Welcome back! If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out Part I of this series – or just jump right in and read about some more tips that can help you get better images. Here we go:

6. Understand File Formats

Your camera has a variety of available sizes and file formats. The sizes depend on how large you are thinking about printing, while the file formats (.jpg or .raw, typically) depend on whether you want a finished file (.jpg) or you want to make significant edits to your images (.raw). Learn them!

7. Consider a Reflector

Working with natural light is great, but sometimes you need a little boost – which is where a reflector comes in really handy. They don’t cost very much and may save your next photoshoot! See this post for more details and tips.

8. Use Exposure Compensation

Whenever you are frustrated because your image is coming out too dark or too bright, this is where you need exposure compensation. It lets you control the image by telling your camera to “boost” the settings – you’ll really notice the difference on bright, sunny days or taking photos with snow or sky. See this blog from Digital Photography School for help with this one.

9. Get Closer

If you’re wondering why you’re having trouble “connecting” with photos of your kids, perhaps you need to get closer. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then you need to see those lovely eyes clearly. So get in there!

10. Try Black and White

Whenever you are working with an image with a lot of contrast, particularly highlights and shadows, try converting it to black and white. You’d be surprised at how often a color pic that looks a bit blah or has too much contrast (such as full sun photos) turn out fantastic in black and white.

11. Shoot More than You Need

Unless you’re working off a 1GB memory card (in which case, get a bigger one!), there’s no reason not to take some extra shots of whatever you are photographing. Try different angles, settings, and distances to see what you end up with – you might get a really gorgeous photo that you never expected.

12. Understand the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds will help you determine where to place subjects and objects within a scene, making for a more interesting overall image. Read this post and give it a try!

That’s it for this week, tune in next week for Part III. In the meantime, get out there and practice! No matter how many photos you take, there’s always room to keep improving so you get better and better photos of your kids.

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