I love taking pictures. I've been doing it for about 10 years on my own and with the help of my dad for much longer.

I'm not a professional, and I have no formal education I'm still learning myself, but I thought I'd share some photography tips my dad taught me, as well as some editing tips I learned from either trial and error or watching other people.

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find good lighting
In my opinion, the best light is natural light.

The best times for natural light are:
-The "golden hours" 1 hour before sunrise or sunset
-a slightly overcast day

Avoid taking pictures during:
-The afternoon (specifically between 11AM and 1-2PM) because the sun is directly overhead. Not only will your subject be squinting the entire time, but you'll bring attention to blemishes.
-a completely cloudy day

If you want to take pictures inside:
-invest in a ring light/studio lights
free options:
-open a window
-use your fridge light (No, really.)
-use a couple of lamps and remove the yellow lighting with editing

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angles
Angles, like lighting are important. They can do so much with so little.
-There's a reason the "MySpace angle" was so high. Those types of angles are more flattering than laying on the floor and taking a picture of your friend standing over you. Hold the camera higher to get a flattering picture.
-When taking pictures, angles can show point of view. Walk around your subject and get a snap from every side.
-Don't be afraid to experiment.

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take multiple pictures
Fill your camera roll, and look at the pictures later. If you only snap one pic and it turns out blurry, you don't have anything to work with.
It also allows you to:
-experiment with different lighting and angles
-make sure no one is blinking
-make comparisons and take the best shot to editing

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get to know your camera
I'm not talking about introducing yourself to the class and sharing an "interesting fact".
-Familiarize yourself with what you have. iPhone, Android, professional camera- all have different settings. You don't have to use all of the settings you have, but it doesn't hurt to play around.
-Don't worry about having the latest technology. If you'd like to get something new, do some research first. Learning how to take pictures on something completely new and unfamiliar can set you back.

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Now it's time for post production, editing, realizing you screwed up and now have to rescue your mess, whatever you want to call it.

editing apps
I use:
-Snapseed (adjusting beyond Instagram, like using brushes)
-Photoshop Fix (blemish removal)
-Instagram (An easy to use editing software built right in the app.)
Everyone has a different combination of apps they use to edit. It all depends on personal preference. I've tried a lot over the years, and these are the three I like best. They're also free, and there are no "unlockable" features that you have to pay/leave a review for.

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editing tips

adjust the temperature/saturation
Sometimes, a picture looks off because the coloring is off. Either use sliders to adjust the whole picture, or a brush to adjust certain parts of one. Some examples being:
-sliders: removing an unwanted yellow tint to a white wall
-brush: getting rid of a yellow tint on a white wall

change the exposure
Lighting means a lot, especially if you're trying to evoke a certain feeling with your pictures. Your lighting may be perfect, or it may need a little help.

-sliders: the lighting of the whole picture looks off, and needs to be adjusted tools: The "brightness"/"exposure" tab, "highlights" and/or "shadows" tab.
-brush: removing unwanted shadows, darkening or lightening the background

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research editing
-Do online research
-Flip though a book on Photoshop/your preferred editing program
-Don't be afraid to ask someone what editing apps they use.
-Watch "How I Edit My Instagram Photos" videos on YouTube. I've watched so many. Sometimes, I don't learn anything new. They do the typical "VSCO Cam and FaceTune" routine (which there's nothing wrong with) and that's it. Other videos are very useful and teach me a lot. You never know unless you watch the video.

keep editing to a minimum
-Too much editing can look unnatural or ruin the quality of your picture.
-Don't edit the proportions of your body. It's so easy to mess up that even Beyonce's editors have given themselves away by leaving in a warped background. Angles and poses can make your body look just as good, and it uses your natural self (which is your best self, by the way).
-Using the healing tool to fix blemishes is okay, but don't go overboard. I often find myself editing things I don't need to, whether it's a picture of a human or a picture of my pet.
-Using filters on filters can also ruin the quality. Keep your filtering to a maximum of two. One to color correct if necessary, and another to match your theme.
-Have fun with your editing. Forget my "rules" above and make a masterpiece. Add a fun background or some doodles for a personal touch.

general tips
-You don't have to spend a lot of money. Buying a used or refurbished camera can save you a lot of money. As for editing apps- a lot of them are either free or inexpensive.
-Bad shots happen. Even professionals take them from time to time. Don't let it discourage you.
-Your favorite Instagram accounts might be using photographers and/or expensive, professional quality equipment. Don't get discouraged if your feed doesn't look like a celebrity's. Show them you're coming for your brand by posting better pictures that you took yourself.

Good Luck. ❤️