Click it Up a Notch http://clickitupanotch.com Photography Tips: Basic Photography Tips Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:12:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 6 Tips for Storytelling Photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/storytelling-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/storytelling-photography/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:00:48 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14760 Author information
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Although I love to take posed portrait images, my main photography inspiration comes from my desire to capture those mundane, everyday moments with my son. I want these photographs to be able to transport me back to the day the photo was taken, to that very moment in time. Whilst most definitely a single image can do that, I regularly find myself telling these everyday “stories” through several shots. When viewed together, these images allow me to create a more meaningful collection of memories than a single image could. There are several types of images that I try to take when storytelling, which I thought I would share with you today.

1. The Introductory Shot
First off, I usually take a couple of shots help set the scene. Generally, this is a wider shot that shows where the activity is taking place – a pullback of sorts that shows where we are and what we are doing. However, this can be of a photo of just one detail – for example the box of cake mix if we are baking cakes, or the table set with paints and blank paper.

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch

2. The Detail Shot
I love detail shots and will generally take a few of these, depending on how much time I have and how many things I want to capture. This could be little hands holding the paintbrush, or pictures of the paints themselves, or a brow furrowed in concentration – anything that shows the smaller elements of the story that can help to pull everything together.

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch-2

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch-3

3. The Portrait Shot
I nearly always try to get a clear shot of my son’s face – the more natural this is, the better, so I will never ask him to look at the camera for this. However, I will try to position myself so that the light on his face is the most flattering it can be. Many times when shooting indoors, the background is pretty messy (and I generally don’t tidy up, for photos, or in life for that matter) so I normally use a very shallow depth of field to blur out what’s going on in the background.

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch-4

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch-5

4. The Moment Shot
This can take a bit of patience! This is the shot where you get a great expression, or a momentary connection between two people, or capture the apex of an activity. In the photo below, it’s my son’s expression and the fact that he is in mid bite that makes this as a “moment” shot for me.

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch-6

5. The End Shot
I always try to remember to wrap up the story with a final photograph. This could be photographing the end result, such as the finished picture we were painting, or the mess that was left behind, or the cakes cooling on the rack. This can be of whatever seems like a natural place to end your story, in this case, his half finished lunch.

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch-7

6. Getting it all in ONE shot
Some times, less is more. If moving in and around my subject would disturb the scene too much, or I can say everything I wanted in one shot, then I will leave it at one. For example the photo below has everything I need to remember that moment – the pajamas tell me it’s morning, the toast in his hand that he’s eating breakfast, the wideness of the shot shows me he’s up on my dryer looking out into the garden through the window. I don’t even need to see his face to know that he is content. Whilst this would make an excellent introduction shot, and from here I could have gone to photograph his face, his toast, his feet etc. – doing so would have ruined the peaceful mood, and therefore changed the very thing I wanted to capture.

Storytelling photography by Audrey Yates via Click it Up a Notch-8

Some other tips to help with your storytelling:

-A “story” doesn’t need to be of a special day or a big adventure – even small insignificant moments (like having eggs for lunch ) can be told as a story. Our most cherished memories are often from everyday moments.

-You can tell long stories (for example a day in the life project) or short ones like the one shown above, which happen over just a few minutes.

-Shoot from a variety of angles– above, below and from both sides, wide and close up. Mix it up!

-Rather than trying to remember the above as a shot list, simply think about having a beginning, middle and an end, or even the classic storytelling principles of who, where, when, what and why.

-Try to position yourself and your subjects so you have the most flattering light. Shooting indoors always means high ISO’s for me so I try to over-expose a touch to keep noise at a minimum.

-I don’t tidy up around my subjects, because I want the scene to be as real as possible – but if you do, make sure that you are not removing elements that help tell the full story or just add something to it.

-Shoot from the heart. When you try to photograph to a formula, your photos won’t have the same resonance when you look back on them in ten or twenty year’s time. The above series is far from being technically or compositionally perfect, but it works for me because I can both see and feel that moment in time in these images, despite all the things I could or should have done differently.

Read more about storytelling photography

- Creativity Photography Exercise: Perspective for Storytelling
- Creating a photo essay

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Audrey YatesAudrey Yates – Guest Writer
Hi! I’m a stay-at-home mom and hobbyist photographer, who loves to try to capture the beauty in simple everyday moments and things. Life has a habit of flying past you without you even realizing it, so photography is my way of slowing it down and soaking up as much of it as I can.
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Hiring a Photographer Abroad http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/hiring-photographer-abroad/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/hiring-photographer-abroad/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:31:33 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14739 Author information
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Have you read our two previous posts on travel photography? Be sure to check those out.
Travel photography: What to pack
Travel photography: 12 Tips for Europe

Shortly after we booked our trip to Europe, I knew I wanted to hire a photographer to capture my husband and I in Paris. After all, we were going to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and I have always dreamed of having photos taken in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Why hire a photographer abroad?

You have seen the typical vacation photos, one person in the picture in front of the Eiffel Tower, then the other person in the picture in front of the Eiffel Tower. I knew I wanted images of my husband together in Paris. At cafes, in front of the Eiffel Tower, and walking around. I wanted to have our time their captured in a way that I knew I wouldn’t be able to do.

I didn’t have to worry about making sure I always handed over my camera to have proof that I was there because we had a photography session. Not only was there proof but there was proof we enjoyed our time.

Plus, I was spending all that money to go on the trip, I wanted proof that we were there. I plan on hiring a photographer each time we travel abroad to capture our time in different cities.

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch
Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

What to look for when hiring a photographer abroad

1. Find someone who speaks your language.
I knew we needed to find a photographer who spoke English. What little French I took in high school, I knew it wouldn’t be enough to communicate with the photographer. I quickly searched “English speaking Paris Photographer”. Besides Google, Clickin’ Moms CMPro section has a place for you to look for photographer by location and speciality.

2. Ask for recommendations.
The first photographer I found, I really liked. I emailed her but she was booked when we would be in town. She kindly recommended three of her friends and I’m so thankful she did. That is how we found our AMAZING photographer, Katie Donnelly.

3. Pick a date towards the end of your trip.
If possible, choose to do your photo shoot towards the end of your trip. This allows you to go back to any of your favorite locations to have your photos taken there.

4. Plan on waking up early.
If you are in a big city and want photos in front of a huge tourist attraction, then you will want to get their early.

5. Communicate your vision.
Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for location suggestions. I loved that Katie gave us some ideas of some places off the beaten path. I didn’t want to only capture the big tourist attractions but I wanted to capture a little of the uniqueness that is Paris.

6. Create a Pinterest board of THEIR work
I pinned images from her website. I was hiring Katie because I adored her work, so why would I pin things from other photographers? I went back through her blog and galleries to look at past sessions. The posing, location, light, and feel and pinned those images. Then I emailed her my pin board to help give her a clear vision of what I loved about her work and what I was hoping to be able to capture in my own images. If you can’t find at least 5-10 images that you adore of theirs that you could pin, maybe that isn’t the photographer for you.

7. Don’t forget about what you are wearing.
I packed light for Europe, like super light. But I sure did pack a pair of black high heels that I only wore for the photo shoot. I know it sounds crazy but I wanted pretty pictures of me in Paris in heels. Crazy? Probably, but I don’t care. It’s okay to pack a separate outfit that you may only wear for your photos. Need help coming up with ideas of what to wear? Read – 11 tips for what to wear in family photos

Like I said before, I LOVED our photographer Katie Donnelly. If you are heading to Paris, you should really consider hiring her. She was a pleasure to work with and I can’t wait to frame my images. I also plan on making a photo book of the images from our session. You better believe these images aren’t going to live on my computer.

If you do decide to hire Katie, tell her you found her on Click it Up a Notch and receive 10% off your session if booked and photographed by March 1, 2015.

Here are a few more images from our session in Paris with Katie.
Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

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Critique Me – Michelle Kelly http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/critique-michelle-kelly/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/critique-michelle-kelly/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:52:22 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14732 Author information
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thank you to Michelle Kelly for submitting the following image, which was her first attempt at manual mode.
Settings: ISO 200 | SS 1/640 | f/5.6
Michelle Kelly

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How to Display a Lot of Photos http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/photo-display/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/photo-display/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:55:23 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14723 Author information
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Wall space can be a serious dilemma for lots of people. Consider my office. Though my blog would have you believe that it is a large and light filled space with ample amounts of room for the many creative endeavors I pursue, it is not. Thus, my need to find a way to artfully display the many images I take of my growing children.

Of course, my dilemma is exacerbated by the fact that I am a photographer by trade and tend to have a lot of images of new photos of my kids all of the time. What is a blogging, photographing, mother to do?

It was a fateful trip to the dollar store that gave me the idea. I found these plastic bags full of tiny clothespins. Laughing I wondered just who might use them…gnomes…hobbits…wait a minute! My mind snapped to the empty wall space near my work area, and suddenly I knew who would be using those pins.

How to display photos easily and cheap by Amy Lee via Click it Up a Notch

When I got home I tested my theory and found that it would indeed work. My vision was this:

I theorized that I could wrap a bit of foam in a favorite fabric, wrap this with some lighter string, and then use those hobbit-sized clothespins to clip an ever changing array of my children’s photos.

It worked like a charm, and I began encouraging my clients and readers to use this same method for making impressive displays and also for creating a very easy system for updating their photo gallery

See more examples of Photo Wall Display Ideas.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 9.44.38 AM

Another method I use to display a lot of photos is to compile the photos into a photo book. I either display the book like a coffee book or display it on a ledge with our framed photos. I get all my photo books through Blurb and I include quotes or letters I write to the kids to make it more meaningful.

In this age of digital cameras, enormous memory cards, and easy to use printing services, you can take heart! You don’t have to reign in your enthusiasm over the best shots of your kids and your family. You can click as many images as you want because you can create amazingly affordable, flexible, and downright charming displays using little more than string and clips!

See more photo book ideas:
- 3 steps to make a photo book in Lightroom
- Digital photo books: What to do with all your photos
- Photo albums – What to do with all those photos Part 2

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Guest Post – Amy Lee
Amy Lee blogs at The Connection We Share where she shares children photo tips, kid friendly diy’s and kid approved recipes. She believes photos are meant to be seen and shared which is why she prints them out large and small to display in her home. Since wall space is becoming limited in her home, she puts a lot of photos in photo books. Amy loves hanging out in the backyard with her children picking all sorts of berries. On rainy days, she enjoys crafting with her kids, especially with activities from Kiwi Crate craft kits.

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Photography Editing Workflow – Lightroom -> Photoshop -> BlogStomp http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/photography-editing-workflow-lightroom-photoshop-blogstomp/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/photography-editing-workflow-lightroom-photoshop-blogstomp/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:00:06 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14706 Author information
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Photography Editing Workflow by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

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When I first started using my DSLR on a regular basis I really began to understand why having a trusted and consistent photography editing workflow when handling your images was so important. In the first few months of shooting and editing consistently, I found myself buried in a ridiculous amount of files, folders, copies of files and duplicate images. I was grasping at straws saving images all over the place without any rhyme or reason to what I was doing.

And I was frustrated.

Once I began doing photo shoots for clients, I knew it was imperative that I get a system in place. I sat down and organized my thoughts about a editing workflow and organization system for my photo shoots.

The system I came up with has been working well for me, so I wanted to share my process in hopes to encourage you to start a system of your own if you don’t already have one!

This system will work well for photo shoots or just every day general photos that you might be taking of your family, your life or just for fun!

Once I am done shooting I import all the digital files from my CF or SD card onto the hard drive of my computer. I organize all of my files by year/month/date _event.
Since I sometimes shoot different events on the same day, this system works well for me to keep everything in its place and easy to find!

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

Once the images are copied to my hard drive, I eject the CF or SD card and put it back into my camera and format it. This way I know the card is fresh every time I go to use my camera and I don’t run into double copying files onto my computer.

Then I open Lightroom and upload the event.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

Once all photos are uploaded into LR I begin my cull. I take a run through each photo and look for a few things. I look for closed eyes, weird expressions, blurry or out of focus shots, “practice” shots, or shots where exposure was so severely missed that it really is not worth fixing in post processing. I also look for amazing shots or favorites straight off the bat.

I put my fingers on the #5 key, the x key and the “next” arrow key. (The 5 key will rate the photo 5 stars The X key will mark the photo as rejected.)

If I absolutely love a photo or series of photos in one pose I click the 5. If eyes are closed or its blurry or something is really wrong with the photo and I KNOW I will never use it again, I hit the X key, and then just keep clicking the right arrow key until I get through the entire session.

Once I get through the initial run through I check to see how many photos I have marked in each category. In a typical photo session I upload around 350 – 400 images. I usually have around 100 marked for deletion and 100 marked as 5’s.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

Once I am done with the initial run through I separate out my marked for deleting photos and right click, remove, delete from disk. This permanently deletes those photos out of Lightroom and off of my hard drive.

Then I select my photos marked as 5 stars.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

Many of the photos I marked as 5’s will be the same or very similar image but my subjects may have a different expression. I photograph a LOT of families with small children and we all know that small children do not sit still for long and they will often will showcase many different expressions in a very small amount of time.

I go through all of my similar photos using the compare feature in LR and any photo that doesn’t “win” the comparison, gets marked with 4 stars which I call my “runner ups”.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

I will go through all of my 5 photos and narrow down even further. After looking at the full set of my favorites, it is easier for me to pull out the best of that bunch. Anything that doesn’t make that cut gets changed to a 4 star rating.

This should leave me with between 15-40 final images that I am going to edit for my client. My photo packages come with galleries of between 15-40 images so depending on the package the client wanted, I narrow down accordingly.

Once I have my final set of images to edit, I begin going through them one by one to make minor changes to exposure, white balance, highlights, contrast, clarity, sharpness and profile correction. If I have many in the same sequence/lighting I will use the Sync feature in Lightroom which saves me oodles of time!

Once I am satisfied with the photos in LR, I will take a few over to Photoshop if I feel like they need some major work or if I want to apply a special action. The process to do this is so simple; I was shocked when I first learned how to do it!

When in a photo in LR, simply right click and select, “edit photo in PS”. This will automatically open the photo in PS, and I can apply select actions or editing to the photo in PS.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

Once I am done with it in PS, I simply flatten the image, and then exit the photo. It will prompt me to save and I click yes and then the image is transported back to LR with all of my PS changes.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

So now I have two images in LR, my pre PS photo and my post PS photo.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

I then change the rating on the pre PS photo to a 3 and leave the rating on the final edited photo as a 5.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

After I am done editing all of the photos I have selected as finals, its time for exporting!

Exporting photos in LR is extremely easy and so flexible depending on what you need. I recently added BlogStomp to my toolbox which has made my exporting process even easier!

Once I am done with my final set of images, I export them back into the original file folder with all of my RAW files. I put them in a folder called Client. I export them at 80% and 300dpi.

Photography Editing Workflow - Lightroom | Photoshop | BlogStomp by Cinnamon Wolfe via Click it Up a Notch

Then I choose one or two photos from the set, put them in BlogStomp to watermark them and then save them to my shared Dropbox folder on my computer. These photos I use as sneak peeks to post to Facebook and Instagram. Since I have Dropbox on my phone and laptop as well, the photos I have saved in Dropbox are accessible from all of my devices so I can upload to FB or IG on the go!

Then I choose the entire set of images and put them in BlogStomp and create collages from the set that I will use on my blog. I save all of those collages into my Dropbox folder as well. Then when I am ready to blog the session I have all of the images sized and ready to upload into my blog.

I upload the final images to the client gallery and send them an email letting them know everything is ready.

Once I got this system down, my editing process time decreased by about 50%. That is more time I can spend growing my business or spending with my family.

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IMG_2110Cinnamon Wolfe – Guest Post
I am a natural light photography junkie living in the middle of the high desert of California. Wife to an energetic Army husband, stepmom to an awesome teenager and pet mom to two silly pups, my days are never the same in the best way possible. When not behind a camera, I occupy my time by laughing, asking deep questions, drinking coffee and reading books. I will never turn down dark chocolate or stinky cheese.
Website | Facebook | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

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Critique Me – Sheri at Sheri Shanahan Photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/critique-sheri-sheri-shanahan-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/critique-sheri-sheri-shanahan-photography/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:13:19 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14677 Author information
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thank you to Sheri at Sheri Shanahan Photography for submitting the following image.
Settings: ISO 1600 | SS 1/1250 | f/4.0
Sheri Shanahan Photography

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Newborn Photography Tips | Wrapping http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/newborn-photography-tips-wrapping/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/newborn-photography-tips-wrapping/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:00:43 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14647 Author information
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Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch
Wrapping a newborn for photos doesn’t only soothe them to get better images, but helps to add texture and interest to your images. Follow these 7 newborn photography tips focused on helping you nail wrapping the little one.

Newborn photography tips | Wrapping

1. Invest in different lengths and textures.
If you really fall in love with a brand, texture or color, buy more than one and cut the second one in half. Use a smaller piece of fabric when you just want to cover part of the baby or the fabric is thicker and you only need one layer. Use a longer piece of fabric when you need to double it up so it won’t be see through or you are using a tail. I have a collection of vanklee, cheesecloth, lycra and pieces from the fabric store.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

2. Practice on a doll.
If you see a wrap you want to try, use a doll first! This will help you determine where to place the wrap and baby to start, if you need to leave more fabric on one side, and so on. You will feel more confident recreating the wrap on a real baby.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

3. Have a wrapping workflow.
Just like with your posed or lifestyle work, you should have a plan. Set aside the wraps you want to work with, keeping mind what textures and colors go with your current background. Start with wraps where you don’t have to move the baby too much, think of them as your safe shots, then go for a more complicated wrap. Layer your wraps for added variety. This is great to do if the baby isn’t in a deep sleep or fussing a little. Start with a tighter swaddle and then add a darker color over. Here, the blue wrap was placed over the beige wraps.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

4. Tuck.
Whenever you can, tuck the wrap around the baby instead of picking them up and actually wrapping it around them. Your chances of waking the baby up will be less so you can maximize on your workflow.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

If you are using a longer wrap with a tail, bunch the extra fabric behind the baby for two different looks.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

5. Don’t use a flat surface.
When the baby is on their back, you want a surface that has some give so you can give the baby some shape. Use a bowl or a bean bag so you can dig a little hole for their bottom so you can curl the legs and feet up. The baby on the left has less shape and looks bigger. Take advantage of having a tiny newborn in your hands and curl them up.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

6. Wrap them tight for sibling shots.
Babies startle easily and swing their arms and legs around. Swaddling them tight creates a nice clean look and keeps them warm. You don’t have to worry the baby scratching their sibling or rooting.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

7. Use directional light. I prefer side lighting when the baby is laying on their back. This helps bring out their features and the texture in the fur. When moving from posed shots on the bean bag to flokati shots, I need to move my set up so the light is coming from the side.

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

Alicia’s vendor list for these images:
Vanklee.com
Rugsusa.com
Joann.com
Moodfabrics.com
Dolly priss – Etsy
TJF Designs – Etsy

Newborn photography tips | wrapping by Alicia Gould via Click it Up a Notch

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Newborn Photography by Alicia Gould 8 Alicia Gould – Guest Post
If you are ready to learn more about newborn photography, sign up for Alicia’s Newborn Photography Workshop at Clickin’ Moms! Registration opens on August 18th and the next class starts in September! This NJ based on-location photographer, will teach you the ins and outs of newborn photography. Limited space so don’t wait to sign up.

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Travel Photography – 12 Tips for Europe http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/travel-photography-tips-europe/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/travel-photography-tips-europe/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:03:52 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14616 Author information
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Travel photography | 12 Tips for Europe via Click it Up a Notch

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We recently returned from 2 weeks in Europe. It was wonderful and a photographer’s dream! Travel photography is not my thing but I did learn several things along the way. All the images below were taken with my Tamron 24-70mm.

1. Talk with the people you are traveling with.
If you plan on photographing most of the trip make to sure share that with those on the trip. I told my husband on the plane that I would be taking a fair share of images but I also said I did not want to experience Europe through my view finder. I know I wanted to capture our time but more importantly I wanted to live it. More on that later. He knew ahead of time that I would be getting my camera out and asking him to wait while I captured certain things. A bonus for me was that we left our kids with my parents. So I had the luxury of taking my time with certain things.

2. Show the movement.
If you are visiting a busy city, then you know that it is probably constantly moving. Don’t shy away from capturing this. This photo was taken while siting at a street side cafe in Paris. People were constantly walking by us and I wanted to remember this moment. I slowed down my shutter speed, set my camera on the table and took a few images.
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3. Think outside the box.
You obviously need a photo of the Eiffel tower if you are in Paris. But you don’t have to take the same photo as everyone. Capture just a portion of it, walk around, or try it at night. The key is to keep your eye out for different opportunities to capture what you have seen a million times in photos and figure out a way to make it yours.
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Or if you are in Rome and the Colosseum is being worked on, you can still capture a fun image.
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4. Pack light.
I wrote a whole post on this including what gear I brought with links and everything. Be sure to check it out – Travel photography – What to Pack.

5. Get in front of the camera.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. My husband does not know how to use my camera. That does not stop me from asking him to take my photo. Even if it is just a snap shot, get in front of the camera. You were there too, have proof!
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6. Walk around the tourist attraction.
If you go to Paris, of course you need a photo of you in front of the Eiffel tower. You don’t need to take the photo in the same place that everyone else is taking the photo. Walk around the tourist attraction and see if you can find a less crowded area. We found this awesome park that was right beside the Eiffel tower which was really empty. These two photos were taken about 10 minutes apart in two different areas.

Typical location:
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A better location:
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7. Capture the chaos.
I found it really fun to capture the tourist as well as the things we wanted to see. It is fun to remember what it really looked like. Yes, you can get up front and take a photo of the Mona Lisa but honestly, this one I like better.
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8. Light is still your best friend.
Even if you are in a museum, you can still take advantage of the natural light you have available. I walked around the Venus statue to get the light to fall on her like I wanted. Think about the light around you whether you are in indoors or outdoors.
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9. Slow down and capture real life.
One of the evenings in Paris, we decided to spend a few hours in the Luxembourg Gardens. It was great to slow down and enjoy Paris as the Parians do. While sitting on the bench and watching people walk by I noticed life happening around me. Picnics, reading, and gatherings with friends and family. Capture these moments to. This is truly part of the city your are visiting. Traveling isn’t only about capturing the sights but the heart of the people as well.
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10. Go out at night.
I’ll be honest, cities aren’t my thing. I’m slightly terrified from watching one too many Law & Orders. However, we decided to take a boat tour one evening and I’m so glad we did. I loved seeing the city at night and capturing the Eiffel Tower with the lights.

*After I shared this one of our kind readers informed me that images of the Eiffel Tower at night are under copyright. So, I won’t be sharing my night time images. But just imagine pure beauty ;) You can read more HERE.
Who knew? Good to know! Love our community.

11. Don’t forget your aperture.
If you want a lot of your image in focus, you need to make sure you have a large aperture number or stop down. Not only are you shooting in direct sun most of the time so increasing your aperture helps with your exposure but it also helps to have more of your image in focus.
Settings: f/16 | SS 1/160 | ISO 100
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12. Show up early or stay late.
We spent the day at the Vatican (this Catholic girl was in Heaven). When we first walked into St. Peter’s Basilica, it’s was crowded. We stayed for several hours since I wanted to attend mass. While waiting, we noticed they closed off a certain area towards the end of the day which made it perfect for photos. If there is some place that you really want to photograph make a plan to show up early or stay to the end.
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I have another tutorial I’ll post later on why I think you should hire a photographer abroad. Also, I may do a post with some of my favorite travel photography images. Stay tuned!

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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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Critique Me – Jennifer Byard http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/critique-jennifer-byard/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/critique-jennifer-byard/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 17:44:24 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14613 Author information
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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thanks to Jennifer Byard for submitting the following image.
Settings: ISO 500 | SS 1/200 | f/5.6
Jen_Byard

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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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How to Build Confidence as a Photographer: Part Two http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/how-to-build-confidence-as-a-photographer/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/08/how-to-build-confidence-as-a-photographer/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:30:58 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14592 Author information
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I am a natural light photographer based in Chesapeake, VA. I spend my days with my 3 “littles” searching for the mundane moments I can make extraordinary through my lenses. I enjoy editing my photos in Lightroom just as much as I love shooting them! On a personal note– I love coffee, reading non-fiction and Justin Timberlake on SNL.
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How to build confidence as a photographer | Part 2 via Click it Up a Notch

After I wrote my post about how to build confidence as a photographer, I thought of a few more ways and wanted to share them with you.

1. Share Yourself.

I really believe in sharing.  For this example, I’m talking about sharing your talent.  Most people would say that if they could save anything from their burning home, it would be their photographs.  As photographers, I think we do something really special.  So I say share your gift.  Yes, share, even if you are in business.  Here are a few ideas on how you can share your talents:

-Take your camera to a friend’s birthday party and take a few pictures. I’m not talking about 200 of photos of the entire event.  Take 1 or 2 of the whole family while blowing out candles so your friend can be in the photos with her birthday child instead of taking the pictures.

-Bring your camera to the park and take photos of your Mom friends pushing their children on the swings.

-Visiting friends overnight? Take some shots in their house of them and their family in their own surroundings.
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-Offer to take your best friend and her family to a park and take some photos for them together.

-If you are in business, go to the park for an hour (with your biz cards) and offer to take a photo or two of families spending time together.  Ask them to e-mail you for the photo. No strings attached. If they ask you why, tell them you are “paying it forward.”  Tell them you just finished up a family session a while ago and wanted to keep shooting.  You might have people turn you down—but putting yourself out there is a confidence builder in itself.  Conquer your fear of rejection by staring it right in the face.  You’ll live. Promise.

I’m talking about maybe 5 minutes of your time. Nothing huge to you.  But it usually ends up being huge to them because everyone loves photographs of their family.

Here’s the thing about sharing. It is ALWAYS going to make you feel as good as the person on the receiving end of your talents.   The person receiving the photograph will probably gush about how wonderful the photo is and is sure to appreciate it.  When I find myself low on confidence when it comes to photography, this is the first thing I do. I start finding a way to make photography about others instead of myself.  It works every.single.time.

2. Fail. And then turn it around.

I started a Project 365 in November. I quit on March 31st. No reason, no excuses. Just an epic failure. I thought about just erasing the whole project from my blog because it’s kind of embarrassing that I totally failed at something I said I would do.

And then I realized I was missing something bigger than failing at a Project 365.

I ROCKED A PROJECT 150!

Flip your failures around.  Shake them out. Find the lesson. Turn your so-called failure into a temporary defeat.

3. Reshoot.

When I got my very first DSLR, I was so amazed at the kind of pictures I was now able to take.  I was pretty sure I was going to be the next Ansel Adams..  When I look at those photos now, I cringe and laugh at how great I thought were.

Every so often, I pull out a photo I took in the beginning of my photography journey and try to re-create it now with all the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired along the way.

April 2010
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April 2013
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It is sure to boost your confidence when you see how much you’ve grown in your craft.

Author information

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I am a natural light photographer based in Chesapeake, VA. I spend my days with my 3 “littles” searching for the mundane moments I can make extraordinary through my lenses. I enjoy editing my photos in Lightroom just as much as I love shooting them! On a personal note– I love coffee, reading non-fiction and Justin Timberlake on SNL.
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