1. the art or practice of taking and processing photographs
HAPPY WORLD PHOTO DAY!
Today, August 19th, is a day designed to celebrate the beginning of photography and the impact it has had on the world. *Note that I’m posting this a little (okay a lot) later than expected haha!
In honor of World Photo Day, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos that I have taken over the last year along with some photography tips.
Tip #1: A good camera will make a huge difference in your photo quality.
You really can’t underestimate how much a decent camera can up your photography game.
I have been interested in photography for as long as I can remember but have only recently started getting into it. When we got married, Matt had a Canon T2i that we loved to play around with. It was a pretty good starter camera and helped me see the difference a good camera could make in capturing a moment. That made both of us want to invest in something better and last year we purchased the Sony a6000.
I love that little camera more than anyone probably should love an inanimate object. If you are thinking of getting into photography, I would highly suggest it.
It’s relatively inexpensive and you can buy it on amazon or find it at your local Best Buy. Although the body of the camera is small (BONUS), it’s a powerhouse! I especially love how great the auto settings are (makes everything super easy) and it has a wicked fast auto focus. The worst thing ever is getting a great photo that is barely out of focus- am I right? Same place. Same time. One was taken on my Sony a6000 and the other was taken with a iPhone 6s. Notice the difference in color and clarity.
Tip #2: Get creative with the perspective of your shot.
This is something that I’m still working on. I tend to be the “awkwardly pose and smile for the camera” kind of girl. It makes your pictures a lot more intriguing if you switch up the perspective. This picture is my favorite because it’s NOT another picture of someone standing on the Great Wall holding up a peace sign… although I have a few of those pictures as well.
Tip #3: Look for contrast.
I took the photo below while walking the streets of Chiang Mai and I really love the feeling of it. I was intrigued by these beautiful, bright flowers amongst all of the run down homes and streets lined with trash. Having contrast helps to make the subject of your picture pop!
Tip #4: Stray off the beaten path.
This photo was taken while the rest of our tour group was visiting the infamous Long Neck Hilltribe. Frankly, I had no desire to walk through a fake village and observe people as you would look at animals in a zoo. Instead we decided to go to this *real* village and observe daily life. We walked around and did our best to not impose or make a scene. I loved seeing the villagers do laundry, cook, care for babies, and play soccer in the street. I can Google hundreds of pictures from the Long Neck Village but this picture is unique and holds a special memory.
Tip #5: Always have your camera during “Golden Hour”
Golden Hour (sometimes known as magic hour) is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. The lighting will give your photos a stunning glow. If you are out and about during Golden Hour, make sure you have your camera out and ready to shoot. You never know when a magical photo opportunity might present itself.
Tip #6: Pay attention to the details.
This picture was taken just minutes after I took the picture above. I was noticing all of these little “white rocks” as I was walking along the beach and when I picked one up, I realized they were perfect little sand dollars! To me, these were every bit as beautiful and magical as the sunrise.
Tip #7: Go above and beyond.
In contrast to the last tip, this one is all about getting the big picture. I had to hike up some pretty steep steps at the end of a really long day to get this picture but man, was it worth it!
Tip #8: Don’t be afraid to ask.
I love taking pictures of people because I feel like I can learn so much from them. Everyone has a different story to tell and I want to spend the rest of my life learning about people from around the world and their culture. My problem is being to0 nervous to ask because I don’t want to impose.
I’m learning through experience that most people are happy to let you take their picture.
Tip #9: If you are going somewhere wet or dirty, have a durable camera as backup.
Matt and I have missed a LOT of shots over the last year because we were too afraid to take our nice camera. We first tried a Lifeproof case, but that didn’t go very well. So we finally caved and got the Olympus Tough TG-870. We debated between that and a GoPro but I’m honestly glad we went with the Olympus. It has endured so much and takes great pictures. Not to mention it is SO MUCH CHEAPER and I love having a screen to see what I’m taking a picture of.
Matt took this picture of me during our day with the elephants with the Olympus. Sure the quality isn’t as good as our Sony, but it’s still my favorite picture of all time and we would have missed out on the shot if we didn’t have our durable backup camera.
Tip #10: Have a photo project.
I love having purpose to my photography. Sometimes when I’m feeling a little burnt out or lacking creative energy, having a project keeps me going. A photo project also keeps the camera around my neck instead of tucked away in the bag and helps me to capture details that I would have otherwise missed.
I usually come up with photography ideas after scrolling through Pinterest or travel-themed Instagram accounts. When we were in Puerto Rico, I had the idea of photographing as many doors in Old San Juan as I could. Having that purpose in mind made our afternoon walking around so fun and exciting and helped me appreciate the charm of the town.
Bonus tip– The best shots are the ones you take.
(I’m giving credit to Matt for coming up with this one!)
It is true that the best shots are the ones you take. I never regret taking a picture but I’ve missed so many priceless photo opportunities. Sometimes I’ll search for an hour for a photo I was POSITIVE I had taken, only to realize I never got it.
Unfortunately, the only image I have of some moments are the mental images I keep in my brain and I’m sure to lose those as the years go by. Maybe it’s just my poor memory, but details are so easy to forget unless I take a picture. As much as I don’t want to live in my past, I also don’t want to forget it- the good and the bad. I’m so grateful for pictures and the power they have to bring back dear memories and emotions.