Professional photographers often have a bunch of magic tricks they use to get the best photos.
How to avoid photographing people when they blink
Before you push the trigger, instruct your model(s) to close their eyes and not open them until you say so. When you say “so” they open their eyes and you immediately press the shutter button. This works well with large groups of people too.
How to improve lighting in outdoor portraits
Heavy shadows can ruin head portraits. If the sun isn’t to bright, let the model stand at a 45 degree angle towards it. Then the face will be evenly lit without the model having to squint.
Another way to avoid hard shadows is to reflect sunlight back to the dark side of the face with white paper or aluminum foil.
How to crop portraits properly
There is one important rule on how to frame bodies in portraits: Don’t cut joints. Instead you cut between feet and knees, between knees and hip or between hip and breast.
Also make sure not to let lines in the background (like horizons) cut through your model's head or trees grow out of the head.
How to make people look slimmer
Ask them to stand with the lower part of the body at an angle away from you and the upper part more towards you. This will stretch the belly and make it look slimmer.
The same can be done with face shots by having the upper body facing 45 degree away from the camera and the face towards it, or the upper body at a 90 degree angle and the face at 45. This will stretch the neck skin.
How to use “rule of thirds”
Rule of thirds is a way to frame photos to make them more interesting and appealing. Many camera apps have grids that helps with this.
Imagine grid lines that cut the photo into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Place the photo's point of interest in any of the four points where lines cross.
The cover photo of this article is a good example of use of rule of thirds.
Do you have any magic formulas that you use for taking better pictures? Share them in comments below.