Friday Photo Tips

Each Friday I post a new photo tip to help you sharpen your photography skills. I cover all levels of ability, because even if you’re just taking photos with your phone and posting them on social media, great photography enriches our lives.

This page is a collection of all of the tips. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube to see them each week.

When you’re trying out some of the new skills you’ve learned, use #ZDPPhotoChallenge on social media to share your images with me. I’ll take a look, comment and post some to my stories.

Friday Photo Tip 21: Family Lesson

We’re all at home for a bit, so take a look at this family photo lesson to learn how to take better photos! This video is a great start for all ages. It’s simple and will get you taking better photos right away. I talk about things like framing, the proper way to “zoom” and a 5-second practice that prevents smudgy photos.

Friday Photo Tip 20: Sports Action

There’s a lot more to getting great action shots than most people realize. Fundamentals of photography are key, and I think many novice photographers overlook that.

In this video I talk about using light, composition, and angles to improve your sports photography. I also address techniques for better background blur (bokeh) and freezing action.

Friday Photo Tip 19: Sports Story

You don’t need expensive gear to shoot sports. Focus on telling a story with a wide-angle or medium lens. Work on getting the different types of shots in this video and you’ll have a great story with dynamic images.

Friday Photo Tip 18: RAW vs JPG

When do you shoot a RAW file and when do you shoot JPG? I always shoot RAW if it’s for a client or something I might want to use in a professional capacity. Sure, the file sizes are 4-6x larger, but all that extra data means you can make more color and exposure adjustments to the image without losing quality.

Friday Photo Tip 17: Simple Headshot

This week I talk about how to take a quick and simple headshot. Some window light and a clear background is all you need.

Friday Photo Tip 16: Snow Exposure

This is about how to take better photos in the snow. It all starts with the exposure. Your light meter will betray you in the snow, so check out these tips to improve your images without needing a lot of post production.

Friday Photo Tip 15: Go Shoot a Story

Winter in the Midwest isn’t much fun. We don’t get a lot of snow or sun, so much of the time it’s just rain and mud. If you want to be a great photographer, you can’t let that get in your way. GO OUT AND SHOOT!!!

Friday Photo Tip 14: Gray Day

There’s a common misconception that cloudy days are not good for photos. Cloud cover actually makes for nice even light, giving you the chance to get some nice portraits.

Friday Photo Tip 13: Stay Sharp

Building on our tip from last week (how to hold a camera the RIGHT way), today I offer some other methods for getting sharp photos when shooting with slower shutter speeds (which you would need to do when it’s getting dark).

Friday Photo Tip 12: Know How to Hold ’em

This week’s tip sounds super basic, but if you’re doing it wrong it can cause unwanted blur in your photos. I’m talking about how to hold your camera. This applies to your phone, too, so pay attention!

Friday Photo Tip 11: Holiday Lights in the Dark

Now that were into the holiday season, I’m talking about how to get some cool shots with holiday lights. In the last couple weeks I talked about getting abstract effects using shallow depth of field and how to get the best exposure by shooting during the blue hour just after sunset.

Friday Photo Tip 10: Holiday Lights at Dusk

This week is a quick tip to get a more balanced and detailed photo with no special equipment needed: go at dusk. We usually associate holiday lights with night time, but if you plan to shoot just before, and a bit after sunset, your photos can have some added dimensionality.

Friday Photo Tip 9: Holiday Lights

Here are some tips for getting cool bokeh (out of focus background) with holiday lights.

Friday Photo Tip 8: Advanced Phone Editing

If you’re taking or posting photos on your phone, learn some advanced tricks for tone & color adjustments.

Friday Photo Tip 7: Phone Editing

If you’re taking or posting photos on your phone, learn a few tricks for tone adjustments and cropping.

Friday Photo Tip 6: Kids

This week I’m talking about methods for getting better photos of kids that really capture who they are.

Friday Photo Tip 5: Fall Leaves

It’s Fall y’all! This week I’m talking about different techniques for getting brighter, more vibrant photos of fall leaves.

Friday Photo Tip 4: iPhone Exposure Adjustments

Have you ever tried to take a photo on your phone and either the sky is too bright or the subject is too dark? Yes, of course.

This week I’m talking about an extremely handy tip for controlling the exposure of your photos while shooting with your phone. I use an iPhone, but the principle should work on other models as well.

Friday Photo Tip 3: Bright Sun

This week I’m talking about shooting in super-bright sunlight and how to use it to your advantage.

Friday Photo Tip 2: How to Use Shade

This week I’m talking about how to use shade to take better photos in bright midday sun. There’s more to it than just standing under a tree.

Friday Photo Tip 1: Lens Flare

This week I’m talking about lens flare: how it happens and how to control it.