Taking a Great Photo

Move in closer. No zoom. If you have the option to move closer to the subject you are taking photographs of, then do so. Avoid using the zoom as much as possible. Your photos will turn out clearer if you get close to your subject rather thani f you stand back and depend on the zoom.

Fill the frame: Your subject should almost fill the frame. This helps your viewer understand and appreciate your photo. The details are often more interesting than an overall view.

Avoid direct sunlight or sun and shadow mixed: This well help you avoid harsh shadows or a subject that is half in the sun and half in the shade.

Shooting outside: Shoot with the sun behind you. Which ways are the shadows falling? Unless you want a silhouette effect, where your subject is black against an interesting background, it's generally best to have the light/sun behind you (the photographer) and in front of your subject. How is the light affecting your subject? Is the subject squinting? If it is overcast, simply keep the sky out of your pictures as much as possible. This is usually the best way to avoid both muted tones in your subject and washed out skies in your background.

Using flash outdoors: Try snapping photos with and without the flash. Often even in the bright sun, the flash can help take away shadows in the face.

Using flash indoors: Lighting at our sites is usually quite low, so try taking a couple of photos with the flash and a couple without to see what works. If you are not using a flash indoors try leaning against a wall or table to keep the camera steady. Low indoor lighting can often lead to blurry pictures.

Not using flash indoors: If you are not using a flash indoors try leaning against a wall or table to keep the camera steady. Low indoor lighting can often lead to blurry pictures.

Take several photos: As already mentioned, more is great! Do not worry about taking too many pictures. Take a number of photos with and without flash, with different angles and poses, inside and outside, etc. The more options, the better!

Remove distractions: Try to keep anything that would distract out of the picture. Focus on your subject, and as mentioned before, move closer to your subject so they fill the frame. We are not interested in the bookshelf beside them or the painting on the wall (even if it is a beautiful painting)!

Rule of thirds: Imagine that every scene you look at through your viewfinder has a tic-tac-toe grid over it. You want to capture interesting things in the intersection points of this nine-square grid and avoid putting things into the centre square. The red dots in the grid below mark the intersection points. Try and place your subject in those points, rather than right in the centre of the photo.

Try different angles: Try getting up high and shooting down — people look great when shot from a few feet above their heads. Get down low to shoot shorter adults and children. Don't be afraid to climb, kneel, lean, tilt the camera, hold it over your head, shoot from the waist or any other unconventional things to get a photo that's interesting … as long as your hand is steady!

Be steady: Brace yourself against buildings or tables. Hold the camera tight to your body for additional stability and breathe properly so your low light shots don't turn out blurry.