How To Take The Perfect Photo

Our resident outdoorswoman Cara, aka @cpprice, put together her top tips on how to make a magical summer moment last longer with a photo. Read on for beautiful ways to use silhouettes, light, and found objects in your outdoor photography...

1. Use Silhouettes


Silhouettes are easy to create and make for epic summer photos. Location and weather are both key to creating the perfect silhouette. Plan your shot for a clear day and select an open location. Big open fields and beaches both work well for minimal obstruction! Bonus points for finding an elevated spot where you can position your subjects higher up in relation to the sunrise or the sunset, such as a large rock or a big hill. Back light your subjects against the sky before the sun rises or after the sun sets, or keep the sun in the frame for a dazzling effect.

Posing people can be tricky, so let your subjects interact candidly and wait for a casual moment to snap the photo. Or direct your friends to do something specific like jump at the same time, raise their fists in celebration, or incorporate other fun elements into the image, like pets or props.

Further Inspiration: Exhibit A and Exhibit B by Aly Brown.

2. Know the Rule of Thirds


The Rule of Thirds makes for balanced and interesting photos. The basic principle here is to imagine breaking your image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. With this grid in mind, place points of interest along these lines as you frame the image, paying particular attention to the four points where the lines intersect.


You can execute this method when taking a photo by turning the “grid” option on in the settings on your phone to show these lines, or by cropping a photo later with these principles in mind. This rule can act as a great guide when placing the horizon, subjects, and other points of interest within the frame. And of course, rules are meant to be broken, so it should go without saying that not every photo needs to follow this convention.

Further inspiration: Exhibit A and Exhibit B by Forrest Mankins.

3. Get someone in frame


Adding a person to the frame of your photo can add interest and scale to a shot. A figure can provide perspective in a vast landscape and draw your eye to a particular spot in the photo. An otherwise average landscape photo comes alive when a person is added to the scene. Pets work in a similar way and make for very compliant models.

Further Inspiration: Exhibit A and Exhibit B by Chris Burkard.

4. Seek out new interiors


A simple interior photograph can tell a great story about place, whether traveling afar or in your own home. Find a place with abundant natural light to illuminate the scene. If you’re including a window in the shot, don’t forget to think about what’s outside. You can even use the window to frame an outside element within the shot. Try taking the photo from several angles to see what perspective is the most interesting. Don’t be afraid to move things in and out of the frame to capture the scene the way you imagine it.

Further Inspiration: Exhibit A and Exhibit B by Emily Blincoe.

5. Use Found Objects


Found objects are a great way to remember a place and time, especially when organized and captured into a tidy photograph. Take a hike and keep an eye out for small objects that catch your interest, paying attention to color and texture. For arrangement, find a solid-colored background with no distracting elements and be sure to arrange in a well-lit area with uniform light.

Further inspiration: #ThingsOrganizedNeatly.

6. It's all about Light


All photography is about capturing light so think of new and different ways you can accomplish this. Watch how the light changes throughout the day and at different times of year. Pay attention to cloud cover and fog and the way they change a landscape. Notice the different effects of shooting either toward the sun or away from the sun. Take advantage of unique lighting situations like bonfires, fireworks and candle light. Track sunrise and sunset times and be ready for the golden light that happens around those times. Look out for the spaces that glow from light filtering through a window. Take photos, print them, take inspiration from them and take more photos.

Further Inspiration: Exhibit A and Exhibit B by Jude Allen.

For more beautiful nature photography, follow @cpprice on Instagram. And if you already have some beautiful summer photos, shop our prints!

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