You’ve had a great trip and now you’re looking sat your photos, which have come out disappointingly bad. We’ve all taken bad photos, you know, those with things sticking into people’s heads, or where no-one looks lifelike. So how can you ensure that you have great pieces of art to look at?

Don’t ask me, I only know travel. So I asked portrait photographer Michelle Payne-Gale to share her top tips.

Whether you’re off to Cornwall or the Caribbean this summer (if only!), you might be planning to take photographs of family and loved ones on the beach.  Here are my favourite 3 tips for getting perfect shots in this most beautiful but most challenging of environments!

Use your Flash
It probably sounds crazy to use flash in bright sunshine, but when you’re shooting into the sun or a very bright background, you risk your subjects becoming silhouettes.  By using your flash, your subjects will be nicely lit, along with the background.

Use your Spot Meter
Some cameras have a Spot Metering feature, where you can tell the camera exactly which part of the scene you want to be well exposed, and it will do that bit perfectly.  This allows you to face your subjects away from the sun (so they won’t squint!) and properly expose their shadowed faces.

Play with Exposure Bracketing
Ever noticed when taking photos in bright scenery that often your subjects look too dark, or the lovely blue sky comes out white or washed-out?  If you have Manual mode on your camera, turn it on and take 3 photos – the first using the exposure settings the camera suggests, a second one slightly under-exposed, and a third one slightly overexposed (use the meter on your camera display as a guide).  This way, you’ll have at least one great photo, and if you have photo-editing software on your computer, you can combine the best aspects of all three into one perfect image!

Happy Snapping!

Michelle’s blog can be found here