One of my favorite things about transitioning into the blog life has been all of the excuses to take photos! I’ve been a bit obsessed with having my iPhone camera in my hand basically since I moved to San Francisco in 2012, and have been just enamored with learning all about how to choose a DSLR (I went mirrorless), and playing with all the gadgets on my SonyA6000 since making the purchase. Such a fun, creative juxtaposition from selling office equipment (seriously gross)!

For Christmas, my mom set me up for a session of photography classes at ArtServe Fort Lauderdale, and since making photo memories is a major part of everyone’s vacations, I wanted to share some of the tips from my class here. I am by no means a professional photographer, just an enthusiast excited to share the few things I’m learning along the way!

Once you’ve picked the right professional camera setup (or iPhone) for your needs,

10 Tips for Better Photos from ArtServe Fort Lauderdale

1 – Tell a Story — Think of the story you want to tell with each image. Whether it be how great a time you and your bestie had on spring break or how mind-boggingly large the Grand Canyon is, remind yourself of the storyline you want to capture before you click on “snap” each time.

2 – Consider your Composition — With the story in mind, consider the elements that are important to include in the image and frame from there. Two steps closer!

3 – Frame the Subject on One Side or the Other and Not in the Center of the Image — The “Rule of Thirds” is a photography standard that imagines a tic tac toe board over your image. It states you should position horizontal elements on the horizontal lines, vertical elements on the vertical lines and the subject where lines intersect. This creates a more “interesting” photo.

4 – Cut Out the Clutter — Keep the focus on your subject by eliminating background clutter and distracting noise. In travel, often this means waiting around for people to walk by, which may take an extra few minutes but will produce an entirely different image (story of my life!).

5 – Get Close — The closer, the crisper.

6 – Play around! — Use different camera settings on the same image to get different effects. Change your point of view to different angles — higher, lower, side, to shoot more dramatic images, and learn what really catches your eye.

7 – Use Flash from the Side or a 45 degree angle — This helps create shadows and give the image a more 3D look. If you have a flashlight on your cell phone, have a friend shine the flashlight on your subject from an angle while you take (or pose in!) the photo. Avoid straight-on flash whenever possible.

8 – Watch the Time — The best times to photograph outdoors are 30 minutes before sunrise and also 30 minutes before sunset (the Golden Hour), which have the warmest and most flattering light for portraits.

9 – Learn your Setup — So many settings, lenses, filters and accessories — even on just smartphone cameras — can be overwhelming in the moment (which is the last thing you want in travel!),  so master the features you love in your camera setup, whatever it may be, so you can whip them out at a moment’s notice to capture memories in a flash on-the-go.

10 – Practice and Get creative! — Practice makes perfect, and ever photographer really does have their own unique creative style. Find yours and share it with the world!


Thanks again to ArtServe for a fun class! Over to you guys — what are some of your fave photography tips + tricks for the road?!