Okay, first off...I'm not trained at all in the art of photography. When I even start to read about it my brain shuts off. It's so hard to grasp & I'm amazed by people that get it. They're smart! One day, I will take classes & then I'll look back & think my photos are crap.....no, just kidding. Anyway....here are a few things to remember when you're trying to take nice everyday photos of your life:
1. Turn off your flash. This will make a huge difference! The flash is very unflattering on both people & objects. Now, when you're shooting without the flash you need to make sure you have lots of natural light on our subject. I open up all the blinds in my house, so there's always a lot of light flooding in. Then, if I need to grab my camera for a shot, I don't have to run around staging everything.
2. Pay attention to light. Once you get used to what good lighting conditions are for taking photos, look for it! Sometimes I am inspired to take out the camera & start shooting, not because my kids were doing something cute, but because the light in their room was amazing. The best place to take photos is outside. The light will be amazing, but be sure to put your subject in the shade so they don't end up overexposed.
3. Eliminate distractions in the background. Seriously. Your kid may look cute as can be, but dangit, my eye keeps getting drawn to that vacuum behind them, or that mess of toys. Get in closer on your subject if you need to, or shoot from above.
4. Try a different angle!! This one is my favorite. We see lots of straight on shots. They can be boring. I typically take at least 4 shots, from various angles & then pick the one I love the most. Pretend that you're a rock star w/ the camera & before you know it you will be!
5. Take lots & lots of photos. We have this luxury with our digital cameras. Take lots of photos & you're bound to get one or two that are amazing.
6. Get to know your camera. If you want to get more involved, start with reading your camera manual front to back. Pay attention to white balance & ISO & start experimenting under different lighting conditions.
I hope this helps. Let let me know if you have any questions or any other tips. And when you feel like you've taken a "rock star" photo, please share it with me. I'd love to see.