February 25, 2013

5 Photography Tips // Guest Post

Hello readers of The Blue Birdhouse!  I'm Betsy, and I blog over at Heavens to Betsy, where I write about life, love, photography, DIY projects, and Jesus.  When Iris asked me to write a post that was photography-related, I was delighted!  I've been a photographer for a few years now, and I run a little photography business when I'm not busy teaching.  I mostly do portraits, engagements, and family photography, but I've branched out into weddings and live music as well.

Anyway, enough about me!  I thought that I'd share with you what I think are the 5 big things every photographer should think about, particularly about snapping photos of people, because that's what I do.

1.  Composition

Composition is what makes your photo pleasing to the eye.  Any photographer you talk to will tell you about the rule of thirds.  Imagine breaking your frame into thirds and position the subject of your photo in one of the outermost thirds.  There are times when it's appropriate to put your subject dead center, but often, the most interesting photos are when your subject is positioned to the left or right.  Also be aware of where your light source is and pay attention to the lighting in your frame!

2.  Focus

Its SO important, when photographing people, to make sure your focus is in the right place.  Keep the focus of the photo tack-sharp on the eyes...that's what draws the viewer into the photo!  I love these photos of Kathy and Amanda because the background in both photos is blurred...they have great depth of field, and the focus is sharp on their eyes and face.

3.  Details

Its easy, when shooting portraits, to make sure you get good shots of your subject's face.  But what about all of the other details that make up the shoot?  The thing is, your subject has probably put a lot of thought into their outfit.  If you're doing an engagement shoot, there's a ring involved.  Some of my favorite photos from shoots don't even include the face of the subject!  I love how coordinated Nora and Brad were for their military-inspired shoot, and the way Brad folded Nora's hands into his was just precious...this photo communicates their love for one another without even showing their faces!

4.  Subject

Who is the subject of your photos?  If you're doing a shoot with just one person, the answer is obvious.  When you're doing engagement, couple, or family shoots, you have the ability to switch things up.  Often with engagement shoots, the bride-to-be is featured (and she should be!), but I like to make sure I also get a few shots where I focus on the groom-to-be.  These two photos from my cousin's engagement shoot show examples of featuring both the bride and groom simply by varying who is looking at the camera.

5.  Keep it Fun!

Any time you're taking photos of people, there's the potential for them to be stiff or nervous, and those emotions will come through in their photos!  Look for ways to keep it fun and loose, especially when you're working with kids.  I did a family shoot this fall, and we took advantage of the fall leaves and incorporated them into the shoot!  Sure, we also took serious, posed family shots, but having spent time playing and loosening up at the beginning of the shoot made everyone more comfortable, and made the entire experience fun and exciting!

So those are some of my tips.  I'm definitely still learning and growing as a photographer, but these tips are just some of the things I've learned over the past few years.

If you like my work, I'd invite you to stop by my personal blog, photography website, or Facebook page!  And if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at betsy.gettis@gmail.com!


Thank you so much Betsy for visiting  my blog and giving us this great advice.  I don't remeber how I found Betsy's blog but its such a joy to read her posts and she has been my sponser....for a few months now and i am really enjoying getting to know her.

If you've learned something new...comment and tell us...and go visit her blog and say hello! ☺



  1. WOW! Such great idvice! I have had a camera for about 2 years now (not a expensive one but still pretty nice) and i have never really been good a photography. I am glad that i learned some useful tips for picture taking! especially since i am hoping to get instagram soon. Another great guest post Iris! And Betsy!-Follower of Christ

  2. Thanks Iris! Loved getting to share your space for the day! :)

  3. Thanks so much for this information, the thirds - that's something I need to remember and work on!


  4. Such great idvice! I have had a camera for about 2 years now (not a expensive one but still pretty nice) and i have never really been good a photography. Photography Freelancing Site


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