Photography Tips from Colorado Life

Looking to improve your photography? Follow these tips from our staff photographers, and one day you might see your shots featured in an issue of Colorado Life Magazine!

Jack Brauer

With every click of the shutter, Colorado Life Magazine photographers seek to capture a sense of place from all of the state’s wonderfully diverse prairie, mountain and Western Slope environments. From wide-angle natural landscapes to street scenes of cultural city sites, portraits of compelling personalities to close-ups of wild animals, our photographs beautifully depict what it means to live or travel in Colorado. The magazine invites you to join us on adventures to find the most photogenic scenes and colorful characters in the state, whether you’re a shutterbug or simply a lover of stunning images.


  • Photograph during the magic hours (one hour after sunrise, one hour before sunset) when the sun is at a low angle creating a warm color balance, long shadows and stunning effects.
  • Take advantage of inclement weather that creates unique atmospheric conditions – dramatic clouds, rainbows, fog or dappled shadows on landscapes.
  • Avoid photographing outside in cloudless, midday sun when light is harsh, heavy in contrast and washes out color.


  • Use natural light whenever possible. Other than fill flash, avoid flash, which can flatten images.
  • Minimize clutter and distracting elements in the backgrounds and at the edges of photos by re-positioning subjects, adjusting composition or using a wide aperture.
  • Take several options with varying depths of field.


  • Be mindful of the rule of thirds, while also keeping an eye out for layers of strong foreground, middle-ground and background subjects.
  • Look for leading lines that take viewers’ eyes through images. Include interesting textures, symmetry or complementary color combinations.
  • Be bold. Know your subject and get close, filling as much of the frame with your subject before clicking the shutter.
  • Persist. Sometimes the winning photo is the one that comes after you think the photo shoot is done. Stay a little longer. It almost never fails.


  • Include people or structures in landscapes to give sense of scale and to help the reader imagine himself there.
  • Anticipate and capture decisive moments of peak action.
  • Seek out and capture human emotion.
  • Seek out and capture people interacting with each other or with nature.
  • Look 360 for the unexpected story: shoot landscapes, wildlife, street scenes, interiors, restaurants, portraits of compelling characters and cultural sites.


  • Stop action with fast shutter speeds and continuous frame rates. On the flip side, communicate motion with slow shutter speeds and blur.
  • Mix a wide range of angles and perspectives (upward – looking from the ground; downward – looking from overlooks; and eye level) while using several different lens types (wide angle, normal, and telephoto) during a photo shoot.
  • Finally, have fun. Enjoy where you are, what you are doing and who you are with. It will show in your photos. 

 For more tips and advice on how to prepare your photos for publication in Colorado Life, visit our Contributor Guidelines Page

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