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Photography 101

Photography 101: 5 Steps to Better Photos This Year

And just like that, it’s 2014.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got lots of resolutions and lots of goals when it comes down to my photography.  I know SOME people got fancy new cameras for Christmas and some are just determined to rock what  they’ve got. What every is going on with you, I’ve got a few photography tips for you in the new year.

5 steps to better photographs this year


So I’m here today, to give you


5 photography tips on things that you can start doing TODAY to improve your photography this year!


  1. Read your Camera Manual. I cannot stress this enough. Yes, it’s so easy to just want to take your camera out the box and start shooting the most gorgeous photos ever. But take the time to read the manual.  Sometimes, something as simple as the right to focus will solve many of your problems
  2. Pick up your camera every day and take a photo.  Yes, this is hard. And yes there will be days when you might a photo of a basket of dirty laundry. But shooting everyday forces you to become comfortable with your camera. it allows you to see what photos work and what doesn’t. Taking a photo everyday helps you to GROW!
  3. Take your Camera off of Auto.  Yes, newer DSLRs are pretty good on auto. But I guarantee you this: take your camera off of auto and you will see a world of difference. Try out one of the other modes like Aperture Priority Mode( a semi manual mode) if you are just not ready to make that leap. But learn. Learn the basics of photography. Learn the exposure triangle( aperture, shutter speed and ISO) and learn how they work together. Master the basics and you will see your photography improve
  4. Pick and invest in an editing software and stick to it!  There are wonderful free programs out there (PicMonkey anyone?) and also Lightroom , Photoshop Elements , and the big Daddy of them all Photoshop CS6.  No matter which one you choose, learn it and learn it well. While editing can’t “fix” a bad photo, it can help a good one.
  5. Have Fun and enjoy.  Because whether or not you’ve decided to improve your photographer for your blog, for you family or for going into business, you need to ENJOY it!


So that’s all! For now!  I want you to consciously over the next few weeks start putting these steps into place. Join me next time on photography 101 when I go over what exactly is a Full Frame Camera.  I can’t wait to see what you all do this year with your photography!


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  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 2:23 am

    So you’re just not even going to mention the shoulder action you’re giving us in that picture? No? Ok! Lol!

    On a serious note though, I’m going to pull out my old(er) kodak and see if I can put some of these tips to use! I realized that after our little vacation this summer, I seriously slacked off on “real” pictures. All we have are mostly crappy cell phone pics to commemorate the second half of our year, and I want to change that this year.

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Lol! I just slipped that photo in and wondered if anyone would say anything! Lol. Yes! Get out your camera and use it!! It’s so important to preserve our memories!

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      just like she didn’t mention in THIS post that she was one of the lucky ones to get a new camera.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 4:38 am

    I will focus in Feb on taking a picture everyday. Any tips for posting to instagram with dslr pics. Is there a way to post from computer?

    Oh, I’ll read my manual if I can find it. My Daddy upgraded to some super fancy camera last Christmas so mine is a hand me down.

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      I put mines in dropbox then post it to instagram some pictures are from my phone and some are from my DSLR

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      I agree with Kita! Dropbox the upload to Instagram. Or, if you have flickr, use the app to upload photos to instagram from your phone

  • Reply
    Dani @
    January 6, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Some people get fancy new cameras and then think they can tell people how to live their lives. #smh

    I KNOW I need to pick up that camera each day….I joined a weekly photo challenge on clickn moms to help motivate me. crossing fingers

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 10:16 am

      I’m doing the 52 week challenge in CM too. Ummm where is your Selfie Missy got week 1??????

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      What weekly challenge? Maybe I should login. *looks away*

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Excellent tips!

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Thank you!!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Great tips especially for a photography novice…Thanks for sharing…looking forward to following along 😀

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

      I’m glad you liked the tips! Can’t wait to share!

  • Reply
    Jenn @ Party of One
    January 6, 2014 at 9:48 am

    These are GREAT photography tips and I’m going to bookmark this page for future reference, too! One thing that I’m hoping to accomplish in 2014 is taking better photographs especially for my blog. These are just the kind of ‘newbie’ tips I need!

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Yay! I’m so glad!!!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Great list! Such basic tips, but so easy to forget. I went through a spell of not taking my camera out. The recent snow was a good motivator and of course the holiday season, but I need to get better about taking it with me out and about the city. Oh and about manual – my husband will only shoot on auto and rolls his eyes at me when I shoot auto. He thinks I’m being too fancy, but the difference in picture quality speaks volumes!

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Exactly! And you need to practice ma’am!! You are going to have a new baby to photograph soon!!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I’m doing a photo a day on Flickr. I also am trying to shoot more in manual instead of AP. My manual flash and Lensbaby require it. It’s a challenge but I want to get a good shot SOOC instead of a bunch of decent shots then fixing in LR4.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I’d like a new camera. I gave my digital camera away since that’s what my cell is and I always have that with me. But I love taking pictures. Especially pictures of my pretty little girl.

    And yea, all that shoulder tho. . .

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    These are fantastic goals and tips. Thank you so much for sharing! I want to make it a goal to try to take pictures daily 🙂

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t like that AP mode my pictures come out blurry when I use that so I gave up. I actually do mines on the other settings like portrait, landscape, etc. I don’t think I have ever used Auto. I am going to take your advice and start taking my big boi with me I even bought a bigger purse to carry it all so I can take pictures more and play around with settings.

    • Reply
      January 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Look at you!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Speckled Palate
    January 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Great ideas on this post, LaShawn, and as a photographer, I completely agree with you on these! Such a good series for folks after the holidays because I know so many people who have received cameras for Christmas. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    #1 – I’m totally guilty of not reading the manual thoroughly…until I have a problem.
    #3 – I might just admit to being afraid to do this 🙂 I’m working on it.
    Great info! I’ll have to accept the challenge

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve recently been thinking about purchasing a camera to accompany my blogging. I’m very intimidated by all the cameras out there. I just want something simple and inexpensive that will allow me to take nice pictures for my blog. These tips were great! I’m definitely bad about not reading manuals, lol!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Yep, I caught all that shoulder action jumping off. I’m going to go out in a limb and say YOU got a new camera. I’ll also say thus, every time I read one of you photography posts k think when us this chica going to go pro already?!?! ** auto correct changed this to thus above. I left it. Sounds more important that way**

  • Reply
    Reginia {}
    January 7, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve already failed the first step. 🙁 Perhaps I can find the manual online.

    I really want a new camera before my summer travels. I want awesome photos.

    I love toying around with filters and settings. I try not to do auto most of the time.

    • Reply
      January 8, 2014 at 8:48 am

      I really want you to read that manual!! I love your travel photography so much!

  • Reply
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    January 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I am terrible. I pick up the camera MAYBE on the weekends. So bad. and I live in one of the most photographic cities in the world. hmph. WHEN IT GETS WARMER, i’m gonna take my baby to work with me–you are my inspiration!!

    • Reply
      January 8, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Do it! The street photography in New York city is awesome!!!

  • Reply
    Kesha of We Got Kidz
    January 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Fantastic tips!!! I’d actually made the resolution to shoot daily since sometimes I can go a few days without shooting. (I end up losing a little mojo when I do that. lol) You’re right on point with these.
    New friend visiting from SITS 🙂

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