We’re not professional photographers around here; we just like taking photos of our kids ad nauseam. Summertime is here, and that means spending more time outside. Even if you’re a seasoned photo-taker or don’t know the first thing about photography, it’s nice to have a refresher on what makes for great outdoor photos.
We want to know some of your favorite and best tips for taking good photos this summer. Check out our tips on taking great summer photos outdoor, then enter to win a photo book!
People take good photos, not good cameras. Whether you have a $4000 professional DSLR camera or a $12 disposable you picked up at the checkout counter, having a good eye for taking a good photo is all about you.
Nanette happend to catch her daughter in just the right angle with the sun rays behind her for this amazing photo.
Camera Apple iPhone 4 | Instagram (no filter) – photo credit Nanette
You may not have your big n’fancy camera at your hip 24/7, but your phone is always in your pocket. Just because your phone camera isn’t as advanced as an SLR, it will still take some amazing photos.
I happened to catch this sunset photo in my neighborhood over the parking lot.
Camera Apple iPhone 4 | Exposure 0.025 sec (1/40) | Aperture f/2.8 | Focal Length 3.9 mm | ISO Speed 80 – photo credit Angie Lynch
Nanette caught her daughter in the middle of her neighborhood’s tree-lined street.
Camera iPhone 4 | Walden Filter on Instagram – photo credit Nanette
Rule of Thirds
Try not to center everyone in the middle of every photo. Think of your subjects as taking up 1/3 or 2/3 of a photo, then use the environment to fill the rest of the capture.
Nanette applied the Rule of Thirds perfectly with this amazing photo of her daughter and husband at the beach. I seriously d.i.e. from the amazingness.
Camera Nikon D40 | Exposure 0.001 sec (1/2000) | Aperture f/11.0 | Focal Length 65 mm | ISO Speed 1600 – photo credit Nanette
Kristie snapped this adorable picture of her son in a swing.
photo credit – Kristie Webber
The Magic Hour, sometimes called the “Golden Hour,” is the hour just after sunrise and the hour just before sunset. Not only will you capture some amazing colors in the sky, but you’ll get pretty much perfect exposure for portrait photos.
I’m not even wearing makeup in this photo, but the sunset made me pretty much model-like.
Camera Nikon D5000 | Exposure 0.002 sec (1/640) | Aperture f/10.0 | Focal Length 18 mm | ISO Speed 400 – photo credit Angie Lynch
Don’t just stand around taking pictures; get down on the ground and shoot from below. Stand up on a chair to get an overhead shot. Hold your camera down at your waist and click the shutter.
To get this photo, I stood up on another chair so that the only background was the green grass.
Camera Nikon D5000 | Exposure 0.01 sec (1/100) | Aperture f/9.0 | Focal Length 18 mm | ISO Speed 500 – photo credit Angie Lynch
Play around with different lenses to get some fun captures. Places like Photojojo sell iPhone camera attachments that can make for some interesting photos. Or you can even use what you already have to be creative.
Brittany used her lens hood, turned it around backwards to make a circle on the lens to play around with the shapes in the photos, and caught this amazing shot.
Exposure 0.013 sec (1/80) | Aperture f/8.0 | Focal Length 18 mm | ISO Speed 100 – photo credit Brittany Gibbons
We want you to keep those beautiful summertime photos in a beautiful photo book, so we’re giving away a 20-page hardcover photo book from Shutterfly. Lucky you!
We’re offering two ways to enter to win the Hardcover Photo Book from Shutterfly:
1. Leave a comment with your favorite summertime photo-taking tip.
2. Click here to sign up for our NEW fancy Curvy Girl Guide newsletter.
Enter both ways or just one, we want you to take some amazing photos this summer!
Giveaway open now through Friday, June 15th at 10pm EST. Winner will be chosen at random from valid entries and will be contacted via the email address provided. Shutterfly has provided us with a code for a photo book in exchange for this giveaway; all opinions and information provided in this article are those of the writers at Curvy Girl Guide and not of Shutterfly.
Angie Lynch is the founder and managing editor of the powerhouse women’s literary community, Smut Book Club. She is a Native Floridian without a tan, probably because she spends her days hard at work on the magical internet. For the past several years, Angie has worked way too hard at building clout as an influencer in food and margaritas as well as being a source for laughable pop culture commentary. You can read more from Angie on her blog, A Whole Lot of Nothing.