Saturday, April 7, 2012

Momma-razzi | Moms With Cameras | Getting the most out of your Point & Shoot

Recently, I have had a few clients and people on facebook ask me about taking photos and how they can get their snap shots to turn out better. Well let me tell ya, photography is all about light! Sure creativity and imagination go a LONG way in this field but without light... you have no art!

** All the images in this post were taken at some point by me and my regular ol' point and shoot camera - some are even straight out of the camera with no edited done. - just to prove that fancy and more expensive DOES NOT make it better, it's all about your vision, creativity and your understanding of your camera and it's capabilities.

I have been shooting digital since 2003, I was NO PHOTOGRAPHER by any meaning or definition of the word, but to me, taking photos and giving an ordinary thing a different perspective was amazing, it felt awesome, and I wanted to show it off!

Scrapbooking is what really got me into the photography mind set. I wanted BETTER photos of my subjects so I could have BETTER pages in my scrapbooks! I have always had a camera in my hand but from about 2003 on... i was on a MISSION! I find it interesting that my MISSION has brought me all the way here but I couldn't be more happy about that, unless someone gave me a Million dollars and said "quit your job and become a full-time photographer!" haha

In the same note, a lot of people are surprised to learn that I have only had my dSLR camera since this past summer. 
since I have been making beautiful and creative photos since well BEFORE then! Trust me when I say this, I have used my point and shoot cameras for EVERYTHING they are worth and I will tell you to do the same. There is NO reason to buy a "better" camera until you have sucked the LIFE out of the one you currently have. Until you have gone thru the manual and know and understand about all the functions your camera does and does not do... you do NOT, I repeat DO NOT NEED to purchase a bigger badder camera because what you will do is leave it in auto and not learn how to use it to it's full potential, essentially having a really expensive point and shoot.

By the time I had FINALLY gotten my hands on my Nikon D7000 I had already learned so much from the Internet that I got the camera and immediately put it in manual and started to practice. I had been shooting for YEARS in auto or with limited capabilities so with all the knowledge that I gathered from the Internet i was OFF. I was so excited to get this awesome camera with all the tricks and new things it could do but it was because I had outgrown the capabilities of the regular ol' point & shoot.

Most people can't afford for a photographer to come out every time your baby or child does something cute to capture in and professional manner so the most affordable thing to do is make whatever you have right now... work for you!

 
Most point and shoots today have options on them that resemble the dslr cameras - being able to control some aperture and things of that nature but the best thing you can do with your point and shoot (in my opinion) is turn the flash off and that's an option on EVERYONES camera - whether you realize it or not.  
I am no expert on flash photography, I am not even a novice on flash photography because I am just not interested in doing that aspect of this work. (YET!) I am, however, an advocate for natural light so of course that will be the first thing I suggest when using your camera.

So lets turn that flash off:
If you are outside, you do not need that flash, turn it off. Even indoors, when you open the windows and doors to let the light in, you don't usually need to have a flash.




There is a button located somewhere around your "menu" or navigation button that looks like a lightening bolt, when pressed it will scroll thru options changing icons on your display screen when you push it will change the flash setting. I am going to list a few of the different flash settings on your camera:




red eye setting, icon, looks like an eyeball, (this will usually fire the flash several times in a row, causing people to blink, move or look away thinking the photo has been taken before it actually has). it's a great thing to use when you want a little fill flash but don't want peoples eyes to be red, glowing or devilish!


automatic setting, looks like a lightening bolt with an "A" beside it (the pop up flash will only fire when your camera thinks you need it) this is a good setting for when there is uneven lighting or when the light is going to be changing frequently if there are several dark shady areas that may need a little fill light. Beware that this may cause some blown (over exposed) areas in the face especially if there is a little sweat or oil shine to the skin.


no flash setting, looks like a "no smoking" sign except with the lightening bolt instead of the cigarette, this is a perfect setting for most outdoor photo shooting, you get the natural light on the face and skin and usually don't have to worry about an over exposure and loosing details that you can not get back since you can only shoot in a "jpg" format.

Trust me, a naturally lit photo is much more appealing to the eye than a fill flash photo.
Try this trick, take a photo of your child, flower, or ANYTHING, even a stuffed animal outside, standing about a foot away, WITH your flash, then change your settings and turn the flash off, take another picture in the same spot, not moving and see the differences, you'll never want to go back! 

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when snapping photos...
if its a child or pet, get on their level, if they are in the floor, you should get in the floor and don't be afraid of different angles.

clear the background. my house is hardly ever in tip top shape so if the kids are doing something i want to capture, i will angle so that there aren't distractions in the frame or just kick a few of the distractions (usually toys) out of the way.

You will also want a nice editing program to use and I would have recommended Picnik.com but they have recently closed :o(
now there is a site that is similar it's called picmonkey.com
but try not to over edit... i know it's hard and i did the same thing when i first got my hands on a editing program but i PROMISE you - less is better!

Whether your taking a photo of your child, family or even your art work and crafts -this is one trick that will help you get your point and shoot to look more natural -you can do wonderful things with a point n shoot these days so take the time to learn about your camera before you go get a dslr!! :o) 

Helping you put the SNAP in Snapshot!


Happy Snapping! 

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