Tips For Taking Pictures at Home - Liebe Photography

Liebe Photography

Tips For Taking Pictures at Home

March 15, 2018

Almost everyone likes to take pictures at home of their kids and pets and everyday life.  We always like to have a record of the lives around us. And we cannot forget to chronicle our lives for those who come after us.  After all, that is how a lot of photographers start!  A basic DSLR (I highly recommend looking to get one from Costco!) can go a long way in helping you take some really great pictures.  And to be able to do that effectively, there are a few tricks to getting good pictures at home.  Your Facebook albums will be upgraded in no time!

Girl with purple hair holds camera close to face
Picture by Ian Codilla

Learn Your Camera

You know that little booklet that comes with your camera that you probably left in the box and set aside?  Yup, it is time to pull it out. Read through it. Hold your camera in your lap and actually look at each aspect of it as you go through the manual.  Learn the camera inside and out.  When you understand where all the settings are, it takes less time to figure out how to change them.  And less time to change them means that you can catch the action while it is happening, instead of looking down at the camera!

Turn off the live-view.

I know that it can sometimes feel like it is easier to see the picture through the screen on the back.  After all, we use our cell phones that have a giant screen (comparatively, of course) and are used to seeing the whole picture.  However, using the live screen view often slows down the process considerably. It takes so much longer for the lens and camera to focus.  That means you are missing key moments when your kids and pets are zooming around. Things happen in split seconds! Using the actual viewfinder will help speed up how quickly you can take the photo.  It may take some getting used to, but it is worth it in the end.

Don’t hang out in Auto

Auto mode on a camera can be super helpful for getting an idea of the settings that could be used for your shots.  BUT it tends to sacrifice the speed of the shutter for making the picture brighter. Kids and pets move fast. If you have your shutter open very long, everything is just going to be a blur.  In order to override that setting, you will want to start learning how to use your camera with manual settings. Check out this cheat sheet to give you a better idea of what each of your settings mean and how to combine them to make a better picture.  Changing the combination of all the settings can help you get what you want under different lighting conditions.  Is it dark in your house?  You would want to maybe boost your ISO so you can retain your high shutter speed (though that may lead to more noise on your pictures).  You could also open your aperture wider (though that may mean more of missing your focus).  Each thing has its pros and cons and they all come together to make a good photo.


Did you take a picture you really like?  Check out the settings from it. Did it have a faster shutter speed than normal? Was the aperture open wider?  Try that again. And again. And again. Take a few pictures every day and try new things. With practice comes familiarity and soon you will be doing all your pictures on manual!  When that point comes, you will be able to get the settings you want without relying on auto.

Golden retriever lays on snowy porch with ball


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