I’ve had several people ask me for tips and tricks for photography. Professional, hobbiest, or individual with a camera, this is one thing that is VERY important to know!!!
I’m going to try to make this short and simple.

When photographing a subject (anything from a cake, to a building, to a chair, to a person) changing your position may completely change the look of your image!

Here’s an example.

See this picture here?

This is a beautiful little dead flower, it makes you think of deep woods. The photographer must have walked a mile in the woods before they saw this little flower and they were able to capture this cute little sad image, right?
Actually no. This little flower is a dead little garden flower. Surrounded by grass, other dead flowers, and neighbors…

When taking a picture of this great opportunity to tell a story with it.
When you capture it in the wrong position, you lose a great story.

See this picture here?

This is the exact same flower from straight on. I’m eye-level with it shooting it.
It’s still a cute(ish) flower I guess, but really? The neighbor’s house?
A lot of people will tell you “Don’t worry about the background, no one notices it.” I’m sorry to say, but they’re wrong. People really DO notice it. (Especially other photographers. :P *laughs*)

So, you say, how do we change the position with this flower?
Let’s try it from another position, let’s try shooting down a little so we change the background to the grass. (Grass looks great with just about anything, right?)

See this image?

Still the same flower, just a different position.
It’s still bland and boring. The grass is distracting, and the flower just looks skinny, long, and very 2 dimensional.

When you’re dealing with the 2 dimensional/flat look, you definitely want to find another position to add dimension and life to your image.
In this case, let’s try shooting almost straight down.

Now we have this image!

This is a great position because you now have a less distracting background AND great dimension to your image.

Change a few settings, edit the colors a bit… and voila!!!
You end up with this!

And this…

And this!!!

All from the same position!!!

See how a simple change of position makes a world of difference?
I barely moved a foot. My body stayed in the same place, I just moved around to capture it differently.

SO, the next time you’re out shooting something or someone and you are just not liking how it’s turning out. Try changing your position! :)
Even after you’ve found “THE” position, keep changing it up and try a few new angles! You can never find too many different angles.

Happy shooting!
~Danica

Coming next…
“Auto VS Manual!”
Not a deep explanation on Automatic VS Manual, just some quick and basic examples of the difference between the two.

The last time I wrote a blog for Photography tips it was on “What Makes a Good Photographer“. (Which, in all honesty, I never quite finished that series. *BLUSHES* But I have plans to! I wrote out most of the blog I just need to finish it.)
Which I really enjoyed writing because I learned all of this the hard way, but I had so many other photographers encourage me and invest time and information into me. That is what helped me learn the most, the encouragement. Now I want to encourage others and pass on some of this amazing information that was given to me, or that I’ve learned myself!!!

One of the things I REALLY struggled with (and I mean REEEAAAALLLLYYY struggled with) is posing.
Yes, I know. I lost you there for a bit, didn’t I? Who really is a natural poser? Who can really pick up a camera and naturally know how to pose someone else in front of the camera in a beautiful way that compliments their figure in the best possible way?
Yeah… I didn’t think so, me either. ;)

It’s okay, you’re not alone!
Even though I’ve had a good two straight years in learning this, I still struggle with it sometimes!!!

When I do, however, I always find myself remembering some words of wisdom I’ve heard from some other amazing photogs. (One of which is Jasmine Star, and her “Posing FAQs” blogs and advice. And DPS’s “What Everybody Ought to Know About Posing” articles. Can’t sing their praises enough! Definitely read these, they’re worth your time!)

But how can you keep from having your subjects look like their posed in strange positions and have that look like they’re just smiling for the camera… that cliched “Cheese” look with no emotion in their features?
The secret is… You don’t pose and create moments, you CAPTURE moments.

Here are my quick tips on how I do just that. (These are only my techniques, not claiming to have all of the answers, just telling you what has worked for me! :P)

1- Have the couple enjoy their time with one another.
I want them to have moments where they even forget I’m even there.
I mean really, who is comfortable in front of the camera all the time? (Other than models who do it for a living. But I bet even they have times where they’re nervous.)
We’re real people. We want real moments, and real emotion. But when we feel like we’re in the spotlight we panic and feel like we need to perform, and we lose that real emotion.
When you’re shooting a couple you want to keep their attention on one another. Give them a few moments to talk to themselves, look in each other’s eyes and get that “connection” between them. You can snap away so they feel comfortable with you around, snapping pictures, but to truly capture that “moment” you need them to connect with one another’s souls.

2- Constantly encourage your subject/couple.
Again, they’re NERVOUS!!! They feel so self conscious right now. I know how that is, I’ve had to pose for other photographers as well, and I feel so awkward in front of the camera.
One of the best ways to encourage them is by telling them how amazing they look, and how beautiful they are. If your picture looks bad in your view-finder, it’s NOT because of your couple. It’s our job to make them feel comfortable and find another position or setting that makes them look amazing. Sometimes that means scrapping that picture idea and moving onto the next.
But I never EVER, EVER tell my subject that a picture turned out awful. Because they think it’s their fault, something they did wasn’t right, or they looked ugly, or whatever… You want their confidence to build during your shoot.

3- Try natural poses first!
Sometimes a position just doesn’t look right. Even if it looks beautiful to the naked eye, through a lens it just looks iffy. Ever have those moments? Your couple looks AMAZING, but as soon as you take that shot… what happened? It’s a completely different look, and it’s awful! It just doesn’t work.
Instead of trying to pose your couple in grand fashion-magazine-worthy poses, try the natural classic poses first! There’s always a way to make a classic pose look new and different! (Yes, that means you need to get creative with angles, lighting, background, framing… etc. But those are for another time. We’re on poses right now. ;) Don’t let me get side-tracked!)
Find a natural pose that works for your couple, ask them what they do when they’re alone on a date… do they sit down and snuggle? Does he like to put his hand around her waist and pull her in to kiss her? Does she like to play with his hair whenever she hugs him? Do they like to hold hands while they smooch?
Each couple has different things they do to show their affection to one another, and because it’s natural for them, it becomes a cuter and more realistic pose. They naturally fall into the pose, and do their thing… and that makes it easier for you to do #1. ;) Become invisible and capture natural moments and pure emotions.
Keep it simple and natural. You’ll have some of the best outcomes, you don’t need to go all out and find the perfect movie-poster poses that look stiff and positioned. You’ll save yourself the energy and frustration if you find something they’re already good at… just being themselves.

That’s all from me for now!
I’ll bring more to you soon…

Happy shooting!!!
~Danica

Decisions, decisions, decisions! SO MANY CHOICES! :D
I now know how some of my clients feel trying to choose which pictures they want to print off the most.

I’m about to print off some of my own images to put up on my walls. I’m especially looking at 8×10 sixes. (I’d LOVE to put up a 11×14, but that means I need to decide yet another one!)

I have to go through all the pictures I’ve taken in the last while and deciding what I specifically want on my wall. *sighs*
Do I print off pictures of my family? Do I print off flowers? Do I print off pictures for the color? Or for their simplicity?
SOOOOO many choices!

So, I guess I’ll let you guys vote! PLEASE help me decide!
Which pictures should I post? Please vote for your top 5 (or so) favorites!


(#1)


(#2)


(#3)


(#4)


(#5)


(#6)


(#7)


(#8)


(#9)


(#10)


(#11)


(#12)


(#13)


(#14)


(#15)


(#16)


(#17)


(#18)


(#19)


(#20)


(#21)


(#22)


(#23)


(#24)


(#25)


(#26)


(#27)


(#28)

I know, I know… so many choices. (See what I mean?!) I can’t decide on my own! I at least brought it down to (what I THINK is) my top 28! ;)

So… Any help would be much appreciated! :D :D :D

Thanks all! You’re a sanity saver! ;)
Blessings,
~Danica

I keep trying to blog, but keep failing. Why? Honestly… because I don’t think this is a place I can be myself. I love people. Plain and simple.
I love talking to people. Being with people. Meeting people. And watching people. (In a non-stalkerish way. :P)
Communicating with people is part of who I am. I enjoy the one-on-one connection. I enjoy watching how someone responds to my words. I enjoy making them laugh at my stories, and laughing at theirs. A blog, for me, feels like an empty room. When I talk all I hear is an echo of my own voice, and no one to talk to. All I see are empty walls and no faces to watch emotions on.
I don’t even know if anyone ever reads what I have to say, or if anyone cares. (Don’t get me wrong, I know a few people read it, ones whom I love and who love me enough to suffer through my ramblings. ;) Which I appreciate, you guys! Thank you!)
But I don’t have that one-on-one connection with people that I enjoy so much. -Facebook usually is where I go for that kind of connection.

But part of me says to just quit trying to have connection with an empty blog and just start being me, talking to this blog like I would my closest friend. (Or in my case, family member!)

So dear blog-world, I think that is exactly what I will start doing… talking to you like you were a close friend. If you read it, that’s great! I’d love to hear from you. If not, that’s okay too! ;)

In other words prepare for a full on, ME!
I have a lot of things I had wanted to write about but I didn’t know if I’d bore you or not. But now I think I’ll just start writing and if you read through them, you can let me know what you enjoy reading and what you don’t. :)

Thanks guys for sticking it through with me!
I appreciate it more than you know! :)

Have a great weekend,
~Danica (Who is wondering if photography info, photography tips, craft ideas, a “my life” post, or another post of pictures should be next…)

Now that it’s after Mother’s Day, I can post these! :D

I always enjoy Super-Secret photoshoots! This was a special Mother’s Day present to their mom.
The McFarlands haven’t had their pictures done professionally for over 10 years!!! (I’ll try not to faint or freak out. :P Ack! Ten years!!!)


(The kids giving hugs)

This is Livvy the Youngest

This is Matt the Middle Child

And this is Mandy the oldest

It was really fun trying to set everything up without their mom knowing!
After Mother’s Day, Mandy told me that her mom loved the images, she cried when she opened them and saw her kids faces staring back at her.
As you can guess… that made my week! :)
I always enjoy capturing pictures for people that they love and will cherish forever!

Until next time…
Hope you guys have an awesome day! (It’s too beautiful to stay indoors!)
~Danica