Tips for Taking Photos (and How to Get your Husband to take Better Photos if Photography isn’t his Thing)

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I’ll preface this post by saying that I am far from an expert when it comes to taking photos and posing for photos.  I’ve learned a lot over the years though, and because this was a recent topic request I wanted to share what I’ve learned with y’all here on the blog today.  The question/request I received was:

“Your iPhone and/or digital photography tips, editing tricks, etc…Also a bit about how Tom manages to snap such great pics- is it natural for him or have you given some guidance that could be passed on to other hubbies?”

Short answer: Tom hates taking photos and it does not come naturally to him and he does not know how to use my DSLR camera.  But we’ve figured out a way around that, so let’s dive into that topic!  (And if you don’t have a husband just replace the word with significant other, friend, mom, etc.  For ease I’m using the word “husband.”)  I also wrote a post on iPhone editing a couple years back, and you can read that post here.  My tips for taking photos and getting your husband to take better photos (if there is room for improvement, that is) are below!

1.  Save Inspirational Photos.

I can always count on Julia Berolzheimer (Engel) of Gal Meets Glam for inspiration.  I often find myself saving her photos on Instagram as styling inspiration for later.  Other favorites I’m inspired by are Rosie the Londoner, Mary Lauren, Palm Beach Lately, Sarah G. Tucker, Megan Stokes of Holy City Chic, Chrissy Powers, and Sarah KJP, just to name a few.  They all have children and I always try to take note of the different creative angles and poses they use.  If you want to try to capture a similar photo for yourself make sure you show your inspiration photo(s) to your husband/photographer.  Use them as guidelines and inspo but make the photo your own by interjecting your own personality into it.

2.  Ask Your Husband to Take Photos when You’d Like Them.

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Ok this seems like a given, but sometimes you’ve just got to ask!  We as women often snap away and then don’t end up in the photos ourselves.  (This is big generalization…I know some husbands love to take photos and I know lots of women who hate it!)  If you want to be in a photo with your children or want to capture a specific scene then ask!  Don’t make assumptions that your husband is reading your mind and knows you want to be in one…I’ve found that photos don’t happen if I make that assumption 😉  So what I do is I set up the scene, backdrop, etc. and will often even take a photo of the space so that he sees what I want the boundaries to be.  Then I’ll hand him the phone and communicate to him what I’m looking for.  You’d better believe that every single photo I post that has me in it was discussed prior to it being taken.  You’ve got to communicate what you want (even if it’s a silly photo on the sidewalk in front of you neighborhood pool like the one above).

3.  Take More Photos than you Think you’ll Need.

We are our own harshest critics, and I’ve found that it always helps if you take more photos than you think you’d need.  Especially when kids and their crazy faces and unpredictability are involved!  I’ll just pick my favorites from the 10-30 (or 100, haha) that are taken and delete the rest.  Burst is a good option with the iPhone too!  I try to immediately import my favorites into Lightroom CC so that they don’t get lost on my camera roll.  It’s nice having options because you never know which pose or photo will be your favorite!

4.  Avoid the Urge to Look at the Camera on Occasion.

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This can be a tough one because as we grow up we get so used to looking at the camera and saying “cheese!”  But honestly some of my favorite photos capture movement when we aren’t looking at the camera.  They feel more natural too (even if they’re totally staged haha).  Look at your kids, look at the horizon, look past the photographer, have the photo taken from behind you while you’re walking away…all of these poses often seem to perform (on Instagram) better than a standard “smile at the camera” photo and they look a lot more interesting too.  Try it out if you haven’t!

5.  If you Need your Husband to Take Photos with a Camera (and if he doesn’t really know how to work the camera) then Do All the Hard Work For Him.

photography tips - pregnancy announcement - third baby - off the shoulder one piece swimsuit

Tom is a bomb tech…not a photographer.  If I needed an IED rendered safe or a bomb to be deactivated (not even sure if that’s the correct technical term) he’d be my guy…but thankfully I don’t need those things!  He has no interest in taking photos but he’s a good sport and does it for me anyway.  Most of the time with a smile on his face.  (Ok not really, it honestly isn’t fun for him and we often get in arguments, but thankfully he hasn’t quit on me yet!)  When it comes to blog posts that need high quality photos (using my DSLR camera) I set everything up before giving him the camera.  I’ll have him stand where I plan on being and I will make all of the manual adjustments myself while taking photos of him.  I make sure lighting and everything is good to go (not that I really know what I’m doing either) and then we will trade places so all he has to do is point and click, despite it being on manual mode.  Then I check the photos to make sure they aren’t blurry, over exposed, etc. before we call it quits.  One day I’d love it if we could both take a photography class…but I’m fairly certain that won’t happen so this will be our technique for the foreseeable future.

6.  Learn You Flattering Angles.

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Study the photos that you have of yourself that you really and truly love.  Is there something specific that you’re doing in it that made it great?  Or a specific angle or pose?  Is a body part featured that you’re really proud of?  Is your hair falling or styled a certain way?  Are you smiling really big or is it more of an understated grin?  Don’t be afraid to play around and figure out what works for you!  I know that I have a nose that’s larger in size, so some angles are not my favorite so I try to avoid those.  When it comes to mirror selfies when I share outfits I’m almost always standing the same way…and that’s because I’ve learned what works best for me in that type of situation.  It’s all about studying old photos and trying different things.

Well I hope this was helpful!  If it was please let me know in the comments!  I always love hearing from you 🙂


Katie Vail
Katie Vail

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Emily
    April 27, 2020 / 6:20 pm

    This is so great! Thank you!

    • April 30, 2020 / 2:49 am

      Thanks for taking the time to read, Emily! So glad you found some of the tips helpful 🙂

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