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Chubblets for Lane…

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

and all of you moms with fancy new cameras =) Lane is a dear client who's been bugg, I mean begging to me post some pointers on my blog. ha ha.. Actually, she's nowhere near the first, so I thought I'd sit my behind down and help you girls out! hence the title.. "chubblets for Lane"

The lesson of the day is LIGHT. I would like to argue that understanding light is possibly the most important part of photography. Since most of you reading are moms just looking to take better pics of your kids, this lesson can truly change your pictures TODAY! *Indoors: for all of you who have been in my house, you know my trick. All you need is a good window for some yummy indirect light. It's called the rembrandt effect (that great side lighting). For my son's first birthday pics of him in the highchair eating his cake, I literally drug that chair into the dining room with the great light and snapped away. That's just what I knew I needed to do to get a good shot. Had I taken those pictures in the bkfst room with the pop-up flash, they would have looked liked anyone else's point and shoot pictures.. example of great indoor light - this is inside of a cafe last weekend in Roanoak, TX. This mural caught my eye and the best spot for the model was facing me, with the side of her face to the window. here's another example: window is facing the belly. (thanks, Kristin!)

When you're in this great lighting, TURN OFF THE FLASH! It's a complete mood killer. seriously. turn it off. (if you have an slr, just switch it to the P mode, and everything will be auto except for the flash, which will not pop up. ** A lot of times in these conditions, there's not quite enough light. There's 3 things you can do to let in more:

1. choose a higher ISO (film speed). The higher, the grainier, so while 400-800 is completely acceptable and will enlarge just fine, 1200+ will be very grainy and should be kept below an 8x10. 2. slow down the shutter speed (tv). Now, if you get it too slow, you'll have blur (which is VERY common with moving children!) But if your shutter speed is at 200+, you've got some room to play with, so take it down a few notches and see how that lets in more light. 3. "lower" the aperature value (av) or depth of field- Let's say your lens aperture goes from 2.8 - 22. Take it to 2.8 and it will let it an insane amount of light. +++ now, the trade off here is that if you're shooting more than one child and they're on different planes, one will be out of focus. I do this on purpose a lot, but if you want them to both be in focus, you'll need be at a higher number (like 4.0+) thus letting in less light.

If you do all of these and you still don't have enough light, go outside!! Really! You have a wealth of light there for fabulous pictures. Outside: 1. avoid the full sun. At least right now. It's taken me years to get comfortable shooting in full sun. Also, eyes are squinty and that's no good. 2. avoid splotchy shade. It makes for uneven "hot spots" that aren't visually pleasing in a picture. Sometimes you can't avoid it and some shade is better than none, but if it's just you and your kids.. find the most shade and go for it! Good example: the sullivan family this fall at their beautiful lake-side home. They had tons of yard space, but I was constantly looking for a good indirect light spot for a family of 5! This little nook was perfect.

and this one from this weekend comes to mind: we were at the movie theater and I wanted a shot of her at the actual theater. If you look in the background, it was all in the full afternoon sun. So I placed her in the shade of a post that was only about 2'. That way, she wasn't squinting in the full sun.

ok - so that should be enough to chew on for a while! thanks for looking and leave me a comment if that was helpful =)

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