9 Steps To Taking Better Pictures

How To Take Better Pictures

1. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting

Taking advantage of natural lighting is one of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give to you when it comes to photography. Although in today’s day in age flash, reflectors and other items make it quite easy to create incredible photos, natural light is easy, looks incredible with almost any subject and (the best part for most of us) is free. 

The best times of day to shoot are typically between 6am-9am and right before sunset.

My tip: Avoid shooting between 10:30am-1pm. The sun is straight up in the sky and the light will make your subject appear  harsh.

2. Use The Rule of Thirds

My photography teacher my Freshman year of high school taught me this + it’s stuck with me ever since. It’s an easy composition tool that helps make your photos appear more natural and easier on the eye.

All you have to do is make an imaginary tic-tac-toe board over your image + make sure your main focus isn’t in the center square.

Here’s an example:

How To Use Rule of Thirds


3. Experiment With Different Poses

When doing portrait photography, experiment with different poses.

4. Gray Days Are Your New BFF

Overcast days can increase color saturation in your photos and really make them pop– take advantage of these days + get outside!

5. Shoot In Burst Mode

When you’re going to be shooting one subject for a long period of time, I suggest turning on good ole’ burst mode. Burst mode will ensure that you capture a wide range of expressions and hopefully get “the shot” you’re looking for.

6. Stay Steady

Often, especially when shooting outdoors while performing an activity (even something as simple as walking), we’re snapping away hoping to get the next great Insta photo.


What you really need to do though for the great shot is slow down, stay steady, focus on your subject + then snap.

If you’re shooting a high motion activity (such as someone running) or night shooting, I suggest a tripod as well.

7. Get Up Close

Getting up close + personal with a subject can help you (and the viewers) in noticing details you may not have noticed before!

Remember to turn on macro mode (almost all basic point + shoots and smart phones have this mode) to ensure that the subject stays in focus.

8. Edit

We’re fortunate to live in a world that has amazing applications such as PicMonkey, Canva and Photoshop.

Take advantage of these + optimize your photos for top-notich viewing pleasure.

9. Practice

I know, I know, I know.


But I promise, you can make this fun! Just grab your BFF or significant other, head outside during one of the best natural lighting times + get to snapping away.

Learning is half the fun. :)

And I want to see your pictures! After you’re done practicing, tag me in your photos on Instagram using #KWPhotoPractice. 

Photo Credit: Mo Olivas
  • Melissa Haag

    Great tips! This is my favorite time of year to shoot outdoors.

  • http://www.misadventureswithandi.com Andi Fisher

    Thanks for the easy-to-accomplish tips! I have had a camera for years and still struggle, but it all comes down to practice, practice, practice!

  • http://www.asavoryfeast.com/ Jenna Brussee

    These are great tips! I’ve been working on taking better food pictures for my blog. The toughest thing is finding good light! Especially when I’m cooking at night and have to rely on artificial light.

  • Fiona Naughton

    These were fabulous tips, thanks for sharing. I try to do all these things with my camera. I’m far from a professional but I do love some of the shots I get, especially of my son. Editing them is so fun too :)

  • http://www.AmbyFelix.com Amby Felix

    Thank you for these tips! I need help lol! Your photos are so awesome!!!!!

  • http://www.tobethode.com/ Stefany @ ToBeThode

    Thank you for these tips! The natural light one is my biggest nemesis. My house has horrible light and it isn’t always easy to get outside to take pictures.

  • http://gina-alyse.com/ Gina Alyse

    These are great tips! I loved what you said about burst mode. I like using it, but never really knew why!

  • http://lindsaylivingvegan.com/ Lindsay

    Ah I need to practice! I am slowing starting to get the hang of taking good pictures!

  • Laura Milroy

    Thanks! I definitely need to work on all this!

    The Accidental Mama

  • Laurel Wads

    I took my sisters engagements and wedding pictures recently and have found a new love for taking photos. Thank you for the tips!

  • Erica

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  • Weekends With Winter

    These are great tips! I def have to use the rule of 3rds, it makes photo’s look so interesting.

  • KPsays

    Thanks for the tips!!! I try my best to take my blog photos with natural light. I have a soft box setup, but nothing beats the real thing! I need to adopt the rule of thirds also!

  • http://www.awhimsiclelife.com JoAnn Madden Crohn

    Great tips! The one about gray days is new to me. We are expecting rain in AZ tomorrow. I may just have to take my camera outside :-)

  • http://www.foreverashley.com Ashley LaMar

    Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.brendybeauty.com Brenda Lawrence

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://tanejasbride.com Shipra Taneja

    Fab tips! Thank you for sharing! I love, love, love taking pictures! <3

  • http://www.kalanchoe.co.uk/ Katie

    Thanks for these tips! I had heard about the rule of three but not actually used it. Must remember to do this more often!

    Katie <3

  • http://www.celeryandcupcakes.com/ Jemma Andrew

    Great photography tips. Thanks for sharing, :-)

  • http://www.lipstickandlullabies.ca/ Rebekah

    Great tips! The rule of thirds is my favorite, amazing what just slight re-positioning can do.

  • http://teamwiking.com/ Jessica at Team Wiking

    Natural lighting is a great tip! So are the others, but I’d really recommend practice, even if it seems boring. Knowing your camera will help you learn to shoot in any lighting conditions.

  • songbirdsandbuttons

    I would have never thought of the gray days theory – totally makes sense! I’ll have to try that!

  • Camesha

    The rule of thirds is one I learned in college! These are great tips – especially about the grey days.

  • http://www.alyssadawsonblog.com Lyssadawson

    Great tips! I’m always looking for good ways to take better pictures!

  • http://www.pinkonthecheek.com/ Lauren

    I am still practicing with my DSLR! Learning the rule of thirds was great, but I still need to keep it in mind:)

  • http://EyeForElegance.com/ lauriel

    Hello to a fellow photog! Good tips to get people started with photography.. One piece of advice that I like to give is to encourage people to take photos from new/unnatural perspectives. Imagine what it’s like to be a small child and shoot from their height… or shoot straight upwards with a wide-angle lens.. basically, look for new ways to see the world. :)


  • Kristen Forgione

    Super good tips! Black and white is pretty much my go to these days…

  • http://www.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com/ Jennifer Pilgrim

    Wonderful tips Miss Kayli! I’ve pinned this to my Blog Tips board and tweeted it. Xo

  • Alice

    This is really useful Kayli, thank you. I love the first two tips most of all, and the grey days tip! I’ll definitely try that :)