Photography how-to: Beyond SnapshotsA few years ago, I ditched my point-and-shoot camera for a fancy DSLR, and while I was almost instantly taking better photos of my kids, I really had absolutely no idea how to use any of the actual settings. Without time to read the huge instruction manual or take a photography class, like many people, I just left it on auto and went on my merry way. 

However, since discovering this new fantastic book, I’m dusting off and charging up my DSLR so that it’s ready to live up to its full potential and take more than just basic snapshots. 

Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off “Auto” and Photograph Your Life like a Pro is a must-have new book for you shutterbugs, from moms and photographers Rachel Devine and Peta Masey, that takes you through a wonderful step-by-step journey on taking better photos with your DSLR camera. Though the authors provide you with helpful instructions on how to use various settings to take everything from portraits of your kids to beautiful landscapes, it doesn’t read like an instruction manual whatsoever. The easy-to-read format, interspersed with their gorgeous photography, will show you techniques like how to better utilize light, how to make colors pop, and more.

In fact, Beyond Snapshots is so exhaustive, I’d suggest buying the book and ditching your camera’s instruction manual altogether. 

I really appreciate that they go through the utter basics–although you might skip that part if you’re a somewhat savvy photog already. And I love that they share the exact settings they used for each photo that’s included in the book, giving you super practical take-aways for those of us who might need a little more than “Just go outside and play around!”

And let’s be honest, if you spent all that money on your camera, it’s worth the $16 for this book to learn how to actually use it. -Kristen

Get the Beyond Snapshots guide to DSLR photography at your local bookstore or our affiliate