After years of shooting kids, my own included, I have fallen in love with the composite image. I feel like it’s so hard to get everyone EXACTLY how I want them in one shot when I am working with young children. Because of the certainty that kids will be kids, I learned to master the composite image and know that I will always end up with at least one great portrait. (…)
Someone once said that the best camera is the one you have with you. Whether you’re shooting with an old school point-and-shoot camera or a fancy new dSLR though, there are some universal techniques to keep in mind that will help you create more interesting and visually pleasing photographs.(…)
Anyone that is familiar with my work at all knows one thing…I love to shoot ONE subject. That’s it. One. One subject. One child. One Boy.
I have shot my fair share of landscapes…of flowers…of buildings…of babies…of sunsets…of friends and relatives…and I love all of those images. Honestly, I really, really love them. I am delighted to give gifts and to make others happy through images. It continually challenges me and pushes me in different ways, and I am sincerely grateful for that push. Those images, however, are not where my Creative Heart truly lies; where my Mommy Heart lies. I really and truly love to shoot one subject.(…)
Often, I am asked…. How do you get all your boys to sit for you at the same time for a picture? Or how do you get them all to cooperate and look so natural? Or, I’m told, it’s so great how your boys like to be in front of the camera AND with each other!! Well, the truth is, it’s not so much that my boys like to be in front of my lens, it’s more about what ‘I do’ and ‘don’t do’ before I ever click that shutter. Seizing the opportunity to document those moments when they are being themselves; playing together, sharing a silly joke, tickling one another, and even just sharing a quiet moment is a huge part of who I am as a photographer. I want to remember and I want them to remember what it was like growing up together as brothers and friends.(…)
As we were preparing to pack up for the long 8-hour car ride we had ahead to visit family, I looked at my camera bag and groaned. “It’s so heavy,” I thought. “I’m already packing half of our house. It’s just another bag to load.” If I’m being honest, as “The Photographer” of the family, I sometimes get tired of hearing, “make sure you bring your camera!” But I knew my husband’s grandparents weren’t getting any younger and since we only get to see them once a year, I would be grateful to have the pictures from our trip. And they would love to have pictures with the boys.
I packed the camera. I’m so thankful I did.(…)
As a photographer, you hear a lot about how important it is to know how to see the light. This is absolutely, 100% true!
Much of my photography journey can be marked by how I use the light. I went through a phase of flat, even window lighting with beautiful big catchlights followed by portraits with 45 degree window lighting, then backlighting, and finally, dramatic lighting. One of the very first things I learned was to avoid dappled lighting. For a good two or three years, I avoided uneven lighting and direct sunlight at any cost. I would drape sheer curtains over my windows to diffuse the sun, I’d shoot in open shade, I’d backlight. Back in August, however, I moved to a new place and my move also coincided with the opportunity to do a photoshoot with the amazing Sarah Vaughn. And the way she used light… it was incredible and like nothing I had ever tried before! Instead of shying away from the direct sun or uneven lighting, she’d find the patches of even light and use the uneven light around it to add interest in the shadow patterns. Ever since then, I have been keeping my eye out for the interplay of light and shadows.(…)
When I first started working with newborns, I was always worried about when would the baby fall asleep? How would I get them to sleep? What if they didn’t sleep at all?
Any photographer who has worked with newborns knows that having them asleep is ideal. Alert babies will flail their arms and legs and show you how strong they can be, they are less likely to curl up into a pose. The muscles in their eyes are not very strong or coordinated, which can result in crossed and rolled back eyes, and they cannot maintain focus on any object very long.(…)
I like to think of my posing technique as directing rather than posing. When working with families, it is important to be able to guide and direct them into pleasing poses that ultimately demonstrate the connection within their family. There is so much connection to be captured within every family. I invite you to think outside the box and beyond traditional stiff family portraits. Here are five poses that always capture connection.(…)
If I were to summarize what is most important for me to capture with my camera in two words it’s “honest beauty”. So when I create my art it is paramount for me to communicate the authenticity of my subjects, whatever or whoever they may be. The phrase “less is more” resonates heavily with me, especially with my photography. With those concepts in mind here are five simple steps I use to help cultivate a successful photo session.(…)
There was a time when I was chronically behind on printing my personal photos. There were months upon months of my children’s lives that were documented on the computer but were nowhere to be seen in print.
I had many good intentions to create a photo book of each year, but somehow they never materialized. I would get overwhelmed comparing books and book templates and reading reviews, and was left paralyzed with indecision. Meanwhile, I was still photographing my children and our lives and the images kept piling up on my hard drive. After the birth of my second child, I decided that I had to start printing my photos from that moment on, and that my system had to be simple and easy. (…)
Want to make some abstract art?? It is easy. Let me show you how!!
For the past 3 years I have been teaching the Intro to Macro class on Clickinmoms. During each week I have a “mid-week challenge” to kind of add a little fun! These challenges are a great way to step out of the box and have a little fun shooting something you may not shoot on a normal basis or even think to try! In week one we have the oil and water challenge. This challenge is always a hit for the students so I thought I would share the tutorial with you!(…)
So, you’ve spent hundreds…nay, thousands on your gear. Now what?
Do you drag your camera and your awesome glass everywhere you go, or do you stay up at night worrying about what might happen to your precious investment? Fear not, for I bring you the list of essentials that (mostly) won’t break your piggy bank.(…)
Coffee with a friend. An hour absorbed in a great book. Sitting behind a glowing screen editing images. Which of these is not like the other?
In this video tutorial, I want to show how easy and quick a clean edit can be. Whether you’re a working pro or a happy hobbyist (or some combination of the two, like me!), there’s really no reason to trade living your life for hours sitting at the computer to post-process your images.(…)
You just had a baby, and whether you are inspired to pick-up that fancy camera for the first time or you are a seasoned pro, chances are you want to take a gazillion pictures of this new little soul who has just entered your world. Baby Bieser number four arrived this year and I know exactly how you feel. I also know that you are tired, overwhelmed, hormonal, and scatterbrained (at least I hope I am not the only one!).
I am here to help you out! Here is a list of 11 shots to get during baby’s first month of life. Check these off your list and you will be off to a great start documenting your new arrival.(…)
I’m a list maker and planner.
When we go to Disney, I’ve made our lunch reservations 6 months in advance and know what our route will be through each park. If I forget my grocery list at home, I’m guaranteed to forget something so why should my newborn sessions be any different? Since I’m so focused on the details during the session, preparing makes me feel more in control. In the heat (literally 80 degree heat) of a newborn session with a baby crying, it’s really easy to forget what you wanted to do! On the flip side, if you have an extremely sleepy baby and you run through your regular poses, sometimes you can draw a blank on what to do next.(…)
As with many photographers, I started my interest in digital photography with a smaller and less expensive camera. I wanted to dabble without spending a ton of money. So in 2007 I bought the Canon 30D. I knew this camera was a crop sensor, or APS-C, when I bought it and I learned how to adjust the focal lengths of my lenses to make it work for me.
Let’s start with the basics, what is the sensor?(…)
Let’s face it. The longer you make images, the harder it becomes to feel creative, and that leads to boredom and sometimes sadness. What used to send chills of excitement up your spine, now may make you feel a bit ‘meh’ about the whole thing. Ruts are just part of life and they are actually a good thing because they spur on growth. The true benefit comes when you jump over the hurdle and find the inspiration on the other side.(…)
It began with my Dad. He was an enthusiastic amateur photographer, and when my brothers and I were children, he set about documenting our growing up together. He built a darkroom in the basement of our house and the photographs that came out of it still cover the walls. Invariably, they are black and white.
I fell in love with those pictures. There was something magical about them, not least that they afforded relief to a child of the eighties with a passion for neon green: all crimes against fashion were forgiven – the lurid Dr Martens boots quietly toned down to a neutral grey. People never look at monochrome portraits and cry “what was I wearing?” Perhaps that sounds trivial, but it’s quite the opposite. Part of the magic of black and white images is their timelessness, their ability to see beyond the whims of fashion and surface detail to the essence of people. They capture their interactions and emotions.(…)
As a former teacher, I spent years analyzing and editing my students’ writing, sorting through confusing bunny trails and illogical sequences to help them narrow their focus and communicate the heart of their subject. One of my strategies was to guide them through what experts have determined to be the six traits of strong writing:(…)
Sometimes you have to divide your world in half to see the whole story.
Six months after finishing my first 365, I ached to document my family’s daily life again. So I pledged myself to a smaller project – a photo a day for the 100 days of summer. I assumed the project would hum similar to my 365, but it became clear very quickly that one photo a day felt not enough. This time, each lone photo hung like a single note without its song. I found myself obsessively slicing photos. I broke and stitched, reworking the frames, weaving shapes and light and time back together. I found hidden stories. It wasn’t always perfect but it seemed the memories became stronger with the pairings. So I let creativity guide, knitting the days into diptychs – like a long, thin string of paper dolls – a net that wouldn’t let my mind forget – the beauty, the tiny details, the passing bits of our everyday.(…)