Lori Pickens

creative photography tips

4 Tips for Better Photos in Repeat Locations

Raise your hand if you’ve ever visited the same place more times than you can even count…and how many times have you shot a session or captured candid moments there? It happens to the best of us, but don’t let it dull your creative spark! Whether you’re strolling around your fave local park or browsing the bookshelves at your trusty library, there are always photo-worthy moments waiting to be captured.

I should know—I’ve been doing a P365 project for a year now, and I’ve picked up some sweet tricks for challenging and inspiring myself even in the most familiar of surroundings. So, if you’re looking to spice up your snaps and inject new energy into your photography routine, come along and see what I’ve got up my lens cap. I am going to share my top 4 photography tips on getting better photos in a repeat location.

Ready? Let’s go!

Photography Tips for Better Photos in a Repeat Location

  • Look for way to incorporate compositional techniques
  • Take the photo, then make it better
  • Look for reflections or ways to include yourself
  • Look for framing, clean frames, and symmetry

Look for ways to incorporate compositional techniques.

Composition is one of the most important aspects of photography. It’s what helps to create a visually appealing and interesting image.

In public places, you often don’t have control of the lighting or even the “story” that plays out, but you can control the composition you choose. My favorite is shooting through things.

Shooting through allows you to:

  • frame your subject
  • minimize distractions or other people in the frame
  • include shapes or lines
  • add depth to your image

My son loves the stop motion station at Discovery World, and obviously I know he was going to be at that station for quite some time “making his movie”, so I knew I would have time to move around and plan out my shot. For this image, I went around behind the stairs guard rail and shot through the bars. It helps frame him and blocked out the other people that were to my left with the bar. I also played up the triadic color scheme (red, yellow, blue) in post to add some fun and interest to the frame.

Photography Tips on Enhancing Your Images at repeat locations

Take the photo… then make it better!

If you are familiar with my courses or tutorials, this is probably a phrase you’ve heard me saying once or twice before. I remember when I first started learning manual, I was so afraid of “missing moments” while I was fumbling with my settings, and I’ve often heard my students voice similar concerns that they missed their opportunity trying to make the shot better. Especially with kids, you have no idea how long your window will be, so if you see something you want to capture, go for it! Make the best split second decisions you can and take the photo.

If you still have time, look at your scene, look at what you’ve captured and ask yourself, “How can I make this better?” By asking yourself this each time you go out to shoot – whether at a session or capturing your own family, you will slowly train yourself to look for those improvements and be able to recognize them more quickly.

Still on my shooting through kick, I walked over and photographed my daughter through the race car track loop. I liked the depth, I liked the repeated circles, and then I noticed her reflection on the gray shiny surface….

Pro Photography Tips on shooting through an object

So I scooted myself back a little bit, so that I could include her entire reflection in the framed circle. You may find you like the original image better, or the emotion and story was stronger in the first one, but you are practicing and growing. It allows me time to “play” while I am spending time with my kids and they play.

Photography Tips on Enhancing Your Images at repeat locations

Look for reflections or ways to include yourself.

As mothers, and as photographers, we are often missing from our own memories and photos. When I am out and about, I ALWAYS watch for reflections or creative ways to include myself in the frame. Mirrors, windows, and even puddles can be used to create stunning reflections. I loved this little mirror corner. I grabbed my daughter on my lap for the whole three seconds she was willing to stop her activities, and I captured us together. I made sure I kept the repetition of our faces in the double mirror, I framed us in the mirror, and more importantly on that open green section in the back.

A science museum is filled with lots of distractions and colors, but by placed us on that solid color, without any railings or lines cutting through our heads, it makes the image stronger by making the subject and story clear. I also tickled her to avoid her making any awkward faces or forces smiles. I didn’t need her to look at the camera, this is more true to us and the fun we were having.

Pro Tips on how to get yourself in the image

Look for framing, clean frames, and symmetry

I am slightly obsessed with a clean frame – like OCD level. I will edit out distractions in a frame that most people never even notice. So, when I see a nice symmetric, framing opportunity, I take it. As we were leaving the science museum, I saw this cute sign in their window. I try not to make my kids stop and pose too often – I feel like that increases your chances of cooperation when you do ask. I had them hop up on the window sill and made sure I was straight on with the window to keep my lines straight and keep them in the framed opening. Bonus tip: use the auto straightening option in Lightroom or Photoshop for a quick tweak of your lines.

Besides my clean line loving-side, I love images like this, because they make great covers to an album, if you print your photos regularly OR this can be a great comparison shot, meaning you take the same photo every year to show how tall your kids were in comparison to the window, or even each season as their clothes and the weather changes.  Having a constant like a clean frame/location – can be a great way to showcase some other type of change. 

Pro Photography Tips

Additional Photography Tips:

Here are some additional tips that you may find helpful:

  • Be patient. Sometimes, the best photos come from waiting for the right moment. If you’re patient, you’ll be more likely to capture something unexpected and interesting.
  • Have fun! Photography is a creative activity, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun. The more you enjoy yourself, the better your photos will be.

Growth in your photography doesn’t have to be a schedule task or hard concentrated efforts. Learn to fit practice and improvement into your daily activities, and you will be shocked at how quickly you see growth in your work and the choices you make as you see the world around you – even in places that you feel like you’ve already seen a hundred times before.

Featured Photography Gear

All of the images above were taken with my Nikon z9 and my 24-70mm lens. I call this my “walking around lens” and it is my go-to for activities with the kids where I am only packing one body and one lens.

You can check out my favorite Amazon Photography Gear in my Amazon Store.


I have a few tools in my toolbelt that will help you grow into the photographer you’ve always wanted to be!  Whether you are prepping to be a Click Pro Elite or you are just ready to start leveling up and making new goals check out these resources to help you grow!

DOORS NOW OPEN: Becoming A Click Pro

The Click Community

Must Have Tools for your Photography Business

What’s in my Bag – Cameras, Lenses, and More

Fearless Indoor Light – a Self-Paced course

Indoor Light Challenge

Film Challenge
(for the challenges, you must be in the Click Community)

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Lori Pickens is a Mother, Wife, and Tech Geek from Parkersburg, WV. She is a true lifelong local and has been photographing in the area for over a decade. Lori is also a Click Pro Elite and Click Community Mentor. When she’s not capturing pictures or spending time with her kids, she enjoys organizing her lists and spending time on her family farm!

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