Photo Taking Tips For Those of Us Without Big Expensive Cameras :: Mendocino Vacation

CIMG0988I had the privilege of heading to the beautiful coast of Mendocino with some girlfriends.  I wouldn’t consider myself a beach bum but there is something about the ocean that speaks to my inmost being.  CIMG0992While I was there I was able to take some beautiful pictures of the surroundings.  Nothing like nature to inspire some photo taking creativity.CIMG0999If you are like me…you have a simple digital camera and envy and covet anyone with a big expensive camera that takes amazing pictures without them even trying.  Yes, I have some bitter feelings about this.CIMG1003But I try to not let it stop me from taking amazing, breathtaking pictures.  I believe with the proper camera and creative knowledge, anyone can take a good picture with whatever type of camera they have.  So here is my unprofessional opinion on picture taking:CIMG1024Lighting: the more light the better.  Natural light is always best.  If you don’t have natural light, turn on as many lights as you can to make your setting as bright as possible.  I try to barely ever use my flash unless it is pitch dark.  The flash gives off much harsher lighting and only focuses in on one thing.   But when not using your flash, make sure to hold the camera still to keep from getting blurry pictures.  CIMG1025CIMG1032Angle: You would be surprised that by simply changing your angle a picture can be totally different.  Get up close to your object, move around, and snap away.  You will find as you try this you will be familiar with flattering angles.  Don’t be afraid to take lots of pictures.  It is by taking many that you get one good one…learn this from the professionals.  This not only applies to objects but people.  I love getting up close pictures of faces, especially children’s. CIMG1039CIMG1058Macro setting: You should most likely have this setting on your camera.  On mine it is the little flower.  Macro helps you focus up close on an object, giving it a crisp clear picture.  I always have my camera set on macro when I am taking pictures of objects that are shown on my blog.  I am telling you, by simply using this setting, it will change your life.  The picture below is an example of what you can do with the macro setting.  Focus in on an object that you want to come out clear (usually by pushing down the picture taking button half way, it will focus your picture before you take it) and the background will come out blurred.CIMG1135CIMG1072Take lots of pictures:  The more you take, the more likely you are going to get a great picture.  But ultimately, you will become more familiar with your camera and gain more experience with how to use it and what looks good.   CIMG1073CIMG1078Be inspired:  Be inspired by the beauty around you…nature, your home, your loved ones.  Let the beauty of life that surrounds you be captured.CIMG1087CIMG1099Create memories:  I would not love picture taking or do it as often if I did not love it.  I don’t just love it for the art of it, I love it for the memory making.  I hold on to memories of special moments through pictures.  I put my photos on the walls, in albums, and on my blog.  Because pictures are so important to me, I take the time and effort to try to capture them to their full potential.        CIMG1102 CIMG1117 CIMG1120 CIMG1122 CIMG1131CIMG1142Happy picture taking!


  1. You took some truly beautiful pics on your trip!! Great tips too. When I look at photos taken 20+ years ago I'm less focused on their quality *although, admittedly they stink* and more focused on the memories... & I still smile : )

  2. Your pictures look amazing!
    Am I crazy? there is a person in the middle of the rocks looking down at the water!
    I am fortunate to own a few cameras: Nikon N75 (SLR non digital), Nikon D100, and a simple Fuji one that takes AMAZING pictures. I love all your tips and do some already myself. Now that I see your work I want to go out there and take tons of pics!
    Oh, I recomend a book called "Designing with photos" by Allison Tyler Jones and Donna Smylie. Great tips for anyone starting in photography.

  3. GREAT JOB ASH! :)
    Wonderful pointers! I think people will definitly benifit from them!
    Here is one more for you:
    Have them Taken from ABOVE. When the Photographer is shooting DOWN onto the people it slims out their faces because they have to look up a little. When a photo is taken from below everyone seems to get a double chin no matter what size they are.


  4. Good tips! I also suffer from fancy camera envy. ;)

  5. You have effectively shown that beautiful pictures can be taken with a simple camera. I'm still learning my new cameras abilities, but your macro advice is very good. I use that a lot too.

    I love the locale and your shots are incredible.

  6. What a fun place to play with a camera. I love the orangish rose... Wow.

  7. Girl, you took some lovely pics! When I was in Cali in early november, I had a blast taking photos of lighthouses, the ocean, flowers, etc.

    I am in your shoes with the typical pocket digital camera. I learned early on about that macro setting. It is my go-to setting for shooting flowers and up-close details.

    At the beginning of the year I vowed to take more pics and sadly I've not done the greatest job. I would love to feature this post in one of my upcoming posts. I think that this is something that most people desire to become better at.

    Let me know. I will create all links back to your blog and this post. :)


  8. Great photos! I love the macro setting too. I'm proud not to have a huge camera and think the best advice, like you said, is take lots of pictures. That's what I do and I usually end up with a few that I love.


You can also email me at domesticfashionista {at} yahoo {dot} com.