Capturing the Perfect Shot

5 Tips for Capturing the Perfect Shot

5 Tips for Capturing the Perfect Shot with Alia Probst

What draws you to a certain photograph? What elevates a photo to outstanding? I strive for my photos to draw in the attention of my viewers, to engage them and inspire them. Once I conquered the technical aspects of my camera, I began to look for ways to improve my photography. As an amateur photographer, I always need to be on my feet because you never know when the perfect shot is going to come. I have discovered different tips and tricks to capture the perfect photo. Here are a few of them.

Angle and Perspective

Whether you want a photo looking down on a city or a young girl walking through a field, your approach depends on how you are holding your camera to accommodate the perspective of the photo. You can decide whether you want the photo at an angle, straight on, or above or below the main focal point. Doing this allows you to focus on the person or item you originally wanted to focus on.


To get the best photo, make sure the light is directed at your subject. Then, allow everything else to fade into the background. Isolate your subject with the light. This makes a difference in the photo because it defines the object more and draws the viewer’s eyes to the object. When taking a photo, you can choose natural or studio light. The closer the light source is to the subject, the softer the light will be; the farther away the light source is from the subject, the light will get dimmer. Try your best to align the different objects and shadows within the lighting to make your subjects stand out more.

Natural Reactions

One thing that photographers thoroughly enjoy when taking a photo of someone is catching their subject’s natural self. Capturing someone while they are doing an everyday task or just being themselves leads to a great natural shot. Regardless of what point of view you choose when taking a photo, remember the power of juxtaposition, or how the placement of two things in relation to one another affects the viewer. Proper juxtaposition makes a picture more aligned and professional.

Tell a Story

One way to strengthen your photograph is to tell a story by embracing the shadows around your subject. A few ways to tell a story through a photo is through mood, emotion, idea, narration and theme. Find the theme for a photo so you can more easily convey it to the viewer. A picture is worth a thousand words. When the picture tells a story, it grabs the viewer’s attention. That sets the viewer’s imagination free.


Finally, one of the most important things anyone can do if they want to take the perfect photo is to practice. No one can get the perfect shot on the first take. It may require more than 100 takes. Practice may not make you perfect, but it will make you better and help you learn new techniques through trial and error. Practice never hurts. Don’t be afraid to break the rules—even if you break one or two rules in a photo, that doesn’t mean the message is gone.

Photography is an art that takes a lot of practice. But if you stick with it, you will end up with amazing work you’ll be proud to share with the world.

Alia Probst is a high school freshman who became interested in photography in middle school while living with her family in Central and South America. She’s considering a career in photography after high school.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the March 2018 magazine.

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