World Changers,

I started taking photographs right out of college after taking a trip to the Netherlands. I took my Dad’s 35mm camera and tried to take amazing photographs to WOW! my family and friends. Well, needless to say, the cook at the restaurant I worked at thought they were boring! So, I have been taking photos for the past 6 years and after learning these easy 3 steps my photos drastically improved. 

While taking the photo:

1. Get close to the subjects! 

While taking a photos of family and friends, a lot of people will stand far away. I recommend you get as close as you can without losing subject matter: meaning not cutting off half of someone’s face or granny in back. But don’t leave a bunch of sky, if you don’t need to.

2. The Rule of Third’s

Basically, think of dividing the photograph into 9 equal parts in your mind (some viewfinders or LCD screens do this for you). It should look a little like a Tic-Tac-Toe board.

the rule of thirds


Position the main points of interest in the 4 red areas.

Position the main points of interest in the 4 red areas.

 Now, if you are still with me, the 4 points where the lines meet around the middle box are where you should put the main subjects of the photo. (definitely check the photos or

***Okay, so you just took a bunch of photos using the rule of thirds and you got close to Granny in all her glory. Now, make sure you have a basic photo editing software. I use iPhoto that came with my Mac but if you don’t have that, I have used Google’s Picasa (a free download at as well which works well. For 98% of my photos I will use basic photo-editing software.

3. Crank up the Contrast!!!

Make the dark colors darker and the light colors lighter. This will make the photo look more dramatic. With Picasa, you have 2 ways of doing this. 

A. Let Picasa do it by choosing “AUTO CONTRAST” (I never do this). 

B. Select the “TUNING” tab, and you will see 4 bars. FILL LIGHT, HIGHLIGHTS, and SHADOWS. Don’t worry about COLOR TEMPERATURE. By moving the indicator on each bar to the right, it makes the highlights lighter or the shadow’s darker or let’s in more fill light (lighten’s the whole photograph). I usually make the shadow’s as dark as possible and the highlights as light as possible, without the photograph becoming “fake” looking.

Tell me how it goes and good luck shooting in all your world changing adventures!

Change your world,

“The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.”
-Henri Cartier-Bresson