No matter how experienced a photographer you are, you probably still have “aha!” or “now why didn’t I think of that?” moments. Here are some tips that gave me those types of moments.

Tip #1: Take a Photo

You’ve got your camera bag all packed up ready to leave for a shoot. Stop. Take out your camera and take a picture. Now you’ll know whether you’re missing a memory card or forgot to take the battery off the charger. Come on, say I’m not the only one who has ever arrived somewhere without a memory card? Battery? (I sure hope I’m not the only one losing my brain!)

Tip #2: Shoot in Burst Mode When Hand-holding in Low-light

If you shoot in burst or continuous mode, and take several shots, chances are one of them will be sharp. (Or you could just remember to bring your tripod).

Tip #3: Bracketing

I’m sure we’d all love to think our meter is so trustworthy that we will never have any exposure issues, but there are tricky situations even your meter might misread.

If you feel you’re in one of those situations, or you just don’t have time to mess with exact metering, then use your camera’s exposure bracketing feature. Now you’ll get a shot with the settings your camera suggests, as well as lighter and darker shots.

Tip #4: Memory Card Worries

  • Download your images to your computer.
  • Back them up to your secondary hard-drive.
  • Burn them to dozen CDs, or whatever makes you feel safest.
  • Then reformat your card RIGHT THEN. Reformatting is better than just erasing. It helps keep you memory card it tip-top shape. (I don’t really know why. I’m not that nerdy).
  • Put the card in a card case you have designated for empty cards. Now rest assured that if a card is in that case, it’s clear and ready for use!

Tip #5: Sharper Images

  • Roll your finger over the shutter release. This way, you’re less likely to cause vibration than you would by pressing the shutter release.
  • Hold your elbows tucked in toward you body. This will keep it steadier.
  • Read more ways to get tack-sharp images.

Tip #6: Tripod Substitutes

  • Sometimes I lean my body against something (like a wall or a tree) so I’m more stable.
  • Another thing I do to get sharper images is rest my lens on something – like a fence post or the top of my car.

Tip #6: Turn On Your Camera’s Highlight Alert Feature

This is a fast way to make sure you’re not blowing any whites. With this feature enabled, when you look at the LCD screen, any blown areas will flash at you. Then you can decide if you care or not. It’s a lot better than being surprised when you pull the image up in Photoshop. It’s also faster than stopping to check the histogram.

Tip #7: Back It Up NOW

You can get a portable external hard drive with slots for memory cards! Now you can back up your pictures right after the shoot. Talk about reducing anxiety… especially after a wedding!