How to take great photos

So, the makeup is done. Now let’s talk photos. Another talented friend of ours, Jenna of Jenna and Eddy Photography, is here to give you her top tips for getting the perfect photo. 
     I have enjoyed the constant dissatisfaction of being a photographer. I know that sounds negative but the reality for me is, if I am stagnant and satisfied with the work in doing, then that’s where the growth stops. I find myself going through phases: it’s all about the gear, the light, the location, the posing, the composition, the editing… When it is actually all of it. I hope that sharing a bit about my experiences will help you grow in your photography skills more quickly. If I were to talk to my amateur self 4 years ago, this is the advice I would give:
Find good light:  That’s vague. There are a few kinds of good light. A lot of people talk about the magic hour. Which is the first and last hour of daylight. As the sun is lower in the sky, the direction of the light is more flattering to skin than high noon where you might see raccoon like shadows under your eyes. It also casts a very beautiful golden tone that naturals adds warmth to your images.
If you do find yourself photographing in harsh afternoon light, look for full shade. Flat shade is best as to not have spots of light on faces. When you find shade from a building, awning etc now look at what is reflecting light onto your subject. If it’s grass, the skin tones may appear green. Unless you want to look like Elpheba from the musical wicked, look for more neutral natural light reflectors such as a concrete driveway, a sandy beach or a light stone colored pathway. 
If shade is a more difficult thing to find in your situation, try backlighting your subject. This takes a little knowledge of your camera and how to manipulate it to achieve the look you want. Put the person in front or diagonal of the light. Over expose your camera a stop to overcompensate for all the light behind your subject and to help brighten the skin.
Eliminate distracting elements:  Cars, and street signs are everywhere and sometimes can muddy up a photo. One way to disguise such eye sores is to open up your aperture (make the number smaller). That soft, beautiful blur of the back ground is achieved by shooting at an aperture of 2.8 or below. I prefer 1.2. Open apertures (smaller numbers) are great for portraits as the subject will be in focus and everything else behind it will have a beautiful soft bokah or blur you are hoping for. 
Keep your editing natural: when editing my images, I want to keep a consistent light and airy feel. I start with taking auto my exposure a bit, correcting the color tones (white balance) and pulling down my blacks that may have been compromised in the brightening. In my opinion, images that are over saturated, over sharpened, or HDR d look amateurish. Someone told me at the beginning of my photography career that when you look back at your work years from now, you will always have regrets so it’s best to keep things simple and classic. 
I hope these tips help you achieve fabulous images.
Thank you Jenna. Check out more of Jenna’s photos on her amazing website jennaeddyphotographers.com.

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