Want to Take Better Photos Now?

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to want to improve your photography. Don’t we all want nice photos of everyday life to enjoy? All the snapshots of everyday happenings are just as important as your annual portraits, here are a few easy tips to get you started! I hope they help!

1. The “Rule of Thirds”: It creates a better picture when your main subject is not right in the center. In your minds eye, divide your photo into thirds (either horizontally or vertically), and place your main subject on one of the third lines dividing your picture. You’ll be amazed at the different feel you’ll capture by not having your subject exactly in the middle!

2. Draw Attention to Subject: Try to draw the viewer’s eye to the subject of the picture. Think about how you can frame your subject or use leading lines leading to the subject by using other objects, such as a fence row or a road. When you use other objects properly, the viewers eye will unconsciously follow those objects, and be drawn to your subject.

3. Watch Your Lighting: Avoid using flash, as it creates harsh shadows and “red eyes” in people and animals. If you must use a flash, consider an off camera flash to avoid some of the issues you get with an on camera flash. A diffuser for your flash will help too.

4. Pay Attention to the Background: Dumpsters and dump trucks in the background can really ruin an otherwise nice photo. Be mindful of items that look as if they are sticking out of your subjects head (poles, tree branches, etc)! Glance at the background before taking a picture, and either move subjects or move in closer or shoot at different angle to eliminate things in the background that may be unsightly or distracting!

5. Get in Close: Too many snapshots are filled with the background and the subject is lost. While the scenery is beautiful, the most important thing you’ll want to see a few years from now are those missing teeth and crazy freckles. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal, that’s where all the important stuff is!

6. Keep Shooting: The best way to improve your photography is to keep shooting! Especially with the cost-effectiveness of digital cameras! Just delete the pictures you don’t love. Play with different lighting and poses until you figure it all out… your family will thank you for it in years to come!

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Family Craft: Clothesline Photo Gallery

Overwhelmed with the piles of artwork and photographs? Are your catch all drawers stuffed with envelopes from the photo lab waiting to be sorted and displayed? This clothesline gallery may be perfect for you to display photos, artwork and even 100% spelling test!

It is very easy to do and older kids can help manage it!

Choose an area of the wall about 4 feet long to hang your gallery. Hammer two nails, one on each end of the space, about 5 feet above ground, with about half of the nail still visible. Tie a cute ribbon or thin rope to each end, fairly tight but not completely stiff. Use clothespins (decorated or plain) to hang photographs and children’s artwork on your clothesline. Make it a regular ritual to clear the line and refresh the gallery… keeping you free of clutter and your walls an active work of art!