Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unexpected Moments {Photography Tips for Moms}

I was right in the middle of making lunch when I looked over and saw all the kids around their older brother listening to a story.  I didn't want the food to burn but I couldn't past this moment up.  Photographing your children can be "unexpected" you never know when they are going to do something you're going to want to remember.  And it always seems to be right when you're in the middle of something.  Here's a few tips to help you be ready for those unexpected moments.

Be an observer.  As a mother, I know how crazy busy your days can be.  But I also know that you're great at multi-tasking.  So while you answering phone calls, preparing meals and changing diapers observe your kids more closely.  What is it about this stage in their life do you want to remember?  What are some of their favorite activities?   When you see them doing that grab your camera.

Always have your camera charged up and close by.  If you can have two batteries.  One in your camera and the other fully charged.  This way when one dies you can quickly change out the battery.  I went to a photography workshop once and forgot my one battery I had.  Luckily someone had an extra battery for me to borrow.  Lesson learned!

Get your camera ready before you kids see it.  I've learned to be very stealth when taking pictures of my kids.   I set my ISO, apeture and shutter speed before I bring out my camera.  This way all I have to do is point and shoot.  I can usually get a few good pictures before I hear, "Oh, mom not again."

Refuse to say cheese.  In the picture above I would have lost all the emotion of my kids if I had interrupted them and asked them to say cheese.  By observing  I was able to capture a great moment when they are ALL getting along.  Even if only for a few minutes.

This week look for those unexpected moments.   Observe your kids more closely, have you camera charged, get it ready before hand and refuse to say, "Cheese."  Please let me know if this was helpful and don't hesitate to email with questions or share your pictures.  I would love to see them. 

Keep Clicking,

If ISO, apeture and shutter speed are confusing.  I teach group or one-on-one photography classes.  Email me for details.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's Your Style? {Photography Tips, Tutorials and More}

I read this article last week. Click here to read it in it's entirety. Great advice for photographers. My favorite quote is, "Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don't look outward for your style; look inward."

Wow, so true.  So how do we find our style?  I've been thinking about this for some time. What is my style?  A few things came to mind.  My mentor, Me Ra Koh, gave me an assignment once and I would challenge you to do the same.  Look through some magazines and collect pictures that interest you.  They can not have people in them.  Don't over think this.  Collect at least 10 images and paste them on a board.  What do these images have in common?  Are you attracted to color, a certain shape, maybe texture?  When I did this I noticed that I liked color, texture and pattern.  Here is my board.

Knowing this has helped me focus adding these elements into my pictures.  It has given me a source of inspiration. 

Another activity that has helped me in finding my style is writing down what I like about a photo shoot, what I didn't like and what I could do better.  I noticed that whenever I was asked to do a family photo shoot I was really nervous and wasn't at ease like when I'm just doing children.  So guess what.  I only do children for now.  You don't have to specialize in everything.  I personally believe it better to shoot what you love.  For now, for me, it's children.   That doesn't mean I won't change in the future.  A photographer is always evolving and always learning new things.

The other day I was taking pictures of an energetic, two year, old boy.  I was looking over the pictures and I absolutely feel in love with this picture below.

Then it dawned on me.  This is part of my style.  I love real life not studio posed pictures.  I love taking pictures of kids being themselves.  Notice the bib in his hand.  Well, apparently he is always holding a bib with him.  I was able to capture him at this stage of his life.  Listen to your inner self.  Let it guide you as you discover your style.  Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai said, " Never apologize for your own sense of beauty or style. Nobody can tell you what you should love."  I hope these tips and article have helped you as much as they have helped me.  Leave me a comment and share your thoughts.  Also, send me an email if you have any photography questions.

Keep Clicking,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Urban Setting {Palmer, Alaska Children's Photographer}

It started to be the perfect picture day. A little cloudy which makes for great light. Then the bright sun came out. Switch to plan B look for open shade. A cute little girl and some balloons make for great pictures.