photographer, educator, artistmaplesadrienne

Photography Tips to help you Shoot like a Pro

Do you want to take better photos but don’t know where to start? Do you currently have a-zillion photos on your phone and no plans with what to do with them?? In this post I’m going to share a few photo tips to get you thinking like a pro!

Just like everything, Photography has some basic rules to follow. ‘Photography rules are essential because they provide a foundation for more advanced photography tips and tricks later on. Learn the rules first, so you have more creative control when breaking them later. Learn as you go — don’t let it prevent you from picking up a camera.’ (

1) Change your Viewpoint 

Spend a few minutes analyzing your subject from all angles. Otherwise- MOVE! Don’t stand in one spot… walk around your subject! 

Get on the ground, climb a tree! {ok not literally}

As you move, take into account how the light moves as you do. Look past your subject to notice what’s distracting in the background.  Are there colors or objects that should be cropped from your frame?

Challenge yourself to snap 5 frames from each vantage point and analyze the results. Do not change your camera settings, just focus on your subject, shoot then move. Repeat.

MAKE NOTE:: When your viewpoint changed, how did this effect your subject within the frame. How did this influence the implied story? 

photograph child and puppy

2) Find the Light

Photography is ‘painting with light’. This will never change. The most dynamic photographs are ones with beautiful light and natural light is something every photographer must learn to master.

This is really the number ONE thing you need to learn but it can take a while to develop a photographic eye for seeing light.

Light is ALL around us! It doesn’t just come from the sun.

It can be reflected light as well, which is why you see photographers using reflectors on a bright sunny day. They are bouncing the sunlight off the reflector and into their subject’s face!

Try this tip!

Extend your arm out in front of you with your palm vertically facing you. Now rotate with your palm facing you until you turn 360 degrees. As you turn, watch the light on your palm. Notice where the shadows fall as you turn and how the lines in your hands become flat or gain dimension. Notice where the light is illuminating your hand in an appealing way. 

Now coax your subject into THAT light!

3) Don’t ask your subject to smile and say cheese!

We *think* we want everyone smiling at the camera. But do we? Really??

Whenever we ask someone to smile for the camera, what usually happens?!? 

They stop, reach out their arms awkwardly embracing the person next to them. They freeze a smile. It’s fake, boring and it does nothing to help us remember the experience we are attempting to document.

The most interesting images are the ones we can look at again and again without getting bored. For me, this means subjects interacting and enjoying the photo experience. The moments where the individuals I’m photographing forget I’m there. 

Children are the best subjects before they’ve been trained to ‘hold a smile’ for the camera. 

Try it out. Just sit with your camera in hand until the people and children around forget you have a camera!

Hopefully these simple photography tips will have you on the way to creating beautiful images!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what worked and what didn’t?

Share your stories on Facebook and Instagram @amaplesphoto!

xoxo adrienne signing off

Hi! I’m Adrienne

The first time I fell in love, it was with the 35mm Minolta camera my mom gave me in middle school.


Film taught me patience and I studied the craft before digital technology revolutionized the world-


After graduating from the Savannah College of Art & Design, I launched my studio and I've never looked back.


More than a decade later, as an artist & now mother, I'm more passionate about documenting moments, telling stories & learning from every mistake.


My mission? Helping others any way I can!


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