Written by: Amy Tripple and Heidi Peters

5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Photos

1. Straighten your horizon

A crooked picture just feels… weird. You can solve many problems of composition by keeping an eye on your horizon. You’ll be able to frame up the other parts of your image more thoughtfully if you start with a straight shot.

2. Get lower

Can you think of anything less compelling than a picture of the top of someone’s head? It’s hard to capture a lot of emotion from this perspective! If you are photographing someone smaller than you, like say, your child, get down to his level so that the picture will show some expression. Getting lower has the added benefit of changing the overall perspective of the shot to make it more dynamic and include more background information.

3. Go off­-center

Putting your subject front and center in an image is b­o­r­i­n­g. The most powerful points in an image are 1⁄3 across or 1⁄3 up or down, not in the middle. Try creating an image where the subject is not in the center and you will see that it suddenly is much more interesting.

4. Notice shadows

It’s a sunny day, perfect for pulling out the camera and grabbing a few special shots. But when you look at your images it’s painfully obvious that the sun has cast dark shadows into your subject’s eye sockets, giving her a raccoon-­like appearance. Before clicking the shutter, have a good look at the direction of the sun. Is it casting strange shadows? Is your child squinting from facing the sun directly? The easiest fix it to find an area that is in total shade. If you can’t do that, try keeping the sun at your subject’s back.

5. Use your manual zoom

There is a powerful piece of photography equipment that you may not even know you own. Have you discovered it? It’s your legs! Rather than cranking your zoom lens, make your images better by moving yourself to a new position. Closer, further, higher, lower. Putting yourself at the ideal vantage point will ultimately give your pictures better composition, cropping and exposure.

Amy Tripple and Heidi Peters are award-winning photographers. Their work has appeared in Parents Magazine, US Weekly, People, The Chicago Tribune and Professional Photographer Magazine. They created Shoot Along to give themselves structure and accountability to capture their own families and decided it would be a great concept to share with other parents.

What began as a personal project has grown into a friendly and rewarding passion, offering support and instruction to parents on six continents. The goal of Shoot Along is to give parents the tools they need to document their families through photography.

Over 3,500 parents have taken part in Shoot Along since it started in 2014.

For more exciting information about Shoot Along, visit www.ShootAlong.com