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Quick Tips for Getting Super Sharp Focus in Your Photos Every Time!

How to get sharp focus in your photos.  Why are my pictures out of focus?! Learn how to take images that are sharp clear and in focus with these simple steps!

Quick Tips for Getting Super Sharp Focus in Your Photos Every Time!

Are you having a hard time getting super sharp focus in your photos?

You are not alone!

Keep reading for quick tips for getting super sharp focus in your photos every time!

It can be a struggle with even the most advanced photographer. See below for the top tips for making sure your images are crisp, clear and in focus every time you hit the shutter!


Increase Your Shutter Speed

As a general rule of thumb, you want to make sure that your shutter speed is set to at least double what the focal length of your lens is. So for example if you are shooting with:

50mm lens: shutter speed at a greater than 1/100

100mm lens: shutter speed at or greater than 1/200

200mm lens: shutter speed at or greater than 1/400

Are you starting to get the picture? Good. I tend to set my shutter speed even a little high just to ensure the focus is there.

Set the Focal Point on the Eyes

Do you see all those little red dots in your viewfinder? Those are your focal points. You can set these. The center dot will generally give you the sharpest focus, so as you are learning to get sharper images, use that point. Position the center focal point so that it is directly in line with your subjects eye. Sharp eyes=beautiful portraits.

Check Your Aperture

Shooting at a wide aperture creates beautiful blur in the background. It can also leave room for soft focus in your pictures if you are not careful or if you aren’t sure how to set it correctly. If you are constantly getting soft focus try to increase your f/stop. If you are shooting only one subject, you can set it pretty wide (f/2 or wider) and still get sharp focus. As the number of subjects increases, you could still shoot wide, but just remember to keep them all on the same plane, or in a line. If one person is slightly forward they could be out of focus. Adjust your aperture to the number of subjects in your photo and focus in on the subject who is closest to you. The correct aperture will also help you expose correctly.

RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO SHARPEN YOUR IMAGE IN PHOTOSHOP (there’s some freebie PS actions for you over there too!)

Tips to get sharper, in focus images every time you take a picture

Choose the Right Lens

Some lenses are better than others at giving you sharp photos. ?If you want clear, crisp focus and find that you just aren’t getting what you want with your kit lens, it may be because of that- you are using the lens that came with your camera. Now, you can get into some really expensive lenses that will give you super sharp focus, but you don’t have to spend thousands to get a quality lens. The 50 mm 1.8 is a super option and relatively inexpensive for those of you starting out. You will see instant results with the clarity of this one and it won’t break your bank account! ( This was the first lens that I purchased and I still own it today!)


Check Your Equipment

If you continually notice blurry or soft focus in your photos , there may be an issue with your photography gear.  Find a local camera shop and see if they can fix the problem. If your pictures are out of focus no matter which lens you choose, it may be the camera itself. If you notice blurriness on only one lens, that lens may need to be calibrated. If you are using a kit lens, they are not always the sharpest, here are some great starter lenses to check out that aren’t too expensive that you will instantly see the difference in the sharpness of your photos!

Related Article: The Top 3 Lenses To Invest In

Getting Super Sharp Focus in Your Photos

Did this article help you? If it did I would LOVE it if you’d let me know! Come hang with me on Instagram and let me know you were reading!

Learn how to take photos that are sharp and in focus! Photography tips for beginners!

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  • ChristieSeptember 6, 2023 - 10:11 pm

    I have a 50mm and a 85mm which lens would you recommend for a senior outdoor potrait shoot.ReplyCancel

  • AbbieSeptember 24, 2022 - 4:39 am

    Thank you for explaining this simply.  It was very useful!  ReplyCancel

  • sonja carreeJuly 30, 2018 - 8:30 am

    I found your web site .. your info and experience of doing i found very helpful !! Thank you for sharing ….ReplyCancel

  • ReanneMay 30, 2018 - 6:19 pm

    I have an 18-55 lens on my Sony a33 camera. I’d like to know if it’s a good quality lens. You mention 50mm 1.8, what’s the difference?  Are they close to the same?
    You have great and easy to understand info for someone like me who doesn’t know anything about photography,…thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks PhotographyJune 1, 2018 - 8:43 pm

      Hey Reanne! You are so welcome! The 50 1.8 is a prime lens and the other is a zoom. Primes are typically sharper lenses to work with. If you haven’t tried it yet- you will love it!ReplyCancel

  • BennyApril 19, 2018 - 10:44 am

    Laura, great tips.  My question is, is it better to set with a single focus point or a matrix of focus points – some time it is impossible to get your main object to focus because there are objects (not in the same plane) in front of the main object so the matrix focus points will focus on that rather than the main object.ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks PhotographyApril 19, 2018 - 4:37 pm

      Hey Benny!
      I typically shoot with one. I fond that the sharpness is clearer with one- especially the center point.

  • LauraSeptember 15, 2017 - 11:49 am

    This is the most useful photography blog i’ve ever found.  The information is incredibly well laid out that even a beginner (hi!) can understand.  Thanks for this, it clarified the troubleshooting steps to fix my blurry photos.  I broke out the camera this morning and just took some shots, looked at what I had, used your tips and honed in on getting a good clear picture.
    Normally I would just take 10-20 ( ok who am I kidding. 40.) shots messing around with manual settings until something worked (honestly it worked for me kinda) – now I can get that shot much quicker and with far less frustration because I get the “why” behind each tweak.  Mentioning things like “sweet spot” really made me focus on that particular setting and it made an incredible difference.  ReplyCancel

  • JenAugust 3, 2017 - 7:03 am

    Hi, I am a part time photographer. I recently bought a 6D and really like it. My 50mm is my main lenses. Two months ago I had my camera & lenses calibrated. However, the last few sessions I did I was not satisfied. There were a lot of soft pics. I did a small family & was disappointed when I realized most of my pics were not sharp. I also took newborn pics & I like my aperture at 1.8, but there were only a few really clear pics. 🙁 I have another newborn session tomorrow & a wedding next weekend. :/ I feel like I am really trying to have everything set right,  but they still aren’t sharp. I’ve been a photographer for about 3yrs. Do you have any advice for me?ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks PhotographyAugust 4, 2017 - 1:33 pm

      Hi Jen!
      A couple things I might try. One is increasing your aperture- not too much- I’ve found that on that lens my sweet spot is about 2.2-2.5. Second thing to do is keep your shutter speed at a minimum of 1/100 (personally i’d so even faster-probably 1/250) and then adjust the ISO accordingly (don;t be afraid to increase it if you need too!) Finally- if you’ve been using tat lens for three years now, you may have outgrown it. I might upgrading to the 1.4 (I’m assuming you have the 1.8) or even the 85 1.8– you might see a difference with your sharpness!ReplyCancel

  • TinaAugust 1, 2017 - 8:28 am

    Absolutely love your work, blog and tutorials! I stumbled across your videos on YouTube which led me here?. Your tutorials are fantastic! You speak clearly and explain in such a way that is so easy to understand. Thank you for sharing your talent/knowledge!! ReplyCancel

  • DanielJuly 24, 2017 - 3:38 pm

    Tanks so muchReplyCancel

  • JessicaApril 12, 2017 - 10:33 pm

    Thanks Emily!
    For detailed information.
    Property of it all tried only I do not know what “focus field” must adjust at the Canon, if I would like a group of children to photograph.
    Some are out of focus. I choose aperture 4 but what focus field?
    Can you give me a tip?
    Sincerely JessicaReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCApril 14, 2017 - 12:05 pm

      Hi Again Jessica:)
      Your focus will not come only from where you set you aperture, but also how far away you are and how your subjects are posed. Try to get them in a line- or all on the same plane to get the clearest focus with the widest aperture.

  • Kacie FarmerMarch 27, 2017 - 8:40 pm

    Hello, I just bought my new camera a canon 5d mark iv. I’m having troubles trying to figure out how to get my focal points and my images are showing.. unfortunately there aren’t a lot of tutorial videos for this camera.. I also would like to know if you know the best way to change shutter speed and aperature? Thanks in advanced this will greatly help me as I’ve been trying to find the answers to these questions since I bought the camera….
    kacie farmerReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCMarch 29, 2017 - 10:58 am

      Hi Kacie! You have a great camera there…I’m a little jealous:) I don’t own that one, but I’d start with really reading the manual (I know…probaly a bit dry and boring, but that will give you the best lesson) You can also check out an article I have here and setting your camera up for shooting in manual. Hope that helps a little! -EmilyReplyCancel

  • KristyMarch 22, 2017 - 4:51 pm

    Thanks for this! Could you tell me what lens you used in these pictures? I usually use my 50mm but I never get this bookah! And what lens would you use when you have multiple people in the shot?ReplyCancel

  • Sarah RosMarch 16, 2017 - 7:58 pm

    I seem to have issues getting tack sharp focus sometimes. I first focus on the eye and then recompose to get the shot I want. When I check, it isn’t always sharp. But, if I do not recompose, the photo is sharp but the composition is funky. I was wondering if you had any tips on how to solve this issue?ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCMarch 17, 2017 - 8:33 am

      Hi Sarah!
      You could always change your focal points (those little red dots) so that the point focuses in on the area you want in focus. That way your composition isn’t affected and the eyes are still sharp! -EmilyReplyCancel

  • KimMarch 16, 2017 - 7:31 pm

    Good Evening, I have a question please. I am trying to figure out the best way to set my settings for Manual use on my Canon Rebel camera for photo taking. I know that for lets say a 50 mm I would need to set my Aperture to 1/250 for a child and around 1/125 for a adult. But I am lost when it comes to what I should set my ISO to and my F/stop to when it is and 18-55 MM, lense that came stock with camera. I normally take nature, structure prints and sell them. However, taking human subject photos I am just starting out and would love any input. I also have a larger lense that came stock with this lense as well. THANK YOU!ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCMarch 17, 2017 - 8:31 am

      Hey Kim!
      When shooting people, there are a lot of factors involved for your settings to be correct. If you are shooting just one person, regardless of their age, expose for their skin by aiming at an area on their face and watching your light meter inside the viewfinder. Depending on the light, your setting may be very different each time you shoot. I talk a little more about manual settings here if you want to check it out. Good luck!

  • joeMarch 3, 2017 - 3:26 am

    Great siteReplyCancel

  • sodejisuruFebruary 10, 2017 - 2:42 am

    Thanks u so much got the super lesson I really enjoy it but am having a problem with my 24-135 when I shot the full leagth I lost the focus all the time no matter how I set my camera. Pls what should I do thanksReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCFebruary 10, 2017 - 8:09 am

      Hey Sodejisuru! You are welcome! I haven’t used that lens before, but I might suggest having it cleaned/maintenanced to see if that may be the issue. If it is always blurry, that is what I’d suspect. Sometimes zoom lenses tend to not be as sharp as a prime lens so that could also affect your sharpness. Hope that helps a little ! -EmilyReplyCancel

  • CarolFebruary 4, 2017 - 7:24 pm

    Thanks!! For sharing your tips. That’s sure nice of you!!ReplyCancel

  • PamJanuary 21, 2017 - 6:22 pm

    So glad I ran across your tips. I too love photography but have little knowledge on settings. I’m excited to try your tips.ReplyCancel

  • EmaLeeJanuary 11, 2017 - 9:02 pm

    This post has helped me SO much!! Thanks! However, this is probably a rookie question because, well, I’m a rookie… But when I am taking indoor shots of my children, ect. and i increase my shutter speed I’m having trouble with the photos being too dark. I’m not sure how to fix that without lowering the shutter speed.. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for all your help!!ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCJanuary 12, 2017 - 8:13 am

      Thanks EmaLee! Glad it helped. Inside to compensate for a higher shutter speed, you will most likely have to do one of these things(or both) 1. Increase your ISO- I do this all the time to make sure the photo is properly exposed. Dont be afraid to increase it. OR 2. Widen your aperture- and that my only work well depending on how many subject are in the photo. Give it a try and let me know if you are still having trouble:) EmilyReplyCancel

  • KristinaJanuary 3, 2017 - 11:25 pm

    Your images are so “tack sharp.” Beautiful. I just enjoy shooting my children’s portraits for fun, but I never get the sharpness you have. Thanks for the tips; I will try your shutter speed suggestions.ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCJanuary 4, 2017 - 11:08 am

      Thanks Kristina! Give it a try, with practice they will get sharper. And not all mine come out this sharp, I miss focus occasionally too- I just don’t show those ones:) EmilyReplyCancel

  • LeahDecember 31, 2016 - 11:41 pm

    Thanks for making this sound simple! I am so overwhelmed with all of the setting features. ISO/aperture etc. I love the focused subject blurry background look. Keep on sending tips.
    Thanks a lotReplyCancel

  • BethDecember 22, 2016 - 7:00 pm

    I am so appreciative of experienced photographers who will share helpful tips like you did here~ Thank you! Pinning this~ : )ReplyCancel

  • Stacy KimDecember 18, 2016 - 7:14 am

    Awesome tips!ReplyCancel

  • ChanteDecember 9, 2016 - 8:32 pm

    Ahh this post is such a lifesaver!! Thankyou, I’m still so new to photography haha. Thanks for sharing 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Cozy Clicks Photography LLCDecember 10, 2016 - 10:38 am

      So glad you found it helpful Chante! Once you nail focus everything else starts to come easy:) Please reach out if you have nay more photo questions:) -EmilyReplyCancel

  • DeAnnDecember 7, 2016 - 7:57 am

    Thank you! I’m going to try these tips! I’ve been having this issue!ReplyCancel

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