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Whenever I do a Q&A (which is not often, so don’t let me sound too cool now 😉 ) but I get asked about photography; what I use, what I edit with, how I get good shots and so on. SO I figured, let’s break it down and dive in a little bit. I am not going to get too into depth or share how to use the editing programs because well, that just gets complicated and that’s what YouTube is for 😉 BUT, I will share what I use and the tips and tricks that I do on the daily to grab good pics!
First a little background — pictures are my jam. I LOVE them so much. They’re just that thing that allows we to dive into my creative outlet and they give me memories and so many of them which I love. If y’all saw the stack of photo books and Chatbooks I have you would probably be like, this girl is a freak, but hey! My family will never forget every, single, thing we did. 😉 HA! Which might be a good or a bad thing…
Equipment (AKA: what I use to shoot):
- Canon Mark 5D IV (however, if you’re just starting out I don’t recommend this. It’s expensive and it took me years to get to this camera)
- iPhone 7+ (or the new X), I just haven’t tried the X, I have the 7+ and it takes BEAUTIFUL pictures when I don’t have my DSLR. I do prefer a DSLR over the iPhone though just because I have more control over lighting, shutter speed, clarity, all of that!
- Lenses – personally, I would buy JUST the body of the DSLR and then buy a lens separate and this is because the lens can make a HUGE difference for shooting.
- I switch off between a Sigma 35mm 1.4 (aka: good blur in the background, not super close up, good for multiple people shots), 50mm 1.8 (GREAT beginner one, this is what I started with, good blur in the background, just shoots closer, great for detail shots), Canon 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 (I use this one the least and generally when I am shooting a flay lay, against a flat background or don’t want blur).
- Canon Powershot G7X – this is what I use for video, more lifestyle (our vlogs), if it’s more of a professional video I use my DSLR listed above. I also ALWAYS have it on a Tripod and have this one, here.
A few tips:
- Focus is key. I would practice focus on something a few times to really break your camera in and get used to how it focuses. I generally use the auto focus, however sometimes if it’s not focusing correctly I will switch it over to manual.
- TAKE ALL THE PICTURES. Seriously, I can guarantee you that the pictures you see of Blake or our family or whatever were great on the first shot, they weren’t. Most times it takes at least 15 shots (most times more) to get the picture I am really going for.
- Patience — you’ll get pretty frustrated if you’re not patient because it’s hard work to get the shot you’re imagining. If it’s not working (especially if you have kids), walk away and try again in 15 minutes.
- Lighting makes a huge difference – if you have a DSLR, learn how to use it on manual, just YouTube your specific camera. Being able to adjust your settings to match the lighting your shooting is can make or break a picture. I also recommend shooting in as much natural light as possible, at least that’s my fav anyways 😉
- Cloudy days make for the best pictures — obviously I have some gorgeous sunny day shots, but I love shooting when it’s cloudy. I don’t have to worry about shadows, too much light adjustments and it generally makes for perfect editing.
- Lightroom: This is what I use most. I have about 70+ Presets that I have made and most times I will start with those and then adjust colors as needed. Again, you’ll just need to research how to use Lightroom, but I will say it’s a LOT easier (to me at least) than photoshop, so if you’re new..start with it. 😉 You can also purchase presets, just Google around and find ones that match your style.
- Photoshop: It’s pretty rare that I use Photoshop, I actually took a few photography classes in school growing up and college – so I learned how to use Photoshop there, but I usually will use it for more in depth things (rather than just lighting and color), like face swapping (like if Blake is smiling in one pic and not the next, etc.) — however it’s seriously so rare that I do that because it’s friggin’ time consuming and I barely have time to brush my hair everyday…
- I use Premier Pro to edit my videos, but again if you’re just starting out iMovie is a great place to start!
- iPhone (Your phones actually have some really cool apps! Here are a few of my favs:)
**Side note: If you’re going to purchase more than one of the Adobe products, just get Adobe Suite (with everything) it’s so much cheaper and you get more!
Now, one last thing — don’t run out and purchase a DSLR just because you want great pictures, obviously I mean if you’re ready to learn and have been thinking about it, do it. HOWEVER, if you have a newer iPhone, they take beautiful pictures! Just use the editing apps above and you can get some good shots! If you are using a DSLR and want to get your pictures to your phone, I recommend sending them via Email or AirDrop if you have a Mac — those are the best ways that actually keep the quality of your image. 😉
Finally, for storing my images, here’s how I do so:
+ I back everything up to an external Hard Drive at the end of every month, I have a lot of Hard Drives because I am a compulsive picture taker…whoops.
+ I also have a monthly Chatbooks subscription, so I use the “favorites” option and whatever photos in my phone I “favorite” those automatically go in the book and it prints every time I hit 60 photos!
Alright I think I covered everything that I have been asked, but if you have any other questions please write them in the comments and I promise to answer them the best I can! Also…I just realized how expensive this photography habit of mine is 😉 I mean I knew before..but seeing it all laid out in front of me..whoops! HA!
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