Photography tips | The pCloud BlogWith Instagram, Snapchat and photo-editing apps like VSCO, photography today is more accessible than ever. You no longer need a complex SLR camera, Photoshop skills or a photo lab to take great pictures.

To no surprise, people are all aboard and eager to capture and share every moment of their lives. Point in case – more than 80 million photos are shared every day on Instagram alone. Mixing photography and social media means one more thing: we are no longer on the quest of capturing a great image, we are after likes and shares too. This is why we need to up our game.

In this article, we have compiled a short list of tips that will help you take better pictures. You may not become the next Ansel Adams, but if you follow these simple rules, you will most probably get more than a handful of Instagram hearts and Facebook thumbs-up hits.

Tip #1: Find your forte

You are a wizard of capturing the perfect sunset or a wonderful moment in nature but you’re not particularly great at shooting people? Or perhaps you are the portrait whisperer but your landscapes are your strongest photo projects? Find the one genre you prefer to shoot (and you’re good at!) and focus on it – whether it’s nature, sports, portraits, events, fashion, macro, etc. – and make it the highlight of your digital photo collection.

Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #2: Know your tools

Whether you are shooting with your phone, a point-and-shoot camera, a DSLR or an instant camera – get comfortable with its capabilities and settings. Of course, you can always improve a picture in post-processing but shooting with the right settings will save you lots of time editing the shot later on.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #3: Use that light

Photography is all about light and the way you capturing (makes sense, given that the word itself means “painting with light”). Whatever you’re shooting, the good light is your best friend so make sure to get acquainted with your phone or camera light settings – and then use them! Take advantage of the golden hour at sunset, shoot against the light to create beautiful silhouettes or catch flares, and avoid shooting outside at noon when the sun is directly above your object/subject to avoid “flat” images and weird shades.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #4: Be mindful of composition

Whether you follow the rule of the thirds, prefer a central composition or enjoy diagonals – remember that it is up to you to guide the viewer’s eyes across the frame. If you are unsure about the best composition for a particular shot – just try a few different ones and then let your aesthetic gut choose the best one.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #5: Play with backgrounds

Every little detail contributes to the visual appeal of your image, and so does the background. Avoid cluttered backgrounds, and leave outside the frame anything that doesn’t contribute to your composition and doesn’t make your photo better.
Take advantage or rad doors, funky walls, buildings, skylines, trees, etc. – even if they are not the focus of your picture, they can really add to it.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #6: Use props

Don’t be afraid to direct an image and use props. Colorful balloons, flowers, suitcases, that pretty polka-dot coffee cup – whatever works for your frame, use it to tell your visual story better.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #7: Shift your perspective

Finding unique and interesting angles to make your snaps memorable. Get up, lie down, switch the direction of the light… Experiment until you find the vantage point that takes your shot from “Meh” to “Wow!!!”.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #8: Be quick

Often life happens quickly, and amazing moments last just a few seconds – easy to miss on camera, isn’t it? If you come across a situation that may not last long but you still want to capture it, don’t waste any time setting up your camera – just take as many pictures as you can. It’s very likely that you manage to snap a shot that is wonderful, even if it is a little blurred or not perfectly composed. Like that awesome picture of Usain Bolt during the Rio 2016 Olympics:
Usain Bolt

Tip #9: Smile!

If you’re shooting people, you probably want them to be relaxed and show their best. Smile at them, use small talk, crack a joke – and you’ll probably get a much better photo than if you just tell people to smile or say cheese. Unless you have a really good joke about saying cheese.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

Tip #10: Take as many pictures as you can

Even if you think you have the perfect shot, take at least a few “backup” snaps just in case – often we don’t immediately notice that an object we don’t want in the frame somehow ended up there, or a photo supposed to be extra sharp is blurred. This is why we recommend that you take many photos of the same thing, then review them when you have enough time and focus and delete the ones you won’t use.
Photography tips | The pCloud Blog

The list above is far from everything you need to be great instagrammer, snapchatter or photographer in general – but they are a good starting point. As long as you’re not afraid to try and keep shooting and working on your technique, you’ll definitely take pictures worth keeping, and not just on social media.

Speaking of keeping your pictures, make sure to back them all up in your pCloud account – it’s super easy.

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