Click it Up a Notch http://clickitupanotch.com Photography Tips: Basic Photography Tips Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:21:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Critique Me – Renee at Renee Wright Photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-renee-renee-wright-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-renee-renee-wright-photography/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:00:45 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14861 Author information
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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thank you to Renee at Renee Wright Photography for submitting the following image.
Settings: ISO 100 | SS 1/320 | f/1.8
Renee Wright Photography

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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 to Pack for a Photo Shoot http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/what-to-pack-photo-shoot/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/what-to-pack-photo-shoot/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:43:42 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14929 Author information
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What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

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From what to wear to what to pack in your camera bag, fully preparing for a photo session is really important. When I was a brand new photographer, packing my camera bag for a photo session was always an anxious process. I wanted to pack everything I owned and was always double or triple checking that everything was packed in its place. I didn’t want to forget anything and overpacking was always easier than not having enough gear. But one year and many photo sessions later, packing my bag is much more simple. I know exactly what I need to put in my camera bag. More importantly, I know exactly what I am going to use during my session versus what stays unused in my bag.

What to pack for a photo session via Click it Up a Notch

Today I am going to share what is in my camera bag. I might even share a secret or two that will help you when interacting with your clients from the moment you meet them to the moment you say goodbye. Since it’s fall, go pour something warm in your cup and grab a pencil and paper. Hopefully I will share something helpful and give you an idea or two.  Let’s start with what is in my bag.

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch
**You can find the camera strap here**

1. My camera + lenses
I know what you are thinking. You are probably thinking I am crazy for even reminding you to pack your camera and lenses. But bringing the appropriate lenses to a photo session is so important. Not all lenses are created equal. This is where I tend to overpack sometimes. But, if I am being honest, I allow myself to overpack lenses because there is nothing worse than wishing you had a certain lens that would make your shot look that much better. So what are my go-to lenses?

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 
I am just going to be completely truthful and admit that this lens usually stays on my camera throughout the entire session. The low aperture of this lens helps me to achieve a bokeh that I swoon over. More importantly, I find that it works for all types of photography sessions that I provide by simply adjusting the f stop.

Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 
I always tuck this lens in my bag for “just in case moments.”  Remember when I mentioned that I allow myself to overpack lenses?  Well, this is one of those times.  We all need a little peace of mind when we head to a session, right!?  Having a backup lens in my camera bag simply makes me relax.  This lens is also the only lens in my bag that has zooming capability, so I love carrying it just in case I need a zoom option.

Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet 35 
It has to be said that this lens requires a little practice!  Well, actually, a lot of practice!  It’s a tricky one but, once you figure it out, the Sweet 35 can help to create very dreamy photographs.  I like to include this in my bag and bring it out when I am photographing adults, products, or landscapes.  In other words, I only use this lens on stationary objects.  On subjects that stay still long enough for me to nail my focus and *{click}!  Someday I will be brave enough to put it on my camera during a child session.  But, for now, those little ones are just too quick for me and this lens!

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

2. Lens pen
Even though I clean my gear and lenses the night before each session, I always pack my lens pen for little touch ups throughout the session. But here is where I have a little secret. I love to invite my younger clients to help touch up my lenses before I start the session. {Of course, I hold my camera, supervise them, and kindly remind them to be very gentle.} They always get such a kick out of it! I teach them how to use the little brush to wipe away any dust they may see and tell them that it is their job throughout the entire session to make sure my lens is clean.  I call them my little assistant and their smiles just beam!

This really helps when they look away from the camera because I can quickly say, “Hey kiddo, is my lens still clean!? You are my special assistant!” Then they look into the camera and *{click}, I got the shot! It makes the little kids feel important to have such a special job! Plus, it is much smaller and easier to bring than stuffed animals or toys.  And I need it anyways, just in case I need to touch up my lens!

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

3. Contract clipboard
While I do email my contract to clients for them to sign and bring to their session, I always carry a copy with me just in case they don’t bring theirs. Let’s be honest here, sometimes getting all the kids dressed and in a good mood on session day is hectic enough and that darn contract sometimes gets left on the kitchen counter. No worries, I always carry a backup + a pen!  Plus, I always like to skim the contract together to make sure my clients are aware of all my policies.  And it has to be said that the mini clipboard is a lifesaver!

4. Extra camera batteries + memory cards 
Just in case!  Tossing extra batteries in my bag just takes away any worry that my battery might run low or, *{gasp}, run completely out.  The majority of my sessions rarely go over an hour so I usually only use one battery…but, things can always happen! They are small and take up no room at all, so just pack them!

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

5. Business Cards
By the time you snap that final photo of the session, clients are really excited and anxious to see how their photos turn out. To make it easy for clients to understand how they can find their photos in the coming weeks, I love to hand out business cards. It is a quick and easy way for me to tell my clients:
“In a couple days you will see a sneak peak of your collection on my Facebook page and, once all of your photos are fully edited, visit my website to see the rest of your photos featured in a blog post.”

And that is it! That’s everything that you will find in my camera bag! But before you go, let’s talk about what you will find me wearing on the day of a session.  We all know you can’t just put on any color and take pictures.

What to pack for a photo shoot via Click it Up a Notch

If you peek into my closet, you will find a lot of shades of oatmeal, gray, and white. For me, these are the only colors that I wear to a session because they are soft shades that do not reflect on the client’s skin or in the client’s eyes.  When I was first starting out, I was told that staying away from bright colors is really important because it helps to avoid creating color reflections on the skin that are unnatural.  Ever since then, I’ve taken this helpful advice!

It’s also really important to feel comfortable during the session. During a typical photo session, you can find me standing on things, kneeling down and laying on the ground to get a particular shot from a certain angle. Because of this, I find that a nice pair of dark skinny jeans are the most comfortable and I stay away from skirts and dresses. It’s important to me that my clothes don’t restrict my movement and allow me to climb high, lay low, and easily run after my younger clients.

Let’s talk about jewelry real quick. I love a nice statement necklace. Especially when wearing a neutral top and some skinny jeans, a necklace can dress up an outfit nicely to keep you looking professional. Plus, jewelry is simply fun!   As I said before, it’s important to stay away from bright colors but also it’s important to stay away from sparkly jewelry. During one of my earlier sessions, I made the mistake of wearing a sparkly watch. I wanted to keep track of time and didn’t think for a second that sparkles would do any harm. Oh, I was wrong! When I got home and imported my session, I gasped! I saw sparkly reflections all over the faces of my clients from the reflection of my watch! It was as if all of my clients had sparkling freckles! Let’s just say that it was an editing nightmare and I learned my lesson. Now I just slip my watch or my phone in my pocket or camera bag.

So there you have it. Everything from what to wear to what to bring in your camera bag to your next session. Even if you aren’t in business and you simply love taking photos of your little ones, try these tips out when you go on your next photography adventure. Now go create some beautiful memories with your cameras!

biopicBeth Deschamp of {beth} a-dilly photography – Guest Post
This curly haired blonde and blue-eyed girl is most content when she is making memories with her little family. Starbucks iced soy chai, paperback books, Instagram, almond vanilla cupcakes, blogging, a glass of bold red wine and snuggling a puppy in her lap are just a few of her favorite things. Her favorite thing about being a photographer is being able to portray the beauty of ordinary things in everyday life. Becoming a photographer has helped her to see the beauty in the little things, and that is a life lesson she will always be grateful for.
Instagram | Facebook | Blog | Website | Pinterest

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Food Photography: 7 Tips for Instagram http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/food-photography-7-tips-instagram/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/food-photography-7-tips-instagram/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 12:00:58 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14866 Author information
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Trisha is the founder & author of {EYB} Eat Your Beets, a mother to 4 kiddos & an Air Force wife. She’s never said no to a fabulous pair of shoes.
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Food photography - 7 tips for Instagram via Click it Up a Notch

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A quick glance through my Instagram feed & it’s not hard to decipher what I’m all about. Food, kiddos, cute shoes & food. When I first started snapping pics of food on my feed, they really weren’t anything special. It wasn’t until I started applying the same principles to iPhoneography that I used in shooting food with my DSLR, that people really started to take notice of what I was snapping. By working to create an inspirational foodie feed, I’ve been able to grow, make connections & push myself further & further with creativity. Every day I get to create a tiny image of beautiful food that people can come back to view again & again. I’m going to share some of the secrets & tricks I’ve learned along the way to help you create beautiful food Instagram feed! All images shown here were taken with my iPhone 5.

Food photography: 7 tips for Instagram

1. Look for natural light
Too often, when we’re snapping food with our phones, we forget one of the most important factors in getting a great image – light! Turn off those harsh, overhead, indoor lights. This will help keep your shots from looking flat or having unappetizing color casts. Try & find your best source of natural light in your house. I typically snap all my food shots on the floor of my eat in kitchen area where I have 4 windows & curtains to help adjust my light. I set up my shot just outside of the bright light that spills in. I want the light to be in my shot but not so harsh it gets blown out.

Food Photograph - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch
I don’t take many food pics when I’m at a restaurant, mainly because it can be disruptive to other people & I’m too busy wrangling 4 children anyway. If you happen to be at a restaurant & feel comfortable, try & find a good window seat. Sitting next to a big, bright window will help keep your image well lit but too often restaurants also have yellowish overhead lights above each table. In this shot, we were the only people at the ice cream shop so I used one hand to cover the light bulb that was hanging directly over our table & the other hand to snap the shot. You can still see a slightly yellow color cast next to my coffee, but I only took one shot & my hand was able to cover most of the bulb.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

2. Use a reflector
If you’d use a reflector in dlsr photography, why not in iPhoneography! You don’t even need to buy a real reflector if you’re not sure you’ll use it. I use an inexpensive piece of foam board I got from a craft store! After finding the best spot of natural light to set up my shot, I get out my reflectors.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

By moving my reflector board around I can bounce the window light into the shadows in my frame. Sometimes I’ll even use two reflectors if my props start to create unwanted shadows. I also keep an inexpensive, sheer curtain panel handy to help diffuse the outdoor light.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

3. Take time to compose a shot
It might surprise you but I do actually take the time to set up each of my food shots. Sometimes it’s as simple as using a single item thoughtfully, like my son’s half eaten cookie.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a NotchOther times it’s a full blown food styling session complete with props, linens & fancy plates.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a NotchEither way, it’s important to take the time to compose each shot instead of just snapping your morning cereal straight on, in your bowl. Use ideas like the rule of thirds or leading lines to serve as inspiration.

4. Tell a story
This is my favorite thing about food styling. I love telling stories with my food shots. Sometimes it’s setting the scene for my 4 year old’s birthday breakfast. Every meal in our house is crazy & chaotic – we have 4 kids! I wanted to convey both the celebration & the messiness of our meals – every meal with little kids, really. Also, the birthday boy has a serious dino obsession so no image of his morning was going to happen without a dinosaur or two.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

This story is about showing how we eat on a road trip. When we travel it’s easier to hit the rest stops for snacks & running off steam. I love that my youngest son is sitting on the table – the only way he could compete with getting any food next to my older kids. Also, even though most of our food has to be packaged on the road, we still make an attempt to eat as healthy as possible.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch
Even just giving a sneak peak into how we cook when we’re camping tells a story. Fresh fish on the charcoal fire pit, sweet potatoes wrapped in foil, green grass & of course, my Birkies. Story telling is a great way to connect with your audience as well as pull them into each photo so they want to know more!

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

5. Do something unusual
This is where you get to step outside of showing your bacon & eggs every morning for breakfast. Do something creative & unusual that you might not think of initially. Using a condiment? Write out a message in mustard.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

For the 4th of July I hadn’t made any festive desserts or red, white & blue anything that day but knowing I wanted to post something I just lined up some fresh cherries into a 4!

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

Another time this worked great for me was when I didn’t have any ingredients to make frosting for my daughter’s birthday cake so instead I just cut up some fresh fruit & it created this beautiful image on the cake.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

6. Don’t be afraid of shadows
I started the post talking about natural light & trying to get the best light possible, but I don’t want to encourage you to shy away from the shadows either! You may be surprised to see how using shadows & the right apps to edit your pictures, you can create a contrasted image quite easily.

When working with split lighting, decide where you’d like your phone to ‘meter’ off of. Yes, your phone can actually meter off light in the image! By tapping any section of the image on your screen you’ll see the image adjust to whatever light you touched. Want to add more light to your image? Tap the darkest shadows on your screen. Want to get more shadow? Tap the brightest light. Don’t just stop there though. You can adjust your light levels by tapping any section of the image on the screen. If I’m shooting something where I want contrast lighting I will usually take 2 images. One bright & one much darker. Then I edit the best one in an app. It’s very easy to add light back into an image but it’s much harder to bring something back from being blown out or over exposed.
Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

7. Use the right apps
The thing I love about Instagram is that your food doesn’t have to look the same way it does when you’re shooting with a DSLR. It naturally won’t be as sharp & your white balance won’t be perfect but there are some apps that have great filters that can help you come close. The biggest concern when choosing the right filter is you don’t want to pick one that’s tinted that will make your food look pink, blue or purple. I also like to use multiple apps to get just the right look. I know, it’s fussy, but once you get used to the filters you love, it’s easy!

I typically use Snapseed first. Once I’m in there I can adjust my brightness, contrast & temperature. I also can rotate my image or correct the horizon. Once I’m done there, I’ll open Afterlight & choose a couple of my favorite filters to layer. I really like the ‘relic’ & ‘russ’ filters.

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

Food Photography - tips for Instagram - Click It Up a Notch

Read more food photography tips:

10 tips to stage food
Food photography: Behind-the-scenes
Tips and tricks for food photography – Part 1
Tips and tricks for food photography – Part 2

Do you love snapping food with your phone? Leave a comment with your best tip below.

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Trisha is the founder & author of {EYB} Eat Your Beets, a mother to 4 kiddos & an Air Force wife. She’s never said no to a fabulous pair of shoes.
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Critique Me – Brad at Monnerjahn Photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-brad-monnerjahn-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-brad-monnerjahn-photography/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:00:25 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14857 Author information
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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thanks to Brad at Monnerjahn Photography for submitting the following image.
Settings: ISO 400 | SS 1/100 | f/5
bradmonnerjahncritiqueme

**If you are interested in having one of your images submitted in the Critique Me Series, make sure you are signed up for our weekly updates as they get first chance to sign up.

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#1 Tip for Completing a Project 365 http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/5-tips-for-a-project-365/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/5-tips-for-a-project-365/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:50:06 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14843 Author information
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Have you ever thought of doing a Project 365 but been overwhelmed at the idea of taking a photo every single day for a year?

It seemed like a daunting task to me, so I wanted to find out what it was that keeps all those Project 365ers going day after day, the struggles they come up against, the rewards they find in it, and especially the advice they have for getting through all 365 days. So I asked them.

The most common theme I heard about completing a Project 365?

Give yourself some grace.

Here’s 5 helpful tips to keep your photography challenge stress-free:

1. Forget Perfectionism
Perfection keeps us from enjoying some of even our best accomplishments. Instead of asking yourself if it’s perfect, ask yourself: Does it capture the moment I wanted it to? Is it part of the story I’m wanting to tell with my 365? Does it capture my skill level today so that in a few months I can look back and celebrate how much I’ve improved? If the answer to any of those is “Yes!” then give yourself some grace to call today’s photograph good enough. It’s probably better than you think it is anyways.

Erin says:
“Let perfectionism go…So what if your editing or focusing is off? In the end, you’re going to have a collection of an amazing year of images. If you give up because you couldn’t get a perfect shot, you’ll kick yourself.”
5 tips for a Project 365 via Click it Up a Notch

Photo by Erin

2. Don’t worry when life gets in the way
A missed day isn’t failure. It’s just life. Sick kids and busy days at work might keep you from picking up your camera one day. But tomorrow’s a brand new day with brand new moments to capture. It’s okay to give yourself grace to just grab the camera again and pick up where you left off.

Here’s Tracy’s best piece of advice:
“Don’t give up. Even if you have setbacks, or you miss a day or two, or you get so busy it takes you three weeks to get your photos uploaded/edited, just keep at it! There are days where life just gets busy, but I make sure that I take an extra photo (or two!) the next day to catch up…”
5 tips for a Project 365 via Click it Up a Notch

Photo by Tracy

3. It’s okay to feel boring sometimes
Don’t worry if the number of pictures you need to take seems overwhelmingly bigger than the number of exciting things you have to photograph. A lot of our days are filled with coffee refills, cluttered floors, making lunches, and hundreds of other ordinary things. But it’s okay. In the long run, these are probably the moments you’ll want to remember anyways. When we pick up the camera to capture one of those “ordinary” moments we’re reminding ourselves that it’s a moment worth valuing. So embrace the ordinary and start shooting.

Here’s what Kristin does:
“Some days you just feel really uninspired. Especially if you’re like me and both furry and human kid free, you’ve probably exhausted your photograph-worthy subjects the first month. For me to push past that, I just set aside 15 minutes everyday to shoot and give myself a skill to work on. So I’ll read a ‘Click It Up a Notch’ article and then shoot for 15 minutes even if I don’t like my subject. Usually after those 15 minutes I WANT to keep shooting to nail my skill for that day… These photos may not be Pinterest-worthy but you’ve challenged yourself to create an image out of the everyday and made it extraordinary.”
5 tips for a Project 365 via Click it Up a Notch

Photo by Kristin

4. Remember your “Why”
Everybody has a different motivation for their 365, and it’s important to remember yours every time you pick up your camera or hit the upload button to share your pictures.

Ashley’s motivation is to capture her kids’ childhood. She says:

“I really think a 365 is an amazing project not just for improving photography, but also for documenting my boys’ childhood. The pictures I have of them are some of my most prized possessions.”
5 tips for a Project 365 via Click it Up a Notch

Photo by Ashley

Jessica has a different motivator for her 365. She says:
“I wanted to master my camera, learn different lighting situations, and develop my artistic eye as a photographer.”

5 tips for a Project 365 via Click it Up a Notch

Photo by Jessica

Whatever it was in you that motivated the click of your shutter on Day 1 of your project, keep it in mind on Days 82 and 196 and 365. It will be much easier to have grace with yourself if you remember your own “why” and let it remind you each day that you’re succeeding in what you set out to do.

5. Celebrate your progress
Almost everyone we heard from mentioned how fun it was to look back and see your progress. But the biggest thing that will keep you from celebrating your own growth is comparison to other photographers. Instead of comparing today’s photo to someone else’s, compare it to the one you took on Day 1… and celebrate how far you’ve come!

Here’s Sheryl’s advice:

“Don’t be discouraged on days you … look at other blogs and say, ‘UGH, why don’t my pictures look like that!’ which was a big thing for me the last month or so, but I got over it by not trying to compare and just remembering why I love photography, which is to capture those little moments of my kids and details that might be overlooked.”
5 tips for a Project 365 via Click it Up a Notch

Photo by Sheryl

The story you’re telling with your Project 365 has never been told before. Give yourself all the grace you need to pick up your camera and tell it!

Read more tips for a Project 365:
How to start a photography blog
11 tips for completely a Project 365
Tips to make your Project 365 a success

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Sarah Kopke Bio PicSarah Kopke – Guest writer
I’m a mama to a beautiful baby girl and I love celebration, good stories, and coffee dates. My husband and I are the creators of The Albums, a clutter-free & stress-free home for your favorite photos (including your Project 365). Join us on Instagram for a daily photo prompt and reminder to capture the good in every day.

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3 Tips for Photographing Your Kids Together http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/3-tips-photographing-kids-together/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/3-tips-photographing-kids-together/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:16:45 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14826 Author information
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Melissa Noste - Contributor
My photography started 10 years ago in high school with film and the darkroom. Through the years I’ve studied, taken classes, and upgraded cameras and lens. Photography has become my biggest passion, outside of my family of course. My beautiful baby girl pushed me to learn more when she was born in 2010 so I could capture her growing up. | More Posts | Website | Facebook My Camera Bag: Nikon D700 | 50mm f/1.4G
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Do you struggle with photographing your kids together? I think we all do. Follow these 3 simple tips to snag an image of your kiddos in the same shot.

1. Start with the more willing subjects. A majority of the time when I photograph families there is one child who is more willing to take the photo and my kids are no different. My little man is such a ham and will sit for me and smile away. So I set up my blanket, choose my angle and meter all with just him in the frame to get ready.
Connor

2. Always bring another set of hands. Since my daughter is the one who does not like getting her photo taken, she tends to not want to be around during the set up process. I can’t be in two places so I always bring my husband with me. That way when I am prepping he is tending to her and I can focus on what needs to be done before I bring her into the frame. He is also great at fixing things for me and moving the kiddos around.
HelperWEB

3. Shoot fast and know your time is limited. I know this common sense but I really have to remind myself when I photograph my own kids. You know the saying kids behave better for others? Well my kids are the hardest subjects I photograph when I’m trying to get that one posed shot. So I go into it ready to hold that shutter down and know that within minutes they are done and I need to be done as well.
Siblings

Every time I have set up a shoot for my children and remind myself of these three tips, I have always come out with a frame worthy picture. Hope this helps and if you have any other tips that have helped when photographing your own children I’d love if you’d share in the comments below!

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Melissa Noste - Contributor
My photography started 10 years ago in high school with film and the darkroom. Through the years I’ve studied, taken classes, and upgraded cameras and lens. Photography has become my biggest passion, outside of my family of course. My beautiful baby girl pushed me to learn more when she was born in 2010 so I could capture her growing up. | More Posts | Website | Facebook My Camera Bag: Nikon D700 | 50mm f/1.4G
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Critique Me – Jocey of Jocey Marie Photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-jocey-jocey-marie-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-jocey-jocey-marie-photography/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:31:36 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14837 Author information
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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thanks to Jocey of Jocey Marie Photography for submitting the following information.
Settings: ISO 200 | SS 1/125 | f/3.2
jocey marie photography

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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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Focus Stacking: The secret to increased depth of field in macro photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/focus-stacking-macro-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/focus-stacking-macro-photography/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:00:12 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14792 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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Have you ever seen a macro shot of an insect or flower and wondered how they got the entire subject in focus? In macro photography, you shoot at a close distance, which results in a very shallow depth of field. Even if the lens is closed down to its smallest aperture such as f/22, it is difficult to achieve focus on the entire subject, foreground to background. Typically only a single plane of focus will look sharp.

For example, notice the single plane of focus in this image, taken with my Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. Looking closely, the parts of the leaves in front of and behind the plane of focus is blurred.

_IMG4901

So in order to achieve a greater depth of field, with sharp focus on all planes, there’s a little trick you can do in Photoshop called focus stacking. In a nutshell, you take several images of your subject, each with different areas in focus, then merge them all together in post processing. The result is one image that is perfectly focused, front to back!

 SETTING UP YOUR SHOT

-Use a tripod so that each shot is in the same position.

-Choose a subject that is not moving.

-Shoot in manual mode so your settings don’t automatically change from image to image.

-Keep your tripod steady and try not to move your camera up or down as you change the focus points.

-Shoot in high resolution and in raw for the best clarity.

TAKING THE SHOT

-Use the same camera settings for the entire series of images you take.

-Manually focus for full control.

-Compose wide with extra room on the sides for cropping. There will be some overlapping on the edges after the images are stacked. Allow room to crop those rough edges out.

-I recommend using live view on the back of your camera rather than looking through the eyepiece for a larger view of what’s in focus.

-Start with one area in focus and click the shutter.

-For your next shot, move your focus point so it falls on a different area.

-Overlap areas of focus slightly to ensure that nothing gets missed.

-I recommend starting near the edges with your focusing, then work your way across the frame.

-Take as many shots as you need in order to get all the areas of the image you want in focus.

Notice in this set of images I changed my areas of focus in each image, but kept the same angles and alignment. Remember, when you place a focus point on a part of your subject, it will focus not only that point, but everything within the same plane.

focus plane1focus plane2focus plane3

POST-PROCESSING/MERGING YOUR IMAGES

-Import your images into Lightroom or Photoshop. If you need to make any adjustments to a single image, make sure you apply those same changes to all the images so they will merge more smoothly.

-If you are using Lightroom, export your images into their own folder once you have made adjustments.

-Create a new file in Photoshop with each image on its own layer. Do this by choosing File>Automate>Photomerge.

-Next, click the browse button and locate your images in your folder. Select the images you want to use then click Open.

-Leave layout on “auto” and unselect the three options on the bottom. Click OK.

screen shot blend

-This will put all your images in one file on separate layers.

-Next, select all your layers in your layers palette and go to Edit>Auto Blend Layers.

-Select Stack Images and Seamless Tones and Colors.

-This may take several minutes to complete, depending on how many images you are using.

screenshot select layers

And voila! What you have is a blended image that is perfectly in focus with an increased depth of field! You will notice the edges may be a little rough. Flatten the layers then crop the rough edges out.

For my final image I edited out the tie on the stem and cropped to a square.

Orchid stacked crop

The more you play around with this image technique, the better you will get! This knowledge will come in handy not only for macro work, but for landscapes when you want to achieve a sharper depth of field in the foreground as well as the background.

Let me know if you have any questions! Link me up to your images if you try this out. I would love to see them!

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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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Critique Me – Tammy at T Benton Photography http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-tammy-t-benton-photography/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-tammy-t-benton-photography/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:10:11 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14817 Author information
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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thank you to Tammy at T Benton Photography for submitting the following image.
Settings: ISO 200 | f/2.8 | ss 1/1250
TBenton Photography

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Critique Me – Anna Kirkpatrick http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-anna-kirkpatrick/ http://clickitupanotch.com/2014/09/critique-anna-kirkpatrick/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:25:09 +0000 http://clickitupanotch.com/?p=14778 Author information
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I combined my passion of teaching and photography to create this website. I invite you to take this 30 day challenge - The Unexpected Everyday
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Remember:
-Read How to Critique a Photo
-Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive
-My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment
-This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique.
-If you would like to have an image critiqued be sure to read How to submit an image for critique.

Thank you to Anna Kirkpatrick for submitting the following image.
Settings: SS 1/100 | f/1.8 | ISO 100
Anna Kirkpatrick

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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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