I thought that with the crazy weather the US has been having I thought I´d share a fun photography trick for frozen days! It is actually a friend of mine, Susanna, that shared it on her blog a while ago! Here is what she said:
So what does happen to a bubble at -20C ?
It made me think about a flickr friend of mine that is an awesome macro and lego photographer, so I have asked her to tell us all abit more about shooting macro. Meet Kristina Alexanderson who is a project manager at .SE, the Swedish TLD. But she is also a photographer at heart that works with a Nikon 800 and loves working with motives like Star Wars toys.
According to Wikipedia, macro photography is defined as extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size. [Though macro photography technically refers to the art of making very large photographs.]
When I hear macro photography I usually think of pictures of flowers or insects, and those are regular motives for macro-photography. And all my tips for the macro-photographer probably works for motives like flowers and insects as well, but the pictures I will share tips for making macro-photos with toys. Most of my macro-photography is about toys, and their secret life. I use Lego or plastic-toys as motives, often in backlight. I have done many photos connected to Star Wars characters. In my post I shall give some tips and examples of how I work and how I think when I compose and make a macro shot.
There are several things that are challenging and fun to work with extreme close-ups. The depth of field and focus, especially if the item you are photographing is moving, like insects or outdoor flowers that moves in the wind. Even though I make still life if toys, I have a great help of a tripod. The tripod is an easy way to succeed with your extreme close-ups. There is a great risk that your pictures won’t be as focused as you like them to be without using a tripod. If you work with hand-held camera a tripod can be an easy way to get the shutter speed you need to get enough light on the motive. Another way is to work with flashes or work with a high ISO. When I work in natural light, I work both with and without tripod, but indoors in my “macro-studio” I always work with flashes, and a tripod.
My experience is that the best pics I make are the ones where I know what I want to tell. I believe that the success behind most great photos is that the photographer tells his/her audience a story. The key to macro-photo is to know what you want to tell. When you shoot, you have decided what you want to portray, which story do you want to tell. If you know what story you want to tell that insight will help you to make the right shot. To show what I mean I have taken series of pictures below as an example, to show how I can change my story by changing perspective and focus.
The first picture is a story of Darth walking toward a couple of Stormtrooper, with a teddy in his hand. But that wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. I want to tell a story about hiding, not Darth Vader, and his Teddy, so I change the focus and the perspective and the final picture became this one.
But to get the selective focus on the lego-trooper I used a tripod. The light wasn’t enough to make the shot with a handheld camera, I couldn’t hold the camera still long enough. It got blurry. Another example on how I use the tripod and the perspective to tell my story is this series of shots.
The first picture is taken from the front, it shows the whole scene. It tells my story about the small macro-photographer and the work he does. I try it in a “wide-angle” first and then go a bit closer.
To get that I slowly moved my tripod so that I stand behind the Lego man, and here I'll try my way, move at times. But I’m not sure about the perspective, it tells no ones history or both characters story, and I want to tell a selective story, the one of the photographer. The story of the devotee macro photographer must have for its object, and for his cause.
To get that I slowly moved my tripod so that I stand behind the Lego man, and here I'll try my way, move at times getting more behind the lego-toy. Trying to find the right angle, the way to tell the story I want to tell. In this case the story about the love for the motive that a macro-photographer needs to have. In this picture it’s the flowers.
I move and try until I come to a position that I think depicts what I want to portray. Then I'll try different focal points, different ways to tell the story. For example it could be a story about “adult” trooper and how proud he is. I consider both stories, by adding selectively focus on one or the other mini-figs. And finally I decide this is the way I want to tell my story.
Depth of field is an other important part of being able to portray different perspective to my stories. With short depth of field the background often becomes blurred and flow together. This helps me to emphasize details in the story I want to tell.
So in short my tips are
Thank you, Kristina! Wow! How cool was that! I like to use my macro lens from time to time and I have a lot of fun doing so. Even though I lean towards the more usual suspects to photograph such as flowers and insects.
photo by Francine
Once we get that great macro shot, how can we work it into a scrapbook page? Teka used her macro shot as a focal photo, making a big impact.
Deb used two macro shots to help her tell a story.
I have paired my two macro shots with one bigger photo, another way to tell a story. In this case it is the story about how rain can be beautiful if you see the details.
Write. click. scrapbook. friend, Allison Waken used her very own cool lego shot on her awesome layout!
Fun, no? So here are my 3 challenges:
1. Practise and play with macro photography.
2. Use your photos to tell a story.
3. Put your macro shot as focal point on a layout.
And don't forget to have fun!
So Many Projects, So Little Time!
I'm happy to say that we've received a wonderful response to this week of Social Media in Scrapbooking. I want to feature as many projects today as possible--- so let's cut the chit-chat and go straight to the eye candy!
WCS member Diane Payne did a layout on the connections made through Twitter and Facebook:
Michelle Bazelay put together this clever layout, using tweets from the day Osama Bin Laden was killed:
WCS Team member Emily Spahn journals about blogging below:
First let me say that I discovered yesterday that the app I used to collect all my statuses is now defunct. I have not been able to find an alternative-- as Facebook keeps changing, a lot of possibilities I found on line no longer function. I guess we're stuck with doing it the old fashioned way for now. So sit back, put on Grey's Anatomy, and copy and paste!
Back to the eye candy....
Reader Mary Jo used a little hidden journaling card with a screenshot of status updates. This layout makes me think of daiquiris and toes in the sand...
Project Lifer, Stephanie Sheperd , added a screenshot of her Facebook status to highlight the birth of a new baby in the family:
Monica did something similar, taking a screen shot of FB conversations and formatting them onto a 4X6 card. So clever!
Reader Lisa P. gathered all of her Facebook statuses for an awesome Year in Review page:
And Lorimay Barba made this adorable mini with status updates. A very impressive copy of the logo, I'd say!
Thanks to everyone who contributed projects to my very social Social Media Week! We love it when you comment on what we're doing, and share your take on our weekly theme. Keep it up! You never know when you might see your project featured on WCS!
Hello everyone! I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween. We certainly did, and today will be spent coming down from the excitement that is trick-or-treating. As I mentioned yesterday, I want to spend this week looking at various projects that challenge you to scrapbook your year. Whether the goal is to take a photo everyday, make one layout per month, or to scrapbook your everyday moments in a new way, there are various challenges and projects aimed at helping scrapbookers record their memories. We are going to explore some of those projects in detail this week, look at how scrapbookers take on these challenges, and see how in a lot of instances, it gives them a fresh perspective on their memory keeping. Let's get started!
The first project I want to talk about this week is Project 12. It is monthly challenge that is hosted on the blog of Scrapbook & Cards Today in conjunction with the creator of the project, Davinie Fiero, and sketch artist, Becky Fleck. The project was started by Davinie as a way to document those little moments that often get left out of our scrapbooks. The idea is that over the course of one year, by creating just one layout per month, you'll complete an entire year-in-review album.
As for the challenge aspect of this project, Scrapbook & Cards Today provides a sketch for its readers to use each month of the project. If you want to be eligible for their monthly prize you can then submit your layout the following month (so for example, the layout for October would be due in November).
I asked two scrapbookers who participate in Project 12 to give us their input on the project.
First up is scrapbooker, Jennifer Larson. When I asked Jennifer what inspired her to participate in Project 12 Jennifer said, "I tend to scrap events and people, so I have a bunch of random pages in my albums. I'm OK with that, but I was drawn to the idea of taking a different perspective on my life, looking at the months as a whole instead."
She says is is easy to stay motivated from month-to-month because, "The sketches give me ideas for the pages, and when I use a kit for the layouts, the pages come together quite easily. You don't have to use the sketches, but I find them easier to use. I am motivated by the contest element to it, though I guess I could care less if I win a prize or not! In reality, I suppose I like the deadline the contest imposes. It keeps me going and I don't fall behind."
I also wanted to know whether she keeps her Project 12 layouts separate from her other layouts or whether she mixes them in with her current albums. She said, "As the year progresses, I keep them together in a pile (insert embarrassed face!). Once the year is done, I put the layouts in one album."
Jennifer added some further insight on the project adding that, "I am starting Project 12 with my life right now, but I've heard people say they are using Project 12 as a means to scrap old photos that they want to get into albums but they are otherwise to overwhelmed to start. Project 12 makes it easier to group photos in albums with fewer layouts. That's another way to to use this project to fit your needs."
I think the idea of using Project 12 to scrapbook older photos is a fantastic one. I know a lot of scrapbookers who do indeed feel overwhelmed, because as an example they started scrapbooking later in their children's lives, but they still want to go back and record those older memories. Committing to creating just one layout per month for those years past would certainly make the task more manageable.
Most of the layouts created in this project are two-page spreads. This is because the sketches provided for the challenge are two pages. It is not necessary to do two-page layouts in order to participate in this project. The concept is certainly adaptable to any size layout or album. Jennifer told me that she does like to use the sketches provided because they help save time. She sent along two of her favorite Project 12 layouts from this year. The first is from August of this year
This month's layout was very typical for her since she adapted the sketch to add more photos, something she does almost every month.
Her second layout is from May
Jennifer's mother-in-law passed away that month and so she took the opportunity to pair her May photos with thoughts about her passing.
Jennifer shares all of her Project 12 layouts as well as the details of her scrapbooking process on her blog. You can see more of Jennifer Larson's Project 12 layouts, here.
I asked another Project 12 participant, Shelly Jaquet, to share her perspective on the project as well. Again, I asked what inspired her to start this project. Here is what Shelly had to say:
"What really drew me into this project was the ability to record an entire month’s memories in one page. In 2009, I was doing Project 365. I loved it, and totally enjoyed being able to record life’s everyday moments with one simple picture a day. I realized how much I missed recording family memories. Since the birth of my daughter in 2006, I had only scrapbooked her memories for her own book; and then with the birth of my son in 2008, his memories for his book. After seeing Davinie’s Project 12 layouts each month at Scrapbook and Cards Today Blog, I decided it was time to go back and record those missed memories for myself, as a family album. I dabbled around, recording a month at a glance for 2006 and 2007. It was so easy to just pull a few pictures from the month together. Perfect for those memories, that weren’t strong in my mind anymore, but was able to record what I could all in one page.
In 2010, I still wanted to continue my Project 365, but I was really enjoying playing catch up with my past memories with Project 12. So, I decided to follow along month by month documenting my 2008 memories. It was just what I needed. At the end of the year, I had captured an entire year of lost memories. Perfect.
Come 2011, I still adored my Project 365. A picture a day just became second nature for me. I found that my photography skills were continuously being developed in a fresh new way. I was taking pictures that I never thought to take. My problem was that I still wanted to continue Project 12. I loved having that creative outlet of recording my monthly memories, but I was pretty much caught up on past years. So, I decided I would simple do both for the year. I still take a picture (or two or thirty) a day, but I chose to document the “extra” pictures on my Project 12 layouts. I belong to Studio Calico and each month my first page with my new kit is almost always my Project 12 layout. It is the perfect creative push I need to break into my new supplies."
Notice what Shelly said in her second paragraph, that initially she used Project 12 as a way to document older memories and photos. Shelly told me that she keeps her Project 12 layouts separate albums organized by year. Even once she had "caught up" on past years she decided to continue the project because, "These are pretty much the only layouts I do for my family albums. I may have a couple extra “event” layouts per album. Those layouts are slid in after the Project 12 layout for that particular month. I may go back at a later date, and do more event specific layouts for some months, but for now, I am happy to have a summary of most events. It feels good to not have the pressure of feeling like I didn’t record a certain event."
Here are three of Shelly's favorite Project 12 layouts, from September of 2008
I absolutely love Shelly's two-page spreads and I think she does an amazing job with the sketches provided each month. For more inspiration, you can find all of Shelly Jaquet's Project 12 layouts, here.
The next project I want to explore is Project 365. The idea behind this project is simple, take one photo everyday for a year. Project 365 started off as a project aimed at photographers, but obviously has a large appeal to scrapbookers as well, since photography is a huge component of the memory-keeping process. This project is a great way to sharpen your skills and perspective as a photographer since the challenge forces you to get daily practice.
Paula Gilarde has taken part in Project 365, and as a scrapbooker she took those photos and turned them into a digital scrapbook. I asked her what inspired her to tackle the challenge of taking a photo everyday for a year and she said, "I'm a victim of peer pressure. There's been a lot of buzz around the internet for the past few years on project 365 so I wanted to try it."
Speaking for myself, I can imagine that keeping up this type of project can be difficult at times. When asked what kept her motivated to continue Paula answered, "I'm a started so I'll finish kind of gal."
Paula first did the project in 2008, then again in 2010. She finds that she gets burned out from doing the project so she only does it every other year. This year she is taking break from the challenge, but wants to tackle the project again next year. Her suggestion for keeping up with the challenge is to keep your camera with you at all times. She added that if she does in fact do the project next year she might try doing it using her iPhone therefore making it easier to have a camera with her without having to lug around a big SLR.
From the very beginning Paula planned to scrapbook her daily photos. Although she started the project with the intention to improve her photography skills, she still felt the need to do something with her photos. She added, "A layout per week gave me purpose with the project."
She used two different templates throughout the book, making one layout for each week.
I hope you've enjoyed this look at our first two projects that challenge you to scrapbook your year. Tomorrow we'll explore two more year-long scrapbooking projects. Before I leave though, I want to ask if you participate in either of the projects we've talked about today. What have you taken away from your experience? Do you have any tips of your own to share?
Now that we’ve talked about the benefit and process of creating layouts with meaningful journaling, let’s talk about how we design around that. You might be wondering how it is you will fit in all that journaling and how time consuming it may be. Just as getting in the habit and practicing of writing your journaling, it will also take practice of how it will fit best onto your page. This has definitely been a work in progress for me! But again, well worth it in the end when your story is finished.
There are times I might have to cut down my journaling a bit. If it gets to the point that I have to cut so much out that it is no longer the story I want to tell then I go a different route of design. When I know it’s a story that is going to be longer than normal then I will usually design around the journaling instead of designing around the photo(s).
That’s what I did on this particular layout:
This was a page that I knew I would have a lot to say and picked a design that would allow me to do just that. I have made pages with the strip of patterned paper on it many times, but normally it’s filled with embellishments and photos. This time I typed out my journaling using a text box in Word, then printed it out on plain typing paper. After I laid everything out where I figured I wanted it I tweaked the journaling until it all fit, along with the photo and embellishments. To me, this was a story I didn’t want to cut down too much because it was important to tell in entirety.
Amy Sorenson did something similar on her layout as well. She had lots of journaling to include and designed around that, adding that adorable photo and her title work to it.
Nancy took a different approach to fit her journaling in this layout:
Nancy also had a lot to say regarding her bumpy summer. In order to get all of it to fit she created a soft, yet dramatic circle with stitched butterflies, then fit her journaling strips within the circle. I’m a huge fan of journaling strips and use them all the time. Nancy uses them on many of her layouts as well and I absolutely love them on here; and the entire story was still told. Journaling strips are a great way to still let yourself write freely. I normally leave an extra space between sentences, making it easier to cut the strips apart when printed.
Raise your fine tip pen if you’re afraid of using your own writing on your pages…..Yep, I get nervous too and still prefer typed journaling, but Donna shows us a great way to incorporate your meaningful journaling on your layout with *gasp* your very own handwriting:
I set out to document a family tradition - our weekly visit to In-N-Out Burger. Typically, I use journaling strips on my layouts; they have just become a part of my process now. But sometimes I know that I will have a long story to tell and will need to include more journaling. As I'm creating my layout I keep this in mind and I try to plan ahead by leaving enough room for the story on my page. Sometimes I still revert to journaling strips but sometimes I know I will still need more space. In those cases, I use my handwriting and I also tend to use lined or grid paper in my design too. I do like a certain order in my pages and this is the easiest way to make sure that my journaling looks neat and legible.
Although I make light of using your handwriting, and while I still prefer computer generated journaling, I think it’s important to write your own from time to time. Your family will enjoy seeing your very own writing on a page and even compare their writing to yours!
Melissa Elsner reiterates this sentiment in her words about this layout:
Because I use scrapbooking for my creative journaling process, I approach it in a very similar way as a regular journal. I begin with a subject or topic. For this layout my focus was on a recent change with my job. I write everything out on some paper. I don't pay attention to grammar or punctuation. It's basically a "spew fest" as I like to call it. After getting it all out, I go back and reread. Then, I grab photos and papers and such that I feel will compliment what my journaling is about.
I tend to hand-write my journaling as well. I overcame my fear of using my own writing was realizing these pages are for me. And I asked myself the question, "If these were pages created by my grandma, would I want to see her own handwriting?" And the answer was "YES!" There's something special and personal about recording YOUR voice in YOUR handwriting.
I always like the way Stacey always uses her handwriting too. Many times she draws lines and journals on those lines, ensuring that everything is straight and orderly:
Another way I like to add my meaningful journaling to my pages is through a pocket, or hidden journaling. Sometimes I use this because I have several photos and not enough room for all of it, and other times I use it because the journaling is not something I want shared with all of the world wide web! I used a pocket for this layout because there were several photos I wanted to use and also because it’s personal journaling about my daughter’s struggles and while she may not care now, she may not be so happy with me later in life!
One other “trick” I like to use to spice things up or make room for journaling is to journal around my layout, as in this one:
It is deceiving though when doing this because the first time I wrote my journaling this way I thought I would have tons of space to write and it turns out that space gets taken up very quickly by the 3rd side! However, it allows more space in the center for photos and embellishments. I use this method when I have a shorter amount of journaling I want to include.
Hopefully this helps give you some starting points on how you can design your layout in order to fit in your meaningful journaling. As you can see it doesn't have to be paragraphs upon paragraphs of journaling, although it can be, but as long as it is the story you want to tell then short or long is great! Do you have some tricks you use to fit your journaling on your layouts?
Welcome to our special guest series, Photo Philosophy! We know how important photos are to scrapbookers, bloggers, and memory keepers of all types—and while technical know-how is important, we believe that good photography begins with what you believe about your camera and its possibilities. We've invited five incredible photographers to share their own personal photography philosophies with you this week, in hopes that you'll consider your own philosophy. More meaningful images begin with knowing what you want from your camera. Today, please welcome Katrina Kennedy! Enjoy!
I am an accidental photographer. I’ve always had a camera. I’ve always documented the world around me. I’ve used a Kodak 110 and a Canon5D, along with many others.
I never intended to be a photographer. I was just documenting life for myself. For the thrill of capturing the moment. After losing a dear family member to cancer, my husband and I were compelled to do something, anything, in her honor. We connected with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training in 2002. While training first for a marathon and then Olympic Distance Triathlons, I began taking photos in exchange for donations. I stalked the sidelines of events, looking for the perfect shot. Every dollar donated helped heal Dot’s absence.
When my son was born five and a half years ago my photography changed. I was no longer shooting fast moving bodies, outside in bright sun. The ritual of regular shooting improved my technique, but a new little life left me hunting for more photography information. I read each word of Bryan Peterson’s book Understanding Exposure repeatedly, finding something new each time. I poured over galleries and books, filling an insatiable hunger for information to capture this little person’s life before it slipped by me.
And then I found myself on a bus in Florida sitting next to Debbie Hodge. She asked, “have you ever thought about teaching others?” I knew it was what I wanted to do. More than anything. The perfect way to give back to the world, empowering others to capture their memories through photography.
I believe my photography is about connection. Connecting to my life and my subject in an intimate way. I see my subjects differently through my lens, but I also see them differently in the moments before I put the lens to my eye. Something about the subject moves me, makes me think differently. I am changed through the connection. And sometimes it’s just a snapshot.
I believe photography is as unique to each of us as the color of our eyes and the blueprint of our souls. Something hums in my brain as I balance the triangle of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It wasn’t always so easy, but some analytical switch I’ve denied was tripped that feels so right. It balances the artistic craving to frame and compose in a creative way. It feeds the yin and yang of my being.
I believe my photography provides a wider view of the world. I seek events and colors and moments with my family we might otherwise miss. I get out of my house and out of my comfort zone to discover photos and memories we’ve not experienced before. And sometimes I leave the camera at home, using only the lens of my eyes to see the world.
I believe my photography is simple and complex. It moves as my moods change. Some days I need to be stabilized with a tripod and shoot at my longest focal lengths. Others I need the flexibility and freedom of my 50mm lens or the lens of my phone.
I believe that in seeing the world through my lens, I am changing the world. Ever so slightly. I crave stopping the moment. I crave gathering up the details to look back upon some other day. It is an act of preservation and an act of acknowledgement. Acknowledging the beauty that is my life and all who surround me.
Above all my photography is real. Simple. Everyday. Mine.
Katrina Kennedy is a photographer, teacher, author, and a mom. She is passionate about documenting the everyday moments of her life. Katrina has helped hundreds of people improve their photography skills in her online classes at GetItScrapped and through her tutorials and eBooks. She has taken a picture every day since February 2008, missing a photo on only one day. She still suspects that photo was misplaced somewhere! When not behind the camera, Katrina works as a corporate trainer where she is given the opportunity to help people identify ways to improve their lives.
Learn The Very Basics, a self-paced class with personalized forum support from Katrina.
Her class Your Life: Through The Lens kicks off March 22nd.
She is teaching Action Photography at the True Scrap three-day virtual conference.
Katrina recently launched CaptureYour365— a community for ideas, support, and inspiration for your 365 project.
And be sure to visit Katrina's blog, About a Boy!
Welcome to our special guest series, Photo Philosophy! We know how important photos are to scrapbookers, bloggers, and memory keepers of all types—and while technical know-how is important, we believe that good photography begins with what you believe about your camera and its possibilities. We've invited five incredible photographers to share their own personal photography philosophies with you this week, in hopes that you'll consider your own philosophy. More meaningful images begin with knowing what you want from your camera. Today, please welcome Erin Cobb! Enjoy!
To this day, I consider the Canon Powershot to be a gateway drug. That is, if photography is an addiction, which to me it totally is.
Back in 2005 that trusty little Powershot led to the Rebel which led to the 5d which led to the 5d Mark ii. And a booming portrait photography business for 4 years and counting. But the thing that led me down the path to Erin Cobb Photography, and the thing that still buoys my creative soul to this day, is the pursuit of capturing the beauty in my own life. Sometimes it glistens and sparkles and shines so brightly that capturing it feels like the easiest crime. I cherish those moments, those images. I do. But when challenged to find the beauty in dishes and diapers and daily motherhood drudgery, that is where my heart sings. When the beautiful is a child's sticky face or a bedroom that hasn't seen a vaccum this month or a pair of overtired children who refuse to nap for the third day in a row, my creativity is challenged and pushed. The images captured in those moments are the ones that stay with me. They tell my story. They help me remember the nitty gritty of this life we have together. This dirty, tired, sticky, dusty, beautiful life that I love.
Therefore, I believe....images © Erin Cobb
That beautiful moments are all around us. They may not seem beautiful in the right now but I guarantee they will look amazing through the lens of 20 years from now. (Coincidentally, this is also my daily mantra about my 30 year old thighs.) Taking time to photograph the seemingly insignificant moments has blessed me beyond measure over the years. The images I have of my loved ones doing literally nothing are the ones that I wouldn't trade for the world. Easter morning in our best dresses? No thanks. My child's chubby fingers rolling a marble down a chute? Please sir may I have another.
images © Erin Cobb
That the images I take are gifts to myself. It's hard to imagine but I know there will come a day when digging couscous out of the carpet will be a distant memory. If even a memory at all. And hearing "check on me in 10 minutes!" hollered out from the bedroom down the hall will be a thing of the past. I may not know it today, but I'll want to remember those things. Each of those tiny drops of water will one day make up the overflowing ocean of my life. If I can find a way to document them, they'll be with me forever. If I don't, I won't even remember that I forgot.
images © Erin Cobb
That light and angles cast beauty on the simplest things. Watching the way light falls on my children's faces often tells me when to grab my camera. Sometimes it has nothing to do with what they're doing and everything to do with where they're doing it. The way window light plays in a room energizes me like nothing else. Getting low to the ground and photographing my children absorbed in their own world instantly gives me an insight into their experience that I never get unless I'm looking through the lens. Light and angles can instantly transform the mundane into the extraordinary.
images © Erin Cobb
That I'll never regret taking the shot. But I will regret not taking it. Digital is easy. File storage is cheap. Running through the house at break-neck speed and lunging for my camera burns me a few extra calories if nothing else. There's just no good reason to not take the shot. But there are a million and one reasons to take it. Take the shot. Any shot.
Erin Cobb is a mother, blogger, photographer, and expert baby swaddler. If she were to hold a world record it would be for number of cookies eaten in a single sitting. Or number of minutes it takes to get comfy in bed at night. Erin makes her home in Huntsville, Alabama with her two children—Sarah (5) and Ephraim (3)—and her husband Brent (age not released). Her portrait photography business is centered in Huntsville but Erin regularly travels throughout the United States for commissioned portrait sessions. Erin's most recent project is her Clean Color Workflow Video Tutorial which gives users (of Photoshop and Elements alike) two comprehensive hours of Erin's editing workflow from beginning to end.
Don't miss her family blog about everyday life in the Cobb household, The Pigbear.
Check out Erin Cobb Photography.
Connect with Erin on Facebook.
Learn about Erin's workflow with her exclusive two hour video, Clean Color. Thinking about purchasing Clean Color? Enter writeclickscrapbook as your discount code and the full Photoshop version will cost $100 (regularly $129) and the Photoshop Elements version will cost $79 (regularly $99). Offer is good through Friday, March 25, 2011!
Welcome to our special guest series, Photo Philosophy! We know how important photos are to scrapbookers, bloggers, and memory keepers of all types—and while technical know-how is important, we believe that good photography begins with what you believe about your camera and its possibilities. We've invited five incredible photographers to share their own personal photography philosophies with you this week, in hopes that you'll consider your own philosophy. More meaningful images begin with knowing what you want from your camera. Today, please welcome Kelly Willette! Enjoy!
My journey as a photographer started with a horrific studio portrait session with my son (who was then 12 months) at a chain studio (which I still LOVE)….my husband couldn’t stand to see me get so stressed out over the studio photos, so he snuck out that evening and bought me my first digital SLR camera as a surprise gift….under the condition that I learn how to use it and that I don’t freak out over imperfect studio photos anymore. That was nearly 7 years ago. I spent two years mastering the camera…..learning how to shoot in manual, what lenses were best for how I wanted to photograph, how to find the light, etc. That camera was the BEST material gift I have ever received.
I eventually began photographing for friends who loved my photos of my son, then I ran a successful photography business and began teaching other photographers how to run successful business. Then I had baby number two last year. I have put my business of photographing for others on hold—and have returned to photographing my own kiddos exclusively. It really is funny how life does come full circle. Though I LOVED photographing for others, I really LOVE photographing my own children – capturing them in photos (and I LOVE having the time to scrapbook again!).
I believe that finding the light is key to getting powerful photos. When in your own home, be sure to try to find the good pockets of light! Here is a video tutorial if you would like to see me “in action” explaining how to find the light inside your home. The password to view the video is: shiny
I believe that sometimes you should take a close up photos and other times you should take several steps back and get the shot. Sometimes when you capture your environment around your subject the photo tells an entirely different story.
images © Kelly Willette
I believe that the details are just as important as the overall scene. Get in close to remove distracting elements from your photos.
Kelly McMahon Willette is a life-long resident of Norfolk, Virginia where she lives with her husband, two kids (Max and Flossie), wild Australian shepherd dog and senior citizen cat. She affectionately refers to her home as the Willette “gong show.” She runs Willette Designs, a photography business that offers on-line photography classes for parents and photographers; her popular (free!) Joy of Love classe has helped scores of women consider the emotional and technical aspects of photography in new ways. She also makes a mean beef stew, still knows all the words to the Beastie Boy’s song Paul Revere, and is adjusting to being the master of multi-tasking since having her second child.
Visit Willette Designs, LLC.
Connect with Willette Designs on Facebook.
Watch for her upcoming Joytography™ guides in July 2011 (Joytography: A Collaborative Inpsiration Guide for Hobbyists, Professionals, & Designers).
Purchase her much anticipated Finding the Joy™ photography eBook and maybe mark give.away.day. on your calendar tomorrow. Hint hint.
And finally, what better way to celebrate March than signing up for Willette's free Joy of Luck class? It starts tonight so don't delay!
Welcome to our special guest series, Photo Philosophy! We know how important photos are to scrapbookers, bloggers, and memory keepers of all types—and while technical know-how is important, we believe that good photography begins with what you believe about your camera and its possibilities. We've invited five incredible photographers to share their own personal photography philosophies with you this week, in hopes that you'll consider your own philosophy. More meaningful images begin with knowing what you want from your camera. Today, please welcome Tracey Clark! Enjoy!
I am delighted to be here at Write. Click. Scrapbook. for this very unique series. Usually people ask me to share tips and tricks on how to take better photos so being asked about my photo philosophy was such a surprise, I was thrilled to be able to share my thoughts on a topic near and dear to my heart.
I began my photography career as an artist first. I used photography in my artwork during my last year of college which is where my love affair with photography began. Because I had only taken one photography class, I concentrated more on the art of photography (composing a shot, capturing emotion, etc) rather than the technical part of it. It became a trial and error process for me as I learn more effectively “doing it” rather than learning about it through books or instruction. I’ll admit that it can take longer with that approach but by actually doing it, it seeps into your being. It becomes intuitive. It’s not just numbers on paper or settings on a camera.
Right out of college I got a job working with a well-established, very experienced photographer and I continued my "learn as I go" approach. He offered up little technical tid-bits over the years and I slowly not only improved my work but I learned all the technical info I needed. It was a very organic, natural way of acquiring what I needed to consistently shoot the kinds of images I loved. The rest is history.
All that said, one of my photo philosophies is that you can absolutely learn as you go. Take it slow and steady. Play, have fun and don’t worry if you’re getting awesome shots on “Auto” mode. There’s no shame in auto mode! But, you also don’t have to fear the dials and settings. You can take it one step at a time and slowly learn the ins-and-outs of your camera at your own pace. Don’t be intimidated.
I also believe that if you love the photo you shot, that’s all that matters. Learn how to stand by your own images, be proud of the photos you’re taking and don’t apologize that it’s “not the best photo technically." Who cares? All that matters is that it’s a shot you treasure. It’s your art, your expression, your story. And it is important.
image © Tracey Clark
I know that happy accidents are a gift. I have learned more about photography by experimenting and trying the methods of shooting they say don’t work. Break the rules of photography. Push the boundaries. Think outside the box. Sometimes the results you stumble upon will be better than what you had planned on doing. Feel your way as you shoot. It’s the best way to learn.
And lastly, my most favorite photo philosophy is also my philosophy for life: perspective is everything. I believe from photography to daily life and everything in between, it’s all in the way you look at it. A shift in perspective, a reframing, an angle change can make all the difference from better appreciating your life to taking better pictures. Challenge yourself to see the beauty, the wonder, and the gift that your life really is and use your camera to celebrate it!
Tracey Clark is a photographer, writer, mother and the founder of Shutter Sisters, the online collaborative photo blog for women who love taking pictures. With a photography career spanning nearly 20 years, Tracey brings her experience and enthusiasm to everything she does; from shooting to writing to speaking and teaching. She currently leads the popular Picture Series at Big Picture Classes with her current offering being Picture Inspiration: 52 Weeks of Photocentric Creativity and Community. And her new book, which she co-authored with her fellow Sisters, Expressive Photography: A Shutter Sisters Guide to Shooting From the Heart was recently released by Focal Press and is available now. Discover more at www.traceyclark.com.
Check out the upcoming Camp Shutter Sisters, an incredible retreat and workshop at The Historic Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Beach, California
Get ready for spring by treating yourself to Tracey's self-paced class, Picture Spring at Big Picture Classes.
Be inspired every week with Tracey's year-long class Picture Inspiration: 52 Weeks of Photocentric Creativity and Communty at Big Picture Classes.
Catch all the latest updates with The Shutter Sisters on Facebook.