Photo Tips…let me start by defining these photo tips a bit. I am sharing them keeping the general recreational shooter in mind. Not to offend anyone, but in my experience I find it best to start with the basics when it comes to most things. Knowing that, I am going to start very basic and build from there. If there is something photo related that is driving you crazy, post a comment on my blog. If there are pictures you want me to check out, contact me via my Facebook or Twitter. We can chat and share some pics.

Two tips to kick off the CZP Photo Tips. They are both pretty simple, but things that are easily forgotten.

How many times have you taken what you thought was an incredible portrait, but it doesn’t turn out so great? It looked great when you were composing it but when you view the image closer up the subject matter looks so small and the background looks so vast. You are not alone. This is very common.

In your mind, you think you are so close to the subject, but really you are not. A tip a photography teacher used to always say to me, “Get as close to your subjects as you (and they) can tolerate, don’t be afraid. Get close…and when you think you are too close, take one more step closer.” I find it really works. Especially with the point and shoot cameras because it is very easy to sit back and shoot and not move. Point and shoot cameras have a wide range of focal lengths that can trick you into thinking you are close. I challenge you, try not using your zoom but instead get up close to your subject. So don’t be afraid. I was approximately less than a foot from my dog when I shot this.

close up of a herding dog's face and a leaf pile

Does he look uncomfortable?

Tip number two: Fill Flash. If you are photographing people outside in bright sunlight, turn on your Fill Flash/Flash. You know, that lighting bolt icon on your camera that controls the flash.  You can leave it on auto or you can turn it off/on when you want. Turn it on when photographing people in the sun. Why you ask? As humans, our eyes are sunken into our heads, and when you photograph us in bright sunlight our eyes sockets create shadows and make our eyes appear very dark. The way to cure this, pop your subject with a little fill flash and everyone will be much happier. This traditional bridal portrait is a good example of just a little fill flash to show off their eyes.

Bride and groom in bridal portrait

Sure they had a sparkle in their eyes because they were just married, but the hint of fill flash really helped make their eyes shine.

If you live in Colorado and take pictures of people outside, fill flash is going to become your new best friend. The time of day that you photography people outside is another thing to consider but we will go into that more another time.

Get out there and take some pictures testing these two tips. Try stepping one step closer to your subject and using your fill flash on people in bring sunlight. Let me know how it goes. Happy shooting and happy weekend.