October 25, 2011

Photography: You Can Do It

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?  
I've had several friends ask me for advice on photography, so I thought I'd do a little series on it.  Even if photography isn't a hobby for you, you can still take great pictures of your family enjoying life.  So today I'm here to tell you that you can do it.  Beautifully.
Here's how:
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.


Mich said...

beautiful pics of some pretty adorable kiddos.

I am a camera toting mom too.

ashley said...

I love this!!! Looking forward to the next posts in this series!

Tracey said...

LOVE THIS! Project 365 changed my thoughts about taking pictures. In 2009, I took at least one picture every.single.day. At the end of the year, I had a photo book made...7 pictures per page. My family loved it because it showed our life..not just the 'holidays'. (and yes, there's a picture of extremely full laundry baskets included..because that IS my life.) :D Can't wait until the next post!

Rebecca @ heartland farmhouse said...

I agree 110%!!!
I rather like the pink boots! ;)
I am longing for a sweet Canon, but for now my 80 dolla' point & shoot does the trick when my 10 year old 500 dolla' 4 mega pix beast is tied up (small card is FULL)! ;)
I can't wait to hear what you say tomorrow....love light! Light is the best!
I....I....I...I'm out...........