Photography Tips

The most common question I get asked is, "What kind of a camera do you have?

I shoot with a Nikon D3000.

It's very affordable and durable.

I take it just about everywhere.

I feel lost without it.

We don't have many 'professional' pictures in our house, but my snapshots capture the day to day memories we are making!

I don't claim to be a 'professional', just a gal who enjoys photography as a hobby,
and who has learned most of her tips from what NOT to do! 

Don't forget that life isn't perfect, your pictures don't need to be either.
If your house is a little messy but your child is doing something adorable, don't worry about it - take the picture.  You can't always control the background of your photos.

Don't forget to take your camera with you everywhere.
Some of my favorite shots have been taken when others wouldn't have even had a camera with them.  There's nothing as exciting as experiencing the 'firsts' through a child's eyes, and have the pictures to prove it.

Don't forget to include textures.
Textures are easy to incorporate even if you have a small, or no, budget.  Remember you can use things like blankets, sheets, curtains and table clothes for backgrounds.

Don't forget the rule of thirds.
Every picture you take doesn't have to be perfectly centered.  By offsetting your subject to one side, it makes it more intriguing to the viewer.

Don't forget to move.
It's easy; get down on your child's level, lay on the ground or stand on a chair.  Your pictures will have a whole different feel to them compared to just hovering over your child telling them to smile.  By changing your position, you can also escape things in the background that would otherwise be distracting.

Don't forget to give yourself room to work.
When taking a picture, be sure to leave extra space around your subject.  If you need to crop to a different size, you'll have room to give and won't crop too close, possibly losing a hand, leg, or head.

Don't forget that everything doesn't have to match.
When photographing groups, everyone doesn't have to wear the same color.  Find outfits that compliment each other.  Often times over-coordinating makes people blend in to each other.

Don't forget it's okay to crop at different angles.
As described by some, my personal style is 'crooked'.  Rarely are my favorite photos perfectly vertical or horizontal. I like things a little off kitler, or more technically put, I like things cropped at an angle.

Don't forget not to set your expectations too high.My famous phrase, "I only need one."  I used to set my expectations high; I wanted perfection in every shot.  As a mother of a uncooperative 2 year old, I quickly learned, you get what you can take... and one shot is perfect! 

Don't forget to capture the details.
Life passes us by quickly and photos are a wonderful way to help us remember special memories we may have otherwise forgotten.  I have taken pictures of spilled snacks, broken Christmas ornaments, and paint-stained hands; I want to remember all of the details.

Don't forget that over enhancing pictures can make them look fake.
Just because you have photo editing software doesn't mean you always have to use it.  By over adjusting the color of ones eyes, or removing moles it makes the photo look fake, and not a proper reflection of the person.

Don't forget to let life happen.
You don't always have to have your subjects looking directly at the camera, posed stiff as a board. Although Kensley has heard for years now, "This is what Mama lives for" Kensley would rather play than have her picture taken, so we've come to a compromise; some candid shots, and others posed.

Don't forget to review your photos before deleting them.
I don't delete pictures off of my memory card until I view them on the 'big screen' (the computer monitor).  You honestly can't tell that much from a postage-stamp size proof, don't judge until you can see the full picture.

Don't forget to take care of your camera.
It is very important to keep your camera clean, especially your lens.  I recommend a UV filter to protect against scratches and microfiber clothes to brush off dust.  Charge your batteries properly and don't rely on your memory card as storage.