If you feel curious about photography but you have no idea of what to do with angles, lightning, effects,  or how to take a simple but cool caption for social media here are the basics you should know as a beginner.  Even if you take it up as a hobby and are just looking for the perfect instagram post these tricks will take your photography to the next level. Who knows...maybe you’ll discover that you have a hidden talent as a photographer!


Before we start, choose the device you will use.  Whether using a cellphone or digital camera, just remember this is photography for newbies. Most smartphones have a high quality camera these days so most cell phones will work fine, however, it is always helpful if you know how to use photoshop to give every photo a final touch.

Photography genres

There are lots of techniques in photography that we could name there are almost a 100 subcategories, but this time we are talking about the top 3 basic photography styles.

  • Portrait photography:
  • By shot:
  • 1.1 Full Body Portraits: Should cover 3/4th portion to the whole body minimum.
    1.2 Upper Body Shots: They cover just the area above the waist.

    1.3 Facial Shots: A facial shot covers the full face of the subject. It may either be up to the neckline or the bust.

    1.4 Close-ups: Pictures taken at a very short distance or with the help of a zoom or macro lens.

  • By frame:
    2.1 Environmental Portrait: The interaction between the subject with environment are more important than the facial expressions.
  • 2.2 Formal Portrait Photography: It is a posed portrait prepared for formal occasions, business or other.

    2.3 Posed Portrait Photography: In this photo the subject is fully aware of your presence of the photographer and prepares a certain body posture for the picture.

    2.4 Candid Portrait Photography: The point here is to make it look natural, photographer may interfere in the environment of the scene.

  • By number of people:
  • 3.1 Group Portraits: If it features from three to hundreds of people qualifies for this category.

    3.2 Couple Portraits: Two people in the frame and their relationship showing the interaction between them.

    3.3 Individual Portraits: One only person in sight.

  • Product photography:   Among all the great techniques for getting a successful product shooting the “Window Light Technique” as it is commonly known is the most useful for a quick start, it is simple and great to produce a high quality result with most product types.

  • Landscape photography:  Sometimes landscape photos are about intent and how the subjects interact between themselves,  so you can try this tricks to do a nice caption:

  • -A forced perspective photo

    -A fake tilt and shift photo

    -A long exposure landscape photo
    -A digital infrared photo

    -A 360 degree polar panorama

    Camera Angles

    An  important aspect while photographing is having a knowledge about angles and sensemaking perspective to establish viewpoints more effectively.

    -Shooting straight up: A great option to change the perspective is taking the photo from below creating a dramatic composition.

    -Get down low: This shot is a little unusual because it’s taken from ground level but it adds a new dimension to your picture.

    -Twist the camera: Create a twist with your camera to make the subject take a diagonal line through the frame and obtain a pleasing and artistic composition.

    -Kneel down: Try shooting low with this technique without changing the perspective, it helps keeping the background clean and free from clutter.

    Photography backdrops

    Of course this section tips will be only useful for portrait and product photos indoors, it is not useful for outdoor photoshoots.

    You can always use the common green wall and photoshop different backgrounds in your photo, play with different scenarios and create an amazing match.

    By the other hand, you can make a wall out of almost everything, imagine one made out balloons or flowers, even with christmas lights. Also, you can use a variety of fabric for the background to be unique, try a newspaper wall to make it look vintage or decorative tissue paper to create a colorful draped wall.

    Photography lighting

    When it comes to setting up your shooting, lighting setup is very important. For portrait pictures follow the next techniques:

  • Split lighting: This technique stands for the perfect dramatic effect between light and shadow dividing the subject in proportional halfs.
  • Loop lighting: It’s made by creating a soft shadow on the subject using the most prominent features situating the light source on a slightly higher level about 30-45 degrees from the camera.
  • Rembrandt lighting: is identified by the triangle of light on the cheek.  the shadow meet the nose and cheek creating that trapped little triangle of light in the middle. Is more dramatic and gives more mood and a darker feel to your image.
  • Butterfly lighting: The lighting is created by placing a reflector directly under their chin, behind the camera or above the eye or head level of the subject depending on the person’s pose. This patterns looks for a slim face appearance or prominent cheek bones.

  • Another important fact about lighting is the ISO setting on your digital camera because it controls how the image sensor and  it’s sensitivity to the light. The higher it is  the less light you need for the caption. Remember: An ISO set too high may cause an image with a speckled defect or noise.

    Tricks to do at home

  • Water effect: If you want to get a misty water drops kinda effect try using a crystal clear cup add some water then drop it leaving the water drops on it, also you can full fill the cup and play with the zooming effect it makes and if you feel like adding color to it use a neon plastic cup.
  • Glitter effect: Grab some foil and cut it in little square to create a metallic confetti illusion, it would look like glitter once you’re shooting with the camera flash.
  • Zoom: Go closer with a magnifying glass add some blurred
  • Candle lights: Soft light effect that helps you to create a warm environment, it gives an artistic intention to a portrait photography.
  • Make a splash: It works better for product photos like fruits, you can use water, colored water, water paint, anything liquid enough to create a splash effect you just need to be sure of using high shutter speed.

  • Resolution and Format

    For digital photos is highly relevant to understand how resolution works to maintain the best quality of the photograph.

    Print Size

    Pixel Count


    4 x 6

    800 x 1200


    5 x 7

    1000 x 1400


    8 x 10

    1600 x 2000


    11 x 14

    2200 x 2800


    Save your digital photo in the right format

    Last thing you’ll need learn about before going to practice your photography skills is how to storage of your digital image, you’ll need to choose a file type, or format. Here are the most popular choices to correctly save your digital work:

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