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Draper Journal

Four tips to taking picture-perfect photos during those summer months

Jul 07, 2023 01:00PM ● By Holly Curby

Ah, summer! The season of laughter, outdoor fun, and vacation adventures. And how do many of us capture these special summer time moments—photos. Whether using your digital camera or your cell phone, as the old adage goes, the best camera is the one you have on you. American photographer Aaron Siskin said, “what you have caught on film has captured forever. It remembers the little things long after you have forgotten everything.” 

We store these photos on our computers, create scrapbooks, update our photo frames, and even according to Business Insider, we post a staggering 1.8 billion photos to social media every day. 350 million of those photos are on one platform alone, Facebook. That's 4,000 photo uploads per second! The Eiffel Tower is said to be the world's most photographed landmark with New York City as the most photographed city in the world. 

So, whether capturing the enjoyment of our children playing in the sprinklers, the gorgeous landscape as we hike those nature trails, or the priceless smiles while on our summer vacation, how can we take the best photos or at least the photos that will be social media worthy? Photographer Caleb Jones, whose photos have been published in Magnolia magazine and who has been hired by brands like Chick-fil-A and Atlanta Travel and Tourism, provides some practical tips on how to capture those summer moments to be picture-perfect. 

1. Capture candid moments

Instead of staging the “say cheese” photos where everyone looks at the camera, try capturing the candid moments of conversations happening at the family reunion, the smiles on the face of the child swinging on the swing set, or the kids handing out the cups of lemonade from their lemonade stand. A candid photo helps the viewer create a feeling of engagement, almost as if they were present in the moment. For those who were in the photo, a candid picture reminds them how they felt in the moment.

2. Change the angle of how you are capturing the photo

Instead of having the people in the photo move, you as the photographer move around. Perhaps you hunker down a little bit and shoot from an upward angle to capture the reaction of amazement on the child’s face as they watch the sparkler on the Fourth of July. Or you could stand up taller and get a down shot of the watermelon as everyone reaches in to grab a slice. Simply changing the angle of your photo can enhance the picture and even help in creating more dynamic and dramatic pictures.

3. Utilize your lighting

You might not always have that natural light pouring in, so use your ISO on your phone or digital camera which helps maximize your light even in a dark room. Forty-five minutes before the sun sets (also referred to as the Golden Hour) is often perfect lighting whether it be capturing the beauty of nature, or even avoiding sharp shadows of capturing people.

4. Use editing software

You can purchase professional editing software for your computer, or simply download apps on your phone such as Caleb’s favorite, Lightroom, where you can edit your photos afterward to tailor to your personal preference such as muted tones or saturation. Editing can make the photo come alive where you are able to tell the story you want to tell.

Learn more photography tips with Caleb on Holly’s Highlights podcast, Season 1 Episode 10 available wherever you listen to podcasts such as Apple podcasts, Spotify, Pandora and even “Alexa, play Holly’s Highlights podcast Season 1 Episode 10.” Check out Caleb’s photography or connect with him at λ