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Photography...what I've learned

Monday, March 23, 2015
Do you love taking photos but really don't have a clue what you are doing?
This is me... I mean really! I pretty much have always just winged it but then somehow my photos have gotten pretty decent over the past few months and I am here to let you in on my secret.
It's because of my friend Kate. She is this amazing photographer and I have learned so much from her and it has totally changed how I take my photos now.
I have learned three main things from her that I now focus on with my pictures and so I wanted to share them with you!
Number one.....its ALL about the light. Natural light is the absolute best especially when you don't have all the fancy lighting equipment and you are just a regular gal like me wanting to take some half decent pictures.  So if you can, try to take your pictures outside in the early evening when the sun is slowing going down and you don't have the harsh (yet lovely at the same time) rays of light shooting across your image. 
When it comes to taking interior photos for my blog, I try to do it in the late mornings. When the sun is out and the light is good. I'm fortunate that we have lots of windows for natural light and the fact that most of my home is white on the inside makes a huge difference in the picture quality. 
Number two and this is the biggie.....learn how to take pictures without using the Automatic settings! Oh my goodness this is huge because all of a sudden you can take a picture that your little camera once said you could not and you don't have to use the flash!
I don't need my camera telling me what to do even if it may know more than me when it comes to taking pictures!
I take all my photos for my blog with my Canon EOS Rebel. Its not new (like maybe 4 yrs now) or super expensive but it has come in pretty handy for my blogging. But, up until recently I always used the Auto settings because even after reading the manual (no help) and looking up information on line, I was still confused. So one day Kate sat down with me and went over the basics and oh my goodness, what a huge help! Showing me how to work the ISO to let in more light and teaching me all about aperture and shutter speed. I learned more from her in 20 minutes than any information I had found up to this point. Then she gave me the greatest resource ever....The book Canon Rebel for Dummies! Oh yes people, this book changed it all for me! First, I learned what all of those buttons were for...please don't laugh. I also learned all about white balance, depth of field, how to sharpen a photo... all of a sudden I had a clue! I'm telling you what.... find the For Dummies book for your camera and you can thank me later because you will never use an automatic setting again! 
Number detailed with your photos! Look at everything that will be in your shot. For my house photos I look at everything and sometimes I don't notice it all until after I take the first picture. Look for things like...are the lamps cords showing? (huge pet peeve of mine) If so, roll those babies up and hide them. Lights shouldn't be on in your interior photos anyway so turn them off, unplug the lamp and hide those cords! Look under the furniture in the picture, is there anything hiding under there. Toys, zippy cups, a rolled up sock that is peeking out and you can see it in the picture? The beauty is in the details so make sure you have covered every inch of the shot. 
When it comes to photographing your kids, is their hair combed and out of their face, clothing straightened? Look at the photos after you have taken a few because thats when you tend to see whats wrong. Like for instance, I once took a bunch of what I thought were super cute pictures of my girls but when I started to edit them I noticed my oldest's arms were behind her the entire time so she looked like she had none! Okay, so not my best work. Now I just leave all those photos up to Kate!!
Now last but not least, I'm sure everyone has their favorite editing tools and I will tell you that I love Adobe Photoshop Lightroom5! I love it! There are numerous videos on line all about how to use this tool and I highly recommend it. I mean even if you're not the best photographer, I still believe you can have amazing photos once you get comfortable with the editing process. 
I'm super lucky to have not just an amazing friend but one that is so talented too! She has even let me photograph her while she works her magic... I love it!

I was in awe of how she could make these little kids bust out in giggles even in the coldest weather while they sat there freezing!! Have you ever seen how much a kid will laugh at the sound of a whoopy cushion?!? Pure Genious!!
Now look at what Kate can do! 
We are so lucky to have had her capture the girls growing up and how our little family has evolved over the past few years
 a very pregnant me....

 My sister and all our kiddos

If you live in the Indianapolis area I highly recommend her for your children and family photos! She is especially amazing when it comes to taking little ones photos. This is not a sponsored post by any means! She is honestly just that good and my dear friend so she deserved a little bragging on!

1 comment on "Photography...what I've learned"
  1. You are in the Indianapolis area???? How did I not realize this?! We live in Kokomo. And to be honest i think this is the first time I have ever commented even though I stumbled upon your blog some time ago. To be honest sometimes I just look at your pictures... so beautiful.