Ready, Set, Shoot!

This is about photography, not archery or guns, lest any of you get your hopes up. Today I am going to discuss how to take great photos everyday! Not just when you go on vacation, or when you go to the zoo, or whenever you get inspiration. This is EVERY day! There are many things surrounding you every day that you can take great photos of! Another thing, these are NOT rules, they are guidelines and tips, if you want to stray and do something different, go for it!


Now, my favorite thing to take pictures of are animals, so we will start there. Now I know not all of you have animals, but we will get to the things you do have in a few moments. When photographing your pet you usually want your camera to focus on the eye, because the eye is the location of the most detail.


When it focuses on something other then the eye, it makes the photo appear slightly blurry especially around the head. I find the best setting on my camera for taking photos of my animals is ‘portrait’. Portrait is usually symbolized as a person’s head. Another thing to keep in mind while photographing animals is the angel or the position. For short animals, get down at their level. Then, again, look at this photo:IMG_4342Yes, this is a cute photo but I find the next one cuter because of the way I took it:

IMG_4416  When taking pictures of my chickens, I have to follow them around and take photos randomly, hoping I have a good one. In other words they are very hard to pose. With dogs on the other hand, (at least most dogs) you can at least TRY to pose them. I find treats come in handy when trying to pose animals.


This photo was shot with a treat held temptingly above my lens. Other unique angles are shown in the following photos:



Another one of my favorite things to take pictures of is my food. Now all of you should have food in your house! When I first started my food photography it was horrible, bad angles, bad lighting, and bad settings. The photo below looks disgusting because of these flaws (it is raspberry yogurt):


I made some improvements such as finding the best place for lighting (my kitchen table), figuring out what angles did certain dishes justice (I use the above angle the most), and finding some cool photo props. I find that photo props added to food pictures really makes for a great photo. Consider this photo:


Yes, the lighting is pretty good, the angle is good, and there are a few props, but compared to the next photo:


I find this one more natural. Here are some other cool food photos to give you some ideas:


I use this angle less frequently, although it does make for neat photos of sandwiches, cupcakes, and other items that have some height.


I like this photo because it uses a blend of blues to draw attention to the blueberry pie.

Photographing holidays is another favorite of mine. I love staging events, especially holidays. This Christmas I really got into staging photos. My definition of staging is this: gather materials that remind you of the event that you are trying to capture and then arranging them in such a way as to descried the event. The Christmas photo below is packed with Christmas related things and can look cluttered. I wanted that look because when I picture Christmas Day, I see wrapping paper, boxes, gifts, bows, and ribbon all over the place, giving a cluttered look.


A staged photo can also be as simple as two or three items placed in such a way or at certain angles. The one below is an example.


Photographing seasons is somewhat difficult. I have only just gotten into it this past fall and winter. Angles and colors are the key to season photography. In my fall photographs below I used a unique sense of perspective along with my ‘super vivid’ setting on my camera to capture the colors of autumn.



For winter, I tried to capture snow using things around my house. Snow is very hard to capture on film. The shot below of my front porch was taken with a low light setting.


Taking photos of still objects can be, in a way, harder then photographing moving objects. Angle is the key to a cool still object photo, as you can see in the below photos taken of the same mushroom:



The last thing that I will mention in this post is my love for taking photos of my model animals. I have a picture for every single model animal I own. The key with them is proportion and perspective. In one of my photos of a model cow, the grass is way taller then the cow, making for a very awkward photo. In a different photo of the same cow I took the photo where there was some short grass and it looks almost realistic. In the below photos you can see how perspective plays a role.



Now, there are many more photos that I would love to put on here, but those will have to wait, this post has gone on long enough. I hope you have acquired some inspiration or at least some insight into the fun world of photography!

by Alexa




4 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Shoot!

  1. Loved your lesson on photography! Grampa loved the food especially 😋. You had some really good tips. And did an excellent job of showing the contrasts. Some folks might not know what a colossal feat that is to have pictures of ALL your model animals. I love the snow and your front door the best. Good one for the fair? Keep that camera handy!


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