Photography: 10 Things Not To Do

10 things not to do
Becoming a better photographer doesn’t happen overnight! It’s something that takes time and lots of practice! Today I’m here to share with you 10 things not to do. Kelli and I created this list based on mistakes we first made when we first started photographing. These are 10 common mistakes that you don’t want to make. Enjoy!

1 use auto flash all the time

1. Use Auto Flash ALL The Time Oh no no no no. This is a common mistake that is so easy to fix! Just turn off your automatic flash. See how in the above examples the auto flash makes the photo look flat and washed out, don’t let this happen to your photos! Natural light is lovely, so take advantage of it!

2 ignore your background

2. Ignore Your Color Story and Composition How many times have you seen a photo with a super distracting background? The above example is a little extreme, but always be sure to choose backgrounds that compliment the people or objects in your photos! Choose a color that makes your color story stronger, not more busy.

3. Plan To Crop Everything Later Kelli told me over and over that she never has to crop a photo in photoshop because she always composes photos exactly how she wants them through the viewfinder. I love this challenge! When you compose a photo how you want it, you will get the best point of focus and a stronger image than if you crop everything later.

4. Pose In Direct Sunlight This is something you should never do, if you can avoid it! Unless, of course you want a photo that looks something like this…

4 pose in direct sunlight

Wow! So unflattering. Now, There are ways to make sunlight work for you but this is most definitely not it! Direct sunlight has ruined many pretty photos, so don’t let it ruin yours! Read more in our articles about tips for outdoor photography and working with backlight and sun flare.

5. Ignore The Details… They’re Not Important It’s easy to forget to snap photos of little details in our day to day lives. Below is a collage of some of my favorite small moments over the past few years. Don’t ignore the details! Be intentional about capturing them on camera. They might just turn out to be some of your favorite memories.

5 ignore the details

6. Copy Someone Else….Exactly A lot of young photographers make the mistake of being “too inspired” by another photographer. Sometimes people don’t even mean to “copy” but it doesn’t make it ok. Copying someone you admire is awkward for you and for them… it’s just no good. It’s ok to be inspired by other people, but don’t use their exact ideas and compositions! Create something fresh and beautiful that you can be proud to call your own.

7. Post Every Photo You Took Today Have you ever seen someone upload every single photo from their holiday on Facebook? It kinda feels like they didn’t take the time to go through and pick the best ones. Don’t do this. Posting too many repeat photos takes attention away from your best photos. Take the time to choose your favorite photos before you hit the upload button!

 8 take photos only at night
8. Take Photos Exclusively At Night I used to be one of those people who took ALL my DIY photos at night because I just didn’t have time to do it during the day. See the above example for what a huge difference some natural light can make. Both photos were taken without the flash on auto settings. There will, of course, always be instances where night photos are necessary- like a party or event. These days, if I have a choice I will ALWAYS take my blog photos during the daylight. Even if it means I have to wake up an hour earlier or rearrange my schedule it’s very worth it!

9. Stick With What You Know Don’t forget to branch out. As a photographer I always go through phases where I learn a new skill and then use it a whole lot. Sometimes I get in a rut where I don’t try new things for a long time. I think it’s important to never stop learning. I do better work when I’m actively learning new things and challenging myself. What about you?

10. Post Your Photos To Facebook & Never Look Back One of the saddest things about living in the digital age is that many people no longer print out their memories! For the first few years of my dating relationship with Jeremy I made this very mistake. I realized that I was posting photos online, but not doing anything else with them. Since we’ve been married I’ve been making an effort to print photos out, order albums and frame photos in our home. I love this habit. It’s healthy and makes me more thankful for each and every memory when I see the photos. If you’re not in the habit of printing photos, order some today! I promise you’ll be happy you did.

10 post your photos to facebook only
Thanks for reading! I’ve had so much fun teaching photography lately! Thank you for all your kind comments. It’s fun to hear that some of you are super excited about photographing your life too!


For more tips, be sure to check out our photography e-courses! xoxo. elsie

  • This is amazing! I love, love your style(s). It is great to hear helpful tips! (whew) 😀

  • Thanks for the great tips! They seem common knowledge, but if you’re a beginner at something, even the most basic things are new.

  • Great TIPS Girls, I used to print all my pictures but now everything is only digital… I love photography and I like to learn all that I can about it, so Thanks..!!! Xoxo

  • Ur blog is sooooooooooo helpful, I’ll def be reading this religiously ^_^ (especially ur photog and fashion posts). LOVE! Am now following 🙂
    Would love it if you checked out my blog and followed, I’d be honored! 🙂

  • Thank you for these great pointers, I’ve just gotten myself a new camera and really want to play around with it! I’m also going to order those photos! I have a house full of empty frames much to the amusement of my friends when they visit! x

  • I love all those tips! it’s always so helpful when they come from someone who knows what they’re doing(: but can i just say that the photo of you and emma in direct sunlight is adorable? your faces are priceless(;

  • so many great tips to meditate on and YES admittedly I have been making quite a few of these mistakes!!!! A big one for me was coming up with my own creative inspiration for a photo or shoot and I guess I was always comparing myself to the photographers I admired and now I realise that I was just dumping my own style. You have made me realise just how important it is to be ouselves when we take our photographs. Thank you!!

  • i really don’t know much about photography, and am guilty of a few of these (hello, nighttime photoshoots!). these are awesome tips and i have to keep them in mind the next time i use my camera!

  • I love this! Thnx so much~ I’m thinking of becoming a photographer and this helps so much~!

  • I love your blog! It’s so well organized and pleasing to the eye. I’m really appreciating all the great tips, too!

  • Hi Elsie,
    I am a brand new reader to your blog and I love it! Great practical info and beautiful blog design, especially the photography!
    I am wondering if you could tell me how you printed the pics in tip 10 in the bottom left hand corner (square prints with great borders). I love it and would like to print some of mine in a similar fashion.
    Thanks kindly! 🙂

  • These are great tips and makes me think about the mistakes I make when taking photos – esp. point 8! Thanks for sharing!

  • These are great tips that I will definitely keep in mind! 🙂 ♥

  • i would love some one on one time!!! im a mother of two beautiful girls and a wife. im just starting out and there is soooo much i need to learn. Please contact me if possible =)

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  • Fabulous!! What a great instructor! Do you have other “tips” pages! 🙂

  • i love your photography tips, they’re so helpful! it’s good to read such advice, rather than just, get a better camera!

    katie x

  • Awesome tips Elsie!!! These are all quite useful especially since I’m a new Dslr user!

    Thank you:]



  • Awesome tips, I really loved reading this. I learned a lot as well – I like the idea of challenging yourself with your photography, now I just need to figure out my first challenge 🙂

    PS. You’re totally right about taking the DIY photos during the day. You’re also right about the lack of time during the day. Such a conundrum.

  • I’m a young photographer who is trying to get started. I absolutely love taking pictures and I always am. I get a newer and better camera for Christmas each year. I’m still not very good though. These are really helpful things. Thanks so much!
    Much love,
    Photography Lover 13

  • Indeed quite creative, very pretty, you are really useful only.

  • I love this post and basically everything else I read on your page. Beautiful, fun layout and lots of great info on all my favorite subjects.

    about this post specifically- Great tips for photographers who are just starting out (like me- i am about a 14 months in and still soaking up as much info as I can find!). thanks again

  • Amazing tips, thanks Elsie. LOVING your blog, youre a very inspiring chick 🙂

  • I like the Gladiola Yellow Carry-All Shoulder Bag the most! These colours are perfect for spring. 🙂
    Thanks for the chance and many greetings!

  • So, first of I have to say that I love your blog! I visit it several times a day every day. And I especially love your photograph-tutorials, and actually everything post that gets posted here.

    But I was really wondering if you had any tips on taking promotion and commercial photos for clothing stores, because I’ve got a school project where I am going to make a store, with the logo, name, idea and make commercial and promotion for it. Was just wondering if you had any tips or something? 
    Love, Elise

  • You are such an inspiration! Right now every time i take a picture i always remember when you said “there are no wasted photos”. Its always something for someone. Now i understand! Im striving to learn more. Thank you so much for all your tips! 🙂

  • These are great tips – thank you for sharing your experience! I love playing with my camera and when you post something I haven’t tried yet I make an effort to try it out. Its a fun learning experience for me 🙂

  • fabulous post and wonderful tips! i really really love your blog elsie! its the bestest!


    Ginger and Lace

  • Thanks so much for the tips! I’m finding as my photography gets better, where I get them printed matters so much more. There’s a reason drugstores and bigbox stores only charge 15 cents for a print! Do you have any advice for where to buy prints that look great and are reasonably priced?

  • Oh wow, just come across your blog, its so lovely. Great tips also, I am an amateur photographer so always great to read other peoples tips xx

  • Great tips. I too have starting printing out some of the best photos and making picture books since I had a baby. Having a physical photo is so much more special than just seeing it online.

    And I’m a big fan of taking photos of the little things….it makes the everyday so much more enjoyable!

  • Thanks for all the photo tips. I want to get better at this.

  • Thank you for all those photography tips ! I love photography, and I love your photos.

    mcpb from France 😉

  • What a helpful post! I too NEVER use flash, it makes suck yucky photos…I really like the advice about making time to take pictures in the daytime. It’s hard for me to find time around work/kid/commuting, but that is definitely something i could become better at doing. 🙂

  • Love this post.

    I have been a bad girl in terms of lazy photo taking. I promise to better my practice! Oh to be a real life photographer!

    First time I’ve commented on your site. I love it!

  • Thank you so much for all of the posts you do about photography. I LOVE photography and would like this to be a job for me. But just starting out I feel SOOO overwhelmed and not good enough to make it in the business. Your posts help me to break things down slowly and not feel as overwhelmed about it! Thank you! looove this website. you gals are great! 🙂

  • Thank you for all the great photography tips, they have been very helpful!

  • Awesome post. Your photography tips are always so great! I am guilty of number 10 (need to remember to start printing photos). I LOVE number 5 and pictures of little details.
    XOXO Ginny

  • this is great! just what i needed. I am such an amateur photographer. I don’t have a fancy expensive camera, only an old compact but these tips don’t even require one! Thank you! xx

  • So nice all yours recommendations. I’m a amateur photographer but always I’m looking for new tips. By the way, I’m from a Latin American country and here my friends and I love this page and your tutorials.
    Thanks for remind me that I need to print out more pictures haha.

  • I love your point 9. I have been stuck in this for a while now. As a hobbyist in photography, we do learn few things and practice them.

    The few problems we encounter though, is that we loved that particular technique (especially when it works every time) that we simply stopped learning more. We could always “put it in the bag” with what we’ve learned and learn new stuff…but then, we are also in fear of loosing what we’ve learned because we don’t go out shooting that much.

    Resources (limitation): I am into strobes based photography these days. I only have 2 umbrellas and of course 2 flashes to work with. Most of us are working full time and in saying that buying new things hurts our pocket. That too is my case and as such, am working off these two equipment.

    But in your point 9. I tend to really stick with what I know (on stuff that works every time) because it works…but that can be a downfall on it’s own…

  • I love the ideas they are amazing! I am following you and pinterest and instagram! I absolutely love your photos but i was wondering. I have all these amazing pictures that I took on my iphone using instagram. Do you know any places i can print the square pictures out? Thanks so much:) I love your blog!

  • I’m 14 and I absolutely love photography. It’s one of my favourite interests. I love trying out new ways of taking photos and I like to take pictures of places, events, people I love and of things that are intersting and exciting.

    I like to blog about recipes, sewing/craft tutorials, photoshoots, inspiration, beauty etc on my blog and I love taking photos of them. I will never be tired of photography.

    – Becky x <--- My blog, hehe!

  • Hi Elsie,

    What a great and super helpful post. I will inplement this tips right away. I’m constantly learning so much from your blog and now from the e-course on blogging that i recently purchased. I’m so loving that e-course,I can’t rave enough about it. I’ve seen a difference already in my way of thinkikng and I did some changes to my blog. You’re so talented Elsie.

    I would love it if you could visit my blog when you get a chance and tell what you think.


  • Thank you so much for this post. I pretty much do them all, but its nice to have a refresher!!!

    i am so guilty of not printing my pics out – i really need to spend some time doing that.


  • Great tips! I hate flash, don’t see the point of using it during the day. Unfortunately, all my photos are dark since the only time that it’s light outside is when I’m at work 🙁 Bring on the summer! xx

  • GREAT tips! i learned a lot of these the hard way, but there were still some i hadn’t thought of (like choosing my background to enhance my color story – brilliant!). thanks so much for sharing these, elsie.

  • THANK YOU FOR #7! It drives me bonkers when people post every single photo they’ve ever taken in a Facebook album. I see so much more value in posting 10 great photos than 100 average ones. xo

  • Excellent tips – especially in an age when just about everyone fancies themselves a photographer

  • This is a wonderful post! It will be saved in my bookmarks, so helpful! Thanks for the tipps 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this post! It really opened my eyes to my mistakes in photographing.

    Especially the DIY post picture thing, I always take the photos by night and now I realized how much better the day light makes them to look.

  • Love this series! I would love it if you would do a post on shooting in manual! 🙂

  • thanks so much for the ideas and inspiration! I’m just getting in to photography and really loving it. Your tips are a great help!

    ps. I’m a new follower and I really love your blog. thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Great tips. I know these already, but my stumbling block is that I generally need someone to prompt me to try taking photos using this feature/not using that feature on my camera. There’s a project in there somewhere…!

  • thank you for this fabulous tutorial!!! I came across this via Roben Marie Smith’s link on FaceBook.

  • Omg, what a great post! Haha, I do these mistakes all the time. Now I’ve learned something! Will use the tips while taking photos for my own blog. Thank you!

  • Thanks for the tips! I soo appreciate them :)I’m slowly trying to create small photo books for my lil one. I’m guilty of posting and not printing. P.S. Luv this blog <3

  • Thanks for this! You have some awesome points. I just attended a photography workshop last weekend and they said a lot of the same things! I love your photography style, it’s great! xo

  • Is that Tarte blush not absolutely amazing! I wear the same color every day!

  • such a good post! Most tips I already know through trial and error, but it’s fun and interesting to read either way and helpful for many.

  • Awesome tips, I especially agree with the last one!! It’s just so nice to have photos around the house, and not just on the computer/fb/flickr etc, It’s nice to look at them each day and smile 🙂

  • Hi! Where do you order your photos from to get them square? 🙂
    Great tips btw!

  • im so guilty of not regularly printing out photos and its very sad!!!

  • Hi Elsie, love your photography posts!!! this one and the one about the self portrait are amazing!!! I always fight with people I know about the flash, my husband is a photographer and only they can get it right, it should really say: use carefully!!!.
    I would like to hear your input on posing and editing… I love taking pictures of people around me and I find it best to “rob” their moments and portray them without them knowing. Everytime I ask them to smile, the pictures just not look the same, so I became like a reporter/paparazzi, family and friend style.
    Because of that, I have so many pictures that editing it’s hard!!!
    Thanks again!

  • I’m loving all these photography tips, they re all great and very useful!!

  • How about a post on how to print pics including tips on how to fix mistakes if you haven’t followed your wonderful tips. 😉

  • Thank you SO much for all your wonderful photography tips. I’m just an amateur with a DSLR but I’ve learned so much through awesome sites like yours over the past year, I feel like I’m starting to actually know I think or two about what I’m doing (and I finally stopped shooting on Auto all the time!).
    When I started my blog, I especially loved your self-portrait tips, as my hubs doesn’t get home before dark so I have to get out and take my own outfit pics if I want to. Thanks a ton for sharing your wealth of knowledge 🙂


  • Thanks for the great advice! I love the idea of printing down photos and making albums. We have some great pictures of my older daughter (because we lived out of the country when she was born and sent them home to family a lot) but not so many of my youngest. I’m going to plan to make them each an album 😉

  • great post. how are those bottom pics printed (square ones) – lovely!

  • These are awesome tips! I am guilty of a few of these, particularly never printing photos, that’s one I need to fix ASAP!

  • Thank you for the advice. Years ago you posted photography tips, and to this day I do not use my flash. It is always off and I look for natural light always. These tips are priceless and they have saved me tons of money because I take my own portraits of family.

  • Print photos out…its so hard to remember now a days but it’s a really, really great tip!!

  • Such great tips!! I just got a new Camera and am trying to get the hang of things!


  • Amazing post! These tips are SUPER-helpful, and as a new blogger and blog-photographer of sorts (?), I think I’ve made quite a few of these mistakes over the past year…but no longer! And thanks for the examples–they do a GREAT job of illustrating what you’re talking about 🙂

    You’re the best!


  • Great post! Love all of these tips. Especially the last one about printing out photos! Growing up I had boxes of photos. Now they all live on my hard drives… Must change!

  • Great post, Elsie! 🙂 I really love your tips because they are really helpful especially to new bloggers just like me. 🙂 I love that you discuss thoroughly your points which make them easier for us to understand!


  • I really need to remember the last one–I take so many photos but hardly ever change the ones we have in frames.

  • Thank you for these posts. They are clear and backed up by good examples and are fun to read.

  • I just received a book on photography today, and have been browsing through it very eagerly. Your post just came at the rightest moment!!
    Great input, thanks for that!

  • Oh how I love printing photos out and taking them out from the old suitcase I keep them in, on rainy days for some sweet nostalgic moments in the company of some lavender tea or red vine 🙂 The fireplace is still missing from this “picture” though, but it is on my list :))

    Lovely tips, thanks

  • Thank you for this post!! I have recently developed an obsession with daytime “auto flash off” shots and although sometimes it takes a series of photos to get a good non-fuzzy one it is totally worth it in the end! Favourite is #10. Love having favourite pics pinned up EVERYWHERE!

  • These are sooo good, thanks so much for the advice. I’ve been noticing the difference with no. 7 as a lot of my family do that, and they think I’m soo lucky to get such good shots – really I take as many as them but i pick out the best one and when not surrounded by other similar photos it looks 10 times better than it would have!

    thanks for this


  • This is really great – thanks for this. I am also a beginner 🙂

  • That’s really usefull!Reading this post,I have realised how many mistakes I make.I would try to get better with your advices.

  • thank you!!! I do some of this things… i must to remember my self: don’t take photos at night!

  • Great, great, great tips! I love this kind of posts! Thank you!

  • As a beginner photographer and someone who is currently travelling I soak up any photography tips or inspiration like a sponge. These “don’t do” tips are worthy reminders that we learn from our mistakes!

    Thank you!

    Bird x

  • Haha, been there done that – especially posing people in the sunlight..! There´s just no way to look good that way, I´m glad I got over that phase..! 😀

  • Oh Elsie you make me so happy with your posts 🙂 I always learn something new. I love taking photos and I’m totally guilty of failure number 3. Uh oh.
    Thanks for all your tips ! 🙂



  • Love your photo tips! I’m new to taking outfit photos and these tips will definitely be useful!

  • Thank you!!!! You’re the best blogger I follow you always .-)

  • Love the photography style. Thanks for posting this article sure is a big help for us interested in photography.

  • Thank you very much, I like how you’re photographing, and every urouk dedicated to photography for me is very valuable.

  • I can’t remember the last time I updated my photo frames. Definitely need to get some printed!

  • thanks for the tips! they are really helpful! I really have to start focusing on the details. i love those kind of photos but it seems that i don’t have the “eye” to find myself the details. And i really need to start printing some photos. you are right, we take photos and we keep them “locked” in our computers! kisses from greece

  • These are such awesome tips!
    One of my all time pet peeves is people posting ALL their photos on facebook!
    I also really want to start printing off my photos, I really need to make the time to sort that out!
    Thanks for such awesome tips! 🙂

  • Great tips. These are the things that we know, but we forgot about it and it is great that one refresh your mind. Thank you.

  • Really great tips. I’ve been trying to only shoot during the day, for the reasons you noted, but it’s so hard! Any tips for night photography?

  • Thank you so much for all your tips. I read a post that you did about how you have different locations scouted for backdrops to use for your outfits of the day. I’m the administrator for my stores facebook page and after I read your post I thought “Well there is a really cool wall out side and we have tons of layered colored decals on the walls that I can use as backdrops.” My pics turned out fantastic!! I even print them out now and put them on the product so our customers can see how it looks on an actual person. Thanks so much. If you have time check us out on instagram username: old_navy_hanford. Thank you again for all the inspiration.

  • Haa I’m guilty of so many of these things, based solely on sheer laziness. I’m at best a complete newbie when it comes to photography, and it doesn’t help that I’m usually extremely busy with school during the day. I finally spent last Sunday cranking out some recipes, and the natural light (of course) made all the difference. The light in my kitchen is horrible, so I should really heed Tip #8.

  • This is definetely the best tutorial about photography I’ve read.
    Thank you for sharing all these amazing tips.


  • Love these tips! I need to get up earlier to take more photos in the sunlight…often run out of time.
    Catherine Denton

  • What a super post! Some great tips that I’ll definitely be using.

  • I just bought a new camera last month and I’ve been carrying it everywhere and taking so many photos. These photography articles have been super helpful to me as a new photographer! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

  • ty really enjoyed this will turn off that auto flash will get photos printed up and loved bit about sunlight have afew that have that screwed up look will check for next installment

  • Your sail boat dress is too cute<3 Looking forward to avoiding these photography no’s in the future!


  • thanks for these pointers. alot of my friends don’t “get” the flash thing or that i only photograph during the day…they kindof make fun, BUT, i’m really picky about what goes up on the blog.
    oh and the facebook pics…i chuckled.
    you are SO RIGHT.

  • Love these tips. These mistakes are so common and yet also so simple to fix. Thanks so much!

  • I love these tips! Great ideas I really love the photography tips posts!! 🙂

  • Great post! I have loved all of your photo-tutorial series and they have all been really helpful. Thank you!

  • I really couldn’t agree more with number one – I absolutely hate flash. And your last tip has inspired me to start printing my photos!

  • Else, I love your blog, I read it every single day!! You have always very nice topics and tips to write about! That’s so cool! I want to have a blog as yours one day…I hope can be good as u!! Kisses from Brazil! xxxx

  • What great tips! I definitely will be trying out some of the things you’ve mentioned here!

  • Good tips Elsie! Trying new things can be tough but it’s one of the best things that help me stay true to my love for photography.

  • I am so glad you posted this! I have been guilty of doing some of these luckily, I am trying to break the habit.

  • Thx so much for the tips Elsie, you always inspiring. Ok, I’ll begin to print my life photograph 😉

  • I’ve been a reader for a good while now and I have to say this segment about photography has been one of my all time favorites! I never realized how important certain aspects can be, until I tried it. Thank you so much! I’m truly looking forward to reading more of your photography tips.

  • Love this! I’m not a photographer, but this inspires me. Thanks so much!

  • Great tips Elsie! My New Years resolution this year is to print my photos! Otherwise, we’ll never have photo albums for our kids and grandkids to look at in the future (I use to always go through my parent’s photo albums- still do!)

  • I totally love this whole series, and I have always loved your photos! Now I know all your secrets… [cue evil laugh]… Really. Honestly. Thank you for this!

  • Elsie, I have loved every post in this photography series. SO many amazing and helpful tips and such simple ways to improve. Thank you so much. I look forward to more!

  • Such a lovely post Elsie. I’ve already learned so much from you, reading your blog everyday and everyday I get to learn more! You have some really excellent tips in this post.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Thank you for the tips! Today I actually photographed my first outfit post and it was actually really hard! I’ll definitely keep these in mind. 🙂

    Et tu, tutu?

  • Thank you for another awesome photography post. I read your blog all the time and absolutely love it; keep up the great work!

  • I’ve been very guilty of #10, but in the past year I’ve tried to be more proactive about printing out photos & creating photo books of big trips. It’s a start.

    #5 is my goal for this year. Photos of small details tend to be my favorite when I look at blogs, but I never take the time to do it myself.

  • Do you have recommendations for ordering prints online? Great post!

  • I’m a sophomore in high school and one of the courses I’m taking right now is Photography. Using film and all…no digital! I prefer digital, but it’s always fun to see my negatives come out once I’ve labored away developing them. Same with the prints! after choosing settings, burning and dodging, etc in the dark room, I love seeing the final result. People take for granted the digital pictures (I did, too) til I started taking the Photography class! We also take digital pictures though, and I can really see the parallels from what I’ve learned in school and what you’ve been posting about. You really know your stuff and my teacher has been impressed after I’ve followed your tips! Sorry for the wordy post, but you deserve a proper thank you for all of the photographing tips you’ve been posting lately! They mean a lot to some of us! <333

  • that’s hilarious! for a party event, someone told me to turn the flash on and i did an example for them & showed them.. it was so unflattering… now my brother jokes around w/ me about it. i never put flash on.. i think i’ve done it maybe a handful of times since i owned my dslr. just for test shots, nothing to keep though. just to reassure myself how unflattering it is.

    thanks for sharing! we share very similar morals about this 🙂

  • your last tip is the best. 🙂 holding a picture in your hands makes you feel more connected to the memory, in my opinion.


  • Thanks so much for the tips!! I just got my first DSLR camera, and this was super helpful 🙂

  • What good timing this post had! I just picked up photography as a hobby this very afternoon for the first time in 6 years and lo and behold, upon checking in with the blogs I follow, you’d written this article. It felt like a sign. 🙂

    Thank you!

  • I am so loving your photography tips! No. 10 is so very true and a mistake I made too. I’m still laughing at that photo of Emma with the busy background. Looks like her hips grew three feet!

    ♥ sécia

  • Excellent advice and reminders. Since I don’t use an SLR, if you have any other tips for point and shoots that would be great. (Most of the above I can use with my PS, but I’d love more advice for getting great shots from a PS).

    Lily-Thinking Thoughts

  • I love when you post about photography because I am trying to learn myself. I just got a DSLR camera for my birthday and I am trying, one day at a time, to figure it out. All of the fun things I can do with it. I love reading your tips.

    Thank you!

  • These are great tips! I really like all your photography advice posts. They are very helpful and good reminders for some things I tend to forget. Thanks!

  • excellent post, thank you very much for posting this. I agree the most about details story, I prefer that photos the most. Love yr love wall over there*

  • Great advice! I am always trying to improve my photos and these are definitely things to keep in mind.

  • That was a really helpful post! Totally agree with you about printing photos!

    I was just wondering though, do you need to have an expensive and fancy camera to take good photos? Also, what program do you use to write on your pictures?

  • These are great tips and made me think about some things that I’ve been doing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Wow this is so helpful… For some reason i really hate flash they flattened all the colour and texture..


  • These are so helpful. I especially love the one about taking your photos to avoid cropping! such a time saver!

  • Thank you!! So helpful…really love these tips. Hope these will help me take better pics for my blog too.

  • I love these tips! Not using autoflash has been one of the best photography decisions I have ever made. I want to keep challenging myself to produce the best images possible for my blog, and your posts inspire me to stay on the right track!

  • Hi Elsie, I have a question I read your photography post on sun flare and I tried it yesterday at the golden hour, I place my subject in front of the sun and the picture turned out where my subject was too dark and you couldn’t see the sun at all it didn’t even look like there was sun behind him, could you tell me maybe what I did wrong, I tried it with the flash on then off then I went through all the settings I tried standing in different angles etc. nothing they were all dark ugh so disappointed any tweaks you think I need to make would help! Thanks!

  • I really enjoy reading your photography tips. I am a beginner at this and have learned a tremendous amount about photography by reading your posts. Thanks a lot ~*

  • This is all absolutely excellent advice. I just made the direct sunlight mistake today, and then had to reshoot a bunch of outfit photos.

    Thanks guys, these tips are so helpful!

  • Thank you for this series. One of the points on my list this year is to get better at photography so this is very helpful. Especially as I’m such a beginner!

  • I loved this post! Actually, I’ve loved all the previous post with photography tips, but I think that talking about what NOT to do is so important, especially for beginners like myself! Some of these are things we wouldn’t even think about at the start, until we get the pictures on the computer, only to see they’re not what we expected and can’t figure out what went wrong.

    I think that these are great tips for anyone who’s using a camera, no matter how often. 🙂

  • This is my favorite post ever! I love Emma’s don’t do shot! Hilarious~

  • Thank you for this! I am guilty of a lot of these things you should not do. I also really need to start ordering pictures!!

  • What simple, yet great tips! I love the tip for printing out photos. Coincidentally, I was flipping through some old photos albums (albums that were made when Facebook wasn’t around) and thought, “why don’t I do this anymore?” It’s a sad fact that everything is digital now but a motivator to start making photo albums and scrapbooking again 🙂

    As always, thanks ladies!

  • I really like your article. I have been reading your blog a lot lately and it has inspired me to want to take up photography again! I could never afford a good camera, which is why I gave up on the idea before. But with today’s technology, my phone has a pretty good camera, so I am not going to give up on it this time! Thanks for the inspiration! You should check out my blog. I would love to get your input!

  • I really like this article. I have been reading your blog a lot lately and it has inspired me to want to take up photography again. I always liked it, but could never afford a good camera. I still can’t afford one, but I am not going to let that stop me. Nowadays, we have phones with great cameras! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Great tips and such helpful thoughts! I wish i remembred to actually bring my camera with me more often so I could actually take more pictures!

    Check out

  • I have really enjoyed this series and am recording some new tips I have not tried before. Your last tip really struck a cord with me as I have no photos of my boyfriend (of 5 yrs!) and I in our home, except on my blog or facebook. I am definitely going to order some prints and make a blurb book for our anniversary.

    Its been great to getting advice from a blogger and awesome photographer I really admire! Thanks Elsie and Kelli!

  • Those are all great tips and I will keep all of them in mind when taking pictures.

  • Great ideas! I’ve been getting very into photography lately, and these tips will definitely help me! 🙂 You’re an excellent photographer!

    xo Eden

  • I am really loving these photography posts Elsie! Thanks so much for these…they are so helpful and great to read!

  • Great tips for a beginning photographer. So much of a beginner that usually feel that I have no idea what I’m doing and end up taking a zillion photos for just one good one. Lighting is the trickiest especially for product shots… It’s all about practice and learning new tips like these. =) Thanks!

  • great advice! I try to follow most of these rules pretty strictly on my blog but I can totally see myself getting repetitive with my outfit posts. I will have to switch it up somehow. Also, I totally never print out my photos, boo! I just got my wedding pics so I think it is time to start ordering albums and such. Thanks Elsie!

  • Great post! I actually just had prints made the other day, and it was such a great feeling to look through them.

    When I first got my digital SLR, I shot everything in auto, with the flash on. Many of my first pictures were just… bad. Just plain bad. Did you find it hard at first to shoot little detail moments with your SLR? I feel so conspicuous, so I usually end up shooting with my phone again, and the quality is pretty sorely lacking (2mp iPhone 3G). Do you have any tips for that?

  • thanks elsie! i’m learning so much from your photography series! 🙂

  • I love these tips! Number ten is definitely my favorite, though. You’re totally right; it’s too easy these days to take beautiful pictures and never do anything with them. Your blog has certainly given me a lot of wonderful ideas for how to make use of my prints!

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