Whether you are new to photography or a photography veteran, you should keep these things in mind when taking pictures:

1. Get familiar with your camera

This will come with practice. Whether you are using a DSLR camera or a phone, become familiar with the settings. Knowing how to use your equipment will better prepare you for taking the perfect picture.

2. Check your focus

Is your subject in focus? Don't make the mistake of snapping a great picture to only have it be slightly fuzzy. Make sure that it's your subject and not your background (or even foreground) that is stealing the spotlight.

3. Find an interesting angle

Dare to be different! Trying out unique angles can help your photo stand out among the others.

4. Focus on the simple things

Find the beauty in small and simple things. You might be surprised at how great these kinds of photos turn out. Another tip? Try to get as close as you can to your subject to avoid using zoom for the best picture quality.

5. Follow the rule of thirds

"A brave heart and a courageous tongue - they shall carry thee far through the jungle." ↠ Rudyard Kipling ??

A photo posted by c h a r l o t t e ☕️ (@sleepycharlotte) on

If you divide your image by thirds both vertically and horizontally, you'll have nine compartments. People's eyes are drawn to where those lines intersect, so position your subject at one of those points to get the best photo. Get more tips on the rule of thirds to really master this skill.

6. Pay attention to your background

Can you see the dirty laundry on your floor? Is your bathroom countertop cluttered? Does the tree behind you look like it is sprouting out of your head? Consider sprucing up the area behind you or finding another spot to take your selfie. If you're shooting outside, watch out for garbage cans or caution signs that might take away from your picture.

And take advantage of breathtaking views!

7. Take candid shots

❤️ #swings #daddy #daughter #playtime #littleone

A photo posted by Billie Wright (@billielwright) on

Posed photos are nice, but don't forget to embrace candid pictures! Snap photos as your kids are doing everyday activities - playing in the yard, helping you set the table or giving their sibling a hug.

You can apply this technique for special events, too. Instead of having your child pose with their birthday presents, snap a photo as they're opening their gifts to capture their first reaction.

8. Take full-length shots

Show off today's cute outfit by taking a full-length shot. Get your boyfriend or hubby to snap a photo for you. For the most flattering photo, add space between your arms and body. You can do this by putting one hand on your hip, or by relaxing your arms behind you. Secondly, tilt your head but don't overdo it. Lastly, shift your weight by putting more weight on your back leg, as suggested by Popular Photography Magazine. Consider including a prop to hold or lean against.

9. Use a high angle

"If You Can't Handle Me At My Low Angle Double Chin Selfie Then You Don't Deserve Me At My High Angle Chiseled Jaw Selfie" . . . Lol, tag you're it! #GROUNDANGLEVSSKYANGLE

A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀???⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (@capeverdean.barbie) on

Try tilting your phone at a slightly higher angle to get a flattering shot. But whatever you do, do not take your selfie from below (though your true friends will appreciate your beauty at any angle!).

10. Use good lighting

If you stand in front of a window for your background, your selfie is going to turn out dark. Flip around and take the photo with the sunlight hitting your face. Natural light is always the best way to go - avoid using your flash at all costs. Take advantage of a sunny day by snapping a few photos outside. The morning and early evening are the best times to shoot; the light isn't too harsh and will give you some beautiful pictures.

Great photography comes with practice, but you can improve your skills (and your social media feed) by implementing these tips.

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