Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seriously Amateur Photographer. Yep, That's Me

Is this not the cutest little family ever?!
I kinda think they are pretty wonderful... maybe because that handsome Dad is
my one and only little brother with his cute wife and my little nephew,
who might just be the cutest baby ever :)

I recently took some new family photos for them and it was so FUN! Even Conner (my brother) said that he thought it was fun- I took that as a compliment! Guys are always less than thrilled about getting pictures taken, right? :) Anyhow, just thought I'd share a few here with some of my thoughts on the experience of being a seriously amateur family photographer, as well as links to some great photography tutorials I looked through beforehand...

I have a Canon EOS Rebel XT and have had for I wanna say five years. So it's really nothing fancy, but nicer still than a phone camera :) I also use Photoshop Elements 10 for editing. We went down to a really cool garden area along the Snake River here in town- it is sure a popular spot for photos! In one spot there was a group waiting to get into the area we were to do a photo shoot too. The lighting was just really great (at least I was happy with it!), and there were several cool options for places to pose right there.

One thing that might be worth passing on: I am not necessarily comfortable being the photographer. I really enjoy it, but don't feel strong in it at all, ya know? But I just decided I was going to try not to be wimpy this time around either. I just went about it with confidence, even if it was fake confidence- ha! I think that determination honestly did help the whole thing go well :)

Before going, I looked at several photography tip posts from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke. I really admire her photography! There I read that she shoots her photos in RAW. I honestly hadn't ever done this before, but set my camera to RAW and decided to give it a go for this photo shoot. I LOVE the ability it gave me to edit the photos! Toward the end, the light wasn't gone, just wasn't necessarily as pretty anymore. But, I was able to fix it no problem when I opened the RAW image. 

I really wanted these guys to be comfortable while we did this- I didn't want to make it all feel weird or anything. Granted, that concern was pretty well taken care of with the fact that these guys are family! But, still, I did get some really good points along that line from THIS post. I liked how it mentions to be really specific in posing- help people know right where to put their hand or to pop their knee- that kind of little stuff is so helpful for making the end result better! Another thing I did right before meeting them was to search Pinterest for family of three photo ideas. I didn't even have to click through, but just seeing the thumbnails that came up got my brain churning with ideas I could suggest. Kinda got my mind in the moment I guess :)

Ha ha- could you die?! Conner and Jodie both look just perfect and my little nephew looks totally shocked by something in the distance! This one makes me totally laugh each time I see it! For real, though- this is such a great shot of Mom and Dad- they both look great! I didn't take the time to do it with the initial edits I gave them, but I will be trying THIS tutorial on head swapping in Photoshop Elements with that photo above for sure. :)

Another note: I did pack a tripod for this photo shoot and made sure to play with it beforehand so I wouldn't fumble later. There were plenty of shots I couldn't use it, but plenty that it was helpful too :)

When we first got there, my nephew was asleep so we took several shots of Conner and Jodie alone. I love the lighting in this one above! And the bright color of my nephew's shirt below is so fun! I used this tutorial to make it pop :) My brother really liked this bridge for a shot of the baby alone. When I was in junior high, I took a 4H photography class and my brother and youngest sister were my models for the final project photo shoot. We did several of Conner as a little kid in denim overalls on a bridge kinda like this- reminded him of it :)

One tip I came across getting ready for this that I have really found helpful is in THIS post about Open Shade. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've gone about shooting in shade all wrong without knowing it! I tried to remember the advice from that tutorial for the pic above and this fun one below :)

Next time I'll definitely set my camera to RAW + L so that I get both a jpeg and raw file automatically. No biggie, I just had to figure out how to batch process all of the files to jpeg in order to give them to my brother and sister-in-law on a CD. The RAW files would've been worthless to them. I figured out that batch processing stuff thanks to THIS tutorial.  

Anyhow, hopefully these links and my thoughts can be of some help to someone!
Find more of the same in my Photography and Design and Family Picture Ideas Pinterest Boards.

If nothing else, you got a dose of some of my favorite people ever :)

And if we're related (or good friends) and you have any desire for new family photos,
I'd love to do this all over again! ;)



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