Tag Archives: photography tips

photography sunrise

Photography Nomad? The Ultimate Guide to Taking Pictures Like a Pro

Every 60 seconds, Facebook users upload over 100,000 photos. Some of those images aren’t the best because not everyone is a skilled photographer. 

You don’t want to be the photography nomad with the bad pictures. You want to be the one everyone follows on Facebook and Instagram because of your beautiful shots. Continue reading this article to learn everything about taking pictures like a pro.

Taking Pictures Like a Pro

When you’re traveling, you won’t always have a big camera with you to catch epic photos. You need to learn how to take good pictures using your phone.

The good news is that modern smartphones have cameras that are far beyond many of the top cameras available years ago. 

1. Use Natural Light

When you take photos at night, it’s easy to flip on the phone’s flash. Flash doesn’t do justice to people or things at night. If you must use flash, do it during the day to play with shadows.

Natural light is almost always the best option when you’re taking photos on the go. Imagine taking photos from a moving bus and getting the light streaks from the street lights. You don’t need your flash to catch amazing photos.

Always keep in mind that midday lighting is not your friend. You want to shoot when the sun is coming up or going down. This light is most flattering, and you get the most beautiful shots if you use the light properly.

2. Leave Your Grid Lines On

If you’re tired of crooked photos and going through the straightening process when you’re editing, say hello to your grid lines.

In your phone, under your settings, you can turn grid lines on. The settings are different from phone to phone, but when you turn your grid lines on, it will allow you to pay more attention to where the subject is in your photo.

3. Look for Patterns

When you’re out on your next walk, look around and see what photo patterns you notice. Maybe there are fire hydrants a certain distance from each other or a storefront that was designed in a pattern.

Our eyes love patterns in photos as they make the pictures enjoyable to look at. 

4. Pay Attention to Where You Position Your Subject

The grid lines are very helpful when you’re trying to be conscious of where your subject is positioned. Play around with different amounts of negative space and different types of subjects.

When you’re traveling, you’re likely to see many things that you aren’t used to seeing. You will have a fresh perspective on the subject, so try a few positions on your photo and see which one speaks to you the most.

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Editing

Editing your photo to make it look beautiful is an extra step you should take. Not everyone may like your editing job, but what’s most important is that you love it. 

People are often afraid to get the editor out because they might mess up their photo. If you’re concerned about it, just save another copy and use it if there are any problems with the final version. 

6. Use Tripods

Tripods are your friend and will allow you to get the most amazing group shots without trying to break your arm doing a selfie. Even selfie sticks aren’t the best when you want a high-quality photo.

There are different sizes of tripods you can use depending on what kind of photos you want to take. If you don’t plan on getting huge group shots, then you probably don’t need a tall tripod.

For travel nomads, a short tripod is often enough to get by with — and it isn’t hard to carry one with you.

7. Plan Your Shot for Success

If you want to get an amazing shot, you need to plan for success. Think of a few photos you would like to get on your trip and plan out how you see them in your mind. Next, see if there are other similar photos online. 

Use other photos to inspire you, but your pictures will get the most attention if they are unique. 

8. Try Out New Settings

Your camera likely has settings you’ve never explored before. See what the camera settings do so you can get the most amazing photos for the style of photography you choose. 

If you don’t play around with the settings, you may miss some of the most amazing shots in your future. You don’t have to waste a beautiful travel day trying out settings. You can bring another camera for the real shots that you’re used to getting and change up the settings on another camera.

9. Floaty Backdoor

Your GoPro doesn’t float. You don’t want to lose it. You want the floaty backdoor. 

When you use the floaty backdoor, even if your GoPro falls off in the ocean, you can easily retrieve it. Your camera wouldn’t be an easily replaceable piece of equipment, especially if you recorded some awesome footage you haven’t taken off the SD card yet.

10. Get Those Photos

You don’t want all of your photos on the web, do you? You can order your photos online through Walgreen’s or other companies. Walgreen’s photo shipping is reliable and doesn’t take too long, so check it out.

Do You Love All Things Photography?

Photography isn’t a hobby but a passion. Taking pictures allows you to express yourself and show your unique version of the world to other people.

We also love all things photography and know there’s got to be a special photo you can’t stand not seeing on canvas. Check out our easy canvas prints reviews to see if this might be the solution for you.

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.

*Developing your photos? Use these promo codes for 50% off Prints at Snapfish, and free delivery at Shutterfly!

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!

dog shaming pic

12 Ideas for Photographing Dogs: Include Your Dog in Photo Books

dog photo book ideaRemember to include your dog in family photo books: We don’t take a lot of video in our family, but whenever I look back on old videos, I can’t help but notice how often the dogs are present. Whether it’s one of the kids taking their first steps, the kids dancing, or a birthday party in the backyard, the dogs are always there.

So, this past holiday season when I was finishing up a photo book to give to the grandparents I was shocked when I realized that the dogs weren’t in it! That’s like leaving one of the kids out of a family portrait, and it’s ridiculous that our photo book almost got printed without the inclusion of our furry kids.

As I went back though our digital photos on Shutterfly.com, I realized that I had dozens of great pictures of our dogs, but I had just overlooked them. Do you need ideas for photographing your dog?

Check out these great Instagram (webstagram) photos for inspiration! (click to view larger)

Tips and ideas for photographing your dog:

Now that I’m aware that these shots might end up having prominent places in our house and in gifts, I want to share some ideas for photographing dogs:

  • Get candid photos of your dog – Pets do some funny things on their own, so when you observe them as a “fly on the wall,” you’ll get great candid pictures
  • Photograph them at their worstDo they look guilty after eating a shoe? Maybe they just scattered trash across the kitchen, or have to wear a lamp shade after a trip to the vet. Remember the saying, “one day you’ll look back and laugh?”
  • Take a photo of them in the bath – There is nothing like the look of a dog mid-way through a bath!
  • Take a picture of them asleep – Especially if they sleep with one of the kids
  • Keep a treat handy if you want them to look at you – If you aren’t taking candid photos, you’ll soon realize that dogs and cats don’t turn and give you a frozen smile like the kids will. (sometimes?) Have a treat handy, and you’ll have their full attention
  • Take lots of pictures of them as puppies and kittens – There are no do-overs after your pet grows up, and when they are young they change every day. A fun idea would be to get one picture a week for your pet’s first year to collage on a few pages of a photo book (look for a coupon)
  • Natural light is best – Flashes can’t compete with the rich natural light that the sun gives off. If you are photographing your dog or cat, try going outside or shooting near a window. Rooms with southern exposure are usually well-lit
  • Lighting from the side or above emphasizes detail – If you want to show off your dog or cat’s fur, wrinkles, and color, then don’t light them from the front. If you take a flash shot from straight on, your going to lose detail and texture
  • Check online for inspiration – Sites like webstagram have millions of photos organized by tags (like, #dog) that you can search, which is where most of the pics came from above. You can even search by breed
  • Before placing an order, don’t forget to use a coupon for Shutterfly photo books here.

dog photo book

Any family photo calendar or book without your dog is incomplete. Remember that they are part of the family, and make a wonderful addition to any photo gift. I even have my dog on my personalized iphone case!