How To Take Great Photos

Oxford-based photographer specialising in portrait, travel and lifestyle photography.

Just one look at Sophie Goldsworthy’s website will have you thinking “if only I could take photos like that!” Well, of course, Sophie is a professional photographer with years of experience, but she does have some good tips for amateurs. These 5 points (as appeared in Prima magazine) should help you to take great photos.

1. Flattering Poses

There are plenty of poses your subject can adopt to look better!

  • Get them to turn their body away, so they aren’t full on to the camera, then turn their heads to look at you.
  • Position them in profile, looking out at something.
  • Stand on a chair or step and ask them to look up at you, this makes them appear slimmer (and hides any hint of a double chin!).
2. Leading Lines
A busy landscape scene can be anchored by using natural pathways- roads, rivers, tree lines or flights of steps. These can lead the eye into the image with pleasing results, they can help to break the picture up too, giving it shape.
Aspen Road, Boulder, Colorado

3. Action Shots
Panning the camera to keep pace with movement can emphasise it by blurring the background, simply move the camera to keep pace with the subject and press the shutter at the point where you want to take the picture. Alternatively, stay still and capture the subject as it passes by in a blur, using that to convey motion instead.
4. Night Photos
Most cameras with in-built flash have a range of a few metres and won’t light a whole scene. Instead, try the night portrait pre-set mode (on most digital cameras), which should give you a long enough exposure to capture the scene. Set the timer and place on a flat surface or tripod (to avoid camera shake), or lean against something stable whilst holding the camera close to your body.
Night Lights, Queens Walk, London
5. Instagram Effects
Add stunning but simple effects to your smartphone pictures with the simple to use Instagram App (free via Google Play and itunes). Play around with filters and borders to give images a whimsical, retro feel such as this sign which was given a retro feel border.
Instagram photo by @cafecontour (cafecontour) | Statigram



To view Sophie Goldsworthy’s photographs, visit her website Sophie also has an excellent book “The Rough Guide to Digital Photography” which has had amazing reviews in the press (see below). You can buy the book on Amazon.


Mail on Sunday – Book of the Week
‘For some people, digital photography is still rather complicated. Thank goodness, then, for The Rough Guide To Digital Photography by Sophie Goldsworthy. It tells you all you need to know, from choosing the right camera to the mysteries of the “digital darkroom”.’


My name is Caroline Sutton and I'm a wife and mother of 3 children, passionate about food, keeping me and my family healthy, gorgeous interiors and shopping! I have a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and continue to be interested in the science behind diet and drugs. I also have a Diploma and City and Guilds in Interior Design and for the last 17 years have run a property company which develops, redevelops and manages rental properties: Sunlight Properties Ltd.

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