My Best Photography Secrets – 3 Tips for taking amazing photos

I grew up in front of the camera. Let me explain. No, I was not a famous child actor or anything like that! My dad loved taking pictures and videos of our family. He would spend hours setting up the perfect lighting to ensure the best lighting for Christmas morning photos. We would stop countless times on family trips for him to capture the perfect shot of an amazing scene. As we grew, one of our favorite family traditions became watching those home movies and slide shows of trips and special memories. My mom wasn’t a fan of the camera but she took photos of our rooms and house for us to remember when we grew older. These photos and memories from my parents are some of my fondest, most treasured memories. Their love of capturing special glimpses into our life was contagious and I caught the photography bug!

My photography skills were far from professional. I began taking photos on a Canon Rebel. When my children were small, I took many photos of them to remember every moment of cuteness. Following in my mom’s footsteps, I took photos of each of our homes for the children to remember. I would also take photos of our home decorated for each season so I could remember where I put things each year!

When I started my Instagram account a few years ago, I was only taking photos on my iPhone. It was easy and convenient. As my love for home design increased, I started Randi Garrett Design, still shooting all of my photos on my iPhone. The photos were ok. I found myself wanting to learn everything I could about taking amazing photos. On my quest to learn how to take fabulous photos, I learned some pretty fantastic photography secrets that I want to share with you! Whether you are taking photos of your family, pets, trips, or home, these tips will help you take amazing photos!

My Best Photography Secrets –

3 Tips for taking amazing photos

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Tip No. 1

Whether you get a DSLR or an iPhone 7 plus is up to you. I have both and like them for different reasons. The DSLR is fantastic when you want high quality, professional looking shots. I love the iPhone for everyday use and traveling. Carrying around a big camera when traveling, is not my cup of tea. The camera on the 7 is unreal! You can take amazing photos using the iPhone. Take photos in portrait mode, which blurs out the background giving your photos that nice boca effect. The photo below was taken with my iPhone.

My sister in law Michelle, the fabulous photographer, has a simple and informative class on how to take fabulous photos with your iPhone. Click here for the link

If you want a more professional type photo, buy a DSLR camera. This is the one I use. I love it! You can purchase lenses that fit your photography needs too. I purchased this lens to take close ups of table settings or vignettes. At first I shot in auto until I found myself wanting MORE from my photos. When I reached that point, I started researching how to take photos in manual. I read a ton about different settings and aperture and ISO. Excitement and apprehension filled my brain! Which leads me to tip number 2!

Tip No. 2

This is my most important tip! There is only so much you can figure out on your own. Taking a class will help you understand how your camera works and the circumstances in which you can get that perfect shot. Lighting is key. Learning how to set your shutter speed and ISO will give you power behind your camera you never thought you would have! I used to have to wait to shoot for days that were sunny. After taking a class, I can take photos without watching the weather forecast!

I suggest taking an online course for a few reasons.

One, you can take it whenever it is convenient for you.

Two, you can watch it over and over until you understand the concept being taught. If you are like me, you rewind and rewind, pause and tinker. It is a beautiful thing!

I took my sister in law’s other online course called, “Get your DLSR off auto mode.” I took the whole class and it taught me so much! Her class is simple to follow and she is a doll to watch. This is just a friendly referral, I get nothing in return for sharing her course, I am just testifying that it taught me to understand my camera and it along with some of my own research helped me to take my camera off manual!

Here is an example of what my pictures looked like before her class {when I was still shooting in auto}…

Here is them after {shooting in manual}…

My Best Photography Secrets - 3 Tips for taking amazing photos


My Best Photography Secrets - 3 Tips for taking amazing photos


I still have a lot to learn, but I have come so far! My photos are so more clean and crisp! I promise, if I can learn to take better photos, so can you!!!


Tip No. 3

I truly believe that being able to edit your photos well, is more that half the photography battle! Seeing is believing. Let me show you what I mean. Here is a shot straight off my camera with no editing….

Take a look at it after a little editing….

Use Lightroom to edit your photos! It is amazing! I love it because you can batch edit. You can find it here. The secret to quick, amazing photos is to use photo editing presets. These are editing options that you simply click and they do the editing for you! Here are a few options…

So if you want to take amazing photos…

  • remember to get a good camera
  • learn more about your camera
  • then edit the photos you’ve taken to achieve the look you want!

Go start capturing those memories my friends!

Join the Conversation

6 thoughts on “My Best Photography Secrets – 3 Tips for taking amazing photos

  1. Thank you, Randi! I have not started a blog or Instagram because I don’t have a good camera or the latest iPhone. I have been researching options but find myself overwhelmed and afraid to make a costly mistake. You have been very generous with your recommendations and clarified some of my confusion. I especially appreciate the photography course referral. Now to take the leap!

    1. Linda, you can do it!!! The camera I recommended isn’t too over the top and you can add lenses to it as you become more advanced in your skills. It will grow with you. I promise those courses will help you so so much! They are easy to understand and will have you shooting like a pro in no time! Best wishes my friend! xo

    1. Kate, taking these classes and using the editors tools will help you so much! Wishing you all the best! xo

  2. Randi, really enjoy your website. Beautiful taste and lovely ideas! But I have to say that all these pop up advertisements are so annoying. GE, washer n dryer, photo booth with a bunch of kids looking goofy, and birth control??? Really!! This doesn’t seem to go with your style, does it? Hope to see some changes.

    1. Thank you for your comment Lynn. The pop ups are beyond annoying and will be going away when my contract is up. Thank you for your feedback. I don’t have control over what pops up, it generates products based on your internet searches. I had no idea just how annoying they would be until it was too late! I hope you can hang in there for one more month! Ha ha! Have a lovely weekend! xo

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