Click it Up a Notch http://clickitupanotch.com Photography Tips: Basic Photography Tips Sat, 28 Feb 2015 19:02:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why and When You Should Outsource Photo Editing http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/outsource-photo-editing/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/outsource-photo-editing/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:54:58 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=16058 Author information
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Marissa Young
Owner and Creator at Forever Notes by Marissa Lynn
I'm a momma to 3 littles and a wife to one hunky guy :) I've combined my love of photography and keeping memories into the Forever Notes Journal, my 4th baby ;) join me on instagram to see snapshots of our life @marissa_lynn
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I’m sure you’ve heard it before, probably let yourself say the word once or twice but the idea that YOU should outsource photo editing, well that just seems crazy. I mean how could you be a photographer and outsource your work, is it even your work anymore???

I think the concept to outsource photo editing is one that is very hard for most photographers to tell themselves that it is the right choice, but I’m here to tell you, that at a certain point in your career, it most certainly is the right choice.

*This post contains affiliate links, thanks for supporting us!

Outsource photo editing via Click it Up a Notch

If you’ve ever read the E-Myth (and if you haven’t go pick it up now!) it talks about how the death of a business is when the technician is always in control, that you need the manager and entrepreneur to play equal roles. When you, the photographer spend all your time sitting at a computer editing your sessions, the technician is in control and consumes the time you could be doing management or entrepreneur work.

The time would be much better spent putting your face out in the public, booking more clients, shooting additional sessions, or collaborating with other members of your community. Your time has value, and there comes a point that you are actually holding your business back by doing that type of work. There will become a point when your time holds a much higher value than the cost of paying to have your edits done by somebody else, you will in fact be saving your business money!

So when is a good time to consider it?

outsource

4 things to consider if you outsource photo editing

1. You need to know your style. 
You need to have it nailed because if you’re going to be outsourcing that job, you need to be able to tell the company or person how to get the job done. And being able to describe your editing style is also something that you should feel comfortable doing and if you don’t know how to answer that, then take a step back and evaluate your work some.

2. Have your SOOC pretty consistent and streamlined. 
This goes along with the above. But I do think it’s worth mentioning, that it has been my experience, that even when you feel pretty good about your SOOC shots, once you start to outsource, I can almost promise you that they will get even better, consistent if you will. It just kind of happens that way.

3. Evaluate your time. 
This next piece is up to interpretation as each of our lives are filled very differently. But you need to evaluate how much of your time is consumed and if that’s at a level that you’re wanting it to be, maybe you’d like another hour per day to spend with your family. Have you run out of hours in your day?  It’s time to asses when the number of sessions is a) consistent and b) at a point where you have run out of time to ‘do-it-all.’

outsourcing

4. Maybe you don’t enjoy editing! 
Well this one may throw you off, but if you’ve got your style figured out and you’re rocking your SOOC; maybe you’re not a ‘professional’ maybe you’re shooting for YOU! But just like that other photographer, your time is precious and maybe, just maybe, you don’t enjoy the editing. Yes, I think even as a hobbyist, choosing to outsource is totally reasonable and ok!

outsourcing

Now do you need all four steps checked off the list to decide to outsource? Absolutely not. I think 1 & 2 are essential to make the switch but then I think you either fall in category 3 or 4, not necessarily both.

Outsourcing shouldn’t be a big scary word that you avoid, and it shouldn’t be something you take lightly either, but it is something that should make you happy. At the end of the day you should feel good about your choice, own it and start doing all those other things you could be doing with your time and business.

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Marissa Young
Owner and Creator at Forever Notes by Marissa Lynn
I'm a momma to 3 littles and a wife to one hunky guy :) I've combined my love of photography and keeping memories into the Forever Notes Journal, my 4th baby ;) join me on instagram to see snapshots of our life @marissa_lynn
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Mentor – Trisha Hughes http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/mentor-trisha-hughes/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/mentor-trisha-hughes/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:48:24 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=16094 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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As we get closer to releasing more information about the Ultimate Intro to Photography: The only beginner workshop you’ll ever need, I wanted to start introducing you to the mentors who will be helping with the workshop. These 5 fabulous ladies will be available to answer questions as well as give video critiques each week of your work. That means you get a personal video critique from me AND one of the mentors each week!

I’d love to introduce you to Trisha Hughes. Trisha and I first met in a hotel when we both moved to Okinawa, Japan 5 years ago. We became instant friends and have shared some amazing experiences together. If you remember my post on birth photography then you already know Trisha because that is her giving birth to her 4th child. She is the owner of Eat Your Beets which is a website to help you eat better and help you feel great on the inside and out. She is about to launch her first ebook on food photography which you will want to get your hands on as well. She is such a talented photographer!

Trisha Hughes of Eat Your Beets

1. Why did you start photography?
Initially I started because I wanted to take better pictures of my kids. Courtney & I had just met in Japan & she convinced me shooting with a DSLR wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it was. Knowing I had a friend who could basically hold my hand & teach me everything I needed to know sealed the deal to buy my first DSLR camera.

2. What were your early goals for your photography?
Honestly, I just wanted good pictures of my kids that I could hang in my home or give to our family. And I definitely wanted to be proficient at manual mode, custom white balance & my editing software.

Ulitmate Intro to Photography 3

3. What surprised you the most about photography?
That I was actually better at shooting food than I was my kids.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 1

4. Your most embarrassing photography related moment.
Probably when I started my blog, Eat Your Beets. I really had no idea what I was doing with food photography but I just started shooting & putting it out there. In my heart, I knew my images weren’t very good but I had to start somewhere. In hindsight it was the best thing because it totally pushed me to learn more & improve my skills.

5. Please show us a photo from the beginning of your journey and one now.
2013
Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.36.41 AM

2015
Ultimate Intro to Photography 6

6. What is your favorite picture right now?
First, because unfortunately, I rarely shoot my kids. Second, because don’t we all love pancakes like a 3 year old loves pancakes?
Ultimate Intro to Photography 7

7. What is your favorite part about photography?
I really get excited when my image comes out in camera the way I envisioned it in my mind. When I’m shooting food I’m constantly getting to create something new because it’s a new dish every single time. I love surprising myself, letting the food guide & influence the way I shoot & I truly feel like it’s a way I can create art for other people. I remember when I started taking myself seriously as a food photographer I explained it to my kids by telling them just like they would make a drawing or painting & give it to us, I was creating art to give to other people.

8. What one piece of advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out?
Keep learning. Keep shooting. Keep studying other people’s work. Don’t compare yourself to better photographers. Instead, embrace them. Find out what it is about their work that intrigues you & discover how that can inspire your own work.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 5

9. What was your biggest light bulb moment?
I’ve feel like I’ve had so many! I’m constantly seeing things finally click (no pun intended)! If I could pinpoint only one light bulb moment it would be when I finally realized how to manipulate natural light under any conditions. I don’t feel confined to using light in one singular way now. I know that I can use back lighting, dramatic lighting or full sun & still achieve a great shot.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 2

10. What other photographers inspire you?
I’m super inspired by Jenni Hulet of The Urban Poser.

Her use of natural light & her consistently beautiful images were a big inspiration to me when I first started. I remember thinking, if my images could look anything like Jenni’s I will have succeeded. I also love how she incorporates her whole family & you often see her sons & husband in her shots. She definitely pushed me to further investigate dramatic lighting.

Another huge inspiration for me is Sonali from Sugar et al.

Sonali has her personal photography style on lock down. I can spot one of her images from a mile away & every time I see one I say, Yep, that’s Sonali. Her images are like looking at a dream world. Everything is consistently gorgeous & her use of light + color blow me away every time.

11. What do you consider your biggest success as a photographer? Failure?
Biggest success? I think finally feeling confident enough in my own skills to be able to help other people learn more. I love the feeling of helping people get the shot they wanted or explain a concept they felt confused about. Writing my ebook, Eat Pretty Things, is honestly something I wanted to do for so long so I definitely consider that a success as well.

Failure? That’s honestly not a word I use. I don’t even consider something poor that comes out of my camera as a failure. Everything is a learning process & every shot I take is getting me closer to some goal. To me, learning isn’t failure. Bad shots, poor lighting, those aren’t even failures. They are simply tools I use to make myself better. The only actual ‘failure’ I can think of would be when I neglected to back up my hard drive & desktop. I dropped my external hard drive & lost over a year’s worth of images I’ll never be able to recover. That was certainly a failure but not reflective of my photography. It was reflective of my poor managerial skills.

Ultimate Intro to Photography 4

12. Favorite place you’ve ever lived or visited?
Hard to choose. I would make a top 5 list of England, Morocco, Prague, Ireland & Omaha. The first & last places I lived in, the middle 3 I just visited. Each hold a special place in my heart.

13. If you could go on a photography vacation and photograph anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Who’s paying for this vacation? Seriously, though, I’ve often regretted the fact I wasn’t into photography when I was younger & traveling the globe. I would pretty much go anywhere I could photograph people in their natural environment whether that be a market in Mauritius or a small homestead in Iowa. I love meeting the people who inhabit a place. They make up the best parts of the story.

Ultimate Intro to Photography

14. 3 words to describe you.
Funny, empathetic, intense.

beginner photography workshop

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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 Monica Henderson http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/met-monica-henderson/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/met-monica-henderson/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:00:49 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15980 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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1. Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
I’ve always enjoyed photography as a hobby, and am animal obsessed; I’ve worked in veterinary medicine for 16 years, and am also a certified dog training instructor at a local positive reinforcement facility. The human-animal bond is such a vital part of my job in veterinary medicine, as it is with helping people train their dogs. I’m also involved in animal rescue, and I quickly discovered that a quality photograph of an animal in rescue is key to getting them on the road to adoption. I began photographing rescue animals in 2012 and the business blossomed from there.

monicahenderson10
50mm | f/1.4 | 1/800 | ISO 500

2. What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Never compare yourself to others.

3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?
Animals, for sure, though I do like to photograph animals with their people to show the bond they share.

monicahenderson9
50mm | f/1.4 | 1/320 | ISO 200

4. Where do you find your inspiration?
In the stories my clients tell me about their relationship with their pets. In the light that we find for our shoots.

5. What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I’m self-taught. My background consists of lots of trial and error, many mistakes, hours upon hours of watching online tutorials, and reading forums, blogs and books relating to photography and digital editing.

monicahenderson8
50mm | f/1.4 | 1/1250 | ISO 400

6. Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
I am not, but I keep meaning to start a 52 Weeks project.

7. If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
Ooof, that’s a tough one. It’d either be my 50mm f/1.4 or my 105mm f/2.8. Don’t make me choose!

monicahenderson7
105mm | f/5.0 | 1/800 | ISO 400

8. Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
1. www.phlearn.com is a great resource
2. I looooooove www.creativeLive.com
3. Digital Photography School is another site that is on my list of favorites.

9. What is your favorite image right now?
This is my own dog, Kaia, a foster dog that I adopted (also known as a foster fail). She likes to come along and help me find new locations!
MSP2015 6

10. What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
My current body is a Nikon D7100 (crop sensor), and my trusty D90 is my backup. My lenses include a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4, a Nikon 105mm f/2.8 and a Nikon 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6. I am saving up for a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8!

monicahenderson6
50mm | f/4.0 | 1/200 | ISO 400

11. Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography in Boston, MA for pet photography, or Kathryn Arvanitis of Kathryn Arvanitis Photography in Charleston, SC.

12. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
That’s a toss-up between getting and keeping the animal’s attention, and getting them over their fear of my gear. The big black box makes funny noises and there’s a bright flashy light, too! EEEK RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

monicahenderson5
50mm | f/1.4 | 1/500 | ISO 100

13. How do you display your photos?
This is two of the walls in my living room. They are a constant work in progress.

DvmwA12H9YbgV7QTpZknD5uNYWs-ovCzatJ5rAKHP34qccTa36cBJBfraiLSiIdl9Q8PbhA-csW5GzBMHBA3t035D0I=s2048

14. What’s the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
A duck call. It works nicely to get a dog’s attention.

monicahenderson4
105mm | f/2.8 | 1/125 | ISO 100

15. What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I’d like to learn more about lighting, both indoor and outdoor.

monicahenderson3
105mm | f/5.0 | 1/250 | ISO 200

16. If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
www.MonkeySeePhotography.com
www.facebook.com/MonkeySeePhotography

monicahenderson2
50mm | f/2.2 | 1/1000 | ISO 200

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Photography Project – One subject, 30 days http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/photography-project-one-subject-30-days/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/photography-project-one-subject-30-days/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:00:24 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15927 Author information
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I'm a homeschooling mama to four, married to my college sweetheart. I'm a mostly-happy hobbyist photographer, retired from a client-based business for now. I love documenting our daily life, and I'm currently in my 5th year of a Project 365, Give me my mark3, a prime lens and a hazy afternoon and I'm one happy girl. When I'm not shooting, I love a cup of coffee (that hasn't been reheated 14 times) and curling up with a good book during nap time!
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It started with a shooting prompt, “Shoot the same thing for thirty consecutive days”. I had been documenting my oldest daughter’s love for her stuffed chicken for a few months on Instagram, complete with it’s own #thingschickenslove hashtag. Her favorite book series, Tilly and Friends by Polly Dunbar is built around a little girl and several animals that live together in a yellow house. The chicken “Pru” is my daughter’s favorite character, when I found her a stuffed chicken, it quickly became her “lovey”.  I had been documenting their adventures together, mostly with my iPhone for several months, she loved calling me in to see what Pru was “doing” or what she “loved”(which gave birth to the hashtag).

feetbook

 

When a group of photographer friends and I decided to take on a “shoot the same thing for 30 days” project,  some picked everyday household objects- their sunglasses, a coffee cup; I decided to make my project about my daughter’s chicken and all the things they loved to do together. The idea of shooting one object for a set period of time was supposed to inspire creativity, as you found new ways to see and shoot the same thing over and over.

So for a month, we took Chicken (Pru) everywhere, (well, we already were bringing her everywhere but this time I took her picture).  They went to the water park, grocery shopping,  played dress up and make believe. And I documented it all, every morning we sat and tried to think up things for her and Chicken to do, and it began to turn into so much more than a photo project. It turned into a great way to spend quality time with my little one  and a few days into the project she asked me if we could turn it into a “thingschickenslove” book.

soakedchicken

blog

 

 

So after the month of shooting nothing but Chicken, we kept it up, every so often she’d think of something she wanted to add to the book.

Chickens loved books about chickens (naturally).

blog

and chicken themed wardrobes.

chickdress

And Chickens loved Halloween for sure.

halloweenchick

 

It took several months until we had enough images for our book, but then I collected all the images and put them into a book for my daughter to read.

bookcloseup

pages

Not only did the project spark my creativity as I explored different lighting conditions (I practiced silhouettes for the cover and low-light night images several times)  but my daughter and I had a blast finding new things to shoot and she absolutely loves to pull the book out and read it (to Chicken of course). She still brings me Chicken occasionally and asks me to take a new picture for “the second book”. And I’ll gladly document this sweet time in her life with her beloved Chicken, if we get some great pictures that’s good, but if we create great memories- that’s the best.

chick1

You can keep up with the latest adventures of Chicken by following me on Instagram- @lizbehm and looking for #thingschickenslove!

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I'm a homeschooling mama to four, married to my college sweetheart. I'm a mostly-happy hobbyist photographer, retired from a client-based business for now. I love documenting our daily life, and I'm currently in my 5th year of a Project 365, Give me my mark3, a prime lens and a hazy afternoon and I'm one happy girl. When I'm not shooting, I love a cup of coffee (that hasn't been reheated 14 times) and curling up with a good book during nap time!
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Instagram: Tips and Printing Ideas http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/instagram-tips-printing-ideas/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/instagram-tips-printing-ideas/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 15:07:12 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15961 Author information
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This post was written by a guest poster for Click it Up a Notch. If you are interested in writing a guest post, please email me with your idea at clickitupanotch@gmail.com
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As a professional photographer, I am naturally drawn to Instagram as my social media of choice. I feel more connected there and find people in general have to be more deliberate about what they post because they need a photo to go with it. Plus, it inspires people to take more photos which is always a win in my book.

Because of my love for Instagram I thought I would share some of my top tips for using it in the best ways possible and getting the most out of the photos we post there.

First and foremost I think it’s important to consider WHY we post the photos we post on Instagram. Is it a daily diary? To show off to grandma or relatives? To inspire or uplift others? To connect? To do or promote good things? Everyday moments? A combination of some of these? There’s no right or wrong answer. I have a pretty strong “Why” when it comes to the things I post on my Instagram feed. And every photo I post on there has to fit with my “why” before it gets posted. When I know I want to post a photo on Instagram, I’m more thoughtful about the photos I’m taking and why I’m taking them.

Quick tips:
A few tips for taking better photos in general for your Instagram photos.
1. Find good, natural light. If possible, have your subject face the direction of the light source (window/door when inside).
2. Turn off your flash. I never shoot with my flash on.
3. Turn off any overhead lights when inside to avoid a yellow tint (from the light) to your photos.

Favorite App:
My favorite app for editing photos on my phone is PicTapGo. It allows you to layer filters to get just the look you want. That being said, in my opinion “less is more” when it comes to using filters. My goal to taking photos is always to get them looking as good as possible coming straight out of the camera to minimize editing time on the back end. But I often spruce them up a bit in PicTapGo. My favorite “recipe” is to use “Lights on” + “Contrast”. You can move the sliders on each filter to adjust how much of the filter to apply. Lightening up your photos just a bit can make a world of difference in their appearance.
pictapgo

I don’t ever use the native camera in Instagram. I take all my phone photos with the native phone camera. I then use PicTapGo to either crop them into a square, or share them as a full frame photo. If you take them in Instagram, you don’t get a full frame photo and are stuck with the square one. When I first started using Instagram I did this for several photos and was later disappointed when I wanted to use those photos for something else and didn’t want the square crop.

Print:
And of course my biggest tip is to take your photos one step further than just posting them on Instagram and PRINT them! However, don’t try to print photos straight from your IG account any bigger than about 5×5 or the resolution will be bad. Instagram compress’s the size of your photos to around 600 pixels by 600 pixels so if you try to print photos straight from the app, the resolution won’t be as good as printing them from their native source (ie the camera roll).

These are some of the ways I print my photos, ones I’ve used on Instagram and just in general:

3 different wall displays using square photos:
square display
square display 3
square display 2

You can also use Chatbooks to print off your Instagram account. The Chatbooks App syncs with your IG account and once you fill up 60 pages, they send you a new book. It’s a great way to keep a journal of what you post and because you “subscribe” you don’t have to remember to order more books as you share more photos. Plus, each book is only 6 bucks!
chatbooks

And, I LOVE the Project Life App to document our family story. It’s simple to use and you can do it anywhere, anytime from your phone. Once you create your layouts using the App, you can upload them straight from your phone for printing (I recommend Persnickety prints). I wrote more about it here.
project life app
project life album

Instagram can be a powerful tool to help us be more deliberate about the photos we take and to pay attention to how and why we take them. And if we print those photos, along with the others we take, it can be a great way to tell the story of our families.

Join us in the #projectprint challenge on Instagram. Print your photos and post a photo of it on Instagram using the #projectprint hashtag. Your photo could be featured here or on Clickin’ Moms website.

Read more Instagram tips:
iPhone photography tips and inspiration
Food photography: 7 tips for Instagram
iPhone photography: 7 essential tips
Lindsay Ross

Lindsay Ross – Guest Post
I am a writer and natural-light photographer from Lehi, UT. I spend my days keeping 4 little people alive, and my nights trying to save the world via the Internet. I am an avid reader and podcast listener and believe there is no such thing as too much time boating on the lake.
Blog | Instagram | Facebook

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This post was written by a guest poster for Click it Up a Notch. If you are interested in writing a guest post, please email me with your idea at clickitupanotch@gmail.com
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Have You Met Lana Tavolario? http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/met-lana-tavolario/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/met-lana-tavolario/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 15:42:20 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15956 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.
My name is Lana, I am 34 years old, living in Long Island, New York. I am a wife & mama to one beautiful & crazy little 3 year old boy, Jackson. I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t start my business until after my son was born. One of my friends just sorta forced me to make a Facebook page & everything just took off from there. Word of mouth is a very powerful thing!

misslalaphotography_02
24-70mm | f/3.2 | ISO 200 | 1/40

2. What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. This is so true in photography & in life. I really try not to compare my work with anyone else’s. I think that just puts a block up on anything I’m trying to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at other photographers’ photos, but I glance & move on. I know there are so many people better than me & it can get discouraging, so I try to take this advice. It only matters how far I’ve come from where I started.

misslalaphotography_grey
24-70mm | f.2.8 | ISO 320 | 1/100

3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?
My favorite thing to photograph of course is my son. I want to capture every second of him while he’s still little. I want to remember everything he does, the way our messy house looks, the craziness that is our lives.

misslalaphotography_10
35mm | f/2.4 | ISO 50 | 1/1250

4. Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration everywhere. TV, magazines, music, the internet, LIFE. I think everyone inspires me in different ways.

misslalaphotography_03
35mm | f/2.8 | ISO 160 | 1/750

5. What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I took a film photography class in college (when I went back to college at age 30). I learned about processing in the dark room and all that, but if you ask me to do that now I’d have to break out my notebook. I took some online classes but about 95% of what I learned is self taught. I’m constantly on the computer reading forums, watching youtube videos, googling any question I can think of. One of my favorite websites (besides Click it Up a Notch of course) is Creative Live. Free classes with tons of information. It’s amazing what we have at our fingertips.

misslalaphotography_06
24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 250 | 1/200

6. Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
This is the first time I’m doing a 365 project. You can see it if you follow me on Instagram. But I’ll admit, I’m doing it with my iPhone. It’s really just a project for myself, to capture at least one photo (mostly of my son) everyday for a year. Does it really matter if it’s from a cellphone? I have to say 90% of my photos of my son are taken with my phone. I mean, who has time to break out the camera? By then the moment is past.

7. If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
If I could only use one lens it would be a 50mm.

misslalaphotography_04
24-70mm | f/3.5 | ISO 500 | 1/125

8. Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
How to use Kelvin for White Balance – Click it Up a Notch
How to get sharp photos – Cole’s Classroom Because Hey! Who doesn’t want tact sharp photos!
Depth of field – Click it Up a Notch

9. What is your favorite image right now?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite image. But I’d say my number one is the black & white (see attached) of my son by the window. But it was taken with my phone. Does that matter? :)
misslalaphotography_favorite photo

10. What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
Right now my new camera is a nikon d700 24-70mm lens. I also shoot with my nikon d5100 and 35mm. And my iPhone of course.

misslalaphotography_07
35mm | f/2.4 | ISO 50 | 1/1250

11. Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
I definitely think you should check out Horse & Feather Photography. She was in one of my online classes & she has such stunning images on her Facebook page. Another photographer is Shannon Lustig Photography. Beautiful all around newborn & family sessions.

12. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
I think my biggest challenge with my business is constantly coming up with new ideas. I have a lot of returning clients for birthdays & holidays. How many different ways can you say Merry Christmas? No one wants the same photos over & over again. But no one ever tells you as a photographer you have to constantly keep coming up with new & creative ideas! Its draining sometimes (& expensive)

misslalaphotography_08
35mm | f/1.8 | ISO 125 | 1/640

13. How do you display your photos?
misslalaphotography_display photos_3
misslalaphotography_display photos_2
misslalaphotography_display photos

14. What’s the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
Strangest thing I carry is lollipops. You never know when you have to bribe someone.

15. What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I’m looking into offering prints to my clients. Right now I only offer digital but I’d like to offer gifts & prints.

misslalaphotography_09
35mm | f/2.4 | ISO 100 | 1/60

16. Show us what your workspace looks like.
It’s a mess & so is my son… So am I for that matter, that’s why I like to stay behind the camera.

misslalaphotography_workspace

17. If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
If you’d like to follow me, I’m always updating Facebook. This is where I mainly upload my sessions & everyday life. Or you can check out my website www.misslalaphotography.com

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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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5 Tips to Capture True Emotion http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/5-ways-to-capture-true-emotion/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/5-ways-to-capture-true-emotion/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 14:59:22 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15885 Author information
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I am a photographer from Salt Lake City, UT. I enjoy shooting food, travel, macro, and lifestyle portraits. I have been in and out of the photography business since 2005, juggling the demands of motherhood (four kiddos) with my love of photography. I feel it is a true gift to be able to express who I am and my everyday through my lens. I find much joy in learning and improving, and in helping others grow. I also love a good sweaty workout, shopping alone, house boating on Lake Powell, sauteed mushrooms, salty & sweet together, and un-interrupted afternoon naps! Looking forward to sharing my knowledge and learning with all of you this year! Website/Blog | Facebook My Camera bag: Nikon D700 | Nikon 85mm f/1.4G | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G | Nikon 35mm f/2D | Lensbaby Composer Pro| SB-910 Speedlight Flash
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In the spirit of Valentines this weekend I want to talk about how we can grow as photographers from capturing loved ones. It seems like a pretty simple concept, but lets dig deeper and discover how rewarding it can be!

I recently shot a session of a beautiful family who also happens to be my close friends. I left the experience feeling confident and fulfilled, both emotionally and artistically. I asked myself, “What made it more meaning-rich and rewarding than sessions I’ve done in the past? How can I bring that into the rest of my work?”

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

5 tips to capture true emotion

DSC_0289web

In my mind, the mark of a brilliant photographer is one who can create images that emphasize relationship and moment. When we photograph loved ones we have the advantage of experiencing both of these.

I’ve been doing some pondering lately. I spent an afternoon searching the Internet for the most well known photographers in history. I encourage you to do the same! As I studied their works I concluded that there was one common thread…the element of storytelling. Their images made me feel connected to the person or moment that was happening in the photograph.

There is a beautiful, endearing human being within each of us just longing to be seen by the world. Capturing our true selves and personal stories helps the viewer feel something deep and familiar, whether they know the person in the photograph or not.

So how do we capture that true, loving, genuine side of everyone that normally only loved ones show us? And what can we learn from shooting loved ones? Here’s some tips and insights that I want to share with you.

1. Provide the right location and atmosphere.

Normally when we photograph loved ones it’s in a location that is comfortable, familiar and safe. Choose locations such as homes, backyards, or favorite gathering places that help your subjects feel this way. Choose locations that offer privacy and an atmosphere that allows them to be silly, intimate and vulnerable.

Playing music in that safe place will add an even deeper level of comfort. I asked my friends what their favorite songs were before the shoot and played them during our time together. They danced and played as if I wasn’t present. The result was images that captured real moments and genuine expressions.

playtime

2. Repetition fosters creativity

Shooting our kids over and over gives us the opportunity to experiment with angles and lighting that captures the side of them that we truly love. And with no added pressure! Through trial and error with composition, light, and equipment we learn how to best draw those qualities out.

Look at the photographs you love of your kids. What is it about those photos that you love? Certain angles, dramatic light that defines their features? Are they looking away, or directly into the camera? Take notice what elements are present in your favorite images. This may also help you recognize your style.

I noticed some of my favorite portraits I’ve taken are of people looking down. There’s a certain element of vulnerability and beauty that I see with this perspective. I came to love that angle in general because of the way it made me feel in images of my kids.

evalina

I also noticed in my personal work that I tend to grab my camera when I see compositional lines. Remember those technical aspects and angles that are successful for you and integrate them into your work when shooting others. The more you practice with loved ones, the easier it will become to think creatively every time you shoot.

dani&baby

3. Learn what “photogenic” really means and study expressions.

Over the years as I’ve looked through my lens I’ve come to recognize the truth behind what actually makes a person photogenic. It’s not their physical appearance at all! It’s the inner light they emit when being their true selves.

A portrait of beautiful model looking blank, vacant and unnatural doesn’t necessarily render him/her as photogenic. I love this quote:

“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” — Paul Caponigro

I hear the phrase, “I’m not photogenic” a lot. As we shoot loved ones we aim to capture that little laugh they do, or that certain look that makes us fall in love with them. Understanding facial expressions is an important part of what we do as photographers.

a&j emotions

A little assignment to help you with this is to watch for unique expressions in loved ones’ faces during a simple conversation. You have the advantage of seeing them in a variety of ways because they are comfortable with you. Playful, silly, peaceful, annoyed, excited. Think to yourself as you are observing, at what point would I click the shutter?

We can apply this same practice when shooting non-loved ones. A few tips to bring out natural expressions:

  • Observe and pinpoint their mannerisms and natural expressions during conversation.
  • Come prepared with discussion topics to use as you are shooting.
  • Ask them about themselves; really get to know them and show genuine interest in who they are during the shoot.
  • Tell them ahead of shooting time that your goal is to capture the beautiful person within them. This prepares them to want to open up to you.
  • Open up about yourself as well. Let down your personal walls and they will let down theirs! You will be surprise to see that when you give of yourself, your client will too. As a result, your pictures will come to life!

4. Provide a memorable experience.

A challenge I face as a photographer is finding the balance between making emotive images vs. perfectly posed and smiling images. Especially because I know that posed images are generally more sellable.

Although the OCD side of me wants the posed, my artistic side knows that’s superficial. If we don’t take time to shoot the things/people that bring us joy, we can easily feel burnout and forget why we love photography in the first place!

Many people don’t like getting their pictures taken because it is a painful process of forced expressions and posing. Here’s a few things I’ve learned from shooting loved ones which can make your sessions a more enjoyable experience:

  • Invite couples and families to connect. Ask them to share personal stories, memories, hopes and desires with one another.
  • Use imaginative play or word games with kids.
  • Look for elements in the frame you can focus on to help tell their story.
  • Pose subjects in beautiful light first, then invite them to connect.
  • Be prepared ahead of time with topics and games. Bring prizes for the winners or use them as incentives for kids. Bribery works!
  • Prepare yourself and your client/subjects before the shoot to arrive free of any negativity or expectations.
  • As you view the images together, point out to your subjects why you love those soulful images and how they make you feel. Sometimes they just need to hear someone validate that it’s ok to let others see that side of them.

As I was shooting my daughter and her best friend the other day, I was asking them questions about their friendship and playing silly word games with them. When I felt I was done, my daughter said she wanted to keep playing! If your subjects are enjoying themselves, they will remember how they felt during the session and those images will be even more meaningful to them.

B&B

With this next shot I told the kids in secret to give their mom a big surprise squeeze on my cue. I had mom and dad posed in the back and the kids ran up to them and attacked mom with a hug. At the height of the moment when all were smiling and laughing I told them to look at me. It was one of my favorites from the session because it was a real moment.

snow hugging

For more ideas on questions you can ask during a session, check out Brennan Lanter’s wonderful post 30 Questions to Ask to Create an Experience in Your Family Sessions.

5. The difference a lens can make.

Shooting loved ones gives us a good opportunity to experiment with lenses and angles. You know what makes them look good, as you’ve most likely seen the many sides of them. You probably know what they are self conscious about…or what they are proud of. As you look through your lenses, notice how their features accentuate or become subtler depending on lens choice, angles, or depth of field.

For example, steer clear of standing too close to someone with a wide-angle lens. Certain features will appear unnaturally large! You can read more about distortion in my post Lens Distortion: What Every Photographer Should Know.

In an intimate setting where I am inviting emotion and real moments I prefer lenses such as my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 or Sigma 35 mm f/1.4, which allows me to stay near my subjects. Although it is important to give them some space during moments of personal connection, you want to be close enough that you can give them instructions easily when it looks like they are ready to move on.

letter

In this shot I had invited my friend Johnny to write his wife Ashley a surprise letter before the session. She got teary and excited as he read the letter and it was a very tender moment. I used my 24-70 lens, which allowed me to get a variety of different shots without having to move around too much, which could distract or take away from the moment.

At the end of this session, my friends thanked me for how I made them feel and remember why they loved each other. What a wonderful gift you can give people!

So get out there and capture your loved ones. You WILL become a better photographer and you WILL love what you do as a result!

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I am a photographer from Salt Lake City, UT. I enjoy shooting food, travel, macro, and lifestyle portraits. I have been in and out of the photography business since 2005, juggling the demands of motherhood (four kiddos) with my love of photography. I feel it is a true gift to be able to express who I am and my everyday through my lens. I find much joy in learning and improving, and in helping others grow. I also love a good sweaty workout, shopping alone, house boating on Lake Powell, sauteed mushrooms, salty & sweet together, and un-interrupted afternoon naps! Looking forward to sharing my knowledge and learning with all of you this year! Website/Blog | Facebook My Camera bag: Nikon D700 | Nikon 85mm f/1.4G | Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G | Nikon 35mm f/2D | Lensbaby Composer Pro| SB-910 Speedlight Flash
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How I made 3 photo books in 4 hours http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-photo-book/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-photo-book/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 16:22:14 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15882 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 am WAY behind on editing. Like embarrassingly behind. But I didn’t want that to stop me from printing images for my kids to enjoy.

Who doesn’t love giving their images as gifts?

This year, each one of my three children received an Artifact Uprising photo book with around 100 images featuring them throughout the year. Like I said, I’m behind on editing and don’t have all our pictures from the past year ready but I realized I could easily pull out some of my favorites for my kids.

The best part is I made all 3 albums in about 4 hours!

Let me show you how to make a photo book in no time at all.

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

How to make a photo book

1. Keyword Your Favorites
I pulled up my 2014 catalog in Lightroom and quickly scrolled through looking for my favorite images of my children through the year. I picked one image from an event if there were multiple I enjoyed. I then used the Keyword option to label which of my children were in the photo. You can find this feature on the lower right hand side of the Library Mode.

2. Create a Smart Collection for each kid.
After I found my favorites I set up a Smart Collection for each kid. This is super easy. Head over to “Collections”, right click, select “create smart collection”. Once in the settings choose “keyword” and the keyword you used for that collection.
Smart-collections-LR

Smart-Collections-Lightroom

3. Final edits
Once I had about 100 images for each of my kids in their Smart Collections, I went through and made any final edits.

4. Export for print
Export all the images for print and place them in one folder so they are easy to find.
export print Lightroom

Total time: 3 hours

Break this up. I did one kid per day which was about an hour a day.

Time to print!

I had seen Artifact Uprising at a couple of different conferences I went to. I loved that they are a small company, helping people print their photos and used recycled paper to do it.

Using their photo book system, I was able to upload the images from a single folder for a single kid. They have a variety of layout templates but not so many that they are overwhelming.

It didn’t take long to drop and drag the images into the book I wanted.

I opted not to add words as I wanted to not put too much pressure on myself since I knew it was better to get the book printed then let it hang over my head until I had time to add text to every images.

Total time: 1 hour

That is it! In 4 hours I had selected, designed, and uploaded 3 photo books.

Photobooks from Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising books

The best part is my kids LOVE the books! They were so excited to see these images they had seen on my computer now in their hands. They have the freedom to look at the books whenever they want.

What are you waiting for print your images!

DSC_1849

My friends at Clickin’ Moms and I are HUGE advocates for printing your images. We have teamed up to encourage you guys to print your images. Whether you make a photo book, single prints, or images for your walls, please just get those photos off your computer! If you decide to take on our #projectprint Instagram challenge, simple print your images and post them on Instagram. Use the hashtag #projectprint so we can see your work. Both Clickin’ Moms and I will be selecting some people and their images to showcase on our websites in May. I hope you join us in our attempt to get our images off the computer and into the hands of people who will enjoy them. I CAN NOT wait to see your images!

Don’t forget to follow @clickinmoms and @clickitupanotch on Instagram.

Project Print Instagram Challenge

Who is going to join in our #projectprint Instagram challenge?

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Have You Met Lisa J Deering http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/met-lisa-j-deering/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/met-lisa-j-deering/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 14:27:18 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15863 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 a wife, and a mother to two rambunctious, all boy, boys. I have a very small, natural light, photography business that I do here and there around my family schedule. We reside in Las Vegas, NV.

Like many others, my journey began when I was younger and really became pronounced when I had my first child in 2006. I wanted to capture every moment. I loved and valued my professional portrait experiences. I wanted that skill level of photographs to beautifully document everything of my own kiddos, but knew unless I learned it myself it couldn’t happen. I got a better camera, and practiced some, but was overwhelmed with the whole thing in addition to having new baby and a job to do. In 2009, right after my second son was born, I was given the opportunity to mentor with a lifestyle photographer for a short time. The timing was right and that hands on experience was all I needed to really launch me into the depths of learning and honing my skills.

lisa j photography-1
1/5000 | f/2.8 | ISO 320 | 28mm

2. What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Spend time taking pictures, lot’s of them. Look at them. See how they differ from images you aspire to take. Is the lighting different? Is it the depth of field? Is it how the camera is angled at the subject (shooting straight on vs shooting down). Study and try changing little things here and there to get closer to what you are trying to achieve. Don’t be afraid to practice on a still object such as a toy or stuffed animal.

lisa j photography-2
1/640 | f/2.8 | ISO 640 | 175mm

3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?
Of course my kids are my first favorite. However, because I only have boys, I do relish when I have sessions with beautiful little girls with flowing hair and cute outfits!

4. Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my desert location so different than many of the images that I love. So, often times it is really the light, make it magical. I do find it is more about the light shining through the hair, getting the big catch lights in the eyes, or using the shadows for a moody black and white.

lisa j photography-3
1/400 | f/2.0 | ISO 250 | 85mm

5. What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I had a mentor for a couple of months. She really helped me over the hump of learning the beast of a new “big” camera and just getting a general idea of shooting in manual mode. From there, I have been self taught along with a couple of in person workshops, many on-line classes and forums.

lisa j photography-4
1/50 | f/2.5 | ISO 2500 | 50mm

6. Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
I am not tied to any projects at this time. I am looking to get involved in shooting my everyday life with some sort of regularity and commitment. It’s on my to do list for sure. I did spend the month of January playing catch up and I did just finish up the overwhelming task of my 125 plus page family albums from 2013 & 2104.

lisa j photography-5
1/160 | f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 200mm

7. If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
That is a tough one. I would settle on my 85mm 1.8. It’s not too big and I can’t get enough of the bokeh!!!

8. Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
How to Use the Interval Timer with Your Camera – Because we were there too! Get in the picture!

Comparing Different Lenses – So good to view when you are shopping for your next little gem to play with.

Photoshop Headswap – A not so hard thing to do, but often necessary when you are shooting larger families.

lisa j photography-6
1/320 | f/2.8 | ISO 500 | 200mm

9. What is your favorite image right now?
I love this image of my youngest son, Carter. He is 5 1/2. Look at the intensity in his face! This image shows how little he is still, but how he is turning into a big boy doing tricks and such.

lisa j photography-7
1/1600 | f/2.8 | ISO 250 | 200mm

10. What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I have a Nikon D700. I have a 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 28-75mm 2.8, and my newest a baby a 70-200mm 2.8.

11. Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
I am loving the stunning portraits from Anja Photography. I am also very inspired by the fresh approach that Summer Murdock Photography has capturing images of her children and surroundings.

lisa j photography-8
1/4000 | f/2.8 | ISO 250 | 200mm

12. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
My biggest challenge has been that I am too much of a perfectionist with my pictures. Over the last few years I have really tried hard to learn how to make beautiful, perfect, images. I am comfortable with where I am at right now with that aspect. The problem is, life is messy, my boys are chaotic. I have had a hard time stepping back and taking pictures of our real life; they just weren’t pretty enough. I am working on that. I don’t want to miss documenting all of it…that is why I started it all to begin with.

lisa j photography-9
1/1000 | f/2.0 | ISO 250 | 85mm

13. How do you display your photos?
I take a lot of pictures of my family. I probably keep about 3000 a year include phone pictures. I try to print canvases at least every two years. I try to do a big family album every year (I love Blurb). And I do have a photo wall that I try to add or update occasionally. It really takes effort to get those images off the computer, but I always feel really good when I do, and smile often when I see them on the walls.

lisa j photography image display-2

lisa j photography image display-1

14. What’s the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
Baby wipes…you never know when some kiddo has dried nose crud or something they need cleaned off.

15. What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
SEO for my photography website.

lisa j photography-10
1/320 | f/2.0 | ISO 1600 | 50m

16. Show us what your workspace looks like.
We have many areas I could use (spare bedroom, nook area) but I like being able to work and be around my family or kiddos and yes – drive my husband crazy and show him every amazing image. It also allows me to pop in here and there and get editing done without being completely removed from the kids.

lisa j photography work area-1

17. If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
I would love to have you visit my website Lisa J Photography or my page on Facebook.

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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 use Backlighting for Food Photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/backlighting-food-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2015/02/backlighting-food-photography/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 15:38:07 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=15858 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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Backlighting is one of those beautiful lighting techniques that is so easy to achieve, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it before. All you really need are some good windows with some nice light, a reflector & the right angle!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch.

Place your subject with the window light behind it. The light should be spilling in enough that if you placed a reflective surface under the window you’d see a reflection.

Place yourself on the opposite side of the subject & get at a level where you can see the light on the back of your subject. Getting right about the same level as your subject will be a great place to start shooting.

Use a reflector to bounce the light back onto the front of the subject so the front isn’t shadowed. The reflector I’m using actually came from my table lamp.

Backlighting for Food PhotographyYou can see this image is perfectly fine, but it doesn’t have the glow of the backlighting because of the angle I was at. Backlighting for Food PhotographyIn this image I was low enough the back could really let that light shine in.

Backlighting for Food PhotographyHave you ever attempted backlighting in food photography? Was it easier than you originally thought?

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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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