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Spring Ahead – 3 tips to jump start your photo skills

Morning sunlight streaming through curtains, VSCOcam f2 preset

Tip 1: Start with what you’ve got.

My “serious” cameras were away in my bedroom when I was making Saturday morning breakfast and saw the sunrise streaming through the curtains. Outdated functioning 2011 refurbished smartphone camera was nearby and caught it before the lighting changed. Years before smartphones crashed the photo-making party it was up to me to throw camera gear in a bag and remember to take it with me if I expected to make use of creative moments. Nowadays… you’ve got it in your pocket.

The best camera is the one you’ve got with you when inspiration strikes. Post a #NoFilter or edit to your heart’s content with apps of your choice.

I was an instant fan of square film negatives when I shot a Bronica SQ-Ai for college courses. (Find one here on eBay) Instagram is one of my favorite places to share & see square images today.

Tip 2: Start where you are

These images are all from around the house and yard. Some while making meals, most during busy weekdays full of kids doing homework, getting ready for activities, washing up, making other meals, and in constant motion. No exotic locations, just sights that caught my eye on site and were snapped before they were gone.

Practice seeing details and waiting for images to line up right where you are. These reflexes are key to telling wedding day stories full of details and fleeting moments, and some of my favorite photos of my kids growing up are the ones taken on such “ordinary” days mentioned above.

Black and white daylight through blinds across door panel, VSCOcam b1 present

Tip 3: Simplify

Step closer. Look for details. Cut out clutter in the background.

Don’t like what you see in the frame? Move your feet. Fill the shot with your subject.

Turning these snaps of afternoon lighting into high contrast black and white images is simple with one of my favorite apps – VSCOcam. Presets and fine tune adjustments in VSCOcam and Instagram get the look I want from the shot on the screen.

Black and white mini blind shadows and rain, VSCOcam preset b5

Bonus: Take it or regret a missed opportunity

With plentiful digital camera & smartphone cloud storage this is a no-brainer. No excuse for passing up a shot when you have a camera and abundant means to store the image.

Daylight peeking over the rooftop warmed and melted the snow in the image below. This image would further disappear the longer I waited to capture it. I took my own advice and doubled back to take this photo.

Snow melting in the sunlight, VSCOcam m3 preset

Questions?

Vintage School LetteringGot your camera out and can’t get the shot you want? Wonder what those buttons and menus on your camera do? Tired of reading screens and manuals and just want to go shoot? Book a one-on-one tutorial session with me on topics you choose, Q&A, and demonstrations.

It’s real-world use for all that technology packed in your camera, explained to help you get the photos you’re after.

Reserve your spot here!

 

PS – If you’re in the Daylight Savings regions and set your clocks ahead this weekend, remember to adjust your digital camera’s clock too!

No Filter – December Photo Stroll Ramblings

Instagram December walk bench

#nofilter needed while out on a December day that felt more like early spring than a year end holiday countdown. Happened upon a little beam of warm sunlight making shadows through this bench. Kids are calm, film camera out of the bag to work on completing an old roll of 35mm I know I’ll leave […]

Home For the Holidays – Family Portraits and Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Christmas Portraits arguing over decorations

The holidays are simply magical. Friends gather, family comes to town, all bringing smiles and fond remembrances of yesteryear. Christmastime and winter break was a pretty fantastic time of year when I was a kid. It had all the sparkle and wonder of a cheery Hallmark movie dipped in school glue and rolled in every […]

Senior Portraits Album – Patience

Summer Senior Portraits Album Design layouts and ideas

November, as it seems, has returned to its previously scheduled programming with a chilly and damp fall Friday morning. The bonus week of summer escaped just before the weekend, but there are plenty of warm memories of summer and colorful days of October packed into this album from Patience’s Senior Sessions. Soak up the bright […]

Secondhand Fashion Portraits, First Rate Style at Generic

Framed Secondhand Fashion Portraits

My favorite portraits from the spontaneous shoot / contest at Generic store in downtown South Bend (a few years back). These made it all over my Facebook page for voting but the rest have remained Previously Unpublished until now. On a personal note, Be yourself. You are beautiful. You don’t owe anyone an apology for […]

Natural Light Children’s Portraits – Happy 1st Birthday Ayden

Kids birthday portraits with balloons

Sometimes my job behind the camera is a piece of cake. My clients’ ideas and translate into a creative energy, smiles abound, and it’s almost effortless. Like I said, a piece of cake. If anything, Quanay and her son Ayden made it a slice of 1st birthday cake when we met up for Ayden’s first […]

World Photo Day 2015 Specials

Accordion Portrait Sample Album

World Photo Day Specials I hope you had a great World Photo Day snapping away with your favorite picture-making devices! This special has expired, but the sample albums shown are always available to bring your favorite images together into a memorable keepsake. Book me for your next shoot here. For upcoming specials, subscribe to my […]

Summer Senior Portraits Session – Patience

summer senior portraits natural light headshot

Patience’s Senior Session landed a toasty August summer afternoon for her outdoor shoot. Plenty of natural smiles for natural light portraits on this sunny shoot! My favorite photos are always the shots where you are being yourself. Comfortable, natural, unscripted – your photos will show exactly that. If that means picking a bouquet of wildflowers […]

Previously Unpublished – Kalamazoo Lake Piers in the Moonlight

Saugatuck Kalamazoo lake piers in moonlight

On a quiet Monday evening several springs back I meandered Saugatuck, Michigan with a camera and tripod. Monday was my weekend, this quiet town was somewhere new. The moon was astounding that night and the piers were a quiet spot for a pause along the Kalamazoo River. Not all the Previously Unpublished images I’ve set […]

Congrats Rachelle and Josh – 10th Anniversary Flashback!

Morris Estate Chapel spring wedding newlywed portraits outdoors

On a sunny April Saturday 10 years ago today I joined Rachelle & Josh for their springtime wedding celebration at the Morris Estate Chapel in Niles, Michigan. Colorful tulips were in bloom outside the former Centre Meeting House, now a country chapel where the newlyweds were married. As they celebrate their anniversary today, here are […]