Sunday, May 1, 2011

on the vine...

My top 6 lessons learned about photography:
{warning:  these are my own un-professional opinions :)}

1.  Use natural light.  Promise you I'm not getting fancy on you!  My professional photo friend/neighbor {} hinted this to me a couple years ago, and I haven't looked back since!  It's amazing the places you can find light by simply moving your subject or yourself.  Now, obviously at night this is a little tougher, but, in general, I rarely ever use my flash.

2.  Don't be afraid of angles.  Take a straight on shot first, then move around to see if you can get a better angle.  Maybe shoot from below, tilt the camera, or focus on a different point on the subject.  It's amazing how your perspective changes, and just maybe you'll get your favorite shot!

3.  It's not all about the camera.  Of course it's easy to lust after the newest Canon or Nikon model, but, good pictures are not so much about your megapixels and camera but more about you, the photographer.  When I took my leap to a dslr, I researched to make sure I was getting the most bang for my buck.  Really, the higher the megapixel just means the bigger you can blow up the photo.  So, if you're looking into printing billboards, go big!  But if not, save a little money and invest it in a lens instead!

4.  If you love the bokeh look, you want this baby.  Bokeh is that fuzzy background you'll see on lots of professional photos.  Both Nikon and Canon offer a 50mm prime lens at right around $100 that is a total steal, in my opinion.  With my little lens I can take great portraits, and get that cool blurry focus, so to me, it was a great investment!

5.  Just keep shooting...  Quite possibly the most brilliant advice, modified from Dori's great line in Finding Nemo.  Sure, some people are naturally talented when it comes to photography, but if you ask most professionals, they will say they started small.  Learn about your camera, play around with manual and auto, and go out and just shoot!  Landscapes, animals, kids, adults, buildings... just take pictures!  I have learned SO much in the past two years with my dslr and am still learning its language today!

6.  Look for inspiration.  I have some favorite photographers that I peek in on to see what kinds of shoots they are doing, mostly to be inspired and to try something new!  Some awesome ones to check out...

Mery Donald Photographics - in MT, beautiful wedding and lifestyle photog
Mindy Strauss Photography - in WA, funky shoots, plus a great etsy shop!
April Newman Photography - in NY, fresh and fun, and she has two cute redheaded kiddos
Nina.Cecilia | Creative Spark - in IA, fun sessions with cute props!
Tracy Joy Photography - well, you know her already!! ;)

All in all, photography is something that I really enjoy and have a passion for.  It's challenging, keeps me on my toes, and a great way to capture the moments in my life is an artistic way.  Maybe you don't love it, but I do encourage you to not give up and keep playing around with it!  You'll just keep getting better!! ;)

Happy Sunday all!!


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