Ten Tips For Better Photographs

1 Move in close to the subject so that you see only the most important elements in the viewfinder.
2 Be sure your camera is adjusted to give the correct exposure: set film (or digital camera) ISO number, shutter speed and aperture.
3 Be sure the background isn't cluttered and that no distracting objects are in the foreground.
4 When using flash, keep the subject within the flash's range. You may have to re-arrange the subject to accomplish this.
5 Keep the camera steady so you don't blur the shot. Use a tripod or monopod with long shutter speeds.
6 Become thoroughly familiar with how your camera works. If you don't really know how to work your camera, you'll get bad photos out of it.
7 Keep the subject slightly off-center to create an interesting composition. Try the "Rule of Thirds."
8 Pose people doing something familiar. Chat with them to make them relax. Don't make the person too aware of the camera (distract them from the camera if possible), otherwise they'll freeze up and look stiff and awkward.
9 Photograph animals and small children at their eye level. This creates a more natural photograph.
10 Be aware of how the direction of the light affects the photograph. Don't have people looking into the sun or a bright light because they will squint. Sidelighting is more flattering to your subject and visually interesting. Be sure that contrast doesn't become too great. Cloudy or overcast days often create flattering light. Backlighting is interesting too. Increase exposure by 1 f-stop to compensate for backlighting.