5 Quick And Easy Ways To Improve Your Photos

If you’re looking for quick and easy tips to improve your photos, read on!

As an entrepreneur, you’re likely wearing many hats as you work on growing your business. From overseeing the day to day operations, working to find new clients and marketing there are a lot of things to do. Time of of the essence, and you certainly don’t want to spend unnecessary amounts of it on any given task. We all love learning (sort of), but it’s incredibly frustrating when you need to quick and easy answers.

One part of your business that probably takes up a lot of your time is marketing, with good reason. The U.S. Small Business administration recommends that you dedicate 7 to 8% of your gross revenue to marketing. The term “marketing” casts a pretty wide net, but it includes your video and photography efforts. The truth is, the images you put out there are important to the growth of your business.  Social media has only made this fact more significant.

Whether you are taking photos of your products, portraits of yourself, or creative photos to add to your social media feeds, the images you connect to your business should look as professional as possible.

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Ideally you’d want to hire a professional to help, but we all know how that goes! When your working to build your business, you need the capital first, so here’s to wearing many hats!

Improve Your Photos With These 5 Easy Tips

If you’ve done any photography research you may have found yourself going down a rabbit hole. There is a ton of information out there and it can become overwhelming quickly. If you are looking to improve your photos without doing a ton of research, I’ve got a few tips to help!

I’ve been a videographer and photographer for over 10 years, and it’s my goal to help you get achieve better video and photos for your brand! Over the years, I have noticed common mistakes new photographers make. The good news is that they are fairly easy to fix!

Some of these tips are things that have to be done before you take the shot, while some are things you can do after. But if you implement some or all of these tips, i’m sure your photos will come out even better!

1 | Find the Light

Before you even turn on your camera, consider the location you plan to shoot in. As I have said before and will probably say until the end of time–photography is the art of capturing light. The first tip to taking great photos is finding the available light and using it to your advantage. Sometimes, you may even need to use additional light if what’s available isn’t cutting it. Light is your friend. And that doesn’t mean that every shot you take has to have even/flat light across the image, that’s boring! Feel free to be creative, manipulate the light to produce stronger shadows, create texture with shadows whatever you come up with! But generally speaking, there needs to be an adequate light source somewhere to make your photos look their best.

2 | Set Your White Balance Correctly

One signature mark of an amateur photographer are photos that are not properly white balanced. In it’s simplest form, white balance refers to the color of the image. When not adjusted properly, your images can be too blue or too orange. White balance tells the camera what it needs to “interpret” as white in any given environment based on the available light.  A lot of beginner photographers rely on “auto white balance” and while this totally works in most situations, it can still sometimes fail you. Of course, you can always make adjustments during your editing, but this is not ideal. It’s always best to try and shoot your photo as close to what you want the final product to be, this way you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to correct it.

One of my favorite ways to adjust my white balance is changing the Kelvin. Most DSLR cameras have a Kelvin setting, and if yours does you will see it under the white balance settings. The lower the number the more blue your image will be, the higher the number the more orange your image will be. You can sometimes eyeball it by using something white in your frame or using a white poster board. You’d simply set your Kelvin to the number that makes the white in your frame actually look white. If you are nervous about eyeballing it, there are products out there that will tell you the Kelvin in the room, and  then you can set your camera too it. An example is the Sekonic Light Meter.

Now you do have some creative license here. In some circumstances you may intentionally set your white balance to be more orange or blue because it will make a more impressive final product. But I would say unless you are 1,000% sure that you want that look, don’t do it. I recommend shooting at the proper white balance, and then adding color or tint to the image during the editing process.

3 | Think About the Frame

Now that you have your well lit set and white balance sorted it’s time to think about what you are actually shooting. You could put your subject in the middle of the frame, nothing wrong with that. But what else could you try? The rule of thirds for example is a great way to frame something in a more interesting way. Rule of thirds is when you frame your subject within one third of the total image. But there’s even more beyond that, you can shoot over head, you can angle the camera  in a funky way. Anything that creates intrigue works! Let your creativity come out! Feel free to think outside of the box here, but try remain thoughtful and intentional. Experiment and go with what is most effective!

4 | Add Contrast

Contrast can work in a couple of ways. You can create contrast during the shoot by using color or shadows. Remember the color wheel I mentioned in my post on wonderforest? You can use that here too. If you are shooting a model and their clothing is blue or has blue detail, you could shoot them against a orange or yellow wall. Or you should shoot them against the sun which is also more orange. Or once you have your images home, you can add contrast by making your shadows darker and your highlights lighter. Adding contrast gives your images more pop, definition and interest.

5 | Add a filter (within reason)

Depending on your editing software (or even social media apps) you can find a ton of pre-made filters to make your editing process easier and much faster. If you find one that you like, I say go for it! But I recommend using some restraint with them. You don’t want to spend hours shooting and then put a filter on that is too intense and takes away the beauty of all your hard work! If you are going to go this route, I suggest adding it and turning the intensity down to make sure your work isn’t drowned out by overdone editing.

Quick and Easy Photography Tips

I hope these tips help you as you work to improve your photography! Do you have any quick and easy tips that you found that improved your photos? Do you have any questions for me about your photography?! Sound off in the comments below!

Olivia J

Olivia J is a video producer, writer, and director specializing in corporate video, events, documentaries and film. To see some of her work visit oliviaj.me