Thursday, March 21, 2013

my 5 favorite photo tips

if we were to chat in real life,
these are some of the tips I would give you
all my personal opinion
You never want back light! Always have the light facing your face. You don't want to be competing with the light behind you because you won't be composed the same.
Ok, so i shouldn't say never because there can be some artistic photos that come from this..
BUT, if you are not a pro.. stick with facing light! You will get the prettiest skin tones this way.

photo credit: Logan Cole

Also, when you are outside avoid direct sunlight, shoot in the shade.
Direct sunlight on faces will leave really harsh shadows on your face..

Skin tones!! ohh skin tones. Pay attention to this when you take & edit photos whether it be on instagram or in photoshop.. This is my all time biggest pet peeve. In my eyes it can make or break a good photo. I almost always have to have skin tones show nicely in my photos, most of the time it will determine if i use a photo or not.
//Instagram tips-
+ sierra is my go-to when i need a good skin edit
+ if i have bad color balance.. I will throw on black & white. It always fixes a gross yellow cast!

Yes, you may look tan and want to show that off but tan doesn't always photograph pretty, the lighter skin tones look the cleanest. Also pay attention to the color of hair when you are throwing on edits, Blonde's, take note especially..

Get as most light in the shooting area as possible.
Open window blinds, doors, whatever you can so you can get more light which will produce less grain and less blur. I love natural light, ideal shooting time outdoors is a couple of hours before sunset or on a cloudy day I am not too picky!

If you want to get more technical:
shooting in RAW can be a good thing for unideal lighting situations.
This image, i shot under exposed and I was able to bring back contrast and coloring
and the details in photoshop by cloning & using other editing techniques.
One downfall of shooting in RAW
-only certain programs will open & edit raw images..
and the camera processes slower when shooting sessions.
It's extremely hard to shoot continuous and capture everything you want in RAW.
Which is why I ideally shoot .jpg on continuous.

 model: my sweet niece, Kinsey  outfit/bow: my talented sister made!

Snap away. It's always better to shoot 10 continuous shots of your kid rather than 1. You are more likely to get 1 out of 10 that turns out decent! Wait to preview your pics until you know you have enough to choose from, then you can go back and delete the ones that didn't turn out!

I would only use the contrast / Lux/ HDR for pictures that do not have people in it..
(the sun symbol in instagram / HDR features on your cell phone ) 
Humans just don't photograph well with contrast edits unless cloned out.
Use contrasty edits on objects, scenery, etc..

these are strictly my opinion.

//more of my photography tips
//favorite iphone photo apps: PicTapGo, InstaCollage, Whitagram, Pocket Cam, & VSCO CAM

looking for a beginner camera,
i recommend the one below


  1. Thank you for sharing these tips!!! I have a brand new canon rebel and I just can't figure out how to use it the right way. Plus, I lost my charger for it and now when I really want to use it I can't because the battery is dead! LOL! I am going to order a new charger though and hit up some photography classes here in Houston so I can take some good pics of my new baby boy.

  2. Thank you for this Post! That was very helpful, as I am still like a lost puppy with my Camera :) I will definitely take your advice to heart and try it out next time I am taken a Picture!

    Have a fabulous Day!

  3. Great great tips!!!! Keeping these all in mind :) Thanks girlie!!

  4. FYI - in the side-by-side SOOC tutu photo, underexposed and overexposed are on the wrong photos! :/ Otherwise this was a fun tip list. :)

  5. Fun post! I sell a photography E-book. Always love to collaborate with photo lovin' mamas. Let me know if you'd ever be interested in doing a giveaway for one on your blog.

  6. Im really new to this camera thing! I just got a Nikon D5100...what do you mean when you talk about shooting in RAW?!

    1. there is a setting inside your camera where you can change the setting to shooting raw - here's a link about RAW & JPG that might be helpful!

  7. Thank you for sharing this! Good tips! :)

  8. thank you so much for sharing these photo tips!!

  9. As a newbie with my camera these are great tips! Thanks for sharing

  10. Thank you for this post, I was looking forward to see this sometime on your blog! Great tips, especially the iphone ideas, with instagram!

  11. great tips!! thanks for sharing!


  12. i love all of your photography tips, even though i certainly don't own a nice camera. they're always helpful. thanks for posting these!

  13. Great tips! I can use all the help I can get. I still don't know how to use a fancy camera but these basic tips I can certainly learn from.

  14. Great tips! Especially the "keep snapping" one!
    Found you through the awesome giveaway and am your newest follower!

  15. Awesome tips! I'm going to keep these in mind next time I'm shooting! :)

    xx Denysia Yu

  16. I think "don't back-light" makes you sound very amateur. :( Back-lighting is actually beautiful (sun flare, etc.)... you just have to be experienced in order to do it correctly!

    1. that's why i mentioned this part...
      "Ok, so i shouldn't say never because there can be some artistic photos that come from this..
      BUT, if you are not a pro.. stick with facing light! You will get the prettiest skin tones this way."

      sorry you felt it was amateur, but I am speaking to my main audience who are not photographers. :)

  17. First of all amanda she said its good if you are going for the artistic sun flare . Second these are tips for moms who are non professional people such as myself who doesn't have an amazing camera or those that do but don't know how to properly use them. These are tips for us moms to get better pics of our babies. This is a lifestyle blog not some professional photography blog and I think you are way off by calling her an amateur.

  18. LOVE this post!! I pinned it! :)

  19. I'm curious what you shoot with? I'm in the market to upgrade my camera!
    Hope you are having fun in Chicago - I grew up by Madi and she is so sweet!

  20. Hey love the tips! would love to know what your favorite lens's are and if you use any fliters or anything =]

    1. Hey!
      ***Currently Using*** 10/29/14
      Favorite Lenses I currently use:
      50mm & 24-70 mm nikon

      Photoshop Actions I use are from Florabella & Michelle Kane action sets
      Apps I have for Instagram : Afterlight, VSCO Cam, PicTapGo, Perfect Photo, Facetune, PocketCam (for self timer), Rhonna Designs(for text or if I want a white frame to fit my not square photo), ABM, Over(for text), Flipagram… those are pretty much all of the ones I have on my iphone!

  21. brittany stribleyApril 3, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Hey love the tips! would love to know what your favorite lens's are and if you use any fliters or anything =]

  22. This will prob make me sound like I know nothing...but by face the light do you mean the photographer face the light or subject face the light??

    1. You want the subjects face to be toward the light so most likely the photographers back to the light :) This doesn't apply in direct sunlight though


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