Welcome to my very first "Tuesday Click It Tips." I'm very excited to help you learn how to get the most out of your "fancy" camera. I'm calling it a "fancy" camera, because if you own a DSLR and you learn how to use it, it will open up a whole new world for you when it comes to capturing your family memories. I think that's a pretty "fancy" piece of equipment.
So why am I doing this and what's in it for me? Look, I know that you are not going to hire a professional photographer for every special moment in your life. There are times when you would probably want to hire a photographer for your yearly family portraits or for important child milestones. I will be the first to say that you should hire a professional and I could go into the countless reasons why and what makes a professional a professional, but I won't.
The truth is, you aren't going to hire a professional to take pictures of your kids running through the sprinkler in the backyard, or on your family vacation jumping the ocean waves, or when they are playing a soccer game on a Saturday, or even your child's high school graduation ceremony. I get it...you just aren't and I wouldn't either. Heck, you have to book a professional months in advance. You can't have one on speed dial to come over to catch them in the sprinkler. Not going to happen. I'm doing this so that you can capture all those tiny moments in between yourself, beautifully and confidently. Those are the moments captured that when you look back on them, they will take you right back to that backyard, beach, soccer field or graduation.
My Tuesday Click It Tips will not turn you into a rock star professional photographer. They will also not turn your everyday moments into works of art. If that is what you are looking for, I can certainly refer you to some amazing instructors who can help you turn that dream into a reality. You will find them here:
If you decided to sign up for the ClickinMoms forum or for a workshop at Click Photo School, please do it through the links in this blog or website so they know that I sent you. Thank you!
So lets get started and hop back to the day I picked up my first "fancy" camera. It was a Canon Rebel and it came bundled with two lenses. My sweet husband, knowing my budding obsession with photographing everything we do, bought me this camera as a Mother's Day gift many years ago. My heart bursts with joy thinking about that day, because putting that camera in my hands all those years ago literally changed my life. That's not an exaggeration.
My first image with my new camera:
Gosh...so dark. I remember secretly thinking, I can't believe that he spent all that money on this new camera and these images are no better than my old Kodak point and shoot. They might even be a little worse. I felt really bad and also a bit upset that this camera was just not all it was cracked up to be. I couldn't tell him that I felt that way, so I just beamed with joy and kept on clicking away.
Then I began to think, maybe it was me, and not the camera. I took a closer look at the much larger than I was used to camera. I was overwhelmed! What were all those buttons and why did I need them? What the heck is ISO, AF, WB? Symbols? Um, why? I would have to become some sort of wizard to use this thing. I just wanted to take better pictures of my kids. Shouldn't this rather expensive camera be able to just do that for me? I quickly learned it's not that simple. Shoot, you mean I have to learn how to use it?
Image 5 of my first day with the "fancy" cam...
Better, but I had no idea what I did differently for this image to turn out better than the last. Literally. Had. No. Idea. Hint: It wasn't the camera.
Listen, I've been there. I know why your DSLR is collecting dust and you might be frustrated with it. It does take time and a bit of learning to make it work for you. I am here to help simply because it is something that I am incredibly passionate about. I'm hopelessly obsessed with capturing our moments. I have a pretty deep philosophy of why that is important. I truly believe that the most loving and important thing that you can do as a family is to create experiences together. Along those same lines, I believe it's important to capture those moments so that later down the road of life, they can hold a photo album in their hands and feel the same joy that we felt together at that moment just by viewing the images. Photography is that powerful.
One of my favorite images from our spring break trip last year:
So that's what this post is about. I want to help you tackle that crazy camera and learn how to make it work for you. I want to help you capture what you see and how you see it. I'm not going to talk to you like a photographer. I won't help you become one. That is a whole other journey. I will help you become more comfortable with your camera to the point that you will not want to leave home without it. I want to help you capture your memories and create images that will bring you right back to that moment that was precious enough for you to click the shutter.
We will begin next week and we aren't even going to pick up your camera, yet. It's like the Karate Kid, there is so much to know before you are ready to start clicking away. " Patience, Daniel-Son." So for now, a little light reading. Get the book, trust me, you need it! It's the only photography book that is an absolute must have...