In my recent reader survey, a lot of you mentioned you’d like more photography posts where I share tips. So today I’d like to share three really handy, really simple tips you can use to improve your portraits whether you’re using your phone or a more professional camera. 

Don’t Cut Off at Joints

I’m not sure why but cutting off at joints makes people very uncomfortable. This one mistake can take a photo from stunning to mediocre. 

See in this picture I cut off right at the wrist which looks very unflattering

Thankfully, it’s an easy fix. Just get in a little closer or move back (I prefer getting closer) and your photo will look so much better. 

Don’t Shoot in Direct Sunlight…At Certain Times

Have you ever seen a photo where everything is too bright, there are big, unflattering shadows, and the subject is squinting in every photo? The photographer probably took the photo in direct sunlight at the wrong part of the day…when the sun was at its brightest. 

I can’t remember what time I took this photo (It was a couple years ago) but if you ignore the overall bad quality of the picture, you can see everything is bright

You want to avoid this if at all possible. The best time to take photos is at golden hour (An hour after sunrise or before sunset) but if you’re out with your friends and just want to take a few photos, try finding some shade. Beside a building, under an awning, against a tree. Any of these will work. 

Don’t Use a Distracting Background

When you’re taking a portrait, what do you want the focus to be on? Your subject, of course! 

So why do we all tend to leave distracting backgrounds in our photos? I’m not really sure but I do know how to fix it. 

There are two ways that I use. 

The first is getting in closer. This will leave less background and therefore not as much room to have a bad background. 

The second is what I use most of the time and that is to find a simple background. You can use trees, walls, or open space. This will instantly draw attention back to your model and away from whatever is pulling away the attention. 

The background of this photo is distracting and pulls away from the subject


Improving the quality of your photos isn’t that difficult. A few tweaks can make a huge difference. 

I hope this post was helpful and if you’d like to see more posts like this please let me know:)


  1. Aww! Your siblings look soo cute! They remind me of mine. 😉 Those are great tips. I’ll be sure to remember them. I’d love to see more like this!

  2. Wow, this was SO good, Tasha! I LOVED this post!! I’ve been desperately wanting to get better at photography so I can’t wait to try out these tips!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing!!! I would LOVE to see more of these types of posts!!

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