It can be super overwhelming trying to learn how to take better pictures. Many times, when
taking photos of my wife for her Instagram, she would tell me she didn’t like the way my photos
turned out. I didn’t mind her saying that because I understood that I was a beginner and
needed to practice. What was frustrating was when I’d ask her, “What can I do to make this
picture better?” she wouldn’t know what to tell me. She only knew that it wasn’t what she
wanted. She was annoyed, I was disappointed. If you’re like me, this is the type of thing that
will bother you for a long, long time. I was determined to figure out how to take pictures she’d
The first thing I started working on was the angles. Meaning, was I looking down too far or was I
too low and looking up? I discovered that generally speaking, when taking a photo of a person,
you want the camera lens to be eye level with them. This gives the picture the most natural and
organic look. They don’t look tiny nor do they look huge – they look as close to normal as
possible. Sometimes it looks cool shooting at different angles, but not usually.
Once I figured out how to get the angles right, I realized there were more things I needed to fix.
This went on for months and years until finally, I can safely say, my wife approves of the photos
I take of her, 95% of the time.
The next thing I fixed was making sure the background looked good. This requires the
photographer to know their surroundings and what is behind the subject. The subject doesn’t
know if it looks like a street sign is coming out of their head. They don’t know if there is a
pedestrian walking across the street behind them, photobombing the shot. You have to tell
them that and make the adjustment for the photo. Look for patterns like architecture or in
nature. Look for things that can frame your subject such as trees, buildings or clouds and the
ground. Try not to have lines going through their head or body so it looks like they’re being split
in half. Use negative space to your advantage. Negative space is the blank space or space that
doesn’t have patterns in it. Negative space is a helpful way to get people looking at an image to
focus on something specific.
After I got the background aspect down, I next focused on editing. This, honestly, is the hardest
part of photography. I think 9/10 people can take similar pictures if told what to do. But the
editing is something that is much more intricate because there are so many things you can edit.
Editing takes a lot of practice. Trying out different filters, making sure you shoot the photo dark
enough so you can brighten it up, etc. I recommend using Lightroom or VSCO for the phone. I
prefer using Lightroom on my computer over everything else. It’s around $10 a month and well
worth it. The thing you need to focus on the most when it comes to editing is adjusting the
There are many other settings to play with, most of which are important. These are the most
critical when editing a photo, however. Get familiar with these. Change them a lot, then a little.
Walk away from a photo after you’ve edited it then come back to it after you’ve looked at other
things. Be consistent with your editing. Consistency is one of the key things your social media
channels need in order to grow. Editing your photos consistently will help you grow.
Now that you’ve got these basics down, get out there and go practice shooting and editing! You
need to practice in order to improve, as you know, so let’s get to it!
Oh and here are two tripods I own that you should buy too. Essential for live video streaming,
self timed photos, and more.