The Secret to Great Photos


Learn a few quick tips that will instantly improve your photography, whether you're using a point and shoot, a cell phone, or a DSLR. Click to read more or pin to save for later!

The Secret to great photos

Yup, there is one secret to taking awesome pictures yourself. Are you ready? The secret is there is no secret. Literally anyone can take great photos.

Now, let’s start this out with a disclaimer. Not everyone can take professional photographs. Not everyone has access to a DSLR, not everyone has access to high quality post-processing like Photoshop, and not everyone has the eye for it. I am not a professional photographer by any means, and I’ve never been under the impression that I could have been (having a best friend who is¬†probably has something to do with that; no way could I do what she does).

Professional-level images are not what I’m talking about. Great photos are what I’m talking about. Beautiful, rich colors, and images that are in focus. Images that tell a story.

So how does the average Joe (or Jo, in my case) get great photos?

In my experience photography is one of those never-ending subjects; there’s always more to learn. But to start, you can easily improve the quality of your photography by remembering just 3 simple tips.

1. Always natural light/never use the flash

There are some very specific and rare occasions where you need a flash, but as a general rule of thumb you should be avoiding it like the proverbial plague. Natural light is the friend of every subject; it makes food look yummier, people vibrant, and colors bright and true. If the sun is really strong you might need to move out of direct light, just play around with it. But I promise you if you only do this 1 thing your photography will improve by about 300%.

Natural light is the friend of every subject Click To Tweet

2. Find a happy medium with filters

Filters (and actions in software like Photoshop) are¬†awesome but it’s easy to get carried away. If you’re going to layer more than one filter make sure you’re not using them both at 100% (A Color Story is my favorite editing app for iPhone and they offer a lot of flexibility in layering apps at different strengths). When people look at your pictures you want them to think “whoa! That’s a great photo!” Rather than “whoa, cool filter!”

3. Take way more pictures than you think you need

There is no shame in taking 20 pictures to find the perfect shot. Professional photographers do this too, but it’s especially true for us mere mortals. Sometimes the light isn’t quite right or you think you like one angle but it turns out it’s not as awesome as you thought once you really stop to look at it. Try it zoomed out and zoomed farther in, portrait and landscape, from above and from in front. Once you start thinking “okay, that’s definitely enough”, take 5 more. You can thank me later.

There is no shame in taking 20 pictures to find the perfect shot Click To Tweet

Do you struggle with taking great photos? I’d love to hear how these tips work out for you, or if you have found other simple tweaks to improve your pictures. Let me know in the comments!