Friday, January 20, 2012

Photography Tips: 5 Quick and Easy Steps to Improve Your Photos

Photos are paramount in blogging and online reselling. Creative photography gets eyes where you want them, and you don't even need an expensive SLR camera or equipment! When you have the foundations down, an inexpensive point and shoot camera or even a camera phone is sufficient.

Make the effort to improve your photos and your customer and reader response will be noticeable! Here are 5 Quick and Easy Tips for Taking Better Photos:

1.) Use Bright, Natural Light Whenever Possible.

Natural light is magical, especially for showing all the details of your product. Schedule photoshoots early and take advantage of the daylight.

2.) Use a Tripod. Always. Forever.

Camera movement is what makes your photos blurry. It's especially noticeable in low lighting situations; indoors and at night. Using a tripod keeps your camera stationary, producing bright, clear photos.

Tip:  Use a wall, pal's shoulder, railing, or anything stationary as your tripod in a pinch.

3.) Be Mindful of Your Background.

It only takes a couple more minutes of prep to make a big difference in your photos. In the example below I used a vintage mirror and a lace cloth to make the product pop. Always seek to eliminate distracting details in your photos.

4.) Try a Different Angle. Go High, Go Low!

Change your perspective. Lie underneath your subject, stand on a chair above it, get in close for an extreme close-up. Take risks and try new angles to yield creative shots that can really put the viewer right there with you.

5.) Be an Unabashed Nutcase. It's Fun!

I get perplexed glances and random comments from my constant photo antics. I never let it stop me from having a blast taking my pictures. Don’t let shyness get in the way of getting the perfect shot. Ask strangers for permission to take their picture, jump fences to get to that perfect clandestine spot for taking photos. (Shh you didn't hear this from me.)

 I've sold a lot of prints of this photo. It's from my Toys Behaving Badly series. Indecent! Hide yo kids, hide yo wife!

Experiment, Practice, and Experiment! Use a rubber band to affix colored saran wrap to your lens or walk around your neighborhood during twilight and snap photos. I encourage you to constantly take pictures and try new things.

Have Fun:
I never leave the house without my bulky SLR. Innovate and have fun! Go forth, photo adventures await you!

Need a Camera? If you're looking to upgrade to an SLR I use an recommend a Canon Rebel, it's everything a beginner needs and it's less expensive than a more advanced DSLR. I use a Canon Rebel T1i and use my 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens most frequently.

Got any other Photography-Related Tips or Questions? Let's discuss in the comments.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I have a rebel xti and I love using the 50mm too, great post!

    1. Canon Rebels...I love 'em. I don't feel the need to upgrade for a long while.

  2. fun post, van! i have a point and shoot, and i'll just say that it can be limiting BUT if you can't quite afford an SLR just yet, there are a lot of free editing programs out there that help you mimic different lenses, exposures and so on as you would on an SLR. not quite the same i know, but a fun way to change things up if you feel you're pushing your point-and-shoot to the limit of its abilities.

    1. Yep, even if you have photoshop it's fun to play with the free editing programs. I love to play with

  3. Van - This is so incredibly timely for me! I just got my first second hand slr (a canon rebel). The lens is borrowed at the moment, but the body was unused sitting in a drawer, and a friend was happy to pass it along.

    I am both confused and having fun getting to know it. Word of the day: aperture. Im taking pictures of everything! Thanks for the tips! I had not thought about a tripod or otherwise stabilizing for low light situations.

    Check out my post today for my inaugural run with my new best friend. ;)

    1. A free SLR body- GOOD DEAL! I'm loving looking at your first photos already. You'll soon learn the addictive, magnetic pull of an SLR. You never look back...

  4. Awesome post, Van. I'm always hesitant to call myself a writer-slash-photographer, because I feel I still need to acquire more of a technical knowledge of photography, and not just taking nice photos. I'm hoping to get a new digital SLR with my income tax money, and I might just have to look into the Canon Rebel.

    Oh and btw, being fearless in taking odd shots is something I've learned, too. Who knows? If I didn't spend so much time working on the lighting and poses of dolls and clowns, I wouldn't have a photo getting published with the new Creepy-Ass Dolls book coming out this summer. I guess being weird and doing unexpected things can really pay off, ha ha! I'll let you know when Diary of a Creepy-Ass Doll comes out. Something tells me you'll love it.

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

    1. I'm working on acquiring my technical knowledge too, I'll pass it along eventually :)

      I recently won the first Creepy-Ass Dolls book, can't wait to read it all. I love how you have a photo coming out in the new book! I have a doll here that really qualifies for the ranks!

  5. I loved this post, anything that helps improve our skills is always welcome. ;D Keep it up!

  6. Love the naughty stuff!

    Thanks for the tips, Van. For a beginner like me it's very helpful. Do not have a SLR & you have recommended to me a Canon Rebel before, but this thrifter doesn't yet have the funds. I might do like Jackie do & see what my income tax refund looks like...

    1. You never look back at a point and shoot once you get an SLR ;) But if you follow these tips shooting with your point and shoot will work just fine. Abundant natural light and a tripod are especially important for a point and shoot!

  7. You're hilarious and amazingly helpful! I seriously love this blog!!!


I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

Like us on Facebook

Related Posts with Thumbnails