The subject of the photo HAS TO BE IN FOCUS and the image ought to be sharp.
I mean it goes without saying. It's absolute common sense. Surely EVERYONE ought to know this already!
I have seen countless RUINED photos that would be otherwise really great, simply because the snapper wasn't paying attention. Even on my own camera.
Take this one for example:
Notice how the stones, pebbles and trees are all in focus---but babycakes and I are slightly unfocused? I HATE it when that happens. There is not much that can be done about that when taking a self-portrait because you can't see WHAT the camera is focusing on. If your camera has a review button USE it. If not, make several attempts to be sure you get one good one. And if you are looking through the viewfinder and about to snap the picture, for goodness' sake, PAY ATTENTION to where you are focused.
Isn't this much better???
I can't help you with tips for focusing on the right things, (I mean, sheesh!) but here are some tips for staying focused...
Since many of us don't own tripods I don't need to mention that, but if you own one~you have an all-access ticket to success.
- Stand with your feet spread apart and firmly grounded. If you can lean against a tree or something, sometimes that helps. Or if you can butt your camera up to something vertical, like a tree, that can help too.
- Use BOTH hands, not just one. Watch this short video clip if you wonder how.
- Pushing the camera gently to your eye or cheek can help to stabilize it.
- Hold your breath when you are snapping the pictures. Notice I said when you are snapping the pictures, not the whole time. ;-) Or if that is uncomfortable, click the shutter as you are slowly exhaling. I always hold my breath.
- If you are sitting down taking pictures, bring your knees up and use them as a "tripod"
- If you are using a point and shoot, wait until AFTER the focus is completed before snapping the picture.
- Keep your elbows together, creating a living, breathing tripod.
- Push the button slowly. It isn't a race and the pressure from a quick click often moves the whole camera body, thus creating shake.
Thus concludes the easiest photography lesson ever.