on digital editing in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Don’t be afraid to use them. They’re there for a reason!

3. Don’t Stress About Technology or Shooting Conditions

Obviously, almost all professional photographers have expensive gear. They carry around big, heavy cameras and pricy lenses and accessories they may need for a job.

But here’s the kicker: when push comes to shove, all of this ends up being irrelevant.

If, on a given day, they don’t have direct access to their Rs 4 lakh camera and have to use an RS 30,000 they’ll do it without worry.

For pros, the big expensive stuff are tools. If they’re not available they’ll pick another tool that’ll get the job done.

They know how to be creative and work around the limitations.

In addition, true pros don’t stress about lack of proper lighting, rain or other situations that aren’t perfect for photography.

They know that limitations will always exist. Not all conditions are going to be the best for a photo shoot.

In these situations, it all comes down to the eye. Creatively work around whatever limitations exist. Find scenes that are unique, and start shooting.

digital camera iso speed

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Crank Up the ISO

This is one of the more important photography hacks.

Most hobbyist photographers have a love/hate relationship with ISO. You know, the function that increases or decreases the sensitivity to light, but also runs the risk of bringing “noise” into the photos.

The truth is, the love/hate relationship ends with hobbyists. Professional photographers use it all the time and crack it up whenever required.

Let’s take the following as an example:

A lot of photographers think that shooting in 1600 ISO is going to add unwanted noise. They cringe at the mere thought.

Many have been taught not to go above 400 or 800 ISO because a higher ISO will add unwanted noise to the photo.

Then, when the images come out dark or underexposed they try to fix them in Photoshop. As soon as they begin to increase the exposure or brightness in Photoshop, guess what happens?

More noise is added!

So in fact, the final photos end up with more noise than if they were shot at 1600 ISO to begin with.

Before your next special occasion photo shoot, play around with shooting at 1600 when it makes sense. You’ll be surprised by the result.

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5. Don’t Use Manual Mode

For photography enthusiasts, leaving manual mode is a big no-no. However, pros like Curtis Wallis Wedding Photographer know what they’re doing.

Rather than fiddling with controls, pros want to focus on capturing the best moments. When trying to catch a tiger leaping into the air, do you really want to be fiddling with the aperture?

You’ll miss the moment.

There are three highly important parameters when controlling an image: aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

At any moment in a shoot, a photographer should only be controlling one of these. Let the camera take care of the rest with its pre-defined settings.

When you let the camera do some of the work, you can keep on eye on the action and find the best photos.

Let the camera do the mundane work for you, while you scope out the memorable shots that’ll get you hired again and again.

Enjoy These Photography Hacks

Remember that there’s a big difference between a photography enthusiast and a professional photographer.

The next time you head out on a job, remember these hacks and start using them like a pro.

You’ll save time and end up with better results.

Follow us on Facebook for more great photography tips and tricks. We’ll see you there!

photo focus on background

How to Add Depth of Focus to Your Photos

Adding depth of focus to your photos: 16MP smartphone cameras have leveled the playing field. Combine your digital camera with today’s tips on how to add depth of focus to your photos and you’ll be creating professional quality images in no time.

So what exactly is depth of focus? It’s how much of the photo you choose to have in focus.

Most of the time you’ll want the whole photo in focus, but not always.

Sometimes you’ll want the background blurred or softened in order to bring more attention to your subject. This gives you the ability the focus the viewer’s attention where you’d like it to be.

How Depth of Focus Works

Focus depth is changed by adjusting the aperture settings on your digital camera.

The aperture is a hole inside the camera lens that works like the iris in your eye. Adjusting the aperture lets in more or less light.

The larger the aperture, the shallower the depth of focus. This means a smaller portion of the image will be in focus. Conversely, the smaller the aperture the deeper the depth of focus, meaning a large part of the image will be in focus.

Changing Aperture on Your Camera:

adjust aperature camera

Aperture is measured in f-stops. The numbers are a bit tricky because a low aperture setting means a larger aperture and vice versa.

Think of it this way – low aperture number equals low focus depth.

To adjust aperture, your camera must have aperture priority or a manual mode. All SLR and DSLR cameras have priority and manual modes. So do micro four thirds cameras and some advanced point and shoot cameras.

Point and shoot cameras typically have a smaller aperture sensor which means you can’t achieve extremely shallow focus, even with manual control.

DSLR and most point and shoot cameras have a portrait mode, which lowers the aperture setting. This allows you to change the depth of focus to some degree.

Many DSLR cameras also have an ‘A’ setting for Aperture Priority Mode. This allows you to control the aperture while the camera handles all other settings.

Other ways to change the aperture on your DSLR camera are to use a zoom-less, or buy a new lens entirely.

Now you know the basics of changing your camera’s aperture. But how do you know how much depth of focus should be in your photos?

depth of focus camera

How to Choose the Right Aperture:

Let’s start with a portrait.

If you’re not using portrait mode, you’ll want a shallow depth of field so the focus in on your subject’s face.

The great thing about a shallow depth is it’s useful any time you’d like to separate on object from its background.

At other times, you’ll want a deep focus. This works especially well for landscape photos and product shots. Anytime you need to see the foreground and background equally well, a larger f number is best.

That’s it for the basics of depth of focus. Now it’s time to learn how you can create these same types of effects with your smartphone.

Depth of Focus in Smartphone Photos

Smartphones don’t allow you manual control over aperture while taking a photo. However, there are ways to edit photos you’ve already taken to simulate the effects of both shallow and deep focus depths.

This is done through the use of different iOS or Android applications.

Remember, the best way to decide the app for you is to try several and keep the one that provides the best combination of ease of us and results.

Let’s take a moment and review a few of the more popular apps.

Big Lens (iOS or Android)

($0.99) This app was designed with focus depth editing in mind. It’s powerful yet easy to use.

Big Lens uses a masking brush where you can apply blur effects to parts of your photo. Apply the blur then use other settings to control how much blur you’d like.

The one difference with Big Lens is you use the “brush” to cover what you’d like to have in focus. The rest of the photo gets the blur effect.

Filterstorm Neue (iOS)

Filterstorm Neue is a full-featured editing app with an excellent depth of field tool.

The blur capability offers a great range of effect than Big Lens. It’s also more difficult to learn and requires slightly more finesse.

Unlike Big Lens, you’ll use the brush to paint the area you’d like blurred.

If you have an iPhone 7 Plus and have taken the iOS 10.1 update, you now have the new Portrait Mode photo format which does a great job creating desirable depth effects.

Portrait Mode (iPhone 7 Plus w/ iOS 10.1 update):

depth of focus

(portrait mode on left) Photo credit:

First of all, the reason you can only get Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus is because of the twin-lens rear camera. This is a new feature for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The twin-lens camera allows you to put the subject in focus and blur the background.

Access Portrait Mode from the rotating swipe menu at the bottom of the Camera app’s interface. One cool thing is the app will offer tips on lighting, position and composition.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of Portrait Mode.

  1. Make sure the subject is close. No further away than 8 feet is ideal.
  2. Make sure the background is quite a bit further away. The larger the gap, the greater the depth of focus effect will appear.
  3. Lighting is big. Early morning sunlight does rather well. Indoor artificial light, not so much. Professional Jeremy Cowart suggests putting the sun behind your subject as a back light.
  4. Look out for small items in your shot. A recent test showed they may confuse the depth effect.
  5. Find a space that isn’t too busy or distracting.

*More: iPhone Portrait mode –

Portrait Mode – Other Cool Stuff:

depth focus potrait mode

Two versions of each photo taken are saved. One has the effect applied, the other doesn’t. The photo with the effect is labeled in the top left corner.

To save the Portrait Mode image and discard the other, open Settings (when in Portrait Mode) and scroll down to the sixth screen of options. Tap Photos and Camera. Scroll down more and find the Portrait Mode section.

Tap the green slider, where you see Keep Normal Photo, until it becomes white.

Are you addicted to taking photos, especially from your smartphone? Share your photographing experience with us in the comments section below. Also, check out our latest coupons for photo printing sites like Shutterfly and Walgreens Photo!

snapfish kids gift idea

Snapfish: Gift Ideas Using Your Kid’s Art!

snapfish logo blue squareUse your child’s artwork in prints and photo gifts: Looking to make a really memorable, thoughtful gift for a parent or grandparent? You’re not limited to just using family photos!

Why not use your kids’ artwork to make beautiful wall art or photo gifts? It’s also a fun idea for family Thank-You cards. Here’s how: (video)

More Gift Ideas Using Your Kid’s Art

Remember, you aren’t limited to just wall art or canvas prints. You can take photos or scan your child’s drawings or paintings to make other gifts like:

  • iPhone Cases
  • Mugs
  • Thank you cards
  • Magnets
  • Mousepads
  • Pillows
  • Photo Puzzles

They also have a number of coupons including free shipping and up to 60% off today!

snapfish kids art gifts

Not Just Snapfish!

Of course, you can use any top photo-printing site to make fun gifts from kids’ artwork. In fact, Shutterfly has dozens of gift ideas that your child’s paintings and drawings would look great on.

Shutterfly also has a number of promo codes for up to 60% off!new

Need a gift today? Walgreens Photo (click for coupons) has a number of options that can be printed and picked up in-store later today!

More ideas: