How to take the perfect photo

Tips that work for any camera or skill level


Photo courtesy of private collection

Camille Owen, Author


Students at Battlefield take a lot of pictures. Whether they are going onto social media or being saved as personal mementos, photos have the potential to capture the best and worst moments. And yet, sometimes even the greatest times turn into terrible pictures. Regardless of the subject, use these three simple tricks to take great photos without the hassle of hiring a professional.


Try different filters:

Filters can make any picture flattering and vivid with only a few seconds of work. According to Digital Photography School, an online guide to taking better photos, “Using filters such as polarizers, neutral density, and graduated neutral density filters can help you capture the scene in more creative ways… Filters can help you start making these adjustments and creating more dynamic images.” Using a physical filter that attaches onto the front of a camera can often result in the best effects, but, in the age of smartphones, many camera apps have built-it digital filters that work just as well. Even if someone has a basic understanding of photography, just trying different preset filters can dramatically change the quality of an image. 


Look for natural light:

While it is unreasonable to try and get every picture outside, natural light is undeniably the best way to fill an image with even tones and clear colors. iPhone Photography School, an online photography guide specializing in iPhone cameras, says that, “No matter how you look at it, light is the single most important element in photography. Without light, there would be no photography of any sort. Therefore, to improve our skills as photographers, we need to develop our eye to have a keen awareness of the available light.” This is especially helpful in direct sunlight or overcast skies, when subjects can be illuminated without being too harsh. 


Use fun props:

Another way to make pictures unique is to add props, whether it be flowers, signs, or anything else that represents the subject. Digital Photography School says that, “Usually, the role of the props in photography is to help add character and interest to a photo, or to add context to the scene.” This can be fun to work into Instagram posts as it can tell more of a story beyond the base image. Beware though, as overusing props can clutter a photo and make it less aesthetically-pleasing.


Regardless of whatever options Battlefield students choose to go with, small changes in how photos are taken can make a world of difference down the road.