I am so glad that you are here reading this. Please remember that I am not a professional photographer nor am I trying to get you to not hire them. There is nothing better then a session with a photographer. I am just going to give you some tips if you want to pick up some photography in between your sessions and especially if you travel, have a baby coming, and you want to take some good family pictures. My photography could always improve and you have to love it. Oh.. and you are really going to annoy your husband or mom by the way. lol
So here we go! Comment any questions I didn’t touch on.
- What kind of camera do I have? The BIGGEST question of all. By the way, some blogger told me once its like asking a chef what kind of oven they use. Does the actual CAMERA make that big of difference?? It can and it can’t. I regret not buying the newest canon rebel at the time. I have had mine for a year and I bought a cheaper one (Canon Rebel SL1). I really wish that I would have purchased the Canon Rebel T5i.
- How did I pay for a $500 camera? So Best Buy has a special with credit cards and it’s 18 months no finance. I paid so much a month until it was paid off in 18 months and then I quit using the card. I did automatic payments and I think I paid $50 a month. It was the one of the biggest investments I have ever made. The amount of pictures I have gotten on my own are awesome and I will love them to pieces in the future. At the time I thought it was great for my blog but even if you do not have a blog you will not regret it. I promise you that. Link to my camera here
- What kind of Lens do you have and do I really need it? This is so important and gosh it is expensive. Your camera comes with a snap kit lens and sometimes I use my snap kit at the zoo or if I am more worried about the scenery and I want a bigger picture. But this snap kit lens sucks haha it does the job but a 50mm 1.8 is AMAZING. It is hard to get use to it because you can’t zoom in and out. So if I want a picture of my whole entire outfit for example, Chris has to stand really far back from me. They call it the nifty fifty for a reason. It’s the one of the best out there. It creates that really blurry background which is awesome.It is also great for taking videos. My next lens purchase will be a 30 mm but it is really expensive. Link to my lens here
- Do you shoot in manual? I always always always shoot in manual and this was so hard for me to learn. Oh my gosh I hated it at first and I watched so many you tube tutorials. It’s one of those things you have to practice and I am sure I could still work at it. So I set my aperture at 1.8 (if i can, sometimes if its too bright outside I can’t but we will get to time a day in a minute), ISO (depends on the lighting and this is the one I adjust the most.), Shutter Speed I set typically at 250-300 for photography and always 50 for video.
- Is time of day important? I can’t stress this enough. The best time of day is in the afternoon when the sun is setting. They say the sweet spot is right before the sun goes completely down and right before it comes up. Sometimes I can get lucky and shoot on a cloudy day (like today). You never want to shoot in the harsh light outside during the day. It looks terrible in my opinion. If you really want a picture during the day though try to shoot in shade (tricky) or shoot inside by a window.
- What kind of photo editing program do you use? Adobe light room all the way. Gosh it is so user friendly and I have no clue how to use photoshop. I like to get a picture exactly like I like it and copy and paste the settings for all the other pictures. I always add exposure if the picture isn’t bright enough. I always increase shadows, decrease blacks, decease highlights a little, depending on the grainyness of the picture I will increase the luminance noise reduction. I also always decrease the saturation of the greens now if there is a lot of grass in the pictures. I also increase vibrance and I do not touch saturation. I have to pay $10 a month for this. I know that seems like a lot but it updates to the newest version on its own. It has seriously been worth the money because I do not have to pay a photographer every weekend for a session. You have to think about it that way. Also photography is a huge asset to my blog.
- Who takes my pictures? Anyone I can get. Most of the time it is Chris (my husband) and sometimes it is my mom. I also do the self timer on the tripod. The tripod can be tricky but I get Chris to pose and I will make sure it is focused on him, press self timer, and then run to him. When Chris takes my pictures I have all the settings set up for him.
- Its great to have someone help you make your kid laugh. My dad is so corny and he can make Grayson laugh. So if its a family picture and my mom is taking the picture of us my dad will be behind her monkeying around. It is so funny that most of the time Chris and I laugh it. It’s good to get a genuine laugh. Try to get some people to help you if you can. The older Grayson gets the easier it is for him to cooperate.
- I get a lot of our poses and ideas from Pinterest. Pinterest has some great ideas on ways to pose. Things you haven’t really thought of before. That is where most of the poses in this post came from.
- Don’t forget to shoot in Raw. You need to shoot in Raw by editing your camera settings. I basically shoot in raw and it lets me control all the other settings when I edit. A photographer explained to me that shooting in raw is like shooting an underdeveloped photo and you get to edit it when you are done.
- Is the background important? I always think about a background. I will travel all over to just find the right tree, or wall, or scenery. It really makes a difference in my pictures and I don’t want all my pictures to look the same on my instagram. The best is traveling somewhere with the family, letting you husband take the camera, and then just shooting away. Candid moments are my absolute favorite and I feel like I do not do enough of them. The key is always “natural”. Natural setting, natural lighting, and natural poses. Those are the best pictures.
- How do you make your instagram a solid theme? First you need to find you style of editing and stick with that style. Second I use VSCO cam which is a great app for adding filters. I love the filter HB1. You can pinterest instagram themes on vsco cam and it will tell you exactly how to do it. I love when my pics give off a gray bright look. So I use VSCO cam for all my pictures.
- How do I take better pictures on my i phone? I don’t blame you for not wanting to buy a camera. They are really expensive. So with an i phone the goal is lighting. Make sure you take your pictures outside or facing a window. Natural light is always the best and anyone can tell you this. My favorite editing apps to use with the i phone besides VSCO cam is facetune and adobe lightroom mobile. I can edit my i phone pictures just like my pictures taken with my camera by using lightroom mobile. It’s great because I can keep the same theme. You don’t have to do this though. You can use facetune and there is a filter called expose and it will make your picture a lot brighter. I also use facetune to smooth out my face a little. I do not over do it… and I don’t edit my face any other way. I think you can edit too much and my yourself look too fake
Thanks for reading and I hope these tips helped you!! Let me know if you have any other questions and I will be glad to answer them!