Photo tips for Beginners

Are you excited for the New Year’s challenge that starts Monday?! 

I am so excited!  I can’t wait to help you get organized this January, and give away lots of great prizes too!  But before we start the challenge I want to give you a few photo tips.  Good pictures are so important for making a space look good, and we want your spaces to look top notch since all our readers will be voting for their favorite spaces each week!

Tip #1–Lighting
Good lighting is the #1 key to good pictures!  I know this time of year it can sometimes be hard to get good lighting because of poor weather, but do whatever you can to reflect lighting on to the object(s) you are photographing.  Here’s an entire post I wrote about how to get good lighting.  The best way to light up the room or object you’re photographing is with a mirror.  Use whatever portable mirror you have in the house and move it around until it reflects as much light as possible onto your object. 

There are lots of times I’ve taken pictures while my husband or a friend is holding a mirror reflecting light onto my object.  It doesn’t matter how silly your set up looks, all that matters is how good the picture turns out. I usually laugh at myself, and my set up, when I’m taking pictures, I always think, “if only my readers could see me now…”

Tip #2–Tripod
Tripods are important for getting perfectly clear pictures.  Being able to set your camera on a tripod gets you clear pictures, every time, because a tripod doesn’t shake like your hands do!  If you can’t afford a tripod, or don’t have one, don’t worry!  I actually don’t have one either so instead I use chairs, books, candlesticks, you name it, I’ve probably used it! 

This “tripod” is made up of a chair, books and a washcloth, classy.  It doesn’t matter how silly it looks, all that matters is that I’m getting clear pictures!

Tip #3–Camera Timer
I learned this awesome trick from my friend Karianne at Thislewood Farms.  To be doubly sure you’re going to get a clear picture, use the timer on your camera.  By setting the timer on your camera it allows you to set up the picture the way you want it, and then walk away while the picture is being taken.  I don’t know why but I get super jittery when I’m trying to be still and take a picture. Being able to set my camera up and then turn on the timer, has been the perfect solution for me to ensure I get clear pictures every time!  Using a timer, and a tripod, also allows you to take quality pictures in low light settings because the shutter can stay open longer, without the camera moving.

Tip #4–Smart Phone Apps
Let’s be honest.  For an organizing challenge most of you probably aren’t going to worry about becoming photo experts, and many of you will probably take pictures of your spaces on your smart phone.  To make sure you get the best pictures possible, with your phone, here are the best photo editing apps!

PowerCam – Real-time photo editing
Photoshop Express
Camera +
FX Photo Studio
For specific details, and prices, for each one please visit the original source.

Camera Zoom FX
Little Photo
Pudding Camera
BeFunky PhotoEditor
Aviary Photo Editor
For specific details, and prices, for each one please visit the original source.

Tip #5–Editing
If you won’t be editing pictures on your phone then you’ll need a good photo editor for your computer.  My two favorite, free photo editors are Picasa and  Both of these are easy to use and will make your pictures look more professional!

If you follow these tips your pictures will turn out fabulous and your spaces will look picture perfect!  Don’t forget, for this challenge you want good pictures because good pictures = more votes = prizes!!!  Good luck!!!

How to get good pictures-- Ask Anna


About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

Leave a Comment



  1. Great post Anna – so helpful!
    xo, Becky

  2. These tips are fantastic! I’ll have to use the mirror idea to brighten up my food on dark days.

  3. Great tips! I never would have thought to use the timer when taking a picture I’m not going to run & get into! Pinning this! :)

    Hi! It’s Jilly

  4. *sigh* Our house has SO little natural light (except in the bathroom. Who wants to take their blog photos in the bathroom?). I use another free program for editing, though, and I love it. It’s called PhotoScape, and I learned about it from another blogger friend. It doesn’t do as complex editing as, say, PhotoShop, but it’s SUPER easy to use, and does a surprising variety of things. Just hitting the auto contrast button can make a world of difference in a lot of photos.

  5. This is a great article, Anna. I never thought to use one of those dressing mirrors – but it would be perfect! I need to use me timer more often. AND I’m a HUGE fan of PicMonkey!

    Happy New Year, Michelle
    Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust

  6. Hi Anna! I am new to blogging (like a week old!) and am so happy to have happened upon your site. I am looking forward to the upcoming challenge and utilizing all of your photography advice. My blog is not very fancy but I will be happy to have good pictures to look back on!

  7. Oh, How I needed this post! My goal for 2013 is to become a better, much better, photographer. Thanks for posting this. Melinda

  8. Great tips! I have also found that adjusting the light settings on the camera to match the lighting in the room works great if there’s no natural light available. :)

  9. Great tips. I love PicMonkey but now they are asking to pay $4.99 for part of the options.. so I am looking into a free program similar, cause it has been my favorite site for so long!!

  10. I love to hear another spin on camera topics, great tips!

  11. so helpful. thank you!

  12. Anna Hanley says:

    Hi Anna, Just stopping in to say Hello! Love your website1 From, Anna (Love your name!)