How to Take Quality Photos and Select the Right Ones for Prints

Updated: Oct 20, 2021


There is nothing quite like the feeling of hanging a beautiful photo of your family on your wall. You want these images to be crisp, bright, and highlight your favorite family moments. That is why it can be so frustrating to try to get high quality prints of photos and discover that, once they are printed, they are blurry, dull, or simply of too low quality to be printed well.

How do you take photos that translate better onto printed mediums and how do you select the best ones? Let’s look at some of the most common issues with photo quality and troubleshoot how to avoid them.

Blurry Photos


One of the most common issues with photos is that they are blurry, so when they are enlarged onto a photo book or metal print, that blurry look only gets worse. Blurry photos can still capture fun family moments, but you can avoid blurry photos by steadying your camera with a tripod or setting it on a solid surface, cleaning your camera lens with a soft cloth or alcohol-based cleaner, and locking focus on your subject before you snap the picture.

You may want to capture photos that involve a lot of movement, such as sports games or your children running through a pile of leaves in the fall. If you are comfortable changing the settings on your camera, you can try raising your shutter speed to take better action shots. Choose a nice bright area, such as outside, and raise your shutter speed to 1/1000 or above to get the sharpest photos.

Most phone cameras and traditional DSLR cameras will also have a continuous shooting mode, such as iPhone’s burst photos, which takes multiple pictures very quickly and increases your chances of getting a high-quality action shot.

Grainy Photos


It’s not always possible to choose the best setting to take a picture. Your toddler might decide to do something adorable on an evening walk or you might take a cute selfie with your partner over a dimly lit dinner table. These photos, while sweet, might end up grainy because of low light levels. It can also happen if you are taking photos during the day with a high ISO. If you notice that your photos are turning out grainy, even in great lighting, you should adjust your ISO.

What is an ISO? This is a setting that allows you to adjust the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO allows you to take photos in darker environments, while lower numbers are appropriate for brighter environments.



f you are taking photos in bright sunlight, adjust your ISO to 200-400 and even higher if you are indoors or the lighting is poor. It is very difficult to take photos at night and avoid graininess, but you can try to minimize it by increasing the exposure settings. Those beautiful photos you see of the night sky are usually taken with a very long shutter speed, allowing for more light over a longer period of time. You might try to get around the darkness by using your flash, but this can often lead to some distortion and red-eye issues.

Dark Photos When Printed

Your photo might seem bright when looking at it on your phone screen yet looks darker when printed onto paper. If this is an issue, you can try using a third-party photo editing app or your phone’s editing settings. You can often adjust the brightness, contract, saturation, and more. In general, stick to adjusting the exposure and color levels before you add your photos to your SimplePrints book.

Selecting The Best Photos for Print

After you have taken your photos, it is time to organize them and print. You may need to look through a lot of photos to find the perfect ones for your print project, so we are sharing some tips to organize them and choose the best ones. Here are the steps to creating your high quality photo prints.

Select a Theme

The first step to creating a print project, like a photo book or mini book, is to decide what the theme is going to be for your book. If your book is a personal project, like a family yearbook or treasuring your recent travel adventure, you can create your book around that. Or it may be a gift for someone else for Mother’s Day or a Graduation. Consider what your theme is for your photo book and keep that in mind as you look through your photos.

Organize Your Photos

Most people have thousands of photos to choose from, so you need to narrow down the list of potential photos for your SimplePrints project. You can create an album on your phone or organize your photos with folders on Dropbox. Add only the relevant photos that are both high quality and special to you.

Skip any photos that have quality issues, such as blurry or grainy photos, that we discussed above. You will also want to check for any repetitive photos or images that are framed poorly, such as those that have part of someone’s face cut out of the photo.

While you can’t print thousands of photos in one photo book, don’t stress too much about paring down your selections as long as you stick with your theme for each book. SimplePrints offers ample space for your photos, with mini books holding between 20 and 98 pages of photos and photo books holding up to 300. This means you will have plenty of room for your pictures.

Editing Your Photos

Use the editing feature on your phone or a third-party app to adjust your photos. You might select a favorite filter or edit manually to make sure each photo is bright, cropped appropriately, and featuring your favorite faces and places. SimplePrints also offers photo filters to boost colors or keep a personal aesthetic to make your theme more cohesive. SimplePrints offers 11 filters to use on photo books, mini books, canvas prints, and metal prints.

Add Your Photos to SimplePrints

SimplePrints makes it easy by connecting to your phone gallery, Dropbox, Google Photos, and more. After you have selected your favorite, high quality photos and placed them into a folder, you can import them easily into the SimplePrints app.

Enjoy Quality Photo Prints

It can seem overwhelming when you first start looking at your photos, but organizing your photos can be easy when you follow these simple steps. You can learn to take high quality photos and choose the best ones for your photo projects. We cannot wait to help you create high quality photo prints for any of your keepsakes, such as your wedding album or baby books.

SimplePrints App is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. SimplePrints offer the best photo prints from iPhone or Android.

Other resources:

Guest Blogger: Cameya Martin

Cameya Martin is a mother, a wife, a self-identified horse-girl, and a writer. She writes articles for small businesses, memoirs for people, and fiction for herself.

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