Three Tips to a Great Photograph by Amber Langerud Photography

I hear many people tell me they are just not great with a camera or taking pictures and it is okay to feel that way and a great idea to hire a professional in some circumstances even if you do like taking pictures, but sometimes it is nice to be able to capture your casual family events and monumental moments in your children's lives, etc.  Here I will share with you my 3 things that I feel make a great photograph.  Hopefully these tips will help you in your everyday photography. 

3 tips to taking better photographs


In my opinion lighting is the #1 element of a photograph, the lighting can be flat, simple and effective.  Or it can be interesting and bold or perhaps romantic.  Lighting can set the mood of the image.  Light can be from natural or artificial sources, one lighting source is not necessarily better than another, each serves its own purpose. 

Back-Lit Image

Back-Lit Image

Lighting Tips:

*if you are taking indoor pictures with nice large windows, turn off all indoor lights as mixing light temperatures can cause the colors and details of the images to look "off"

*if you are photographing outside during full sun (around noon), find an area with nice open shade to help prevent squinting and harsh shadows that emphasize skin imperfections

*if you are photographing outdoors during early morning or later evening hours consider putting the sun at your subjects back to create a nice back-lit affect



The important thing here is pick an area with simple backgrounds, if the background is too busy it can take away from the subject of your image.  Typically you want your background to be dark and your subject to be lit as you eye will naturally go to the brightest area of an image.

Simple Dark Background - Flat Lighting

Simple Dark Background - Flat Lighting


Posing can make or break an image.  Not only in looking great via strategic posing to create a nice hour glass figure (for the ladies out there), but also just in terms of body language.  If you are nervous or stressed that can show in your images via body language. 

Posing Tips:

*things closer to the camera will look larger (so if you want something to look smaller, just move it away from the camera)

*avoid putting your entire hand in your pockets, either keep your fingers or thumbs out to show confidence

*do not stand flat footed

*get your arms out from your body via hands on the hips, thumbs in the pockets etc.



Camera Angle - as a genera rule of thumb, shooting at or above eye level typically leads to pleasing images.  However, shooting up on your subject can create very interesting images when used properly.

Like these tips or have another tip you want to share?  Feel free to leave a comment below.