I'm not a professional.
I don't know all of the lingo.
I'm still learning all kinds of things.
I'm really just a mom who loves to take photos.
See? Doesn't that make you feel better?
1. Take the time to get your camera out, often. The two photos shown today are from a couple of weeks ago when my kids were playing in the backyard. We didn't coordinate outfits; we didn't practice poses; we didn't make it an event. I just started taking photos while they were playing. There were lots that didn't turn out, but that's the beauty of digital. In the photo above they were playing on the tire swing and I took a picture because they were being so sweet with each other. My kids have gotten used to me taking pictures of them so when the camera comes out, it isn't awkward or forced.
2. Know your camera. Even with a point-and-shoot camera (and, for the record, there's nothing wrong with a point-and-shoot) you can take gorgeous shots. I know the owners' manual is overwhelming and annoying. Start off by learning what the little icons on your camera mean so that you will be able to use them to your advantage. If your life is uber crazy right now, at least figure out where the "no flash" icon is located and how to use it.
3. Capture the here and the now. Don't save your camera moments for a pose on the top of a mountain you just climbed (yes, these shots are very important, but don't let them be the only ones on your memory card). Take pictures of your loved ones as they live out the day-to-day. The picture below is one of my favorites. Would I normally choose a pink Cabela's sweatshirt for a photoshoot? Um, no. But this is who she is. This is what she wears on a regular basis to play outside. I look at this photo and the boots melt my heart. Would I prefer her in striped tights, a corduroy skirt and cute cowgirl boots? Sure! But that's not what I wanted to capture that day. I wanted to capture her in her backyard just as she was.
We'll stop here for today. My goal with this little photography series is to encourage you. Hopefully you will leave feeling less intimidated by the lens and excited to take some great shots. So, go grab your camera! It's homework time! Start taking pictures and come back tomorrow ready to learn about using light to your advantage.