Four photography tips for amateurs

By Holly Kosec on January 17, 2018

By Holly Kosec on January 17, 2018

One of the things that makes a huge difference in how good your website looks is how good your photography looks. And that carries over to social media and even email newsletters.

Sure, a lot of times you can use stock photos and be okay. But there are plenty of times where there’s no substitute for an original photo.

If you’re not a professional photographer—and I’m assuming you’re not—here are some tips for taking better photos.

1. Pay attention to lighting

Good lighting makes a huge difference, as does the direction of the lighting. If you’re taking photographs outside, you may need to take your photo from a different angle or even wait for a specific time of day to get the desired effect.

A light source that’s in front of the subject de-emphasizes texture. Lighting from the side, above, or below emphasizes. And in general, you don’t want your primary light source behind your subject.

2. Remember the rule of thirds

Well balanced, visually interesting photos are a result of the rule of thirds. Of course, professionals know when to break this rule, but it’s a great guideline.

Basically, you break any image into a 3 by 3 grid, so you have 9 parts. Then you place points of interest along the lines or intersection of the lines.

3. A smile makes a difference

A smile in a photo makes a huge difference. Have a few jokes ready, as a well-timed joke will result in a more natural smile than simply telling someone to smile.

4. Practice and invest in education

Despite what most people think, a better camera does not mean better photos. A great photographer can take awesome photos on a smart phone. A bad photographer, meanwhile, won’t get good photos out of the most expensive camera you can buy.

So what does that mean for you? Practice, practice, practice! Invest in educating yourself on photography rather than just buying new equipment.

If you practice these four tips, they can go a long way in making your photos better.

Note: Rule of thirds photo by Rob Nyland.


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  1. Avatar Matt McNeil on January 18, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Another fantastic article, Holly!

    (Sad to hear that you’re leaving us, though.)

    Best of luck in your new adventures!

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