THE BEST TIP FOR TAKING AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS // Documenting Your Story // Northern Beaches Photographer

 In Mindset, Photography


I wanna learn how to take a good photograph, what camera should I buy? Which one is the best one? What camera do you have?

Oh I get asked this all the time. But really it’s like asking a painter which brush & paint will make you create an awesome landscape artwork or asking a carpenter which hammer & saw you should buy to build an awesome house.

Sooooo what makes an awesome photo?

It is YOU! The person who “just clicks that button.” Seriously, touching a button with little force, how fucking hard can it be… really?!

But a big fancy camera doesn’t just automatically take awesome photos, it is up to YOU to tell your camera what you want it to capture.

{ 2 2 0 } Sunset heaven 🌈💜 seriously how amazing are these winter sunsets been?! And of course my 3 year olds ability to accessorize 💁🏻I'm so loving the pink & blue sky's with the aqua sea look, I'm a little addicted to photographing it 🙋🏼🌺 shout out to the other mini family we've bumped into here pretty much every evening for the past month loving on this sunset pallet too #sametimetomorrow ?? #rockinggratitude for all this prettiness in our backyard x PS with all this crazy beautiful sky-ness I'm opening up an extra few sneaky bonus spots for sunrise or sunset photo sessions just for August & September!! If you want to grab one of the last spots to take advantage of this awesome backdrop for #photographicmagic ✨ PM or email me like now!!

A post shared by P A U L A 🌴 H O L S G R O V E (@ivyandthefox) on

Your camera is a machine, just a piece of equipment. If you don’t tell it what to do it won’t give you what you want.

So with that being said, it is TOTALLY possible for you to use ANY camera & take super rad photographs. All you need to do is know how to talk to your particular camera. Get to know it, what it’s preferences are, it’s views on life, how it likes to be handled, what buttons it likes pushed 😉

Ok so now you have seduced your camera hehe, I want to give you THE BEST TIP (& my most favourite) I can give you, that they don’t put inside the camera manuals or in the how to text books, on what is the foundation of an awesome photo.

This is the biggest pointer I have for taking your photography skillz from happy snaps to awesome loved-up, emotionally charged photographs that transport you into the moment & have all the feels running through your veins…

So at the core of photographic magic is your INTENTION. It’s not about the fancy gear or textbook perfect skillz. Having a photographic eye comes from something else… Your WHY.

I still rock the first DSLR I ever bought about 15 years ago, a mid-range Nikon. I am emotionally attached to it, I’ve taken that baby exploring in the jungles of Borneo, to see the giant Christmas tree at the Rockefeller, over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, to the top of Mt Gower on Lord Howe Island, taken countless photos of pretty much everything on Maui & it has captured the first moments of both my mini’s lives & so much more.

I fucking LOVE that camera & it still takes awesome photos.

I also still rock my Dad’s vintage Pentax film SLR, the camera I leant about all those knobs & dials you can adjust. The sensor has scratch marks & if you don’t get it JUST right on the focus it is super soft but it still takes fucking AHHHMAZING photos. I also totally rock my phone’s camera pretty much errrrrvy day, my insta feed is mostly made up of them & you know what…? It takes super awesome photos too!!

It really don’t matter what you use, it’s totally how you use it 😉

Yup, I also have my “big fancy pants camera” & “expensive lenses” & yes they make a huge difference in the end quality & make it super easy in creating amazing results when working with paying clients BUT again it’s not all up to the equipment you use, it’s totally not.

Well if you have ever tried to take a nice portrait of your non-stop 2 year old or a simple Intsa or Pinterest worthy promo photo for your biz or anything really, you might have found it’s not as easy as it looks.

To get a nice, clear, bright, balanced looking, natural photo that draws your audience in & gets them feeling, gets them interested, gets them commenting & asking questions & loving the shit out of it, takes a little extra sumfin sumfin.

You gots to use the secret sauce… Your INTENTION baby.

The first step… THE VERY FIRST STEP for taking ANY photograph is to ask yourself…

Why am I taking this photograph?

Seriously, your INTENTION is the KEY to your result.

You don’t need to know shit about your settings or what brand or model camera your friend who takes rad photos is & get the same one coz that will mean you will automatically take rad photos, too to start taking better photographs. Photographs that you actually LOVE because they are filled with love & emotion & connection.

You wanna know why?

Coz when you are worrying less about fannying around with getting your settings just right you are connecting with the moment & how you feel. You’re moving with your subject & interacting with them or trying to be a stealth ninja witnessing an undisturbed magical moment.

You are feeling into your intention that will be hugging your photograph oh so tightly.

WHY do I want to document my wild toddler right now?

WHY do I want to photograph my product/offering/service?

WHY do I want to take a photo of this beach?

WHAT do I want to FEEL when I look at it?

WHO do I want to see it & WHAT do I want them to SEE & FEEL?

Your INTENTION will tell your story.

Your INTENTION is what will fuel your photograph to come alive when someone lays their peepers on it. It is what will draw them in. Get them interested in what was happening, the story, the WHY. Your INTENTION is WHY they are looking.


FEEL into it.

Get into the headspace of it. EMBODY it.

When you do that, you will see it come through in your work.

Then you can start tackling all the technical stuff, if you want. Over time the tech stuff will all come together & eventually feel automatic. But your INTENTION trumps all that.

Your INTENTION will train your photographic eye. It’s the magical key that will transform your photography that isn’t in the camera manuals & How To books.

So think about it… what is your INTENTION?

Then…. Just push that button babeh 😉

With gratitude,

x Paula x
🌺 🌺 🌺

Want to know eeeeeeeven MORE of how I train photographers to take totally kick-ass photographs documenting their life &/or biz?!

I have written the first of a series of booklets (they are like work shops in a book or mini courses) that work together to get the photography results you are after! It will be like a pick your own adventure style journey with this series so you can focus on getting only the information you need to get your photography skillz to where YOU want them to be!

The first in the series is all about Light & Love – what I believe are the two most important aspects of photography, especially when documenting your life.


You can now get Light & Love on pre order for a super rad 50% off!! Only for a limited time & then it will be full price so you’d be bonkers not to grab it now!

Click on this image or go to for allllllll the deets dude…

Learn Photography Light And Love

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