So, how’s your week so far? Did you get a chance to read Part I and Part II of this series? If not, take a moment to head over there and catch up. When you’re ready, here’s the final part of the series:

13. Focus and Drag (or Focus Lock) Helps

You know by now that centering your subject is, most times, a no-no. So how do you focus on your subject while getting them out of the center of the frame? That’s what focus and drag is for: simply center your focal point, focus (shutter half-way), then while holding the shutter there reposition the camera to make an interesting composition.

14. Try Different Times

We all tend to get complacent when we find a formula that works; after all, it works! What you might be missing out on is creating different, maybe even better images, by shooting at a different time of the day. So try them all – early morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon, sunset, dusk, even after dark!

15. Focus on the Eyes

The majority of the time when you are taking a portrait of your kids their eyes will be the focal point, it’s a natural place for the viewer to look. So you absolutely want those eyes in focus. You can use the focus and drag technique mentioned above to get your composition “just right.”

16. Consider a Polarizing Filter

For outdoor photography, a polarizing filter is a great addition to your toolbox. It helps make colors more vibrant – particularly skies, and helps to cut down on reflections if you are shooting near water or other shiny surfaces. See this post for more details.

17. Shoot in Bursts with People & Pets

When you are photographing kids (or really anything that moves) it can really help to use continuous mode (where you hold down the shutter button and your camera continues to shoot) to get those micro-moments and expressions. Learn how to use it – and love it!

18. Buy Good Memory Cards (and more than one)

Never put all of your faith in one memory care – they can fail. Having two or three smaller memory cards is better than a single large one; if you lose it you’ve lost a ton of images. Switch out your cards regularly, and purchase the best ones you can afford. Remember that the class number is simply the number of megabytes the card can store per second – vital when you shoot video or like to shoot in burst mode.

19. Break the Rules!

There are a lot of rules associated with photography and the all are good; but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just shooting within that framework. Learn the rules first, but then see what happens when you break them – you may end up with your best photo yet!

20. Never Stop Learning

There’s always more to learn: new tools; methods, equipment, poses, props, and don’t forget lenses! So make a promise to yourself that you’ll keep learning, whether it means taking a class, reading a book, or simply trying new things. And keep coming back here for more tips!

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