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Friday, November 23, 2012

5 days of Thankful: Day 5

Today, last but not least... in fact probally at the TOP of my list. 


My heart really goes out to all of those underpaid, retail managers, and employees who have to deal with crazy people at midnight, and can't even enjoy their wine at Thanksgiving any more because they have to go to WORK!

I remember having to work from 4am to 11pm ( or later ) many times in studios, labs and retail photography stores, salaried so no overtime, being the person everyone yelled at when something wasn't right, and oh yea lets not forget mandatory 7 day work weeks... 

I learned a lot then.

Mostly, I learned that I don't care how good the deal is, how much I want something, or how much my family is driving me crazy, there is absolutely no reason to go out Thanksgiving Day, or Black Friday for ANYTHING... EVER.

Except maybe more wine.

So I am super thankful that I get to sleep in.
I get to spend time with my family.
I get to have thanksgiving leftovers and not cold pizza for lunch (if I got lunch)
and I am REALLY thankful that my business gives me the ability to unplug, and enjoy.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Holiday Photo Contest!

How would you like to win a prize, just for having a cute/ crazy family!?! 
Welcome to my Holiday Portrait Contest!!

At the end of my Thoughtful Photo series, which was designed to give you great tips on taking the best holiday photos! I hinted at a possible contest where YOU could submit your family images for a chance to WIN a little holiday prize!

This is your chance! How do you enter!? It's simple!

1. Read over my Thoughtful Photo Series for photography tips and tricks
2. Take a family portrait. This can be your pet, your whole family, or your kid.
3. Email me the image at vertephoto AT gmail DOT com
4. Type: HOLIDAY2012 in the subject line, and tell me how my 10 days of holiday photo tips helped you, and/or what else you would like to know before Christmas. 

One image submission per family please
YOU must be the SOLE owner of the image (do not submit images done by a photographer that wasn't YOU, even if you have the digital file)
Please no "PRO" submissions.
Judges decision is final.
Submissions open until November 30th! Winner will be announced Dec 3rd.

What will you win?
How about a....
Custom Designed Holiday Photo Card 
PLUS a $10 Target Gift Card
PLUS a Phone Charm from Crafty Gal Creations

Entries will be judged based on...
Use of photographic technique
Exposure balance / Technical difficulty
and overall "feeling"or "story" of the image

Entries will be judged by guest judges (and not just myself!) TBA

So strap on those camera's and get on your thinking caps! I am really looking forward to seeing some fun and creative ideas!

5 days of Thankful: Day 4

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Today I am thankful that my Eco-Friendly business gives me a reason to buy extra wine! No holiday of mine is really complete without it, and it is the only way to survive some holidays! Since I can claim the need for "new props" and reuse the corks and bottles for work... I am doubly thankful that my holiday, and job include many empty bottles :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Sweet Giveaway

Our lovley sponsor and my client Kim at Sweetsie's is hosting a giveaway! I was super excited to offer a very timely product for her to giveaway and I wanted to be sure each of you saw that you had a chance to win a little something from me... and a VERY big something from her! Oh yea... and some other great prizes from many other wonderful ladies! So here is the info and the links!

Thanks again Kim for offering this great opportunity for a lucky viewer! 

 <<Kim's post>>
Hello Everyone!  I have reached 100 followers and I'm so blessed and so very excited!  I've gained a few more since then!  Thank you, thank you!

So in honor of gaining enough followers and out of appreciation I, and a few of my good bloggy friends, have put together a little Give-A-Way!

Please join us and may the luckiest person win!

One winner takes all!!!

First of all, I will be giving away a {Sweetsie}Sampler!  Wait, not just one, but two!  One for you and one delivered to your friend or just keep both for yourself!!

Who doesn't love those personalized holiday cards?  Well, this is one that will beat even the best of the best!  Verte Photography is offering a card design to match your personality!

Next is Ms. Holli from over at Holli's Hoots and Hollers!  Holli has this beautiful unique ornament by one of her favorite artists that she is offering up for this special give-a-way!

And last but certainly not least is Pamela from Pamela's Heavenly Treats!  She is including some wonderful Ad Space to show you off!

Now that you've seen these wonderful prizes, get goin' on entering this Little but Certainly not Skimpy Give-A-Way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 days of Thankful: Day 3

Today I am thankful that my business gives me an opportunity to share and do what I love! I started in the industry at the young age of 16 and was told soon after once you have photography in your blood your never really "out of the industry" it will suck you back in one way or the other. I didn't really believe that at the time of course, but here I am close to 20 years later...

I love that I can find an hour or two a day to put together some photography tips to help others and maintain this blog. I love that the internet makes it possible to connect with others who I wouldn't normally be able to help. Above all, I am thankful that each day I pick up my camera I know I am not just doing a job, but I am doing something I can never be "done with" It is... in my blood.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Photoshoot: Reveal!

I had a BLAST writting my 10 days of Thoughtful photo series and I promised to reveal my own Holiday Card this year!

I also have been doing some guest posting around some blogs, and decided to challenge myself a bit. I didn't use any studio lighting, or equipment. In fact, I used a sheet from the resale store, and a "kit" lens that I had around! I also didn't use my background holder - I taped it to a wall, worked in my office (which didn't allow for much room to shoot), and I tried to use the tips that I specifically gave during that series!

This was TOUGH! I did use my bounce flash, with a white piece of foam core as a bounce which I hand held while shooting which was a tip from one of my lighting posts.

I picked our theme...

I picked our color pallet

I also came up with a fun take on what I wanted: Picked up some supplies... big brushes, paint, drop cloth to put under so paint didn't get on the wall or carpet, a sheet to paint on (that I am recycling into a fun new backdrop for my studio) and of course a new dress good for Thanksgiving this week also!

I set up the studio in the morning and then did a bath after lunch, so she could have new nail polish and pretty hair. (working without a time frame helped us a LOT)

I picked a day where this was ALL I had to do, no running to the store, no big dinner to cook... no other stress.

I even let her pick the first 2 outfits to shoot in, so she could have some fun playing "pop star" and "model"

Then I got her changed and broke out the paints!

I let her go to town!

I didn't pose

I turned on some music... and the paintbrushes became drum sticks...

We even changed the hair to take on her "rock" style.

and now... I can't choose!

Want to help?! Vote for which card you would use! Since most family/friends see photos of her often I don't mind sending the more artsy one with the paintbrush where her face is blurred. But I also love the other... it is just her! Crazy kid. So help me choose! Leave a comment and vote which one you like the most!

5 Days of Thankful: Day 2

Today I am thankful that my business allows me to meet and get to know so many fantastic business owners.

I get to network and provide a much needed service to so many fantastic people! Plus, I get to see, touch, sometimes smell and even taste products that I otherwise would not have come into contact with. These are women owned businesses that you wont find in a big box store, and I can feel good about supporting them because I know who my money is going to support. It isn't paying for TV ads or making more top "1%ers", it is making the difference in someones life, directly!

So thank you to the women who I work with, who support me, and who allow me to have this awesome business. Without you, there wouldn't be a Verte!

Monday, November 19, 2012

5 days of Thankful: Day 1

So many people have committed to doing a full month on Facebook of things they are thankful for. It's really nice to see some real content, thoughtful and memorable posts... which we all know isn't the norm. I thought a nice way to follow up my 10 days of thoughtful photos (great holiday tips) would be 5 days of why I am thankful... very specifically  thankful for my business.

This week is so busy, for everyone.. I am sure. It always has been it always will be. School activities, extra cooking, cleaning, guests coming into town.. Today I am thankful that my business lets ME set the schedule. I can close the studio for a week, and life goes on. I no longer have to work nights and weekends to accommodate family portraits, unless I REALLY want to!

So universe thanks for letting me take time to shop while everyone else is at work, spend time at the "big feast" at school, and not have to stress over when I am going to get to go ice skating with the kiddo and enjoy the season! Thank you, Thank you!

Scarf Swap!

I had a super fun time hitting up the stores to find a gift to send out to my scarf swaper... While I opted to send more of a "year round" piece, since my swap person is from Houston as well... and seriously its still 70 during the days! So for Kayla at www.sealedwithakay.com I took some liberty from her pins... where she has this... along with a few other things...

If you want to see what I found... head over to her blog! www.sealedwithakay.comhttp://www.sealedwithakay.com/2012/11/scarf-swap-revealed/#comments 

Breonna from www.brewrites.com sent me my wonderful scarf! She took some insperation from my personal Pins.. I am guessing from....

 and sent me this!

Thanks so much! It is sure to keep me warm now that it is cooling down! I special nod out to Lindsey who brought this all together and hosted the swap!
You should stop by and see what else she has cooking at www.creativelyclassy.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I love to WIN!

I must say I am a little obsessed with entering giveaways! OK, maybe a little more then that... and some of them take a LONG time to do, and go for several days! I just spent an hour doing one this morning! Shesh! AN HOUR! But, part of that is because I don't just follow randomly, and sign up for everything. If I am going to sign up to follow your blog, I would like to get to know you! Leave a comment or two, and be sure I want to go back to read more! But I digress! THIS post, is to say how very much I LOVE entering.. and WINNING!

I have won a few things since starting this blog, and I have been trying to post them as I receive them and tell you a little about my experience!  I am happy to say my luck seems to continue! If you all remember I was entering the Streeter Giveaway back in Oct daily! Not only do I LOVE new mommy Kristina... but I really groove on those that she supports as well! She does a Saturday link up party to introduce you to those people as well! Be sure to check it out!

During her October HUGE fall giveaway I just happened to win a SUPER AWESOME prize from.....
(drumroll please)

This super cute Typewriter clutch isn't just two pieces of fabric sewn together! Oh NO! It has batting inside, making it pillow soft, and feels very durable! It sports a nice magnetic closure, two pockets and by the way.. I read up on her products and this retro vibe fabric... HAND DRAWN by HER! I didn't even know that was possible!

The tab is designed to fit your small keyring and overall it is a great design! I am super impressed with the quality of the stitching and professional nature of Aubrey herself! She was super quick to contact me after the announcement, and shipped out my item in a cute package..

I already had Aubrey on my Holiday wishlist radar... but now, after seeing the quality, I think she might have to get some very specific hints and links sent out to my family this season! 

Thanks again!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 Days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 10

WOW! How fast did that go huh!?

Well here it is, our last Thoughtful tip for making great Holiday (or anytime) portraits. I decided to end with a popular one... and oddly enough the one no-one ever seems to mention or ask about! Posing.

What do you do with all those arms, legs and funny family faces!?

First, I am going to give you some basic posing composition techniques. This will help you create a basic pattern in your image, making it more pleasing to the eye. These are CORE poses: meaning many other poses are off-shoots from these, and you can add or subtract people, or combine them in order to create your unique portrait.

 1. The Stair: Place subjects so that they are stagger eyes to chin. This basic pose can continue in a line for as many subjects as you want. It is the most popular for groups of 2 or 3, but I have done up larger groups (laying on a floor and stair stacking them up).

2. The Triangle: If you add a 3rd person to the stair and instead of continuing to go up, you go down... you create a triangle.  Adding in other people, and creating more triangles.. Like the drawing shows, they are all each group of 3 makes a triangle.

3. The Line: This pose can be done with some variation, but works great for walking, laying down or vertical lines for stacking small groups to show size. Yes, there is some variation in the head heights, that's ok, it simply isn't as dramatic as the triangle, creating a less "posed" image.

By working with these 3 core pose compositions, you can combine them to be able to fit your needs.

Combine a Triangle with a Stair!

Now that you know some core poses, here are a few final posing tips to a great portrait!

1. Be aware of your surroundings, especially outside. No one wants a tree or light pole coming out of their head!

2. Always do SOMETHING with hands. Fold them, hold them, tuck them in pockets. If you don't give your subjects something to do with hands, they WILL go over someones shoulder, or around a back... yes, even on Grandma's bottom occasionally. Give those hands a place, and you wont see wondering "the things" hanging out on shoulders (because you can't tell WHO's hand it is) or have those other embarrassing moments captured.

3. Remind your subjects to sit up straight. Yes straight back, good posture, and shoulders slightly back does make a huge difference!

4. Tip tops of heads closer to each other (just slightly) so it doesn't seem as posed!

Now, if you haven't been loyal and read each of the 10 tips, be sure to go back and review the ones you missed! With these top 10 Thoughtful Portrait tips, you are sure to have a great holiday portrait! I know I can't wait to share mine! I will be doing a reveal hopefully early next week of our card!

Perhaps I can come up with a prize for the best (non-professional) holiday photo as well! Hmmm keep your eye out for that contest!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

10 Days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 9

5 Rules of Composition!
(As a side bonus this post covers our TUESDAY Tip also!)

Now, if you are the one taking your holiday photos this year... this might be the most helpful information I can give you! Other then pointing your camera and getting everyone in the frame, there are a couple of tricks that pro's know to create a dynamic image! Composition is a CORE essential when it comes to photography or art of any kind. Understanding some basic "rules" will allow you to capture the right image, rather then trying to create it on Photoshop later.

TRUST ME! You want to save Photoshop for having FUN with your images, not FIXING them!

With that being said. Here are the Rules of Composition.

1. Fill the Frame with your subject. (imagine if Dad was shown... it would really limit what you could see of baby! Plus it would make him look HUGE because she is SO small!)

 #2 If your subject is TALLER then they are WIDE, shoot VERTICAL

#3 If your subject is WIDER then they are TALL shoot horizontally

Note: If you cant get what you need with your camera's zoom or lens, use your physical zoom... YOUR LEGS! Move yourself closer or farther to be able to fit your subject!

#4 Perspective or Viewpoint: Before photographing your subject, take time to think about where you will shoot it from. Rather than shooting from eye level, consider photographing from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, change it up!

Angled Down

Standing on a chair leaning over (not for the faint of heart)

#5 Rule of 3rd's: Imagine you have a tic-tac-toe board over your frame. It is separated into 9 equal parts with 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. This rule says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect. Filling either 1/3rd or 2/3s of your frame to do so.
NOTE! Some cameras even offer an option to superimpose a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen! This is EXTRA handy when shooting anything with a horizon line so you can keep your perspective and horizon straight!

Monday, November 12, 2012

10 days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 8

Continuing yesterdays "what to wear" topic, were going to talk about how to come up with a color pallet for your photo shoot! If your not the "typical" family, or perhaps you want something more "trendy" or "out of the box" kicking up the style, patterns, and colors of your images will drastically change the "tone" or "story" of your images!

When selecting a colors and clothing to fit many people, skin tones, and personalities I suggest creating a color pallet. You can find say, the babies outfit with a bold print and then have everyone else do solids are pops of color taken from that print. You can also find inspiration from your holiday cards, if you already have one picked out. Or even from the location, or other images you LOVE!

One of my favorite tips I share with clients is creating a color pallet. I found Design-seeds.com to be AMAZING for helping people see what similar and contrasting colors look like in an image. Because they show the image, then take up color samples from it! Plus they make it easy to search, by color (using sliding bars) or by theme of the photograph, plus you can click on a color from one image and it will link you to other images where that color shows up!

When your shopping (or digging through the closet) you can use the colors to coordinate.Here is a sample of what I might have found... (for my pretend family of 5!)

Might I just say creating one of these boards - WOW does it give me a new respect for all of them I see online! This took way too much of my time today! However, just like a great portrait, it was totally worth it! Look how this fashion set totally works together. You have the pops of color, I added the purple from the pallet above, because that was the combo that I could find the orange in. But it completely works! Your, hip, comfortable and not super matching. It's got enough interest to add to any background!

Now if you want to kick that up a notch....

Lets talk for a moment about what I did. I kept the toddler outfit with my orange and a burgundy along with a neutral (tan in this case). Then I found something trendy with the very fashionable sparkles in a neutral for the teen, but added a very trendy jacket. Mom gets to sport some fur (VERY in) and a decked out casual top. The boys stay relaxed in coordinating tops (not matching... but adding some color and I gave Dad the option of an additional sweater so he is more neutral for shot with just him and mom. (AHH a thinker, I am!)

To either of these fashion boards you can add more by giving the teen a scarf or some orange jewelry, or funky shoe. Depending on how far out of the box you want to go. By mixing trends, the lace, sparkles, fur... but giving it balance with neutrals and core items such as the boys - we have taken the same color pallet and brought in some more interest and personality. Everyone gets to be themselves and will hopefully be happy to continue to wear each item!

Just for fun....

This is the color pallet I choose to work with for my holiday images this year! While I probably wont use all of them - I have really been liking the dark purple, charcoal-like grey and orange pops I have been seeing in the fashion stores while I was creating those fashion boards for you! I hope you remember to check in when I do my holiday photo reveal!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

10 Days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 7

What to wear.... today were talking about the style of your images!

This might be the most popular question an family photographer is asked....
"what should we wear?"

Oh... where to start.

Let's back up and look at what we have already established. If you know WHERE you are going to have your photo shoot, and the overall "feel" of the shoot, the style or story you want to tell... then the WHAT becomes much easier! If your hanging off of a tractor and want a "down home feel" then you should work with jeans, plaids, comfortable things that ramp up your story!

The biggest "fail" in clothing choices, I feel, would be to do something that
1. You would never wear again.
2. Your so unused to wearing it that it would make you (or your child) uncomfortable.

Let's think back to our own childhood for a moment and remember the scratch sweaters, and "Sunday best" style clothing that couldn't get dirty, had lots of layers, was hot (especially in a studio) and made us all super "matchy" just what every child wants... to look like everyone else - right?

Compliments of http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/
 Oh, so many things wrong with this image.... but if you ever want a good laugh that website is FULL of them!!!!! So much better then Pinterest for humor value at least! Anyways... back to our subject....

 So I am going to give you a couple of "rules" for finding your holiday style.

1. Don't buy all the same shirt in every size for EVERYONE.
2. Don't use this "holiday red" anywhere near your face, during portraits, EVER.
3. Don't feel like you need to purchase clothes "just for" portraits.
4. Don't feel like you need to "match" everyone else. Let personalities shine.
5. If Johnny doesn't normally wear a tie, or sweater-vest... don't make him do so now!

If you want to take a "safe" route. Jeans, or black pants, and white shirts or black shirts, are always in everyone's closet. It's classic and timeless, and always makes a great black and white.

You can do variations of this by putting girls in one color, and boys in another, or each family member in varying combinations complimentary colors. Going outside that core box.. you can bring some "life and personality" by selecting one person to bring in a pop of color or pattern. It highlights this person, so the baby, youngest child, or mom are typically my suggestions. You can bring this color in with a dress, a shirt, scarf... what ever your family "style" is...

Or you can go way outside the box... and toss it out all together. Forget "classic" and really find clothes that compliment each other, and fit your families style, while telling a true story!  We are going to cover this tomorrow with day 8 "creating a color palette"!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

10 days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 6

Just a recap, in case you are just joining us or haven't caught each days tip...
Day 1: Make it Simple: You don't need a lot of props, or fancy backgrounds. Just love.
Day 2: Enjoy Yourself: Enjoy Yourself. Make the memory the event not the photo.
Day 3: Work with what you have: Be inventive, roll with the obstacle, find creative solutions!
Day 4: Use your Flash!: Pro's use it outside, so should you!
Day 5: Slow sync Flash: The best way to get holiday lights, and your subject exposed correctly!

Which brings us to Day 6! 

There are a TON of ways you can go... all depends on the style and feel that you want to give to your cards. Part of what makes a great story, is all the details rights!?

So first, you need to decide are YOU doing your families images, a friend, or are you hiring a photographer? If you are hiring someone you should ask them, before scheduling what options they have.

Next, what  kind of family are you? Single, couple, new baby, young child, grown kid, mufti-generational... are you the outdoorsy type? Country, casual, rustic... where do you live... in some parts of the country there will be snow... not mine mind you... but I hear on the news its out there! Are you looking for something way out of the box, or something new for your family? All of these are good things to think about... if your really stuck for ideas and working solo - Pinterist, and google image have some great ideas... you can start with my pins here. (Disclaimer: As a rule, I try to only repin photography images that appear to go back to the original photographers site or blog, if you ever notice a pin that does not, or is in violation of copyright laws, please let me know and I will be happy to remove it)

Here are a few spots I love to recommended, you will have to look around your town to see what you have available, and what could fit your families needs! (If going to a park, look for one with a bathroom or a coffee shop nearby where you can all warm up after, or in between shots)

The Zoo (great day trip, and they typically have carousals for day and  holiday light displays at night)
Downtown - any city... Tall buildings, stairways, glass, urban mall, brick, graffiti... need I say more?
Parks / Open Space: From posed to playing in the snow... great for all ages!
Streams / Forest areas: Just good scenery!
YOUR home or backyard! DUH! What could be more personal!
Railroad tracks, with or without a train
Botanical Gardens
Tourist Areas: Red Rocks, Galveston, Sea World... they all have lights, decor, or great natural scenes.

Find something to inspire you, a card style you love, an image, a color scheme... and put some thought into the story you want to tell! My inspiration for our images this year....

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Liebster !?!

I've been nominated, how 'bout you!

I honestly had no idea what this was when I saw the comment this morning... but it made my day! How nice is it to know someone out there read something... and liked it! Who knew! So I had to RUN over to http://www.fashionrhetoric.com where Claire "lives" (she is who nominated me) and check it out! This is what I learned....

 (stolen content from Claire below.. oh and the fancy image above!)

The Leibster blog award it is an award to help bloggers with fewer than 200 followers to gain a little momentum, some much needed exposure and hopefully some new readers (fingers crossed). So if you haven't already done so, then you should definitely click the link above and check out Elise's blog as she has some great posts about fashion, hair and make-up.

Now on with the award. In order to accept the Liebster Award, you need to follow a couple of simple rules:

  • Thank the giver who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
  • Post 11 random facts about yourself. 
  • Answer 11 questions from the person who chose you. 
  • Create a new set of 11 questions for who you nominate
  • Then pass on the award to 11 bloggers with under 200 followers by leaving a comment on either their Blog/Twitter/Facebook about the award you're giving them. 
This might be my first "chain blog letter" do you remember chain letters? Good things will come if you... so funny... anyways... I am going to consider it a great opportunity for me to share some information about myself... which if you follow you know that doesn't happen very often!

First: HUGE THANKS to Claire - not because it's the first rule to thank and link back...but because you were nice enough to read my blog and smart enough to like it! (jk) Seriously though... thanks!

Next.. on to Claire's questions for me!

1. Why do you blog?? 
I am an explainer! I LOVE taking the confusion out and teaching people about photography, helping other business women and sharing otherwise useless but BOUNTIFUL knowlage!

2. If you found £100 this afternoon, how would you spend it?? 
A really good haircut and massage

3. Apple or Android??

4. If you could live in any city in the world, which city would it be??
OH this is hard, but predictable... Denver, CO because thats where "home" - all my family, friends, and comfort.  

5. Is eating in a cinema- nefarious behavior or perfectly acceptable?
Why would you not eat in the Cinema... 3000 calorie popcorn? It is the BEST!
6. Name one thing on your bucket list.
Learn to scuba dive (oddly enough putting my face in water is my last great fear)

7. What is your favourite social media platform??
Honestly, I don't know that I have a fav. I was really happy with making phone calls when I wanted to know what my friends were doing. I miss hearing their voices. Plus, I am oddly sensitive to the information that I "put out there". 

8. Name your favourite blog (that is not your own)??
First, is it odd that I have a compulsion to click the spell check because favourite shows up with the red line? Did you notice I had to change behaviour? sorry
I really LOVE The Streeters blog . Partly, because shes a great friend, partly because she was the first one I ever started reading, but mostly she thinks like me... and we have some odd parallels in our lives. 

9. What album could be the soundtrack to your life??
Huh... Im going to have to think about this. 
10. Real books or ebooks??
As a preference, I love the feel of real books. For convenience I use a kindle, I purchase a LOT of books!
11. What advice would you give a new blogger??
Get involved! Do swaps, join forum sites, look for others in your community, and with similar interests! Not only will this make you more popular and gain followers, but you will find great friends and hopefully inspiration and knowlage!

Well... no I am needing to add 11 new nominees and 11 new questions for them to answer... Whew... who knew this would be so much work! 
I will have to link the newcomers later as I fear I am going to run out of time!
(I am going to add them as I have time... 
1. http://www.sealedwithakay.com Kayla - she was my scarf swap blogger!
2. ChronicallyKim my go to gal for Sweetsies and all things cooking!
3. Holli's Hoots and Hollars: This gal is sure to get me in some trouble I can feel it!

So - if you received your nomination from me... here are your questions.

1. Describe yourself in 3 words?
2. Turkey or Ham?
3. Where are you in 10 years?
4. Where would you vacation if you could go anywhere... at anytime in history?
5. Last book you read?
6. What is your "go to" beverage?
7. Favorite Movie line?
8. If you could switch lives with a celebrity, who would it be and why? 
9. Are you or have you ever been madly, deeply, passionately in love?
10. Since it stumped me... What album could be the soundtrack to your life?
11. Lastly.. since I am photogirl... Nikon, Canon, or other? (Promise I don't judge!)

10 Days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 5

Today, I want to introduce you to a magical function, that is a flash option. Slow Sync. There are 2 ways for almost every camera to work in this mode. What this option allows you to do is open the shutter and expose a background, like a sunset, Christmas tree lights in a fairly dark room, or holiday lights at the park or zoo (any outside holiday light displays). It exposes the lights and then just before the shutter closes your flash fires exposing the foreground (where your subject is) Now if you will forgive the super old film images... I will try to replace these with some new ones this season!
No Flash

Flash (yes, the house lights are still on - but you cant see them!)

Slow Flash / Exposing for both the background and a flash for the foreground!

Let's go with the SUPER easy first. If you have preset options on your camera (either on a dial or in the menu system) look for an icon that has a star behind a person
This will adjust all your settings for you and command your flash.
IMPORTANT: You need to use a tripod, in this mode. Since your shutter is staying open for a long time, if you hand hold it, your lights will be blurry due to camera shake!!

If you want to have more control over your settings, or learn how to manage this in a different way, you can achieve the same result by....

Set camera to Program (or if your comfortable the appropriate M or S mode)
Command your flash on (look for the button that looks like a lighting bolt with an arrow on the bottom)
Now, cycle through your flash options (typically by hitting the SAME flash button, over and over again, or for DSLR you hold the button and spin a command dial, like you would to change your aperture/ shutter control, this dial is typically found where your thumb sets on the camera right)

You should have one icon that looks just like the button - thats flash on
One that has the flash icon with a circle and line over it - NO flash (command flash off)
One that is an eyeball with the flash icon (Red eye reduction function - preflash)
And one that says "rear" or "slow" with the flash icon = this is the option we want! (if you have both you want slow... rear does work, but there are differences...)

DON'T FORGET the TRIPOD! You would also do well to inform your subjects that your shutter is going to open, flash fire and then shutter will close, and not to move until you give them the "all clear" since your camera can pick up "ghosting" images if someone moves while the shutter is open.
Also works great for party images!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

10 Days of Thoughtful Photos: Day 4

Welcome to day 4 of our 10 day series! I hope you have been getting inspired for your upcoming holiday portraits!

Today I want to talk a little about your flash!

If I have said it once, I have said it a 100 times.  Holiday photos, just like 95% of all others... will benefit from adding FLASH! Yes, even if your shooting outside, adding a flash is the easiest way to get better results! I'm not big on repeating myself so if you need to learn some lighting basics check out these past posts!

Today, I want to introduce you to a magical option... fill flash! This is when you command your flash on... to fill shadows! Perfect for taking any portrait outside! Simply select the Program (P) Mode, and hit your flash button. (typically looks like a lightning bolt with an arrow on the end)
By commanding your flash you can cover shadows, light under hats, and over-all create a better image!
This is why you see professional photographers with flashes, and extra lighting equipment all the time on location shoots. The more you can control your light the more balanced and even your lighting is!

Your flash isn't just for inside! Be sure to try it this weekend when your at the park, or enjoying some of the pre-holiday events in your town! Spend a little time to get to know your flash better and put a little thought into your next image!