Being the oldest of 3 sisters, I know well the “joy” of having a younger sister. Liberty is a sweet young lady who knows how to play her little sister role well. 😉 During our consultation, it was obvious Liberty knew what buttons to push with her sister Grace to get the best reactions. I still get a chuckle when I think of it.

Liberty and I share the same love for the color burgundy. Though I have to say I believe the color looks much better on her. 😉 I also discovered she named her cat Texas Toast – such a cool name for a cat!!

Liberty is a sweet and spunky young lady who was so easy to photograph. During the reveal session, her mom said to me “She never smiles for pictures, you got her actual smile”.

Be sure to check out the photos of Liberty and her sister HERE. You can also see Grace’s individual session HERE.

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A few weeks ago I posted about my sister’s family spending the day in a recording studio (you can see it here). Well, I had the opportunity to go back to the studio and photograph the owner jamming with his friends. The owner and his wife are good friends of mine and have been a huge support to me over the years. So when Carl asked me to take pictures of his band Carl Dudley and Friends in the recording studio, I gladly accepted.

Carl and his friends have been playing together for over 30 years and it was evident in their playing and in the way they gave each other a hard time. I got to hear some fun stories of their years together. And I saw a different side of Carl as I watched him interact with his friends. He was more casual and enthusiastic than I’ve seen before. It was the kind of relaxed that comes from doing something you enjoy with people you love.

When the other guys found out I was there to take pictures I heard a comment I hear often when my camera comes out. “I’ll probably break your camera”, the drummer commented. I assured him it was impossible for him to do so and went about my job. After their first music set, he asked to see the photos. I showed him the shot I got of him playing drums. I could tell he was surprised. He commented later something about me making him look good. In reality, all I did was photograph him doing something he LOVED.

When we operate out of our passion, that flows through us and we relax and enjoy ourselves more. In doing so we can’t help but look our best.

dayton music studio, band, music photography

 

dayton music studio, band, music photography

dayton music studio, band, music photography

dayton music studio, band, music photography

The drummer is multi-talented. Not only does he play drums and guitar, he also MADE a guitar. I could tell how proud he was of his hand-made guitar so I had to get a portrait of it for him.

dayton music studio, band, music photography

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I first met Jamie several years ago when I photographed her with her sisters and cousins. It was a fun session full of the kind of camaraderie families share.

Since then Jamie has grown into a feisty young lady and quite the cook. She’s one of those people who can throw random ingredients together and create a food masterpiece. During our consultation, she showed me photos of some of her culinary creations, and they looked amazing! I wonder if I could talk her into becoming my personal chef since I despise cooking? LOL! 😉

One of my favorite parts of working with Jamie is that she can really rock the edgy and glamorous poses. And I’ll admit to being a bit jealous of her leather jacket collection.

teen girl, wilsonville studio, teen portrait

teen girl, wilsonville studio, teen portrait

teen girl, wilsonville studio, teen portrait

teen girl, wilsonville studio, teen portrait

ten girl, wilsonville studio, teen portrait

teen girl, wilsonville studio, teen portrait

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“Have courage and be kind . . . where there is kindness there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic.” ~ Cinderella

For a long time, I’ve wanted to photograph someone in a beautiful dress with a full skirt so I could do a swishing skirt photo. 🙂 So when Grace and her sister Liberty agreed to model for me I was a little giddy. You see Grace dresses up as Disney princesses and does appearances at birthday parties. (She is also quite the make-up artist). So I knew I may have an opportunity to get the photo I’ve been wanting to shoot.

During our consultation, I asked Grace if I could photograph her in her Cinderella dress. She was kind enough to agree to dress up for me. In addition to her Cinderella costume, Grace also brought her amazing prom dress.

I had so much fun working with Grace. Not only did she indulge my need to make her swish her skirt multiple times, she also came up with some fantastic photo ideas of her own.

Be sure to check out the photos of Grace and her sister here. You can see her sister Liberty’s photos here.

wilsonville studio, cinderella princess, canby senior

 

wilsonville studio, cinderella princess, canby senior

wilsonville studio, cinderella princess, canby senior

wilsonville studio, cinderella princess, canby senior

wilsonville studio, cinderella princess, canby senior

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This post originally appeared on the Brilliant Business Moms

When I first started getting interested in photography, all the things I needed to learn overwhelmed me. There were so many new terms it was like learning a different language. I would read books to learn more, only to put the book down in frustration because I didn’t understand what the author was talking about. There were things to learn about exposure, composition, depth of field and even . . . gasp . . . math! When I bought my camera I discovered a new level of apprehension, there were so many buttons and menu options. The camera manual was no help. It was so dry it was like reading the assembly directions to my latest Ikea purchase. Through practice and learning from other photographers, things slowly began to make sense and the next piece to the photography puzzle came easier. Eventually, I was able to take photos and consistently achieve the photo effects I desired. My passion now is to assist new photographers in learning the technical aspects of photography and, hopefully, reduce the frustration I experienced in my early days.

There are different levels of control, depending on your camera. There is everything from fully automatic to fully manual, with some cameras having the ability to perform somewhere in between.

Fully Automatic Settings

This is the dial on my camera. Your camera may look different, or the automatic settings may be part of a menu option.

This is the dial on my camera. Your camera may look different, or the automatic settings may be part of a menu option.

 

 

The green square (on my camera), or green “auto”, gives all the control to your camera. The camera reads the light, assumes you are hand holding your camera and selects the settings accordingly. If the camera deems it necessary the pop-up flash will engage. All you have to do is point your camera at your subject and hit the shutter button. Easy peasy!

It

 Taken in auto mode.

I like to be in control of my camera’s settings; however, the fully automatic function gives all of the control to the camera. The user can only point and shoot. If you want more control over your images, but don’t want to deal with the camera settings, you can utilize the little pictures on your camera dial. These are still fully automatic settings, but you gain a little bit of control over your image. Each picture tells the camera what kind of photo you are taking. Your camera can now choose better settings based on this information.

Camera Dial - Portrait-7616-3

 

 

Face: This is the portrait setting. Once the camera knows you are taking a portrait it will adjust the settings to slightly blur the background. This will separate your subject from the surrounding scene so they stand out.

My poor niece was tired of getting her picture taken. Notice the background she is far enough from the background that it blurs slightly.

My poor niece was tired of getting her picture taken. This image was taken in auto mode. Notice the background, she is far enough from the background that it blurs slightly.

In this image the background is blurred more. This separates her from the background and minimizes the distracting elements behind her.

In this image, taken in portrait mode, the background is blurred more. This separates her from the background and minimizes the distracting elements behind her.

Camera Dial - Landscape

 

 

Mountain: This tells your camera you are shooting a landscape. The camera assumes the scene you are taking a picture of is really far away. Therefore the camera will adjust settings so the focus is the same throughout the image.

This was taken in the Columbia River Gorge. The Vista House looks closer, but I’m far enough away it’s all on the same focal plain. Everything is in focus from the foothills in the background to the Vista House in the

This was taken in the Columbia River Gorge. The Vista House looks closer, but I’m far enough away it’s all on the same focal plane. Everything is in focus from the foothills in the background to the Vista House in the foreground of the image. The biggest difference you will see between using auto and landscape modes is color vibrance. Landscape mood will give you a a richer color.

Camera Dial - Macro

 

Flower: This is the macro setting (for taking close-ups) and one of my favorite styles of photography. The camera will make setting adjustments so you can focus on your subject as close as your lens allows. You can also get a beautiful blurry background to really make your subject stand out. This setting is great for newborn fingers and toes. It’s also good for flowers, my favorite use of macro photography.

 

If you notice in this image the background is somewhat blurred. But there is still enough detail the tulip blends in.

This was taken in auto mode. If you notice in this image the background is somewhat blurred. But there is still enough detail the tulip blends in.

In this image the background is blurred to give it a beautiful soft feel. This allows the tulip to standout and take center stage.

In this image, taken in macro mode, the background is blurred to give it a beautiful soft feel. This allows the tulip to standout and take center stage.

Camera Dial - Action

 

Running man: This is the action setting. Selecting this option tells the camera your subject is moving. The camera adjusts the settings so you can freeze the action. You will need a lot of light for this setting because the camera takes the picture really fast. If you don’t have enough light the pop-up flash will engage. This setting is how you can capture your sports enthusiast shooting a layup or your toddlers as they zoom past you at a 100mph giggling mischievously.

You can see as my nephew jumps off the swing I missed actual the jump. Also he is out of focus.

Taken in auto mode. You can see as my nephew jumps off the swing, I missed actual the jump. Also, he is out of focus.

This time I moved for a better angle. I used the action mode. This allowed me to hold down the shutter while the camera continued to take pictures. As a result I was able to start taking pictures as soon as he started to jump resulting in me capturing him mid-air.

This time I moved for a better angle and used the action mode. This allowed me to hold down the shutter while the camera continued to take pictures. As a result, I was able to start taking pictures as soon as he started to jump resulting in me capturing him mid-air.

Camera Dial - Night

 

Star: This is the night setting for your camera. The camera will adjust for shooting in the evening or in dark places. You’ll need to have a steady hand because the camera will take the picture slower to let as much light in as possible. The pop-up flash will also engage to add more light to the subject.

 

I

I’m not usually up late enough to take night shots. So I don’t have a true example for you. I did use the night shot mode on this photo. Using this mode allowed me to use the flash to light the tulips so I could also capture the color of the sunset. I would love to see what you come up with using the night mode!

Camera dial - program

 

P or Program: In this mode, the camera still makes all the decisions, but you have more control than the previous options give you. Using the program mode will allow you to turn off your pop-up flash, or change the ISO on your camera. The ISO is a term carried over from film days. Basically, it refers to how sensitive the film, or in digital cameras the image sensor, is to light. This setting requires a basic knowledge of exposure and how ISO affects the outcome of your image.

Sometimes the camera doesn’t think you need a flash as you can see in this image of my niece. The bright background fooled the camera and so my niece is not lit.

Auto mode: Sometimes the camera doesn’t think you need a flash as you can see in this image of my niece. The bright background fooled the camera and so my niece is not lit.

You can change to program mode and turn the flash on to add more light to the scene if needed.

You can change to program mode and turn the flash on to add more light to the scene if needed.

Other times the flash will fire because there is not enough light. But instead of lighting your subject, the flash will wash it out. In this case, you can change to program mode and adjust your ISO to a higher number. This will allow you to take the picture without the flash, giving you a much nicer image.

If you want to take better photos of your family activities having an understanding of these automatic functions will help. If you are first starting out in photography these settings are great to use while you are learning about composition. You can learn how to compose your image without having to also figure out how to adjust the settings on your camera. Once you are ready to take your photography to the next level you can move into the semi-automatic modes.

Preparing for this blog post turned out to be quite the learning experience. You can read about it here.

 

Follow me on Facebook or on Instagram. Get my free guide: 5 Easy Ways To Take Better Pictures With Any Camera

 

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