Photo Tips From A Pro

As we look forward to 2021, our annual Photo Calendar Contest will be opening soon. With it, we thought we'd get the inside scoop from a professional for a few tips for capturing the perfect photo. 

Erin Lutz is a Catawba County native who specializes in classic, natural light photography. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Photography. Erin is also a local cattle farmer and often uses the farm for client photos! She started Lutz Photography in 2015 and has focused on weddings, family photos and farm shoots ever since. 


Here's a few of Erin's tips to help your photo stand out: 


1. Camera Settings 

 Erin recommends shooting photos in manual focus. This lets you change your F Stop, Shutter Speed and ISO focus for the appropriate type of picture.                                                                                                                         Here's a video tutorial on F Stop, Shutter Speed and ISO. (Pro Tip: a low F Stop gives you that "blurry background" photo that's popular!) 

2. Animal Photos

We all know how much animals like to move, so try to focus on the animal itself. Change your shutter speed to a higher setting and your F stop to a lower setting. (Pro Tip: Try 2.8 on F Stop). This will                        help keep your photos from turning out blurry! Try cropping out distractions and clutter. Keep the lighting for animals as natural as possible and avoid filters. 

3. Landscape Photos

If you're shooting landscape photos, try changing your settings to a higher F Stop focus. (Pro Tip: try 5.6). Since your landscape isn't moving, try a lower shutter speed! 

Make sure to take your landscape photos horizontally, not portrait or vertical. Photos submitted with a portrait orientation have lower photo quality! 

4. Lighting 

Depending on your lighting, you might have to adjust the ISO of your camera. If you're in a brighter light, try using a lower ISO number (ex: 100). If you're in a darker light, try using a higher ISO. 


5. Phone Photos

 While not everyone may have a camera, you might opt for the more accessible phone photos. If you do, be sure to turn your phone horizontal for the photo rather than vertical and try to crop it. This gives you better resolution when submitting your photos. Also, DON'T USE FILTERS. 


Our photo contest will be open until May 31st, 2021. You can search for the entry form using the search bar up top! 

**Disclaimer: Photography settings depend on camera body, lenses and lighting**