5 Tips to Take Great Pictures


by Anna Santillan

Taking great and memorable pictures, whether it’s with a digital camera or with your smart phone is just a click or a tap away. You don’t have to have expensive gear to take really good pictures, you just have to learn to utilize what you have really well. The most important things are; an image that’s in focus and a steady hand to avoid any movement in the picture once it is taken.

1. Get Your Focus On
If you’re using a digital camera start by setting it to Auto Focus, this usually gets your subject in clear focus. If you want to be adventurous and try your skills, set your camera to Manual Focus and focus looking through the lens, while using your hands to get your subject into focus. As for smart phones, and depending on which one you have as some may vary, check to see how you can put your subject in clear focus. On an iPhone I know that you tap and hold for about 3 seconds on the area you want in focus and your camera phone will remain focused in the area you specified until the picture is taken. This can be changed as many times as you want before taking a picture, just repeat the tap and hold for 3 second until you are happy with where your phone is focusing.

2. Close and Personal
It’s always nice to get a picture of everything that’s going on around you, but sometimes you have to get those close zoomed in pictures. Whether it’s your family, your kiddos, or a picture of a ladybug walking on a flower petal; close pictures are always wonderful to have.


3. Take Lots Of Pictures
When taking pictures, it’s better to have multiple pictures and delete repeats later, than regret not taking enough pictures or not getting the moment you wanted caught on camera because you only took a few pictures. I’ve had this happen so now I try to take more pictures than I think I’ll want to keep. More is better in this case.


4. Change Your Angle
We all like to take pictures head on. But you’ll be surprised at how different your pictures will look if you shift to the left or to the right of your subject just a little. Another thing to try is to get down on your knees if you are taking a picture of your dog or your children. Perspective changes everything, right? So look at the world from a different angle.


5. Add a Focal Point
Usually pictures are centered or have your subject in the middle of the frame and that’s ok. But sometimes you can add more interest to your pictures by putting what you’re photographing at one corner or having something like a tree or a flower take up most of the frame. Try it next time and I’m sure you will love the outcome.


Anna Santillan has a deep love for photography, art and design. She started her journey into photography in middle school when one of her projects was to make a camera! The camera was made of a cardboard box with a pinhole and photography paper placed on the inside. She took photography at San Jose State University while working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and minor in Advertising.