Hey, this week is the Works for Me Wednesday backward edition, so not only do I have some ideas today, but a question, as well.

If you want advice on how to take great photos, I’m sure you already read one of the many blogs by expert photographers.

But if you are looking for a couple of tips from someone who usually takes mediocre photos and is shocked when her photos actually turn out well, then you have come to the right place.

I’ve been taking lots of photos the past month. And I have to say no one was more surprised than I was when a lot of them turned out really well!

Here are my completely amateur tips for taking better-than-blah photos:

1. Candy.

If your photos involve children, do not hesitate to bribe them with candy if they cooperate. Feel free to up the ante if they continue to smile for additional poses.

NOT ENOUGH CANDY:

2. Natural light.

Rearrange the furniture. Take down the curtains. Go outside. Do whatever is necessary to get as much natural light behind you as possible.

3. Turn off the flash.

You will need lots of light so the camera shutter won’t stay open super long, which causes the photos to be blurry. (I’m sure I could use some technical term like aperture or ISO at this point, but I can’t remember what those mean.)

4. Keep shooting.
We took lots of posed photos, but some of the best ones were taken without any preparation, “smile” warning or countdown.

5. Get close.
OK, closer.

Now, closer.

A little closer.

6. Have fun.
Sometimes the best photos are the ones where we aren’t in a traditional pose.

7. Crop.
Crop like crazy. I use either iPhoto for simple editing or Photoshop if I want to try a tiny bit more editing.
BEFORE:


AFTER:

8. Increase the color.
You can do this using the “effects” button in iPhoto. Or switch to black and white for a cool effect.

BEFORE:


AFTER:

9. Remove any unwanted blemishes.
The “retouch” button in iPhoto can work miracles. It not only removes unwanted shelf-hanging brackets on the wall (see below), but can work magic with blemishes on the face. (IF you have any. NO ONE in our family would possibly have any blemishes though. Ahem.)

BEFORE:


AFTER:

I have been taking my photos with a very simple Canon point-and-shoot camera, which has been working for me.
But this week is a reverse edition of Works For Me Wednesday where I get to ask YOU for advice. I have been thinking about buying a better camera and I would love to get your input.

What higher end, but not super expensive camera would you recommend that I could use to improve my photography? I also would love to hear your tips for taking better photos.
Go ahead and give me some advice! Then head on over to We are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday tips.

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