One Small Photo Tip that will Make a Big Difference

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Everyone loves to get a new, “fancy” camera.  Everyone also loves a photo tip to go along with it!  You dream of the beautiful photos you will take once you get that DSLR home and in your hands.  What a difference a new camera will make in your photography!

Brothers shooting at target with bb gun in One Small Photo Tip

It's NOT the camera that will make the difference!

You might be surprised to find that it’s not the camera that will make the difference, but what you do while standing behind your new camera that will improve your photos.

We’ve all been there.  You bring your new camera home and are so excited to give it a whirl!  You charge up the battery, put in the shiny new memory card and are ready to go… You get into your best stance and wait for the kids to do something adorable!  Excitedly, you press the shutter button.  You turn the camera around to get a look at what you got. 

What!?  This picture is no more interesting than the one you took with your old camera just a few days ago.  What a disappointment.  But here’s the secret.  It’s not the camera, it’s the person behind it.

It is a bit disheartening to realize that the brand-new camera you spent lots of money on just isn’t giving you the results you hoped for.  But wait!  Don’t lose hope just yet.  There is one very simple thing you can do that will make a very big difference in your photos.

Simple, yet effective advice to tell a better story with your photos

Ready?  Here we go…  Change.  Your.  Perspective.  Rather than standing near your subject and waiting for them to move around you, it is time for you to get moving.  Walk around, Stand above your subject.  Stand beneath your subject.  Try standing close and try standing far away.  You might be very surprised at how much a difference it makes to change the angle from which you’re shooting.

Take this example.  At our family cottage, my 10-year old son was learning how to shoot his new BB Gun.  My 20-year old son was with us for the evening, so he was enjoying his role as teacher/coach.  It makes this mom’s heart so happy to see my boys, 10 years apart, bonding.  Older son was sharing his knowledge of gun safety and how to set up the target and aim at it with younger son.  They even spent time sighting in the gun.



From Above image for One Small Photo Tip

I was enjoying the warm and fuzzy moment from the deck right behind the boys.  Naturally, it was the perfect time to capture the memory, right?  So out came the big camera.  I snapped the first picture from standing right behind them.  I wanted to see what the boys were aiming at, so it was important to me that I included the target in the shot.  It’s a nice shot and you can see that they were having a good time, completely oblivious to me standing behind them.  Unfortunately, it seems a bit more like a picture of the grass than a picture of the boys.  Also, I’m pretty sure the grass is much prettier than this in person.

I took a moment to reconsider my options and moved my camera just a bit. I set it on the edge of the deck at my feet.  It was not directly on the ground, but about 18 inches higher than the grass where the boys were sitting.  I used the LCD screen on my Canon 70D, which flips up to a really easy-to-view angle.  This allows me to see what I’m getting in my shot without having to lay flat down on the deck.  I much prefer the LCD to laying down, although I have been known to roll around on the floor when I need just the right angle.  You can ask my husband.  It’s quite a show, but ya do what ya gotta do to get the shot, right?

An AH-Mazing Difference!

You can see from this shot what an amazing difference it makes to just change up the angle.  Both of these images are shot in RAW and are straight out of the camera (SOOC), meaning they have had no editing whatsoever.  The second shot clearly tells a better story of what is happening.  It will also be much easier to crop and still have the target in the frame.

No editing on this shot of boys with a bb gun

Here is a side-by-side comparison so you can see the difference!

No editing on this shot of boys with a bb gun
From Above image for One Small Photo Tip

What an amazing difference, right!?  This shot is no award-winner, but for an everyday photo of your family at play, you can see it tells the story much more clearly and would look so much prettier framed or in your scrapbook of this year’s highlights!

I’d like to point out one last detail.  Now that most of us shoot in digital, you can certainly take as many photos as you like while you practice seeing what angles you like.  With a simple click in post-processing, you can eliminate the shots that didn’t work.  So get moving – take pictures from every angle and see what happens.  I bet you’ll be amazed at the difference one small change can make.

P.S.  You can learn about BB Gun Safety by clicking HERE.

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