Click it Up a Notch http://clickitupanotch.com Photography Tips: Basic Photography Tips Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:14:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3 ways to tell your story with photos instead of words http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/storytelling-photography-2/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/storytelling-photography-2/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:13:54 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15782 Author information
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I am a photographer obsessed with learning as much as I can, shooting as often as I can, and sharing with others as I go.
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There are so many ways to help your viewer understand why you snapped the shutter at just the moment you did, from adding a title to your image that sheds some light on what was happening to writing some background for the image that you are sharing.  Many times I find that I have stopped to look longer at an image because of the caption or story the photographer added.  It helps me see something in the image that I didn’t notice at first glance. 

But, other times I enjoy looking at an image & imagining my own story line behind it.  When we are interpreting an image we all bring our own experiences and perspectives to the table.  While I do believe that the perfect caption or story can enhance the viewing of an image I often struggle to come up with them myself.  It can be hard for me to write short snappy captions for images on Instagram or tweet in 140 characters the reason why I was inspired to click the shutter button and take an image.  Which is why I have been pushing myself to improve my storytelling using just the images, to save myself from the creative writing part.  And that brings us to 3 ways to tell your story with photos instead of words.

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1.  Be sure to step back and get the whole scene.
I’m going to share an image from three different days that give the viewer the setting for the story below and a little behind the scenes for each.

In this image from El Capitan Canyon Campground I was using a wide angle lens (the Canon 24-70 II at 24mm) to get as much scenery in the image as possible.  I wanted to set the scene for the location of my story right from the start.  You can see the long road, the fence, lots of sky, and even a little of the ocean.  I got low to the ground to take this image to show as much as I could my point of view from being there, hoping someone might be able to imagine walking down the dirt path too. Based on this image the viewer can guess the setting is rural and outdoors.

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For this image from Santa Monica Pier, I wanted one image that would show where we were right at the start of my story.  This image sets the stage for detail shots of the rides and the concessions along the pier once we got closer.  But, just from this one image the viewer can tell we are on the water (but close to some city life), on a pier, and there are lots of activities.  I shot this standing at eye level because I wanted to tell the story without any distractions in the foreground of the image.  I was using the Canon 50 mm lens for this image because I wanted to get enough in the image to show the location without having so much that it became a distraction (which I find sometimes happens for me when I am shooting with a wide angle lens).

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When we went to the apple tree farm I knew I would come home with lots of images of apples on the trees, apple picking, and details from the day.  But, I wanted to make sure to start my photo story with the location of our day.  This particular farm has some wonderful white sided houses on the property and I tried to capture an image that showed some of one of the houses along with the fall leaves and some rows of apple trees.  My goal was for someone to see this image and know the season and have an idea of the rural location.

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2.  Now step closer and capture the details.
When we were at El Capitan (the location of the first image above) there was so much to look at that it was almost overwhelming.  It seemed like every direction I looked there was something new.  The good part of this was that there were lots of details to capture.  The hard part was choosing which details could help me tell the strongest story of the place.  I decided that I wanted a mix of detail images that showed the place {like these flowers below} along with detail images that told the story of our stay there {like the key to the cabin and the sign}.  Using a macro lens like the Canon 100 mm 2.8, is a great way to get those close up detail images.  Although I also like to use the 50 mm lens for these shots as well because I find that I like the extra space in the image, like the one with the cabin key.  The texture of the table adds to the story so I wanted to include enough of it in the image plus it helps you compose the image when you give yourself a little breathing room in the frame.

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This next image from Santa Monica Pier shows details of two things I found pulled me in while we where there.  I love the history behind things and this pier has a long history full of it’s own stories.  There was something about the way the light was falling in this empty space in the room nearby by to the carousel.  I felt like these images showed insight into the space & about my day there at the same time.

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Last, details from the apple tree farm.  These are probably the most obvious details yet it was also a challenge to make it about more than just the apples themselves.  I wanted to find details that would be specific to this particular apple tree farm, something that was unique about it which meant I had to look beyond just the apple trees & apples.

Here are the apples.

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And here is a detail image of something unique to this farm.  I was looking in every direction while we where there, not just at the trees but also behind us, looking for the story I wanted to tell.

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3.  Remember to look for characters, connections, and moments.
These are two moments from our trip to El Capitan.  When I see the image on the left of the light it takes me right back to that evening.  It is the perfect moment of time.  Placing it alongside the open wine bottle also helps tell the viewer the time of day and something about what we did.

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The next one is of my husband & son riding the roller coaster at Santa Monica Pier.  I was standing below them with the shot already composed in my head waiting until the coaster got right where I wanted it then I clicked the shutter.

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Last one of the moments I wanted from our trip to the apple tree farm was of my son actually picking the apples off the tree.  I loved that the image shows the size of his hand this year and how he still has to reach up to get the apples.  For an unknown viewer, the black marks on his wrist may be a distraction but for me they tell the story of the time of year & his love of running club (they get a mark for each lap).  This would be something that might require some words for background if you wanted to explain it but I was taking them image for our family albums so including that detail in this moment added meaning to the image for me.

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My goal when shooting this type of family outing (and it would work with lifestyle family sessions too) is to think about getting the images I need to tell the story from beginning to end.  I try to get the location, the details, and the characters in my images just like I would need if I was writing about it.  Then I keep these things in mind when I am culling, editing, and planning my blog post.  Did I include the setting?  Are there details that are unique to the location?  Did I get some images that show the moments of the day or the characteristics of the place?

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Have You Met Ashley Berrie http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/met-ashley-berrie/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/met-ashley-berrie/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:00:34 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15763 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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Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am not longer accepting applications for this series.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
I grew up using a Polaroid camera and having “photo shoots” with my baby sister, dressing her up and taking her picture in front of the shower curtain (perfect backdrop right!?). As a teenager, I carried a disposable camera with me everywhere and would wait impatiently for the one hour photo man to hand over my envelope of 4x6s. In 2010, I was engaged to my husband and he gifted me my first DSLR (Nikon D3000). When I pulled the camera out of the box, my heart was racing I wanted to know what all those buttons could do and how the heck do I make the background blurry!?!

I began taking Photography 101 classes at a local photography school and pretty much became infatuated with learning more. I couldn’t get enough. I finally figured out manual mode in Photography 102 and discovered Clickin’ Moms and Click it up a Notch. I took course after course on Clickin’ Moms and every time a new breakout was released, I bought it. When I had my son in 2013, I realized that this thing, this hobby, was what I was meant to do. I made it my job to document my son’s little life. I began photographing other families too and capturing their lives in the most genuine way possible. I always tell people, I didn’t mean to start a business! But I did. And I can’t imagine being happier than I am right now.

AshleyBerrie1
35mm f/2.2 | ss 1/320 | ISO 250

2. What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Do not try to copy another photographer’s work. You will never truly love your images if they are just like someone else’s. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?
What I really love are unplanned moments of real, raw emotions, especially those of a parent and child. I love stepping back and letting life just happen and then freezing that moment with just a little click.

AshleyBerrie5
85mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/640 | ISO 500

4. Where do you find your inspiration?
New places and beautiful light! I am very spontaneous and will often pack up my son and my camera to head out on an adventure. This could be as simple as going to a grocery store or taking a detour through the mountains of North Carolina to see a Christmas tree farm… yes we really did that!

5. What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I took my first classes at a local photography school, from there it was a lot of trial and error. I have taken several classes on Clickin’ Moms. I read tons of tutorials and blogs and read through the CM forums constantly. Last fall I asked Liz LaBianca to be my mentor, and she said yes! We chat over the phone about things I want to work on and things I can do to improve. The most I will probably ever learn is by experience though, so I try to shoot and edit every day.

5. Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
I started a 365 project this year, but am calling it 365ish. ISH because I am way too spontaneous for scheduled shooting and it takes the pressure off! So far I have shot every day, I just don’t post on my blog every single day. “ish” took the pressure off, but I still want to shoot!

AshleyBerrie2
50mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/320 | ISO 250

6. If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
My Sigma 35mm 1.4. This lens is my sharpest lens and is wide enough to capture the environment, yet the focal distance allows me to stay nice and close to my subject. (Like my wild child who will run away if I have to be too far back with my 85mm 1.4, just sayin!)

AshleyBerrie3
35mm | f/1.6 | ss 1/250 | ISO 640

7. Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
This is how I learned to back button focus! (Come on kids run to me!! I betcha I will nail my focus! ;)) Back button focusing tips

This is excellent. Do everything you can to make your subjects comfortable in front of the camera, that’s when the authentic connections start to show. Cracking the Mr. Boring test: Getting real emotions from clients

And then I shouted from the rooftops, “I am a photographer!” (Insert awkward dance with fingers pointing to the sky here) When to call yourself a photographer

AshleyBerrie4
35mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/320 | ISO 250

8. What is your favorite image right now?
The image of my son at the beach holding his red fishing net. He woke up unusually early (like 5am) while we were on vacation and I decided if we were up that early we were not going to miss the sunrise. So I packed him in the car and with my camera around my neck we headed to the beach. I love how much fun we have together in new places. This image reminds me of those moments, where it’s just the 2 of us, exploring this big world together.

FavoriteAshleyBerrie10
35mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/250 | ISO 640

9. What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I have a Nikon D610 (love, love, love it!) I actually had the D600 when it first came out, but exchanged it for the 610 after lots of talk about oil spots on the sensor. I have not had a problem with spots on either model though. Nikon 50mm 1.4 (this one doesn’t come out much any more, but I still hang on to it!), Sigma 35mm 1.4 (this is one sharp lens y’all, perfect for lifestyle shots), Nikon 85mm 1.4 (My favorite outdoor lens, it gives me that creamy dreamy look I love) Nikon 105mm 2.8 (This is the newest addition! I use this for my little newborn babies and their squishy little faces and most recently to capture my son’s fluttering eyelashes.) I heart this lens.

AshleyBerrie6
85mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/1250 | ISO 125

10. Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
If you haven’t already, you must do your eyes a favor and check out my mentor, Liz LaBianca. She photographs her children daily, which I don’t think a lot of photographers remember to do! Her recent trip to NYC with her children had me drooling. Grab a napkin and check her out Liz LaBianca Photography.

11. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
My biggest challenge is taking so many pictures every day and not having the time to edit them completely. I am hoping my 365ish project will help me stay on top of editing my own images.

AshleyBerrie7
35mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/640 | ISO 125

12. What’s the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
My strangest thing is actually not strange to me, but everyone else who sees it always says “What the heck is that thing!?” It’s a rocket blaster dust removal squishy thing. It blows dust off lenses! Sometimes I will pull it out during a session and let a toddler play with it if they need a distraction.

AshleyBerrie8
35mm | f/2.5 | ss 1/100 | ISO 200

13. What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I want to have a better understanding of correcting skin tones using the CMKY numbers method in Photoshop! I have avoided this method because I am not a numbers kinda gal, but I want to give it a whirl in 2015.

14. If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
Come and follow along on my photography journey at Ashley Berrie Photography and on Facebook.

AshleyBerrie9
35mm | f/2.8 | ss 1/400 | ISO 1000

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5 Tips for Photographing Your Everyday http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/tips-photographing-everyday/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/tips-photographing-everyday/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:00:12 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15657 Author information
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my favorite thing about being a photographer is being able to portray the beauty of ordinary things in everyday life. to follow me on my daily journey with photography, join me on instagram! @bethadilly
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When I am not professionally photographing families and children, I love to photograph my everyday. I love to take photos of the ordinary things that make up my day and my life. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have a photo of a Starbucks cup, or a few, in my gallery. And that’s because I just love to photograph my reality. To me, photography is simply a visual journal where I tell my story. I just tell it through pictures instead of writing it down. Today I am sharing what things inspire my photographer eye. I will share what things make me scramble for my camera and think, “I have to photograph that!”

Read more – Photograph your everyday moments of your kids.

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Click it Up a Notch.

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The use of everyday objects.
First of all, when photographing my everyday, I love to take something that is ordinary and make it extraordinary! Like cooking. Cooking is such an ordinary and everyday task. But through photography, cooking can look so much more fun and very beautiful. I love finding ways to portray things differently.

To make an everyday object artistic.

In the image above, I was telling a story about making chicken noodle soup on a cold day. Instead of waiting until my soup was done and taking a picture of my warm bowl, I took a different spin on the task and photographed the moment before I started cooking, using my Lensbaby.

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1. The use of color.
Something that always inspires my photography is pops of color. While I was placing an item into my Target cart one day, I noticed just how vibrant those red carts were compared to the white grocery store floor. The color just popped! It’s things like color that have me grabbing for my camera so I can photograph it. Even though I was doing an ordinary task of running an errand to the store, I was able to photograph it in a way that put a more exciting spin on my outing.

Pops of color can be found in everything from fruits to nature to decor and it’s something that definitely inspires me when photographing my everyday.

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2. The use of texture.  
Whether it is a soft new sweater or the sand beneath my toes, texture is another element that also grabs my eye. While I was out on a walk, the texture of the chain link fence in the photo above caught my eye and had me digging through my camera bag for my camera. As I lowered my aperture on my Sigma 50mm f.14 lens, I was able to capture the cold and rough texture of the metal fence as well as the creamy and soft texture of the nature that surrounds it.

I love to challenge myself to create opposing textures all in one photograph.

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3. The use of you!  
That’s right, I said you! Don’t be afraid to hop in the frame! One of my goals this year is to be more intentional about getting in front of the camera, instead of just being behind it! As photographers, we are always looking through the lens instead of being the subject of the lens. In the photo above, I noticed that our bedroom window was getting good light so I took that opportunity to grab the tripod and set the self-timer on my Nikon. I ended up missing the focus, but I fell in love with the photo. And I was actually in the photo, for a change! I am one who would rather be taking the pictures than have their picture taken, so when I do hop in the frame I really like to take a creative spin on a self-portrait.

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4. The use of light.
Whether it is indoors or outdoors, I am a lover of light and I find myself chasing after it! And when it is just right, you will find me with my camera ready to go. I only use natural light when photographing indoors, so when I see prime window light I take the opportunity to do anything and everything with it. Sometimes it is as simple as setting my morning drink up on the windowsill.

Other times, I love to photograph how light plays on everyday objects. I love how the light creates subtle, yet apparent shadows on my coat. It has a way of bringing a stationary object to life, as the shadows emphasize the wrinkles around the sleeves from being well worn. Keep in mind that light not only beautifully brightens your photographs, but it can also create an emotion.

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5. The use of repetition and patterns.
Repetition is something that definitely catches my eye. Whether is it the repetitious lines of the parking spaces in a parking lot or the row of lockers in a school hallway, repetition is all around us. Even in our homes there are patterns in the design of our wood floors or on the spindles of our staircase. You can even create them in your photographs and it can be as simple as lining up a row a pumpkins before clicking the shutter button.

These are just a few of the things that inspire me to photograph my everyday and what things I look for before picking up my camera. Sometimes I have a plan of what I would like to photograph, and sometimes I simply stumble upon some inspiration while I am going about my day. And to be honest, it is the unplanned moments that have made the best photographs.

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One thing I have definitely learned is to keep my camera handy at all times. This means always having it in my bag when I leave the house, or keeping it on the side table in the living room. You never know when inspiration is going to come to you. And trust me, when your puppy jumps down into a pile of pillows and gives you a cute look, you will be glad your camera was on the table next to the couch instead of buried in your camera bag!

For me, it is all about the challenge of finding beauty in my everyday, no matter what I am doing or where I am. And if you think about it, that’s actually also a pretty great life lesson to live by! Beauty is everywhere, so just look around! To follow along with me as I document my everyday, join me on Instagram!

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my favorite thing about being a photographer is being able to portray the beauty of ordinary things in everyday life. to follow me on my daily journey with photography, join me on instagram! @bethadilly
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Photography Promises http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/photography-promises/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/photography-promises/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:30:31 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15753 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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I’m a huge fan of photography goals. In fact, you can read mine here – Photography Goals 2015.

Yes, I do believe it’s a good idea to have goals to work towards, I love the idea of making little photography promises to myself.

I promise to pick up my camera to capture the moments even if there is clutter and bad lighting.

I promise to not get frustrated when my kids don’t behave or aren’t in the mood to be photographed.

I promise to leave my camera at home sometimes so I can live in the moment.

I promise to pick up my camera more than I want to, especially if I’m in a rut.

I promise to not spend all my free time reading about photography that I never get out and put it into practice.

I promise to edit more than I did last year.

I promise to find other photographers to encourage on their journey.

I promise to not get caught up in comparing my work to others but focus on how far I’ve come this year.

I promise to try new things even if I find they aren’t my style, at least I tried.

I promise to get in more photos even if I don’t have make up on.

In an attempt to be in more photos, I handed the camera to my daughter and let her snap a few.
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What promises would you add to the list?

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Have You Met Christina Klahn? http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/met-christina-klahn/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/met-christina-klahn/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:00:22 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15734 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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Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am not longer accepting applications for this series.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
I am married with two boys, who are almost 6 and 8, and we live in the great state of Texas. I have an identical twin sister, and a special place in my heart for those with special needs, having experienced the joy of growing up with my brother who has Down syndrome. I used to work as an RN with cancer patients before my photography journey began, which was about 5 years ago.

I got my first DSLR as a gift and I didn’t know the first thing about how to use it. I didn’t like that feeling of not understanding, of not knowing how to control it. So I read everything I could online, I watched MeRa Koh’s DVD “Beyond the Green Box”, and started practicing on anyone who would let me. Pretty quickly, my friends and family started asking me to take their pictures.

So, while portfolio building, I officially established Twinflower Photography as an LLC, started a website and I was in business. The next 3 years were very busy with lots of wonderful newborn and family portrait clients. Then, we unexpectedly had to move for my husband’s work. I had to stop taking clients to focus on the move and get my family settled in a new city.

While I had loved my clients, once we moved I realized it was the break I never knew I needed. I decided to remain a happy hobbyist and have done so for the past year and a half. I’m loving the creative freedom and rediscovering what made me love photography in the first place.

ChristinaKlahn2
100mm | ss 1/250 | f/3.2 | ISO 1250

2. What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
To be open to feedback from people who aren’t your friends or family. Asking for critique or having a portfolio review can be a very humbling experience, but it shouldn’t be thought of as a negative one. A lot of growth can come from viewing your work through the eyes of an objective peer.

ChristinaKlahn3
35mm | ss 1/200 | f/3.2 | ISO 3200

3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?
My boys are my favorite subjects. They are getting “older” but I am enjoying the challenge it brings, not having little chubby baby cheeks to photograph or a toddler who laughs at everything. They are in such an awesome season of life right now. The magic of childhood is very much alive for them. It’s a time of telling jokes, playing games, cracking each other up, being best friends and sharing a room. I say this at every stage, but this stage is my favorite!

ChristinaKlahn4
35mm | ss 1/800 | f/2.8 | ISO 320

4. Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere! I keep a journal at my desk where I jot down things that inspire me, so that it in turn might inspire my photography. It could be a funny commercial I saw, or something I just read in a book, something I heard someone say that day, song lyrics, a new project idea, etc.

5. What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I am self-taught.

5. Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
Yes! I started my Project 365 in October and I just passed the 100th day mark. I am in a 365 Flickr group and a blog circle, which really helps keep me motivated and inspired. I highly recommend connecting with other people when doing a project like this!

ChristinaKlahn5
35mm | ss 1/160 | f/3.5 | ISO 250

6. If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
It would have to be my 35mm 1.4L. It’s my go-to lens, sharp and fast, and I love it so much on a full frame.

7. Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
– This is an awesome tutorial about how to shoot around the clutter in your home to create a clean image – Working around the clutter
– I am a big fan of using editing to complete an image. And I love negative space, so I use this method very often in Photoshop! Photoshop Editing: Creating negative space
– I wrestled with my desire to shoot wide open while maintaining sharpness, and this tutorial was very helpful – 5 tips to get sharp photos with extremely shallow depth of field

ChristinaKlahn6
35mm | ss 1/320 | f/3.2 | ISO 160

8. What is your favorite image right now?
The black and white image of my boys in the back seat of our car wearing their baseball uniforms. They’re cracking each other up, as usual and I can see that my oldest is missing his front teeth. It’s so “them” and perfectly illustrates their “best friend” relationship…one I hope will never change.
ChristinaKlahn1
35mm | SS 1/200 | f/2.2 | ISO 1000

9. What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III, and usually my 35mm 1.4L. I also use a Lensbaby Edge 80 and occasionally a 100mm f/2.8L macro.

10. Let’s light someone’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check
out?

Heather Chang is also a Texan and a mom of boys. She shoots both film and digital and is one of the talented ladies in my 365 blog circle. Check her out at: Heather Chang Photographyhttp://www.heatherchangphotography.com/

11. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
Not getting the consistent positive feedback I used to get when I was taking paying clients. I went from hearing “I love the photos! You’re awesome!” to having to pat myself on the back, and having that be enough. But it’s really helping me focus on my own personal journey and be more true to myself. Now I don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks, and that is very freeing.

ChristinaKlahn9
35mm | ss 1/800 | f/3.2 | ISO 250

12. What’s the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
I carry my
iPhone 4 Olloclip in my bag, even though I don’t have an iPhone 4 anymore. I LOVED that Olloclip, and I desperately want the iPhone 6 Olloclip. I just haven’t gotten around to getting it yet. I guess I’m a fan of delayed gratification!

ChristinaKlahn7
Lensbaby Edge 80 | ss 1/125 | f/4 | ISO 10,000

13. What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I’m really interested in learning more about color theory, and how to use color intentionally to strengthen photo composition and add depth to an image. I’ve casually read about color theory, but I think I need someone to hit me over the head with the color wheel so it will stick!

ChristinaKlahn8
35mm | ss 1/100 | f/3.2 | ISO 4000

14. If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
My work can be found on my website at Twin Flower Photography, as well as on my Facebook page.

ChristinaKlahn10
35mm | ss 1/160 | f/3.2 | ISO 10,000

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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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What is your photography word? http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/photography-word/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/photography-word/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:00:16 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15653 Author information
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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.
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Balance is my word of the year for 2015. 

I think my word chose me this year. I didn’t go looking for it. I wanted my word to be ‘success’ or ‘growth’ or some other super powerful word that would propel me to new heights.  But whenever I gave thoughtful consideration to a word I wanted to use this year to help me focus, BALANCE kept popping up no matter how hard I tried to push it down.  

With a bit of humility, I accepted what life was trying to whisper to me. The big area I need balance in is photography. I use my word of the year as a guide for how I’d like to live and as a way to keep on track.

With balance in mind, I identified ways where I could really utilize balance to make some progress.

1. I’ve been shooting now for 5 years. 
I dove in head first; tackling a 365 the day I bought my very first DSLR.  I learned an entirely new editing program and worked every single day on something photography related for almost 3 straight years. Then I hit a wall. I stopped doing anything photography related. I hardly took a picture at all for months. I just didn’t have the desire to shoot, upload, edit and repeat.  I tend to do things in extremes-an “all or nothing” mentality. I am definitely in need of balance.

2.For quite a while I had a goal of creating a massive portfolio of images.
My main goal for taking a picture became to capture something worthy of being in that portfolio. I had figured out a style for my photography and took only photographs that fit that definition. I was looking to shoot photos in high contrast lighting situations with solitary figures with a lot of literal and figurative contrast.  I was very focused on that.  I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, but it came at the expense of photos that fell outside that definition. 

So for me, that meant that I didn’t shoot a lot of our personal family memories.  I just did not even bother photographing something if it wasn’t going to go right into my portfolio. A majority of the photographs I took looked a lot like this and while I do love this shot because I was executing my vision, I can look back now with a little bit of regret at not capturing a quick smile on his face.

DSC_8473

3.I pushed my kids to be models or muses for me-to sit in the “right light” or “play over there by the window” and “to look away and up” or some other set of instructions that led to them dreading every time I pulled out my camera.
One of the “shoots” I set up with my daughter led her to tears at having to sit at the piano for so long just so I could get my shot.   It was that moment that I realized I do not want to hand over a portfolio over beautiful images and ugly memories to my children. I had been fooling myself into thinking that if I could capture my children in such beautiful ways in photographs they’ll look back and see themselves the way I saw them-beautiful and special in every way imaginable.

But kids don’t want that.

They just want their memories preserved. 

They want to see the clutter in the background and remember the things we had in their home growing up. They want snapshots.

DSC_8671

This year I am tackling another Project 365 with the word ‘balance’ in mind each time I shoot.  I am shooting just to preserve memories a lot of the time. But I am not forgetting that I enjoy the artistic side of photography and want to shoot my own agenda sometimes as well.

Just a little over a week into the project, I can see the power of keeping that word at the front of mind in the photographs I’ve taken. I have a few for the portfolio, a few for the memory books and a few that could be in both.

ciuan (43 of 1)-2

DSC_1411

ciuan (43 of 1)

Do you have a word for 2015? How are you going to relate it to your photography this year?

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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.
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Why all the secrets? http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/secrets/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/secrets/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 15:30:27 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15705 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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I have to be honest, I’m always amazed when I hear from someone saying they asked another photographer a question and they didn’t answer them.

We all know it isn’t the camera or the gear that makes the photographer so why are we terrified to share what gear or editing software we use?

I’m not talking about asking someone to mentor you for free, just a simple, what type of camera do you have? Or What lens is that?

Why do we feel like this is top secret information?

I’m not saying you have to share every piece of information you have learned. Learning photography is hard work. I know how much time and money goes into figuring out this art and become confident in your work.

Why all the secrets with photography? via Click it Up a Notch

The next time someone contacts you to help them out, you have a couple of options.
1. Answer the basics.
If they are curious about your gear, tell them. Even if they do go out and buy the exact same camera and lens you have, it doesn’t mean they will be able to photograph a moment the way you can. It doesn’t mean they will edit the image like you and it doesn’t mean they will become just like you. Everyone has their own way of seeing a scene before they capture it.

2. Point them in the right direction.
If someone asks you to share all your secrets and you don’t want to, tell them where to look. Send them to my site (thanks) or to Clickin’ Moms. Say something like, “Thanks so much for the compliment of my work. I’m flattered. I have spent the last ____ years learning all I can about photography. If you are serious about learning more you should check out _________ (insert photography website, book, or class here). If you can share a workshop or class you have taken, I’m sure they would really appreciate that. Then it’s up to them to do all the leg work. Don’t forget, I’ll be offering an online workshop in the Spring.

3. Offer to mentor.
You may have a passion for teaching and sharing your knowledge. Awesome. You can offer to mentor them either for free or for a fee. That is completely up to you. I have taught countless friends how to shoot on manual mode. It is fun for me and I love watching them grow into amazing photographers and am honored to have been a part of that journey. Like I said, you don’t have to share everything for free. Consider creating a mentoring rate. Then if someone contacts you to be mentored you are ready and can say “Sure, this is my rate.” This is especially helpful if you are business and the person contacting you would also like to go into business in the same town. In fact, many photographers won’t mentor people in the same town. I get that. In that case, I would stick with tip #2 and point them in the right direction.

I don’t think photography has to be this huge secret. I don’t understand why we are terrified to share the basic knowledge that is out there.

We all started somewhere.

We all picked up a camera and had no idea what aperture, ISO, and shutter speed was.

I was blessed with a friend to hold my hand and help me. Were you? If so, pay it forward.

If you weren’t blessed with someone to help then let’s stop that cycle and pay it forward.

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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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Have You Met…Series http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/metseries/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/metseries/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 14:48:52 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15696 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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**UPDATE: 1-15-15 I have been overwhelmed and so excited about the response I’ve gotten from this new series. I have received over 300 emails already! I am making my way through them to respond and let you know I received your email. Due to the amount of applicants, I will no longer be accepting new applications after 1-16-15.**

A few weeks ago, I asked for what you wanted to see on Click it Up a Notch in 2015. I LOVED reading your responses and it already has my wheels turning on posts ideas and more.

One of the biggest requests was featuring more photographers. I love this idea.

I want to feature you! The photographers of our amazing community. I want to introduce you to our community.

Our new series “Have you met…” (Anyone else get the How I Met Your Mother reference?).

I will post interviews of photographers in our community and show off their work.

Would you like to be featured? I hope so.

We are no longer accepting applications since over 400 people have applied.

We will be looking for people with a strong understanding of the basics of photography. You do not have to own a business or be a professional photographer to be featured.

The interview questions will not only be fun and talk about you but will be informative and help our community grow as well.

If chosen to be featured, you will be emailed with the interview questions and what we need from you for your feature.

I’m so excited about this new series!

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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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Food Photography Equipment http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/food-photography-equipment/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/food-photography-equipment/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 15:20:49 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15606 Author information
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Trisha is the founder & author of {EYB} Eat Your Beets, & a mother to 4 kiddos. She’s never said no to a fabulous pair of shoes.
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Beginning food photographers are often curious what other foodies are using for food photography equipment. I can admit scouring the internet in search of ‘the best tripod for shooting food’ or ‘what lens is best for food photography’. In my opinion, it isn’t the gear that creates your amazing image, it’s the foodie behind the camera, but that doesn’t mean some good gear can’t hurt, right!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Click it Up a Notch.

Food photography equipment via Click it Up a Notch

Food Photography Equipment

1. A dSLR (any one, seriously)

It’s common for new photographers to get caught up into which is the best camera maker. The more important question should be, which brand makes the best camera for you. Because we are all different, it’s really important to get the camera in your hands before you invest in one. I have very strong opinions on why you should buy your body separate from the camera ‘kit’ lens & you can read more about that in this post, Looking to Buy a dSLR?. I started with a Nikon & that’s where I’ve stayed. I think another important thing to consider is how you’ll be using your camera. If you are serious about learning manual mode (& you should be) make sure that all your setting buttons are easy to access outside of your camera. My very first dSLR had one setting that could only be accessed from the internal menu, which made adjusting my settings a bit of a pain & caused me to upgrade much sooner than I planned. I also wouldn’t suggest dropping thousands to have the camera ‘all the pros use’. In my opinion, it’s better to gradually grow into your camera than end up with a beast that intimidates you. I currently shoot with a Nikon d800.

Gear for Food Photography

2. A Good Lens (or Two)

Again, it’s very hard to recommend ‘the best food photography lens’ because it all depends on what you primarily shoot, your style & your budget. For a very long time I shot with a prime lens only, my Nikon 35mm f/1.8. I thought it was the bee’s knees & nothing could be better. I’d hear of foodies shooting with zoom lenses & think, ugh, who could do that!? Until I upgraded to a new camera & didn’t want to use my crop sensor prime lens on my full frame camera. By default, I reluctantly put my zoom lens on my camera & something magical happened! I fell in love. Now I shoot almost exclusively with my Tamron 28-74 f/2.8.

While some people really love to get that f1.4 aperture on their prime lenses, I’m not as sure if it’s worth the cash. When shooting food, you will rarely (if ever) shoot wide open. I keep my aperture somewhere around f/3.2 & rarely need to shoot any more open that that.

Gear for Food Photography

3. A Good Tripod

You may disagree with me on this one, but a good tripod is where I’m gonna tell you to spend a little more money. If you’re prone to sticker shock, maybe wait to look up prices of tripods right now! After years of shooting with a cheap, $30 tripod (that I eventually stopped using because it was seriously, such a pain & not worth the headache). I almost passed out when I started researching a new tripod. If you’re still having trouble coming to terms with the price tag of a new tripod, just consider this: you are expecting this tripod to be in charge of holding up (& not falling over or crashing into the ground) your thousands of dollars worth of camera & lens, right? So maybe a couple hundred bucks isn’t such a big deal after all? Personally, I use a Manfrotto tripod & love it.

The big things to consider when investing in your tripod are first, how much gear do you need it to hold up? Take into account the weight of your camera, lens & anything else you might need to attach, like a tripod arm & counter balance (more on that next!). Now add up all the weight of those items & make sure your tripod will be able to handle your weight load. Secondly, the weight of the actual tripod alone. I’m assuming you won’t be lugging this thing up Mt Kilimanjaro, right? In that case, it shouldn’t bother you if it’s a little heavier than other tripods. The minimum height is something you should also consider. Do you want to place the tripod directly on a table top & shoot? You’d want one that will have a smaller minimum height. In my case, I sacrificed minimum height for a heavier load capacity but that’s something you’ll need to consider for your shooting. And probably the most important factor is what kind of head your tripod has. A quick release ball head tripod means you’ll be able to swing & swivel your camera (within reason) to your hearts content. You’ll find yourself less frustrated than if you were using a pan head.

4. Tripod Arm

Probably my most favorite ‘toy’ for shooting is my tripod arm. If you love arial shots but don’t love bending over at the waist or precariously positioning your feet on different pieces of furniture then you’ll also love a tripod arm. Simple to attach to your tripod mount, it allows for arial shots at any height. Make sure you find an appropriate counterweight as well to keep your tripod for tipping.

Food photography equipment via Click it Up a Notch

5. Remote

A wireless remote can be such a handy thing for shooting on a tripod. It allows you to essentially be hands free from your shot. You can stage your frame & never worry about if you may move your tripod as you’re hitting the shutter button.

6. Tether Cable

Shooting while tethered to a cable can be really beneficial. I personally don’t do it but I know a lot of people who prefer it. One reason is that it puts your images straight to your laptop or computer. You can see the images on a screen as opposed to in your viewfinder, you’re not dealing with any cards & your images are automatically backed up onto your computer. If tethered shooting is something you’re hoping to do at any point you should make sure your camera & editing software is compatible with doing so.

7. Editing Software

I do all my editing in Lightroom 5. I personally think most editing systems can be useful, some more beneficial than others. The biggest things you’ll want to be editing when shooting food will be fixing your horizons, white balance (if you haven’t nailed it in camera) & exposure. It’s also nice to able to digitally remove a crumb or two if something is out of place in your frame.

Do you have any food photography equipment you’d add to this list? What’s the one piece of gear you can’t live without?

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Trisha is the founder & author of {EYB} Eat Your Beets, & a mother to 4 kiddos. She’s never said no to a fabulous pair of shoes.
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Got a New Camera, Now What? http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/new-camera/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/01/new-camera/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:48:44 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15635 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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Congratulations! You got your first DSLR.

It is such an exciting feeling and also can be very overwhelming. So many buttons, it’s so big, and there is SO much to learn.

I know I was overwhelmed when I got my camera because I wanted to take awesome pictures but I didn’t even know what to Google.

Let’s make this transition a little easier for you as you start your journey in photography.

NEW CAMERA | Now what? via Click it Up a Notch

1. You don’t have to read your manual from cover to cover.
I grew up being told I couldn’t even turn something on until I read the manual. I needed to know how to use it inside and out. If that is your personality then please don’t let me stop you. However, I have noticed with camera manual they are not giving your tips to improve your photos but instead letting you know how to do certain things on your camera. I keep my camera handy as I often reference it to figure out how to change a setting or see if it is capable of doing something. But if your goal is to improve your photos the answer is not in your manual.

2. Take it off Auto.
Yes, there are so many buttons and so much to learn but why have this nice camera if you are just going to use it on Auto. Personally, I think everyone should challenge themselves to two weeks of shooting on manual mode. Don’t do it when there is a major event like a birthday that can’t be recreated if you mess up the photos. Instead, take two weeks of your everyday and only shoot on manual mode.

3. Learn how to change your focal points.
This is where your camera manual comes into action. You want to be able to change your focal points so you can focus on what you want instead of having the camera tell you what will be in focus. Say you want a photo of just a baby’s feet. Then you need to set your focal point on their feet to get that nice blurred background. You can read more about changing your focal point here. I have even included a few videos but I can’t get my hands on all cameras so you may need to reference your manual.

4. Subscribe to my weekly emails.
Like I said, there is a ton of information out there. For me, I found the hardest things was not knowing what I don’t know. How can you look something up if you didn’t even know that option or technique existed. Simply sign up for our weekly emails and get a free ebook – 8 ways to improve your photography. Plus each Wednesday you get a short email with a photography tip or two delivered to your inbox.

5. Invest in a good lens.
Before you say, but I just spent all this money on a camera, and now you want me to buy a new lens, hear me out. Nine times out of ten most people start with the kit lens that came with their camera. This lens is fine to start with but you may soon realize you aren’t able to get the same look that you are seeing other people have. That is because most photographers don’t shoot with their kit lens. In fact, I highly suggest not even buying it and buying the body of the camera only. If and when you are ready, check out what I suggest you buy for your first lens. You really only need one good lens to start. I had my 50mm 1.8 for a year before I got another lens.

6. Take the camera with you.
If you are serious about capturing these moments of your life then you need to take the camera with you. That may mean taking it to the grocery store or beach. Either way, you can’t photograph the moment and learn to use your camera if you aren’t using it. However, before you take it out with you, I suggest you get it insured.

7. Set up a system for uploading your images.
If you are like me, you will be taking a lot of photos. Starting off with an organized system to upload and store your photos will help you down the road when you are looking for your images. Plus, it is extremely overwhelming when you realize you all your photos are all over the place. Start off with organized photos.

8. Learn to see the light.
One of the biggest factors that will make your photos look amazing is learning how to use light correctly. Turn off the overhead lights and open up the curtains. Using natural light will help with the coloring of your photo and give it the shadows you need to create dimension in your image. Check out all our past lighting tutorials.

9. Pick a photography project.
No matter how big or small, pick a photography project that will help you to learn more about photography. You can do it for 5 days or 365 days. Either way you will improve your images simply by using your camera more often. Read more about some of our photography project ideas. If you want a project that will help you learn a new photography tip each day while taking an everyday moment check out the 30 day challenge – The Unexpected Everyday.

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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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