Why It’s Important to Photograph The Things You Love

The secret to amazing photos is simple.

“Discover what you love, and focus on photographing that.”

Keep photography simple and photograph the things you love.

The art of photography gets complicated with ever-changing technology, gadgets and techniques. It can become frustrating and overwhelming to keep up with the latest gear and trends.

If you are a landscape photographer, you know it can be hard to get up before sunrise to capture that early morning event. There are many times the sunrise is less than spectacular and you don’t get the images you hoped for. But if you enjoy nature and being outdoors, the time wasn’t wasted.

We have found the best photo tip is to photograph the things you love and capture memories of the things you enjoy.

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PHOTOGRAPH THE THINGS YOU LOVE

Photograph People

Man and woman at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah at sunrise.

Do you have people in your life that you love like a spouse, family members and friends? You probably never get tired of taking their pictures or having your picture taken with them.

You are photographing moments that tell a story. When you take photos of people, they are usually spontaneous events and your goal is not to create a work of art.

Tips to try when taking pictures of people:

• Simplify everything: The focus should be the person and everything else like backgrounds, clothing, props and lights should complement the subject, or completely disappear to the viewer’s eye.

• Shoot from eye level or higher:  This is the most flattering set-up when taking pictures of people. Ask the person to kneel down and look up while you remain standing. This angle eliminates the ‘multiple chins’ syndrome you see in many photos.

• Create interest: Taking pictures of someone straight on is both unflattering and uninteresting. Asking them to twist at the waist, shoulders, or neck and not face their body square-on.

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Photograph Pets 

Black dog laying on the floor.

(Copyright, Photo by Hoyt Mann)

Photographing pets is along the same lines as photographing the people you love. You don’t get bored taking photos of them.

Tips to try when taking pictures of your pet:

• Capture their personality: Ask yourself ‘what sets it apart from other animals?’ Think about what type of personality it has and then attempt to capture some of that in your photos.

• Get close: Most pets are smaller than a human and as a result they tend to end up getting a little lost in photos unless you make an effort to get up close to them.

• Get on their level: When you get down on your pet’s level, you enter their world and get a glimpse of what life looks like from their angle. The results are photos with an element of intimacy.

Travel Photography

Snake River Overlook at Grand Teton National Park.

For those who travel, taking photos while on vacation is a wonderful way to capture those memories.

There is a reason you are visiting the location, and your focus will be taking pictures of what drew you there like the landscape, architecture, people, food or adventure.

You don’t need to go away from the area you live to capture any of the things you enjoy on vacation. There is landscape, architecture, people, food and adventure near your home as well.

Take advantage of capturing what you love, where you are TODAY!

Tips to try when taking pictures as you travel:

• Tell a story: Use your photos to tell the story of the location you visit. The scene with the bison on the road is something you see often at Yellowstone.

Bison in the road at Yellowstone National Park.

• Photograph at an angle: Walk around to find interesting and unique views or angles of the subject.

Looking at the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington from the bottom up to the top.

• Don’t use a flash for food: Camera-mounted flashes are a no-no when taking pictures of your food. Adding light from the front will flatten your dish. Experiment with angles when photographing food as well.

A plate of french toast and fruit.

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PHOTOGRAPHY REQUIRES PASSION

“When you enjoy seeing the thing you are photographing, it’s a fun activity and the passion will show in your photos.”

Dave loves to photograph wild horses. He will drive hours in the snow to photograph these animals. This may not sound exciting to many of you, but for him, it’s worth the effort.

Two wild horses on hind legs fighting each other on a snowy day.

He also enjoys photographing rivers and waterfalls. After a while, he felt constrained by staying on the bank and wanted to capture the full effect of the flowing water. He purchased waders so he could get IN the river to get the photo he saw in his head.

A photographer standing in the middle of a river taking a photo with his tripod.


PHOTO TIPS:

In order to find out what type of photography you truly love, you must capture images of many things: people, landscape, architecture, food, dogs, cats, birds, rivers, waterfalls….  

Set a goal to find those things you LOVE to PHOTOGRAPH!

The best way to learn photography and improve your skills – shoot, shoot and shoot some more!

You can read and watch tutorials, but until you put the information you have accumulated into motion, you aren’t going to learn a thing!

Photography should be FUN! If you are photographing the things you LOVE, it will be!

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16 comments

Great tips! I love the simple statement to “photograph what you love.” You have great shots and advice in this piece. Agree about foregoing flash a lot of the time!

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For a amateur photographer like me these tips are going to be of great help. I love clicking pictures while travelling, they are an important part of collecting memories. I’m definitely going to check out your Pinterest boards, and practice these tips as well!

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Thank you. We try to offer simple tips to improve your photography, no matter what type of camera. Have fun taking photos as you travel!

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As a photographer I love these tips! Especially the one with telling a story with travel photography. Sometimes it’s so easy to point and shoot landscapes with a wide angle lens, but for me it became challenging when I took a 35mm lens and tried travel photography with that! it really pushed me to try different angles and perspectives and try to tell a story.

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Challenging yourself with photography brings out creativity. And yes, telling a story is so important. Thanks!

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The one thing that I realized about photography is that you learn along the way. I have found that over years, my eye for an angle and the light sensitivity to the subject has bettered. I have also, learnt to shoot faster manually as it now comes instinctively. Your tips are pretty much what I would recommend to newbies. Well done with those.

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Thank you. And yes, practice is key! Good that you have improved over the years.

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This is such a great list of tips! I’m an absolute amateur myself – i don’t necessarily “try” to get a perfect shot, more of a capture the moment type thing. However, my boyfriend is super into photography and is always telling me I need to “up my game” so I’ll forward this to him and tell him to take tips for when he becomes my unofficial photographer haha! Don’t use flash on food – I wish someone had told me this years ago!

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It’s really a matter of just trying something simple and new – perspective makes a big difference too!

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These are some great tips! Nature photography is our favorite and we never get bored clicking them. We agree the best pictures are one which has a story to tell. Thanks for these awesome tips.

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I think it’s really important to remember when you’re doing photography, you are trying to tell a story. Especially when it comes to travel photography. All too often we see a nice scene and just point and shoot away, maybe try a little creativity – but we forget that we need to be able to tell a story too. That’s the skill of a truly talented photographer. And a skill I need to work on a lot more!

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Travel photography is definitely a skill that you must master over time. You can learn through practice and just trying to explore with the camera features. I love how you broke it down to each subject category and offering tips every step of the way. It is so helpful for anyone who is still trying to improve with photography!

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Thank you. Sometimes it’s the most simple tips we forget when taking photos.

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Everyone is wants to look great on their travel photos! I especially love the tip about shooting from above to avoid the double chin thing. Who wants that in a photo you plan to frane and then look at every day!!

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Yes, the dreaded double chin 🙂 No one wants that!

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Thanks for the great tips. Photography is the most challenging part of travel blogging for me but when I manage to pull off a really cool shot, I’m always so excited.

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