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Say Cheese: Tips for Taking Awesome Photos

Close up of a man holding a 35MM camera taking a photo of a grassy area

Whether you use the camera function on your phone or you have a full-on DSLR camera, you’ll want to check out our tips for taking awesome photos. May is National Photography Month, so bust out your camera and take some photos in your home at Tower at OPOP Apartments or elsewhere here in St. Louis, MO. Learn how to make your photos more engaging by practicing these basic photography tips.


If you haven’t already, take some time to familiarize yourself with your camera’s functions. If you don’t know what you have available to use, you’ll be limiting what you can accomplish! Figure out what works and what doesn’t with your style and your equipment! Get to know your camera, whether it’s the one that comes with your smartphone or a DSLR, and what it can do by taking a few photos and trying out its functions. Not all of them will accomplish a look you love 100 percent of the time, but figuring out what works will give you wisdom you can use in the future. Brush up on ISO, shutter speed, and aperture so you can make the most of lighting in every situation.


Composition of a photo is key. Learn and live by composition guidelines — at least at first. If you’re new to photography, learn tried and true ways to compose the elements in your photo in a way that engages the viewer and pleases the eye. Learn the importance of balance, leading lines, the Rule of Thirds, simplicity, backgrounds, and more composition rules that can help you use what you have to create compelling photos. As you become more familiar with these guidelines, you can find ways to creatively bend or break these “rules” in ways that work for you — but first you need to know what they are.


Practice makes perfect is not just a platitude when it comes to photography. Dedicate yourself to constant learning. There’s a lot that you can learn from your own experiences and those of others, so widen your perspective of what tips, tricks, and styles are available to you. Follow a variety of photographers on social media platforms, particularly Instagram. Look up tutorials for specific situations, like night photography, bird photography, or portrait photography to learn more about a niche you’re interested in. You can have a lot of fun exercising your artistic freedom with photography, whether you want to make it a serious or an occasional hobby. Then grab your camera and get started!


We hope these tips help you as you take and share photos. Thanks for reading our post!