so. this is it. a big long (really long) post about photography.
this is dedicated to those of you friendly sweet people who requested it. and if you didnt request it– its a beast of a post and i wont blame you at all if you hit “mark as read”.
S T Y L E |
lately i’ve been putting more time and effort into my pictures. but not only that i feel like i’ve finally hit my style groove. its taken me almost 3 years to figure out how i best love to document the babes. They’re always changing, so i’m having to change and grow too. BUT im finally learning what pictures i love most, and really figuring out my style. its probably the hardest part of learning photography– you can know the ins and out of your camera, but until you’ve really developed your style youre going to struggle.
i love the simplicity of this. . . and i LOVE me some rule of thirds! A simple background, pretty lighting, and stepping back to get all of lex in the shot is my recipe for success!
(taken with iphone)
Our family photographer is drew b. and i love her like crazy. not only is she one of the only people i blindly trust with our family pictures but she’s also dedicated to teaching and helping moms learn how to document their babes. she has an online class (which i took! its so good!), and she also created an Instagram account dedicated to creating a community of moms who really want to share and learn how to take better pictures. My instagram feed is now (even more!) filled with photographers i look up to and find inspiration from.
E Q U I P M E N T |
i have three cameras. my DSLR Canon 5D mark II (which always has my 35mm 1.4 lens on it), a sony NEX6 (which always has my 35mm 1.8 lens on it) and my iphone 6+.
i cant even tell you the last time i picked up my Sony. and ive been toggling between my DSLR and my phone. My DSLR is handy around the house or for set-up shots. and my phone just comes with me everywhere. so both are equally as important.
IPHONE- My phone is there for on-the-go action. its always just there. no fiddling with ISO, or f-stop. just open it, set your focus, adjust your exposure (if you have time) and go to town. I use the camera + app on my phone for all my pictures. it has the handy dandy grid and makes it incredibly easy to set the focus and exposure. I love that not everything goes directly into my camera roll and i can just save the best of the best.
(taken with iphone)
5D- my 5d is my prized possession. i cant even put into words how much i love it. its pretty much the camera i learned on and those setting buttons are second nature. which is probably the most important piece of advice i have for big cameras. throw that baby on manual and know those buttons. once you get the hang of ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed you don’t have to spend forever getting your settings and can just pick it up and go. which is uber important to capture those “in the moment” babe pictures.
(taken with 5d)
E D I T I N G |
so i have photoshop. with a stash of totally rad actions. but i rarely ever use them. my photoshop skills are clunky and i find it much easier to edit everything in pictapgo! (which is by the genius’s behind totally rad!), snapseed, and VSCO. Pictapgo! is probably my hands down favorite because you can do it all, edit, crop & rotate.
W O R K – F L O W |
since i do everything from my phone i have an eyefi card (and adapter!) so that even when shooting with my DSLR i can throw everything onto my phone. the ONLY thing i have to say about the eyefi/adapter combo is that its impossible to shoot in RAW using it (the adapter slows it WAY down).
so upload pictures (or download from camera+ camera roll). toss into pictapgo! edit, and save. then to get them onto social media i use pictapgo or whitagram if i dont want a square picture.
have you heard of the magic of chatbooks? theyre the most amazing things EVER. you can set up a recurring series and every 60 instagram pictures will automatically be printed and mailed to your house (for $7!). lex LOVES going through them, and mike (since he doesn’t use instagram) loves reading all the captions. We recently signed all the grandparents up– so they’ll start receiving copies of everything too!
(taken with iphone)
S U B J E C T S |
obviously i love shooting my babes. i love documenting them (a little too much) and just want to remember them how they are forever. their blue eyes and flowing (or fuzzy) locks. I seriously cant get enough of them. That being said- my husband pointed out. you have to be fully committed to getting the shot even if it means missing out on part of the “moment”. and its so true. i LOVE photographing them. I want to do the best job i can to document them, so if it means i miss a minute of fun so i can grab the camera and snap away i’m fully willing to. i’m also really open to learning more about photography and honing my skills. its a serious commitment, but i love pretty pictures. so its important to me!
i knew i wanted pictures to document the first mommy/lex sleepover. so while the sun was still out (at 7:30!) i knew if i wanted to get my shot i needed to do it before we were in bed for the night and the light was gone. i LOVE this picture. lex and that poodle are inseparable. we dont leave home without it, and she has yet to spend a night away from him. he hardly makes it into any pictures- so this seemed the perfect opportunity. (taken with 5d).
P O S I N G |
oh heck yes i love a good posed picture. but i find that with the two kids they’re getting harder and harder to get. when i tell lex to smile her face creates a giant cheese face thats cringe worthy. so, now? now i try not to pose them. I tell lex to dance, jump, make different faces, my most successful pictures of that kid are when i ask her to just twirl and jump. yes ive usually told her where to twirl or jump because i love a good backdrop and pretty lighting, but offering her suggestions instead of just telling her to smile at me has kept the attitude about taking pictures at bay.
this twirling and dancing session got super sweet after the thunder rolled in and lex sat down to talk to mackenzie about it. (taken with 5D).
and sometimes you create a picture perfect moment without knowing it and grab your phone as fast as you can before everyone erupts into “mom. i’m DONE cuddling with mackenzie”. (taken with iphone)
try different angles. shoot from above, shoot from below. shoot straight on. with lex i always kneel to her level and with kenz (she cant do much besides lay down) i always shoot from above. just try anything and everything. move and move and discover!
(taken with 5d)
L I G H T I N G |
i think lighting is the most important thing to master when it comes to pictures. so often amazing pictures are ruined by weird shadows or squinty eyes. so set yourself up for success. if its not working- find shade, find a natural reflector to bounce off your subject (white walls! concrete ground!). and if you’re doing a more styled shoot- make sure you do it at the right time of day.
i was trying to get pictures for kenz’s monthly updates. and it just WAS NOT working. no matter what i tried her eyes didn’t pop and her face had seriously awkward shadows. so we moved rooms- reset, i stripped her down (she thought it was hilarious) and i ended up with my favorite kenz pictures to date. dont just keep going down a picture path that you know isnt working. switch it up- make the magic happen!
(taken with 5d)
i knew i wanted fouth of july flag pictures. so we waited for sunset and i took lex out to a field. we ran around with the flag played, twirled, and just watched the sunset. and they came out perfect.
(taken with 5d)
sometimes moody lighting totally works. it was a rainy day and lex woke up from her nap and sat on the front steps watching the rain. the back light framed her perfectly and her hair was a mess of humidity and wet tangles. but holy cow it was gorgeous.
(taken with 5d).
U N D E R W A T E R |
underwater pictures are totally the rage right now. i wish lex was a little less timid the water so we could get some real mermaid shots, but she warmed up just enough just in time for some seriously fun pool photos. for underwater pictures i know there are a few awesome cameras and cases. since i have the iphone 6+ my case options are limited to lifeproof. but guess what? i LOVE IT. i wish i could keep it on my phone at all times, but it gets in the way of actual phone calls (which are rare. but still!). just make sure to 1. do a back up of your phone before taking it swimming and 2. make sure its perfectly in place and that the charging door and headphone jack screw are perfectly in place. i usually dunk it a little at first just to make sure no water is getting it. and if i’m good to go i roll with it!
if you made it all the way through this you deserve a gold medal. i hope i helped at least someone out there with something! and if anyone has any follow up questions let me know. i LOVE helping (as much as i can!).
And just know this. Not every single picture is good. Not every picture deserves to be posted. The babes don’t always look like their adorable selves (everyone can be caught making some awkward faces). so what you see is a very culled version of everyday life. It make take 100 shots to get one perfect picture. But getting that one perfect picture is totally worth it.