Why are my photos blurry?! Tips for taking in focus photos!


Nicole Hill


how to take in focus photos

You know that feeling you get when you finish up a shoot and are uploading all of the files from your memory card onto your computer, anxiously awaiting your first glimpse of the images you created? That little spark of excitement that builds up in your heart until you start scrolling through the shots and notice that—oh, dear god—all of your favorite shots aren’t even in focus! There’s not a single sharp photograph in sight and there’s not a thing you can do about it. 

[Insert big ol’ tears and sobbing sounds.] 

The good news is that, at one point or another, we’ve all been there—literally every-single-one-of-us. But, like most things in the world of photography, there are a few tricks that all photographers should keep up their sleeves to help avoid these types of devastating little mishaps, whatever the issue might be. Let me explain.

Recently I received a text from a friend…

“Nicole— I think my shutter speed is too slow? Everything is blurry. I just keep cranking the wheel on my camera back and forth until the exposure looks ok, but I don’t think I’m doing it right. Can you show me how to use my camera?!”

As soon as I finished reading her message, I already had a ton of different questions for her: What kind of blur are you experiencing? What’s your aperture set at? What’s your shutter speed? And with all of these questions ringing through my head, I suddenly thought, “Ok, I need to do a podcast episode about this!” So, today I want us to try something that I think will be a little bit fun and different: we’re going to reverse engineer the solutions to some common photo blunders that keep us from getting those crispy, sharp images we love.

Inside this episode we are diving into some tips that are sure to help you get the sharp images you’re looking for based on a specific problem you might find yourself up against. Inside I set the scene for some of the most common problems we face, and offer you a few ways to work around them.

So grab some paper, a pen, pop in those earbuds and get ready to dive in.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of trial and error to really figure out what obstacle you’re up against when troubleshooting blur in any given photo, but honestly, practice makes perfect so give it a little time! Be patient with yourself as you learn how to focus and manually adjust your camera settings. I mean, it’s a lot to handle when you’re just sitting quietly in your room tinkering with buttons on your camera—so when you’re moving around, talking, laughing, and directing an actual living being it can be intimidating! So, be patient, stay open minded, and take those gorgeous photos!

And while you’re at it, make sure to click the image below to grab our free Manual Mode Cheat Sheet that will help you get started in truly understanding out to use your camera settings to gain optimum image quality.

Now if all of this feels overwhelming, and you’re struggling to get the quality photos you’ve been striving for, you’re not alone. And I’d love to help. I’m happy to announce that we are reopening the doors to The Photographer’s Path on September 21, 2022. (PS. We only open the doors TWICE a year)

The Photographer’s Path is a digital course and a step-by-step guide to discovering who you’re meant to be as a photographer, mastering the technical skills to prepare you for a lasting professional career, and building your portfolio to win the clients you dream about.

If you’re looking for community, encouragement, and technical know-how to confidently achieve your dreams Grab a spot on the waitlist for The Photographer’s Path. We are offering a special business bonus to all of our waitlist sign ups! I can’t wait to help you in any way on your photography journey.


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meet the photographer


I've spent the last decade of my life traveling the world as a fashion photographer and I created Horizon Found to give you everything I wish I had when I was starting my career. Here you'll find community, inspiration, and education - to help guide you down the path towards building the photography business of your dreams. My dream is to use this platform to help build a supportive environment in the photography industry.


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The Photographer's Path is currently closed.
Get on the waitlist to get early access and special bonuses not offered anywhere else!

The Photographer's Path is currently closed. Get on the waitlist to get early access and special bonuses not offered anywhere else!