At SSQ Insurance, we believe that stronger communities make every person stronger. As your treasured moments with family and friends are the very essence of your community, we offer some tips on how to capture those special moments when you don’t have a professional camera handy.

1. Go to the light

A dark photo is an image that is often pixelated and lacking definition. The secret to a successful photo mostly depends on the amount of natural light available. The more you have, the more you reduce the risk of a fuzzy or low-quality photo. To take a great photo, don’t be shy, ask your loved ones to stand near a window or other source of light. Place your back to the window, while the subjects face you in front of it. You will get a flawless photo every time. You are already outside? Even better!

Be aware that the back-facing selfie lens on many devices doesn’t have the same quality as the main front-facing camera lens. In other words, the lens allows less light to enter. Check if this is the case with your smartphone to determine what mode to use to take photos. If you want to be included in a photo, it might be a good idea to ask someone to take the picture for you or use a timer to avoid using the back-facing inferior lens.

2. Know how to frame your subjects

People tend to position the subject squarely in the centre of a photo and leave a lot of room above the head. Try to frame the photo differently by placing your subjects off-centre. Position them a little bit more to the left or right. Try to leave less space above a subject’s head; you will be pleasantly surprised to see your photos automatically become more vibrant.

3. Keep clicking away!

The general rule is you need to take a dozen photos to find the one shot that meets your expectations. Therefore, take more than you need to give yourself plenty of choices. This will help ensure nobody’s eyes are closed!

4. Find the right photo editing app

Several free, high performance applications are available on the market today to improve your photos quickly… without having to take a course! They are designed to make retouching easy and give your pics a boost: enhance the sharpness of your photo if it is blurry, make an image darker or add more light, add colour filters, retouch skin blemishes, etc.

Here are some apps that are worth the download:

5. Avoid using digital zoom

Most smartphones do not actually zoom: rather, they stretch your image to give the impression you are closer to the subject. That is why there is significant loss of quality when using the zoom function. If you think you are too far away, resist the urge to use the zoom function and move closer to your subjects instead.

6. Avoid using the flash

Your smartphone camera’s flash function is sometimes more trouble than it’s worth. The flash can often make photos take on a bluish tint and may overexpose your subject. The contrast between a very bright subject and a rather dark background also makes for a less flattering photo. Try to find extra lighting to counter low light or simply look for a brighter place to capture your shot.

Take photos without a flash unless absolutely necessary and use an application to try and adjust the photo’s brightness to your liking.

7. What’s in the background?

You have painstakingly arranged your subjects and the odds are in your favour to capture that perfect shot. There is just one last, tiny detail: make sure that all background elements are interesting, relevant and well framed in your photo. For example, a photo can appear unbalanced if all background elements are located on one side. In such a case, simply ask people to reposition themselves to create a more appealing background.

You are now ready to capture your best moments on the spot! Show off your favourite pics by sharing them on Instagram using #CommunitiesMakeUs (@ssq.ca).