Pro Photo Tips

Illustrated with images from David R. Day.

These simple and quick tips will help you create better photos.


Pro Photo Tip #1

“Old Glory”

“Old Glory”

Look up!
It is so easy to 'focus' both literally and figuratively only on the subject in front of us. Take a moment to notice and think about what is going on around you.
So look up, look down, look all around!
As I was waiting for the light to get right on the "Dusk" image. I noticed the flag flying above me. Here is the result of looking up! "Old Glory"

“The Long and Lonsome road”

“The Long and Lonsome road”


Pro Photo Tip #2

Punch Lines

Use natural or man-made lines to draw attention to your subject. Notice that they do not have to be straight, in the middle or at the bottom of the image to have a powerful effect.

:The Dance of the Zinnias”

:The Dance of the Zinnias”

Photo Pro Tip #3

Color your World with Love
We love color, but we really love complementary colors. 
Notice how your attention shifts from the red to the yellow Zinnia and back.
The second example is more subtle however, the range of blues is a perfect complement to the oranges.
Can't remember what colors work? Think sports teams. Blue & Orange, Green & Yellow etc.

Pro Photo tip #4
Have a back up plan.

No. Really back it up.
With memory so cheap there is no reason not to have your files in at least two places. Yes, the cloud counts, but an extra hard drive or two will protect you images even if Apple, google or amazon decide they aren’t making enough money from storing your data. I have seen several cloud storage companies come and GO.

“Back that right up”

“Back that right up”

Neon Sunset

Neon Sunset


Pro Photo tip #5
Don't "Spray & Pray."

Think before you shoot.
Since there is no cost to taking "just one more." It is temping to just fire away and hope you get something good. 
What is the story you want to tell? What is the subject? Is there a better angle or location. Is there something (or someone) you want to add or subtract from your shot? Want to get deeper? Think about what you want the viewer to see, or better yet feel.
Just take a moment, a deep breath, a pause too 'think.' 
Credit to Daniel Robinson for the basis of this tip!

“This is a test.”

“This is a test.”