Lighting. Is. Everything.
Seriously. You could take stunning photos with a disposable camera (do those still exist?) if you know how to manipulate the lighting in your favour.
Natural light is the key… and it’s free! Just because it is readily available doesn’t mean it is necessarily easy to work with so I am going to give you a couple of tips on how to effectively use natural light for stunning photos.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Save that bright and sunny day for the beach because overcast is where it is at! Direct sun creates shadows and squinty eyes if you are photographing people. Unless you are a pro with photoshop, making dark shadows disappear is difficult and unnecessary if you can reduce the shadow in the first place.
One way to reduce a pesky shadow is to use reflectors. If you ever had professional photos taken in a studio, you have likely seen these space age looking devices set up all around you, either foil or white. These are to help bounce the light around… like a shadow zapper. You don’t need fancy studio equipment, even draping a white towel opposite the light will make a noticeable difference!
Familiarize Yourself With Your Camera/Phone Settings
Whether you are using your smartphone or a professional camera, understanding your settings and even the apps available will go a long way. There are some great apps like Lightroom that make this easy peasy!
If you want to dig deeper and really get into the nitty gritty of photography, might I take a moment for a shameless plug of my Beginner Photography Mastery Course? This course has already helped THOUSANDS of people see real results.