When my photography journey began 3 years ago and I started the long road to teaching myself technical photography I was inundated with blogs, forums, websites, videos, and classes that offered a lot of conflicting information!
I was often overwhelmed by what mode to try next, what light source to use, and what settings to change when to take the best photos. One person would tell me how important flash was and next would tell me to turn it off. One person would tell me to stay in Aperture Priority Mode and the next would tell me I needed to advance to full on Manual Mode.
All of these conflicting opinions required me to carefully weed through information overload and find the techniques and settings worked best for ME.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past three years, it’s that there is no one right answer for everyone and we all have different tastes, styles, and goals with our photography. The way a nature photographer shoots an image is going to be much different from the way a mom takes an image, and that’s OK.
But, that may leave you wondering how should a mom use her camera to take the best images possible?
Unfortunately there are no hard and fast ‘rules’ that I can give you to help you feel comfortable with you camera and it’s settings. The way I chose to learn my camera might not be the best way for you to learn. But, there are some common photography “rules” that I encountered on my journey that I either perceived in my head as necessary or ones that I found over and over again online that just didn’t work for me.
Today I’d like to share a few of those so called ‘rules’ and tell you why I think a lot of moms can ignore them all together.
Myth 1: Keep your flash on
I NEVER use flash in my photos anymore. But, with my first point and shoot camera I believed that in low light a flash was required to produce a bright enough photo. I was often frustrated with washed out photos and red eyes that made my images look horrible! It’s true that an external flash, when used correctly can produce beautiful images. But, as a busy mom looking to take photos of my kiddo I didn’t want to have to learn or lug around additional equipment. With the right lens, the right ISO settings, and a bit of patience I turned off my flash 3 years ago and haven’t looked back since.
Myth 2: Smile and ‘Say Cheese’
If all you had were smiling photos of your child, your albums would probably look really really boring. But, “Say CHEESE!!” is that infamous saying that even I have guiltily said to my daughter on more than one occasion. We all want the smiling pictures to print and frame for Grandma. But don’t forget all the other stories you have to tell of your child with your lens too. Capture the details of their tiny fingers and toes, capture them stuffing their face with pancakes for dinner, capture them in deep thought while they work on homework. Tell the story of their life to help you both remember down the road what it really was like during this time.
Myth 3: To shoot like a professional, your photos should look professional straight out of the camera
The truth is most images straight out of camera will look a bit duller than a professionally edited photo. When I got my hands on my first DSLR I was under the impression that I’d take it out of the box, point, shoot, and “Voila” an incredible bright and vibrant image would appear. I never thought much about the amount of work that goes into editing a photo after it’s taken. Even though it is important for a mom to learn to use light and camera settings to take a well exposed photo, it’s absolutely NOT cheating to apply editing treatments after the photo is taken to give it that professional polish and allow it truly shine. I recommend the free website PicMonkey to make your editing magic happen.
Your turn — Leave a comment below and tell me:
Are there any photography ‘rules’ you’ve heard before that you have a difficult time following? Is there anything with your camera that makes you think, “There has to be a better way to do this!!”? Have you heard any of the ‘rules’ I mentioned above OR are you excited to adjust your own photo taking methods to try one of the tips I’ve shared here today?
Next week I have a few more photography ‘rules’ I’ve encountered that are just made to be broken by us moms. We are such rebels, eh? *wink*
In the meantime, if you know another mama who could benefit from some photography rule breaking, I do hope you’ll share this post with them — I’ve made sharing easy peasy – just click one of the handy dandy share buttons below!