Summer is here — great news for kids finishing school, for families taking long-overdue vacations, for outdoor enthusiasts — and for photographers looking to record the summer fun. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Spend as much as you can afford to spend on a camera. You will see the difference in image quality if you spend $400 to $600. If you can’t, just try to be more creative with what you have.
- Carry your camera with you. Don’t miss a photo because you left it at home. Some smart phones take decent pictures, but I wouldn’t leave big moments to a tiny camera-phone sensor. Carry a dedicated camera and buy a neck strap if it doesn’t fit in your pocket.
- Take more candids. Posed photos are great (I take my fair share) but it’s also important to get nice candid moments. If someone insists on posing every time you point the camera at them, don’t be afraid to tell them to stop.
- Try something new. This could mean climbing on a chair for an aerial view; turning off your flash and using available light; shooting long exposures of the night sky; or getting closer than you usually get to your subjects. Step out of your comfort zone to get different pictures.
- Download your photos often and post them online. When pictures languish on your memory card you’re more likely to lose them and less likely to download and catalog them. Put each day’s or week’s photos in a date-labeled folder on your computer. Then post them to an online gallery, which serves three purposes: 1) it makes back-up copies; 2) it allows you to make prints; and 3) it gives you a platform for sharing photos. After all, what is the point of capturing all these priceless moments if you don’t save or share them?