It’s a little silly that I didn’t schedule an Ask Away Friday partner this week. It’s silly because I have a long list of people scheduled and I forgot to make a partner for today. It’s ok, though. It’s Des’ birthday tomorrow (three! gah!), and I have strawberries to pick and birthday adventures to attend to, and definitely cookies to eat. I talk about cookies.. a lot.. but I don’t eat them as much as you’d think. Maybe once or twice a month. I’m thinking today’s the day. Tomorrow too!
To compensate for my lack of an Ask Away Friday partner, I’m going to post ten recent photos and ask myself photography-related questions about them. Hence, from one professional to another. From me to me. I hope you enjoy! And eat cookies!
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from Bold Fit Mom, as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers, between two bloggers! This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Ask me if you want to swap!
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
Echo from The Mad Mommy
1. What were you thinking when you took this photo?
What a good question, self! I remember this well because it was BEFORE the shoot had started. I had walked into the entryway of the home of the new clients. I didn’t know them at all, at that point, so I was slightly nervous but mostly not because they were super friendly and gorgeous. Then this kid just started being so cute and photogenic and I loved the lighting of the entryway (foyer?). His eyes were aimed at the door so he had great catchlights in them and his hair and skin just glowed. I was also thinking that he looked a lot like his dad in this photo, even though I had just met them both. I put down my purse and camera bag pretty fast and told them I intended to just start shooting.. instantly. They were fine with it!
2. Do you have any tips for shooting in low light?
Self, why didn’t you ask me what I was thinking when I shot this photo? I was thinking – “Man, my mother-in-law is beautiful and amazing.” Since you didn’t ask, I’ll just say that I do as best as I can because a full-frame sensor camera would be WONDERFUL for shooting in low light. I don’t have one yet but I’m saving up every penny for one! To compensate I use a great lens (50mm 1.4 above) and I am very well-versed with settings. She was in motion for this shoot so I had to use a fast shutter speed. Often a slower shutter speed WILL let in more light but will also give you blur if your hand shakes. So I chose my aperture first (4.0) and then a shutter speed of at least 1/250 and then I cranked the ISO. Don’t be afraid to crank the ISO. On a quality camera, it is meant to sustain a high ISO. You’ll get more noise by underexposing a photo than you will by having a properly exposed photo with high ISO. My camera can go up to 6400 or so pretty comfortably. A full frame can go to 12800!
3. How did this silly/funny/adorable photo come to be? What was your process in posing it?
Adorable, right? First I laughed at the funny sign they had about their awesome dog. Then I wondered if the dog would pose in front of the sign. The dog would! Then I wondered if both kids would too! The parents helped! It was a mostly candid experience and moment, though. Just great timing, great help from the parents and great natural posing by the kids and dog.
4. What were your settings in this photo?
I shot in manual, and it was an ISO of 1600, an aperture of 2.2 and a shutter speed of 1/125. And that’s considerably slower than I usually shoot in! Despite the spotlight, it was a pretty dark venue and my crop-sensor did a fairly good job.
5. Do you do a lot of editing of your photos?
No, would you edit these two? They’re way too lovely! Ok, I do edit of course. I shoot in RAW so the digital “negatives” are wild and untamed things! (five dollars if you get that reference) RAW files are exceptionally large – and they haven’t had any contrast or sharpening added to them. So I have to add such things and convert them to jpegs. Then I like to make my own actions in Photoshop to correct white balance, get rid of color casts or strange distractions (but not strange dogs), or to add a little glow when needed. This particular photo (above) needed very little of my time. It just worked well out of the camera.
6. Do all photos convert well to black and white?
Actually not! If I have a black and white photo, either shot in the camera (less likely) or converted in post-processing (more likely), it’s because it looked better in black and white than color. I really love color, so it’s rare for me to convert. I’ll either convert to convey the emotional component that black and white adds.. or… to be honest, it’s because I screwed up the color in the camera. I also find that backlit images or images taken on cloudy days outside convert well. I like b&w texture!
7. What are your tips for posing family photos?
Composition and style-wise, I just let the family lead the way. If that includes or heavily features the children/animals, so be it. I gently suggest poses or changes to the parents, unless the kids are old enough to take direction, but that occurs AFTER the family has already gathered together because I like to see which ways they naturally fall together. There aren’t really rules. A client can go on Pinterest and choose 20 different poses that they specifically want. That’s ok too. We can work from that. I like when the clients suggest and I like when I direct, and vice versa. Posing is not easy, but it’s natural.
8. Do you only do natural light photography, or do you use lighting?
There are definitely a lot of photographers who ONLY use natural light and of course I’d love to be one of them, but it’s not realistic. There are rainy day shoots and overcast shoots and nighttime shoots indoors. You can’t rely on the sun, or even the lighting inside your venue. I carry umbrella lights, an external flash, diffusers and reflectors to most shoots, and I’m always happy when I don’t need them. Ultimately I think my future full-frame camera will help me utilize low light potential so I’m so excited about it and I can’t stop talking about it. I will most likely still need my lights, though! They can be beautiful.
9. If you could make a meme or motivational poster out of this adorable black and white photo, what would it say?
I don’t know. Readers, what say you?
10. Do you have any tips for pet photography?
Yes, do it! Just do it! That said, I used to think animals were easier than humans, if you can believe that. Even though they can’t take direction, or so I thought because most animals listen better than babies/toddlers, the gift is that they don’t get self-conscious when you point a camera on them. So I say to relax and enjoy. Let your focus fall on their eyes and expressions for portraits. Get rid of clutter, get down and shoot at their levels (or above/below) and follow the light. Bribery is best too – like treats or food. In this above photo, I find that the baby is really the subject of the photo I used, but the cat is darn cute.
Be sure to check out our Facebook page “AskAwayFriday” for a great place to meet up and send out a #BuddyRequest if you need a partner to swap with or to just talk about anything #AskAwayFriday!
Would you like to join in on the #AskAwayFriday fun as a co-host? Click on the link below and fill out the form!
By adding your email to this link up, you will be added to email correspondence that may be sent by one of our hosts, you may opt out at any time.
Hosts reserve the right to remove any links that do not pertain to the #AskAwayFriday theme.