Nowadays, anyone can take photos, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones. In fact, many people rank photo quality and camera specifications as two of the most important features of their smartphone. But taking a good photograph has more to it than just good technical specifications. If you’re looking to up your photo game as a beginner, you need to follow these photography tips and tricks. 

The power of composition

Composition can take a photo from good to great with just a few adjustments. For example, always think of composing your photo using a technique called the “rule of thirds.” Think about separating your photo into a grid of equally sized squares. The grid should be three squares wide and two squares tall if you’re taking a landscape, or horizontal, photo, and vice versa if your photo is a portrait, or vertical. Once you’ve mentally divided your photo into squares, it’s time to set up the composition of your photo. You want to always make for that the focus or subject of your photo is aligned with one of the places where two lines in your grid match up. 

For example, if you’re taking a photo at a tourist destination like Pearl Harbor where it’s important to get the background and your family in the photo, it’s best to use a horizontal photo that aligns your family in the bottom right or left of the photo. Even if you’re composing a picture of just one person, it’s a good idea to use the rule of thirds to line up one of their eyes so that they remain a focal point in the portrait. 

Angles are everything

Another tip for taking portraits or selfies is to use angles to your advantage. You may have heard the old adage that a camera “adds ten pounds,” but in actuality, poorly-composed photography is what makes some photos unflattering. If you take a photo from above slightly, that is one way to make a subject look thinner. Another strategy is to have the person who you’re taking a photo of tilt their chin down slightly. This accentuates their jawline and mitigates the possibility that their photo has harsh shadows that make it look like they have more than one chin. While simple, these two tricks alone can take your photo a few steps closer to model status. 

Practice makes perfect

One final aspect to note about getting into photography is to realize that becoming a great photographer doesn’t happen overnight. You need time and space to practice, so that you can internalize a variety of techniques and make them second nature. It’s also a good idea to keep every photo that you take, so that you can refer back to them every week or month to monitor your progress and critique old photos that used to be your personal best. This means having lots of storage. The cloud offers a wide range of options to choose from. While many people use platforms that have multiple functions like document storage and sharing, a dedicated smart home photo solution like Ibi may be a better option for beginner photographers. This review of ibi goes into greater detail regarding the benefits of a photo-first cloud storage solution. 

Whether you’re learning to take photos on your iPhone or have just purchased a new DSLR camera and a kit lens, the key principles of photography remain the same for any beginner. Focus on composition first and foremost before digging deeper into settings like exposure and ISO, since many cameras can adjust those settings automatically with great accuracy. Most importantly, don’t expect to take great photographs right away. With practice, though, you should be able to capture some stunning moments with your camera.