10 Things To Do To Instantly Improve Your Photos

Never Enuff Cameras

Hello Everyone!

For this post I thought I’d run through a list of 10 things you can do to instantly improve your photos. This assumes mostly that you have a point and shoot with a few manual capabilities, but if not, there’s still a lot of good info to be taken from this list. Even us seasoned photogs take these into consideration on a daily basis. Mostly it’s about taking a bit more time and giving some real thought to what you want to capture. Sure, good photos can be shot “from the hip” but even that takes great skill and lots of practice to make it consistent and appear effortless.

So, let’s just get into it, shall we?….

  1. Turn off your flash

Most point and shoot cameras, out of the box, are set up to auto flash. In a lot of cases, this is good – to add a bit more light in shadow areas, such as on the face, but a lot of times, it’s not. Too much flash, that you usually get straight out of a camera, washes out details that are close and can obliterate the background. Try your images first without a flash, turn it off and see what happens.

2. Zoom in – get close

Don’t be afraid to zoom in. Don’t think you have to get everything into the shot.   Get in closer or zoom in the lens, cut out all the unnecessary junk and focus on what you want to main subject to be. All else can be “fluff”.

Grave Grief - Sonja Quintero - Squint Photography

3.Take advantage of natural light

Remember what I just said about turning off your flash? Do that and then find some beautiful natural light. Set up your subject next to a window and let soft, window light create interest and soft shadows.

Feather Hand

4. Turn on your flash

Ok, now I’m going to go back on what I just said. Turn on your flash! You’ll be surprised how it can soften things up when you use it outside on a sunny day. Seems like you wouldn’t need it then, but on a bright day harsh shadows are everywhere! A bit of flash can fill on the shadows and add just a touch of spark.

5. Focus in

If your camera has the capability, set your focal point (or hold your shutter down half way to focus), compose your shot holding the focus on your subject and watch everything else beyond fall into a soft blur. So pretty!

nature photo by Sonja Quintero

Ranunculi – Sonja Quintero – Digital Print

6. Steady yourself

When doing night time or indoor photography, try using a tripod or steady your camera on a sturdy surface. When the light is low, your shutter moves slower to capture as much light as possible. This slow shutter speed is what can cause “camera shake” or unwanted blurry photos! Steady the camera and use your timer or remote to capture a sharp, low light beauty.

Neon Lines-2

7. Get off of auto pilot

Try your camera’s programmed settings, they may pleasantly surprise you. These could also be a fall back, if nothing else seems to be working for you!

8. Keep your lines straight

If your photos include buildings or monuments, try to keep your verticals vertical and your horizontals horizontal. Or else the structures can appear to lean back or be falling forward! The main way to do this is with a wide angle lens and a sturdy tripod. But you can get close enough by taking some time to look through viewfinder and lines those lines up. Sometimes it’s a matter to getting back away far away enough from the buildings themselves.

NYC Color

NYC Color – Sonja Quintero

9. Shoot during the golden hours

An hour or so before/after sunrise, if you’re an early bird, and an hour or so before sunset. These times create the most brilliant colors. Pure saturated joy. And remember since you’re dealing with low light, a steady hand and a tripod are quite useful at these time as well.

10. Let the sun shine in

If you’re feeling very adventurous, try aiming your camera in the direction of the light – just be careful not to stare directly into it! Sun and light flair can add that special something, that vintage softness that app can really duplicate.

fine art photograph by Squint Photography

Motel This Way – Sonja Quintero – Squint Photography


Ok, I know there are a ton more tips, so let’s hear what you got! Because, this is all I have time for today. Until next time…keep shooting!  🙂

Sonja/Squint Photography




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