Anna Rahkonen


Anna Rahkonen


Channler Smith

We have compiled a list of helpful tips for any photographer, ranging from beginner to advanced. These tips are proven to be helpful in ensuring your work looks professional!

Working With Sunlight

Natural lighting can be your best friend for creating beautiful shots that are easily achievable! The “golden hour” (the time of day right before sunrise or sunset) is the optimal time to shoot if you want to enhance your photos with a more reddish and soft glow than you would achieve by shooting with the harsh shadows and tones of the midday sun.

The bright midday sun can also be a great time to use harsh lighting to your advantage. In order to achieve ideal midday shots, it is best to use a lower ISO. Shots with a lower ISO setting will appear crisper and minimally grainy. Photos taken in midday sunlight with a low ISO often lend themselves to being great close up or detailed shots.

At any time of day, you can play with how your pictures are lit by the sun by using shadows and blocking to your advantage. If you can access a location in which you can capture a building’s shadow and the sunlight all in one frame, you can experiment with your creativity by manipulating how much space the shadow occupies in the shot.

Nighttime and Neon Photography

If you’re interested in trying out your photography skills at night, a good place to start is with neon lights or signs. Capturing the glow of neon light is a great way to exercise your handle on the basics of photography.

Your aperture (f stop) has to be on a wide setting so that the lens can get as much light into the shot as possible. In addition, your ISO has to be set higher than you would normally set it during the day. This is because you have less light to work with, and also because neon photography isn’t always inhibited by grain or “noise” in the photo. Finally, the shutter speed has to be longer so that the lens can fully pick up all the visual information of the scene.

If your settings for your nighttime shoot are not adjusted properly, there can be multiple consequences. If your shutter speed is not long enough, your camera will not have enough time to adequately pick up the details of the scene. Also, if your aperture is not on a wide enough setting (the higher the number, the narrower the aperture) the lens will not take in enough light which will result in poorly lit shots.

Playing With Color

There are places all around you where you can find unique lighting or settings for your shoots! For example, if a building or location has colorful lights, you can experiment with your settings and equipment to craft artistic and unique shots by utilizing the light. Taking steps to better your photography skills is much simpler than you may think, you just have to think outside of the box and utilize your resources in order to efficiently hone your creative voice.