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 Outdated functioning 2011 refurbished smartphone camera was nearby and caught it before the lighting changed.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!

Fall, in Love – Outdoor September Autumn Wedding with Handmade Decorations

Autumn has been in the air around here since at least last weekend. Warm jackets are out, the colors on the trees are starting to turn, and apple cider is a regular beverage. My favorite season has begun.

Meredith and Chris’ wedding day was full of beautiful handmade personalized decorations, sculptures, pottery and floral arrangements. Some of my favorites are below…

September outdoor autumn wedding date stone

September outdoor autumn wedding seating sign

handmade sunflower pavers love honor cherish

September outdoor autumn-wedding-metal sculpture couple sunflower

September autumn wedding bouquet grandparent photo charms

September autumn wedding custom rings pottery plate

September outdoor autumn wedding tent ceremony

September outdoor autumn wedding tent in well landscaped yard

September outdoor autumn wedding rings exchange

I’ve enjoyed seeing so many different takes on the traditional unity candle symbolism in wedding ceremonies and this unity tree planting was the first of its kind for me. The bride, groom, and their parents joined in planting a tree during the outdoor wedding ceremony.

September outdoor autumn wedding tree planting soil pail

September outdoor autumn wedding unity tree planting

September outdoor autumn wedding in a tent, couple's first kiss

September outdoor autumn wedding tent recessional

September outdoor autumn wedding just married floral sign

September outdoor autumn wedding sunflower bouquet and rings

September outdoor autumn wedding newlyweds by the river at dusk

The morning’s rain stayed away for the outdoor wedding ceremony, gave overcast lighting and a glimmer of moisture to all the lovely floral decor. (Photo tip: rainy days yield saturated colors and contrast!)

IU Indiana University Logo cake topper

Finalizing the list of personalized decorations is this Indiana University IU monogram cake table piece, complete with the newlyweds’ wedding date. Go Hoosiers! Congrats, again, newlyweds, and happy anniversary!

 

Love what you see? Drop me a line to have me tell your love story with engagement and wedding day photography.

 

Love Never Dies – Rockabilly Malt Shop Undead Cake Topper

Gotta share a few favorite detail photos from the weekend’s celebration while I’m editing through the rest…

Check out Tyler & Dakota’s personalized custom rockabilly 1950s malt shop couple cake topper. Undead style. I can almost hear the jukebox playing! Gorgeous accent!

custom rockabilly 50s malt shop skelteton caketopper

custom fonzie poodle skirt 50s malt shop skelteton cake topper

personalized rockabilly 50s malt shop undead cake topper

Enjoy!

Rings and City Skyline

Wedding rings and South Bend skyline

Shiny rings and downtown South Bend, Indiana Marriott Hotel window sill.

Tried something new for a photo of the wedding rings, and pretty happy with the results!

Shot with a Nikon D300, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 DX fisheye lens.