Guest Post // 3 Simple Photography Tips

If you were to ask your mom what she really wants for Mother's Day, I'm sure she'd say something to do with photos. A framed picture of her granddaughter, a photo album, or a calendar full family photos. Especially having family far away, I know that's the one thing our families (especially our mothers!) are always asking for: more pictures! And even if they aren't, it's always great to be able to capture and record those moments for yourself. 

Tara of Taraphotographics is an amazing photographer! She's been so kind to agree to come over and share a few simple tips for taking better photos so that we can not only capture those moments that are important to us, but so that we can do so more beautifully. I am so excited to start putting these tips into practice! Thank you for sharing, Tara!

heyyyy! i am pretty stoked/flattered to be on the TPOC blog. these three little tips are things that have really helped me out a lot, and though i don't claim them to be the three most important photo tips you will ever learn in your whole life, i find myself explaining them a lot when people ask me about photography. i hope they help at least someone out there. :)

1. you can have the best camera and lenses money can buy, but they won't do anything for you unless you understand light. really look how light falls across people's faces. take someone outside for the afternoon and look at the light on their face. then have them turn 360 degrees, looking at how the light hits their face the whole time. keep an eye out for funky shadows on the face. we don't notice these day to day, but they totally make or break a photograph. the photos below illustrate my point. these are "backlit" photos, meaning the sun is behind the subject (which is how i shoot 90% of the time). she is in the same spot but by having her come up on her hip instead of laying on her back, it completely eliminated those nasty highlights and shadows. both of these photos were taken with the same settings and edited the same way. even if you can become a master of photoshop, it can't cover up bad light. believe me, I have tried. :)

2. get those eye balls sharp. if the person you are taking photographs of has blurry eyes, it is super uncomfortable to look at. it doesn't matter how awesome the picture is. notice how in the top picture, her eyes are fuzzy and dark, and in the second one they are bright and sharp. no amount of photoshopping can fix that. either you got it or you didn't. i adjust my exposure so the eyes are bright (without really worrying if the background gets blown out or whatever), and put my focus point right on the eyes so they will be sharp and bright.

3. move your feet. put them in a pose and then YOU move instead of moving them every three seconds. you might have to move them slightly, but you can get a lot of interesting angles and it really pushes your creativity to see things differently. walk all the way around them, looking for a different perspective. the pictures below have a few minor changes but for the most part they haven't moved at all.

one more thing... anyone can look good in a photograph, and if they don't, it's the photographers fault. this has been my motto for my business because it can be really hard, but it helps me grow as a photographer, which is what i am trying to do every day. if you really want to master the art of photography, study light and people, face shapes and body types, angles and perspective. anyone can get out there and snap a photograph with a fancy camera, but photography means painting light. if painters have to take a figure drawing to learn how the body moves and works and spend hours and hours on one painting, we should put the same amount of time into our photographs. this will set you apart from all the other million photogs out there.

i hope this helps someone out there and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me. :)


  1. Tara. You are the best. I have been a huge fan for a long time. I wish I could just follow you around and pick your brain. You seem really amazing and I love to look at your beautiful pictures. I am so glad you are so wiling to share these tips. You are beautiful and talented. The people in your life are lucky!

    --your biggest fan!!

  2. Thanks for these tips. I really like the first and last since it's hard to know the difference lighting makes unless you see it and it's way easier for me to move than to keep asking or repositioning the person I'm photographing.


You are wonderful.