Tips for Pin Worthy Photos + Link Up

I have to thank all you sweet readers who took pity on me and wished me better health! I’m much improved so thank you again! This weeks blog post is a little different, I was feeling inspired by nature and my love of photography so this post was born!  I found myself  wanting to get outside and do something fun with the kids, so we decided to go on a photography walk.  We found a short moment between rain showers to get out doors this week. The rain is making fun, outside activities, a challenge this summer here in north central Indiana. Let me insert here this isn’t to make you think I’m one of those mom’s who plans all kinds of activities to do and has the entire summer planned out. No, no quite the opposite, I’m too often found behind the computer and my are kids watching TV or movies….just keeping it real here!

Photo Walk

The objective was we each had a camera and we just found pretty things to photograph. This prompted the idea to share with you a few tips to improve your photos and make them more pin worthy or scrapbook worthy! I love photography, I have since my teen years and was blessed to own a business and photography studio. For the past two years I have been “retired” from the business and I’m so thankful to be discovering the joy of photography being mostly a hobby again.


I used my “big” camera the Canon 5DMkii with the 24-70mmL lens. My son used by older Canon Rebel with a 50mm 1.8 lens (this is called a prime lens, so the user has to be the zoom) and my daughter used my Sony Cyber point and shoot.

Photo Walk

Most of the images I have here on the blog have been taken by me. Occasionally I do use unsplash images if I don’t have what I’m looking for in my own collection. I hope you will find these tips helpful in taking photos of nature or your own kids!


1. Perspective: Get Down.

Get down to the level of what your wanting to capture. When you are photographing your toddler get down on their level instead of standing over them, this makes a more visually interesting image and usually helps avoids extra clutter being in the background. If your capturing something in nature getting down at eye level allows you to capture the entire flower instead of only the center/top of it.

Get down for better perspective

2. Rule of Thirds.

This rule is one of the most basic of composition rules, the easy way to think of this rule is don’t put the subject you want the audience to focus on in the center. Think of your image being cut in thirds vertically and horizontally by placing your subject off center it is more balanced and interesting. Studies have found that when a person is looking at a photo the eyes tend to move towards on of the intersecting points.


In the above image I placed the large part of the flower on a cross point which will lead the viewer’s eye into the center of the image.

3. Zoom In.

Yep as easy as it sounds! When you zoom in on the subject instead of the entire room the viewer immediately knows the purpose of this photo. Think of a birthday party, to stand back and photograph the entire setting, doesn’t allow for detailed capturing of the birthday boy or girls facial expressions or eliminate the distractions of other background items. I always like a few pull back shots to capture the whole room but for the most part getting in nice and close always looks more appealing! This tip combined with perspective captures moment beautifully. By zooming in on this image I kept the focus on this sweet sibling moment instead of them sitting on a porch at a park.

Finding the Light


4. Look for the Light.

This type can be the hardest to learn but will make the most impact on your images. The best lighting is often found on cloudy overcast days. Full sun is very hard to shoot in, it makes people squinty and causes unappealing shadows. Look for light that allows for catch lights in the subjects eye (little reflections of light in the eye). The golden hour is my favorite time of day to shoot in. It’s the time of day just before sunset (or just after sunrise if you’re an early riser) everything becomes cast in a beautiful yellow cast from the setting sun and harsh shadows have turned softer.


Finding the Light


This image doesn’t show perfect catch lights but you can see small ones. You will notice the even light on her face it makes her skin glow.  Don’t mind the messy face and sweaty bangs!


5. Learn Manual Mode.

This often sounds so complicated and hard to people but with lots of practice it really isn’t. All my tips so far have been directed to any camera user but this one is for the DSLR owner. To learn manual mode there a few things to keep in mind-this by no means is a full lesson!

a. ISO: this doesn’t stand for in search of but tells your camera how much light is around you. Remember the film days of 100, 200, 400? This is what ISO is, for bright sunny days pick 100 for overcast/cloudy days or shade 400 will be better, for darker settings or inside use 800. The bigger the number the darker the environment you are in. One more thing to remember depending on your cameras capabilities the higher in ISO you go your final images could start to become grainy.

b. White Balance: this is the button on your camera that has little pictures associated with it this is easy, just pick the picture that represents your lighting conditions. Shady, full sun or florescent lighting are just a couple of choices.

c. F/Stop: is for how big the aperture (lens opening is) this is also what controls your background being blurry. The smaller the number the blurrier the background (depth of field) and the better for lower light settings. This number is also dependent on what your lens capability has.

d. Shutter Speed: This tells your camera how long to keep the shutter open. For fast action your want a shutter speed 1/200 or more. For low light the number often gets smaller (1/100) But you never want to go lower than 1/60 unless using a tripod.

e. Metering: This is the little numbered bar inside your view finder, when the moving line is near the middle you should have a fairly well exposed image. By changing either your f/stop or shutter speed this bar will move and show you if it’s going to be under/over or properly exposed.


6. Background is important.

I’ve already mentioned that by getting down or zooming in will help remove distractions from the background. By positioning myself this direction I eliminated the door of the house and patio furniture and was able to just focus on this selfie moment.

Zoom In



Also think outside the box for backgrounds, these cherries were on the hood of my car!

I hope you find these tips helpful and I love to help people learn and grow their skills so if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment!


featured on #wordswithwinter link up


This week was another hard week to chose who to feature, thank you for sharing such great posts! There were several posts on spiritual warfare which I found to be such a God thing, so cool that we were on the same page last week sisters!

My first featured post is Lauren of Sobremesa Stories her authentic post on prayer grabbed me from the beginning to the end. She wrote about being afraid to pray specifically how true her words are. “When we withhold our most vulnerable hopes and desires for ourselves, other people, relationships, and circumstances, we present ourselves to God as we think He wants to see us, instead of as who we are.” Be sure to read the rest of this great post.

Next feature is Debbie of Notes Along the Journey she shared about feeling inferior and what God’s truth really is. “Beloved, you are not inferior. You are a confident woman of God. Don’t believe those lies the enemy hisses in your ear. Nothing scares him more than a woman walking boldly with her God!” Her words of pure truth spoke straight to my heart you definitely should read this post!  

Also featured is Deborah of Growing in His Grace I loved this farmer’s wife light bulb moment when she found a yoke in the barn. This post will change how you view taking Jesus’s yoke. You’ll be missing out if you don’t click over and read her post.

This last post inspired me and I would love to see more of you ladies join Kim from Host and Hunt on Instagram for the 40 days of summer project. Be sure to tag your Me and Mom photos with #mandm40daysofsummer


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  1. Wow, thank you so much for featuring my post! I’m honored that it impacted you and this was such a fun surprise to wake up to on a Monday morning. So glad to be a part of this beautiful linkup!

    Also, all of those photography tips are great! I’m getting a “big” camera (aka an actual DSLR camera instead of my iPhone) in a few weeks and can’t wait to come back and reread all these tips with a camera in hand! Thanks for sharing!

    • winterlawson says:

      Yes, I loved it!! So exciting your getting the “big” camera! The best thing for just starting out, is to be patient with yourself and lots and lots of practice!!

  2. Thanks Winter for featuring me. I love photography. I bought my first camera when I graduated from High school so many years ago. I’m not aging myself. I have a separate blog where I post pics every Wednesday. Now I use my I-Phone or even an I Pad which does take amazing pictures and better yet I can edit them to hearts desire. Hope you have a good week!

  3. I think the cherries have to be my favorite. Note to self: outside the box–check! Thank you for the tips–we’re always looking to make our pictures better 🙂 .

  4. Thanks so much for the tips! The most helpful for me was to get down. What a great tip for moms like me photographing their kids! Your pics are beautiful!

  5. Winter, Thank you so much for this post. I am saving it where I can find it easily. I’ve wanted an easy to understand explanation of the manual settings on my DSLR camera, and you nailed it! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I needed this. God bless you!

    • winterlawson says:

      Oh I’m so glad it made sense! As I was typing I kept thinking does this make sense am I over-complicating things, so glad it was easy to understand!

  6. Winter, I love these tips. Thank you so much. Your photos are beautiful. Blessings to you!

  7. I’ve been dabbling in photography and I really enjoy it, but I could use much improvement. I really learned a lot from everything you shared here. Now to apply what I’ve learned! We’ll see how it goes. LOL! … Thanks so much for sharing. Great to link up with you today! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

  8. Such great tips! I bought my first DSLR camera 8 months ago and although the learning curve is steep, I am loving it SO much. My daughter is a professional photographer so she practically forbade me to use any mode but manual. ha. She said it would force me to learn quicker. She was right. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  9. Great tips! I love photography also and have been trying to hone my skills. I use to have a manual film camera that I used all the time. It took the best pictures but I finally switched over to a DSLR and I love it also and of course now I don’t have to process film:) I use my new cannon on manual a lot, it gives you so much more freedom. Love your blog! Linking up with you at mama moments monday!

    • winterlawson says:

      I don’t miss the days of developing film, I still print plenty of images but now I just get to pay for what I truly want! So glad you stopped by today!

  10. Hey Winter,

    I came over on the Mommy Moments link up today, and I’m glad to find your post.

    Thanks for sharing so many good and helpful ideas about taking better pictures. I’m learning and working on picture taking, and I really appreciate your practical suggestions.

    Hope you have a wonderful Monday,

  11. Winter, thank you for these tips. I have a very basic question. How do you load your own photos onto pinterest? Thanks again.

    • winterlawson says:

      I pin directly from my website (I have the pin it feature enabled) if you don’t have these enabled you can pin from the desktop (I have the older version of this) I do feel like there used to be an upload feature but I have looked into this even prior to your question and can’t find a solution. Sorry that I’m not more helpful 🙁

  12. Winter, thank you so much for the photography tips. I am new to blogging and even newer to photography – I am the one that always cuts peoples heads off in pictures… yikes : / So your tips have greatly helped me. Also thank you for hosting today. Blessings

    • winterlawson says:

      Awww, your like my momma then! I have prom pictures that only have my dates shoulders and not his head lol! So glad you enjoyed the tips and hope they help!

  13. Thanks for sharing these tips and hosting this linkup. Love your photos!!!

  14. What fun. This blog wasgreat and you never cease to amaze me. What an interesting blog and fun pictures of your kiddos!! I even learned things about taking photos.

  15. Wow, Winter….great tips, and your photos are beautiful! Adorable kids! Pinning! Thanks so much for hosting! Blessings from Espressos of Faith!

  16. What a wonderful post! I can surely use your knowledge on photos. I love that you took a photo challenge walk. I live in Indiana, too…lots of rain here in Muncie.

    • winterlawson says:

      Thank you so much, I hope you found tips you can apply! We don’t live too far apart I’m about 45 minutes north of Muncie 🙂 My younger sister attends ball state!

  17. Winter, I so enjoyed this post. Truly. Photography is something I have always admired yet never dabbled much myself. This made me want to now dabble 🙂 But it was your graphic with the verse John 15:5 which spoke to my heart as I read this verse (and included it in my own post) earlier today. I love when God speaks to my heart in this way. I think this is my first time here so may I say, “Nice to meet you!” & I will join in on your linkup today too 🙂 Blessings!

    • winterlawson says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit here! I hope you get to dabbling! I (obviously) love photography I especially love getting to look back at sweet memories 🙂 I will be sure to visit your post sometime this week and hope you continue to stop by! It was lovely to “meet you” as well!

  18. great post. I am a long time lover of photography. Thanks for sharing on #RaRaLinkUp.

  19. Your pictures are lovely, Winter. And I love the idea of a photography walk! What a great family activity. Thanks for the sweet idea! I’m glad to find you at Playdates with God this week.

    • winterlawson says:

      I hope you take your own photography walk…even my oldest surprisingly got quite into it! (He’s 11 now…it’s hard to excite him these days!)

  20. Thanks for these wonderful tips, Winter! Excellent addition to #RaRaLinkup this week!

  21. Winter, this is a great post. So many tidbits tucked in and are explained so clearly. I love to take photos but always have to ask my husband what this is or that. I will reread this and let it sink in a bit more. Thanks. I love the photo of your daughter in the “light”…it is a precious photo. and the kids’ selfie is good too!

    • winterlawson says:

      I’m so glad you found somethings to take away!…I understand needing to let it sink in and process 🙂 Hope you have a blessed week!

  22. What a fun and helpful post! Love the shots of your kiddos w/ their camera. Stopping over from Three Word Wednesday- the cherry pic is clever, great idea!

  23. Oh such valuable tips! I need to bookmark this to come back to often. I took a photography class quite some time ago but have forgotten most of what I learned. There were a few points you shared that I remember, like not centering everything and watching your background. This was VERY helpful. Thank you. And blessings to you.

    • winterlawson says:

      So glad you can apply some of the tips you learned here! It can be overwhelming when you are first trying to soak it all in, so lots of practice!

  24. Thank you for the tips, Winter! I am trying to figure out how to use the camera that my husband and I purchased recently, and these will be really helpful! God bless you and thank you for sharing (visiting you from Women With Intention :-).

  25. I love the peek into your life with photography tips. Fun post! I’m glad you linked up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  26. Love the photography tips. I just purchased the Ultimate Bundle for photography to learn more. I use my iPhone a lot when out walking and then my other camera is a Nikon. Visiting you from #DanceWithJesus today.

  27. Lovely! Thank you for the wonderful tips, Winter. And for sharing with DanceWithJesus! Happy 4th

  28. I love the idea of taking your kids outside, all armed with cameras, Winter. I have to do that with my son. He would love it! We spend way too much time in front of screens indoors.
    These are fantastic tips. I really need to learn manual mode. I keep my camera on auto almost all the time, which as you know can ruin a shot :). Thanks for all the info here!

    • winterlawson says:

      It was a lot of fun! I know the pain of using auto…but also the pain of learning manual!…Lots of practice and you’ll get it!


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