Picture Perfect with Ashley Ann Photography

Mankind has been telling stories visually from the beginning of time. And it has continued to grow to the present day, particularly now through social media. We are chronicling our lives through photographs that then make it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other networks. More and more people seem to be dabbling in photography these days—looking for the right angle to capture the beauty of a sunset or the plating of a new dish at our favorite restaurant. We can all become better with a little help.

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Ashley Campbell from Ashley Ann Photography is inspiring others to find their inner photographer through her blog, Under the Sycamore, and her Snapshop Workshops. Here, she offers some advice on improving photography skills whether with a standard digital camera or a smartphone. I dabbled in photography throughout high school and college, but did not have the technical understanding of how my camera worked. I often found myself frustrated I was unable to capture the images I had in my head. When I was pregnant with my second son, my mom gifted me with registration in an Intro to Photography course at our local community college. Once I understood the technical side of photography (shooting in manual), an entire new world opened up to me,” she says.

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Many of her beautiful images are of her very photogenic children. On her blog, she offers inspiring ways to capture their personalities and the world around them. Ashley says a strong understanding of the basics is key to increasing the quality of your photography and that it can even be applied to the photos you take on your smartphone. “Storytelling and composition can transcend so many art forms and methods. The same techniques and approaches I use with my DSLR [digital single-lens reflex camera] can be applied to phone photography and videography,” says Ashley. If you are using a digital camera, her first tip is to learn how your camera works. Learning to shoot in manual can be intimidating, she says, but worth the effort to learn. Some of Ashley’s favorite photo editing apps include Instagram,VSCO, PicTapGo, AfterLight, and A Beautiful Mess. Click here for even more Instagram photo advice from Ashley.