momtog

Project 52 - March 2018 - Greensboro Photographer

March kind of kicked me on my tail, so my personal weekly photography project got placed on the back burner.  I did manage a few captured moments, but it definitely needs improved upon for April.  Lucky for me two notable things happened in March - I finally was able to purchase a new DSLR camera (more to come on how I made my selection in a future blog post) and Easter fell on the very last day of the month.  Those are the only reasons I have any pictures from the month.  Bad Momtog!

 

Beginner Photography Reads - Greensboro Photographer

So you finally got that fancy camera, but now you're staring at it like a deer in headlights? Believe me, I've been there.  When I was gifted my first Canon DSLR a decade ago, I set that thing on Auto and got real comfortable there.  The timing of that gift coincided with my firstborn becoming a toddler.  I hired a dear friend to take his Birthday pictures when he turned two and the images she gave me are priceless.  She accomplished beauty with her camera that I knew I would never get from mine if I continued living on Auto (<---that is a character trait of mine as well).  I immediately asked her if she would share some simple tips to help get me shooting in Manual.  It is a daunting task at first and it's a lot of technical information.  If you're more creatively minded (like me), the info gets jumbled up really quick.  My friend gave me some great simple hands on tips to get me started, but then we both moved to different states and I was left to my own devices. Thus began countless hours online reading and playing with buttons on my camera and shooting my pen jar on my desk to see the effects.  In my search, I came across a few really awesome books that helped me figure things out.  They are easy to read and the language was just my speed - direct and simple.  I thought I'd share a few of my favorite books here in case any of you are wanting to get off Auto.  These cameras are $$ - use them to their full capability!

1) The Manual.  Okay, okay - this one is not so simple and direct.  I know it's totally boring.  But, believe me - if you want to know where to find something on your specific camera, you just have to read the manual it comes with.  I still have to reference mine for features I don't use regularly.  This is an invaluable resource. I recently purchased a Canon 6D MkII and am loving it.

2) Mamarazzi by Stacy Wasmuth

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This book was SO helpful in helping me understand all the photography lingo and how to make my backgrounds have that awesome blurred out effect (aka bokeh).  It also helped me throw caution to the wind and remember that my images don't require perfection because, well, life isn't perfect.  Photography is about capturing memories.  If you're just wanting to use your camera to document your family, you will definitely want to pick up a copy of this book.  I can't recommend it highly enough.

3)The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby

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Okay, this one is actually a series and I strongly encourage you to read the entire series.  He starts with the basics and then goes a little deeper into technical issues later on.  Plus, Kelby's personal work is splattered throughout and his images are so inspiring!

4)Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

While this one is definitely more technical, it's a must read for helping understand the outcome of your images.  You need to understand exposure in order to create properly 'lit' pictures.  You can even use the information in these pages to understand photography with your iPhone.  Exposure isn't a camera snob.

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Project 52 - A 2018 Lifestyle Journey

I have always wanted to do a Project 52 or the even more ambitious 365, but life has been so hectic for the past 7 years I just felt overwhelmed at the thought of such an undertaking.  But, as I sat down to think about the things I want to FOCUS (my word of the year) on for 2018, I really want to get back to documenting my family's life day to day.  When my oldest was born and through his toddler years, I had a personal blog and every year I created photo books using those blog posts.  As I was looking back through those books, I realized they stopped when my middle child was 2.  That immediately made me sad!  It was right then I committed to finally completing a Project 52 (and am actually thinking about making it a 365).


I always think things like this are more fun with friends, so I have created a Facebook group to share, inspire, encourage and motivate each other.  When I put out the call for others to join me, I expected a handful to request to join me.  But, the number has already surpassed my expectations and it's not even January 1st!  This group is open to all - cell phone, dslr or point and shoot - I really don't care what you're using.  All I care about is that this group encourages you to find joy in the every day and make sure you have something to look back on later in life.  Personally, my intention is to use my big camera (Canon 5D) on my own family and not just for clients.  I plan to create a yearbook for each of my kids for Christmas every year and I want to make sure I have plenty of memories to fill the pages with. 

If you'd like to join us, hop on over to Facebook and request to join the group - Project 52: A 2018 Journey.  The more the merrier!  All I ask is that the atmosphere stays positive, no critiques unless asked, and encourage the other members to complete their journey. I have created a document of themes for each week of the year - you can use that to inspire you or do your own thing.  I plan to highlight some of the images on my business Facebook page (Audra E Photography) and here on the blog.

I can't wait to see what memories everyone is capturing in the new year!

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On Being a MomTog | Greensboro Family Photographer

Being a photographer with my own children is both awesome and a little frustrating.  If you're a parent, then you can probably relate with me when I say my children are always better behaved for other adults than they are for me.  I have no problem having amazing sessions with other children - I can always manage some smiles and spontaneous fun.  With my own children, however, I just never ever know which attitude they are going to bring to a shoot - if I can even get them out the door.  The plus side, however, is that I can gauge when they might be in a cooperative mood and can head out the door at any given moment with nothing more than my camera and my child.

As I have been getting more acclimated to Greensboro and Winston-Salem, I am finding so many amazing locations for photo sessions.  I stumbled upon this pretty field a couple weeks ago after dropping off a babysitter.  When I saw the trees speckled with all the pretty flowers, I knew it would be the perfect spot for my 7 year old's annual photo shoot.  She's obsessed with pretty flowers so I figured she'd oblige me.  Thankfully, she did not disappoint and I managed to capture who she is at age 7.

World...Meet my sassy SEVEN year old.  I may be biased, but isn't she gorgeous?  (oh, and the almost two year old had to jump in because, helloooooo, matching dresses from Gymboree)