Let's talk about GoPros. I love these little suckers. I've also had multiple people ask me for tips on how to use these tiny cameras and how to activate them. I've got to say, I find them idiot proof! Their setup is super easy and they create extremely fun images.
Here are my top 10 tips for GoPro beginners:
1) Get the Hero 4+ LCD
People are always asking me "Which GoPro should I get?" Well, this is my advice- If you're not a photographer, you really won't be able to tell the difference in picture quality between models. Go for the Hero+ with LCD. I will say, the LCD screen is a well-worth-it upgrade because you can have an idea of what you're shooting and what the pictures look like. I had the Silver edition before I bought my new GoPro and the screen is worth the extra cash. I have also heard negative reviews about the GoPro Session (the smallest camera) but if smaller size is the most important factor for your shooting mode, then go for it!
2) Get the Selfie Stick
I love selfies. I am not ashamed one bit. In fact, I think I'm the reason they no longer allow selfie sticks in Disney parks. Don't waste your money on other selfie sticks thinking you can save a few bucks because ultimately, they're just not as good as the GoPro Selfie stick and not all of them are compatible with your GoPro mount.
3) Always Bring the GoPro For Under Water Shots
Perhaps it's because I grew up in the 90s but the idea of taking pictures underwater is thrilling. We used to have disposable Kodak cameras that were waterproof but after getting the photos developed, all of them were blurry and stupid. This camera is a miracle worker in water! Take it to the beach, pool or even hot tub!
4) Do Interesting Things
GoPro was designed for action shots and thrill seekers. No one wants to see pictures of you sitting on your couch with your action camera. You need to lead an interesting life to have interesting pictures.
5) Take It To Unusual Places
If you are doing something fun or unique, slip your GoPro in your pocket! You never know when you'll want to take it out and shoot some pictures. We took ours to the National Building Museum for "The Beach" exhibit and the White House!
6) Try Different Angles
Don't always hold the camera eye-level. Sometimes the seen above or below you is capture worthy. The shots below were taken in front of LACMA, on top of Mayan Ruins in Belize and a redwood park in Santa Cruz.
7) Use the 'Self-Timer' Mode For Continuous Shots
The best mode for pictures is the self-timer mode. You can change the time elapse to take a picture at different second intervals. I do every 2 seconds when capturing friends but make it every .5 seconds for action shots.
8) Edit for Color on Your iPhone
The one complaint I have about the GoPro is that I don't love the color or light quality of the pictures. I also think the GoPro isn't great in low light situations (regardless of what their marketing claims). You don't need to spend hours in Lightroom or Photoshop to have great images. On your smart phone, just play with the light setting under editing in your picture app. If you're lazy you can also just use the Chrome filter to brighten. Make sure you have the GoPro App downloaded to your phone so you can save pictures to edit.
9) Get Group Shots
People that haven't used or owned a GoPro are sometimes hesitant of it or will even make jokes about your selfie-stick or roll their eyes. Those same people will be asking you for the photos you took or reposting your GoPro shots on their Instagram. Ask friends to jump in shots with you! No one wants to see a million selfies of one person.
10) CHARGE IT
The GoPro tends to have a short battery life (particularly if you keep the WiFi function on. Make sure to charge your GoPro or check the battery if you're going to use it the next day! Now get out and shoot!