09/20/2012 05:16 EDT | Updated 11/20/2012 05:12 EST

How to Take Better Pictures


We communicate every day with pictures. Pictures help us share our experiences with others, help us tell stories and allow us to remember where we were at a specific point in our lives. A picture is not just a moment captured in time, it is a glimpse into the past. It gives us a way to travel back in time and remember those who we loved the most, and who they were when the picture was taken.

We are fortunate to live in a world where we are surrounded by pictures every day. Digital cameras are almost always by our side and we are able to easily document our memories. Cameras have evolved from a piece of equipment that required an incredible amount of training to use into the amazing tools that they are today that allows us to simply point-and-shoot and get great pictures.

Like any tool though, the camera only does what you tell it to do. If, for example, you are indoors and you point your camera at your kids who are standing in front of a big bright window, your camera will think you're trying to take a picture of the window (which is really bright in comparison to your kids) and therefore your picture won't turn out. The camera only does what you tell it to do, and it may sometimes not necessarily be what you intended.

I want you to love taking pictures, I want you to take great pictures and I want you to be able to enjoy the process of taking pictures. I recently started a video series of photography tips called "Picture Primer Photo Tips," where I'll share with you a tip to improve your day-to-day photography in one minute. Whether it's how to take a better picture in a room with a big window, or how to take advantage of the "sunset" mode in your camera, there's lots that we can learn to make our pictures better.

I am excited to kick off my first blog post here on the Huffington Post, and I am looking forward to regularly sharing my "Picture Primer" tips here. To get you started, here are five tips to get you started and to help you take better pictures today:

1. Don't forget your camera -- it sounds simple, but a lot of times, we leave the house to go to an event or a family outing and we forget our point-and-shoot cameras.

2. Shoot in the Shade -- Shooting directly in the sun is very unflattering. Furthermore, you will catch people squinting, and photos overall will be less consistent.

3. Take multiple photos of a group -- With group photos, there are so many factors, such as catching someone with their eyes closed or not looking at the camera. Always shoot twice!

4. Get in the picture yourself -- Many times the photographer is so busy shooting the action and fun that they forget to get in a picture themselves. Always try to hand your camera to someone

else at some point and get in the picture!

5. Take control, be adventurous and have fun! -- Don't be afraid to try something new!

Enjoy, and until next time...happy snapping!