Who Takes Your Photos?!
I remember flipping through photos of my childhood and only seeing my mother in 2 or 3 of the hundreds. I looked at her and asked, “Mom…why are you not in ANY photos!?!” and she simply replied, “My dear, I took all of those photos”.
Oh, how I wish I had more photos with my mother when I was younger. How I wish I could see her smile at me and just be…natural and free. I wish I could see the way she used to look at me when I first started walking or talking. I wish someone took the camera and just snapped photos of her beautiful face for 24 hours.
I made the decision when I was pregnant that I would be in as many photos as I could. I didn’t have much money, but I started slow and used my 5-year-old cell phone. After I saved enough, I purchased my first DSLR camera and a lens. Then a tripod. Then another lens! I slowly made my wish come true.
For those of you who do not know, I am a slightly shy person and super uncomfortable when anyone (even Martin) takes photos of me. I had to teach myself how to take photos of myself and my children without any help!
Taking photos on my own time and in my “happy zone” vs “uncomfortable and embarrassed” zone is amazing. Learning how to use the camera and understanding how to best shoot my body has been so thrilling and eye-opening!
I have decided to divulge all of my photo taking secrets with our community so that you can have more time in front of the camera instead of behind it!
No Instagram husband needed folks. All you need is a camera, a tripod, and some good old fun with your children!
This photo was taken on a walk with my children. A simple tripod set-up is all it took to snap this photo via my Canon camera app. All in all, this photo took 5 shots and about 10 minutes to complete! My children were playing a few feet away from the tripod in the grass and eating some fresh apples.
Another tripod success! My sons hate when I have the camera in my hand so I decided to just keep it on the tripod for their photos as well. After starting this process, I realized I had struck gold! The boys do not mind the tripod or the camera at all when it does not interfere with mommy time, so I just shoot with the remote and everyone is happy! I love how these turned out.
The Basic Necessities
I had the tripod set up in this location for about an hour and ended up with over 50 gorgeous photos. The boys were in love with all of the horses and flowers surrounding us and it was so easy to just snap away. I used the wireless remote and my cell phone to snap the photos. I also took a few videos that I cherish with all of my heart.
Another favorite of mine! I did not actually take this photo though, Martin did! Sometimes he will step in and hit the shutter for me when I cannot face the camera (or I do not want to use the 2 or 10-second self-timer). If he is around, I may ask him to snap the shot on the tripod!
Editing to Perfection
I chose to use Adobe Lightroom and a selection of purchased presets for my the editing of my photos. Lightroom is an amazing photo editing tool from Adobe that took me only a couple of days to understand (and I am NOT great with computers). After about a year of playing around, I decided to spend a little bit of money on some beautiful quality presets.
There are tons and tons of presets to choose from, so just be sure of what you are looking for! You can also find some amazing free presets on the web!
I used Lightroom and the KatieOne Bellini preset on this photo. I am in love!
The original photo was very dull in color and Leo’s skin looked very faded.
This is an example of just a Lightroom edit without any preset. Some photos just do not need any more “umph”.
I adore this one!
Extra Tips and Tricks
- Learn how to use your camera with youtube videos. Do not just stick with the manual setting – I promise, just an hour or so of videos on your selected cameras can improve your photos drastically!
- Stay away from flash unless you are extremely knowledgeable with cameras. The flash will most likely ruin your photo.
- Face the sun. If you are shooting on a sunny day and the highlights of your face look crazy, just turn your face to the sun and create a beautiful side shot. Some of these photos are my favorite!
- Keep it simple. Try not to go too crazy with props and outfits. The best photos are super simple and full of love. Just bring the love mama!
- Colors. If there are certain colors that you are attracted to (I adore green and beige) then use them! Find the location with the colors and have a ton of fun during editing time.
- Swap on self-timer. If you are using the self-timer on the camera itself, you MUST place on object in the exact spot where you will be standing/sitting for it to zoom in on. If you do not do this, the photo will be blurry. For example: If I want to take a photo on my bed with my son, I will place a pillow in the spot where I will be sitting and hit the 10-second timer. I walk over, remove the pillow, and take its place. Now the camera will be focused on me!
- You are beautiful. That’s all!
Our Favorite Coconut Potato Curry!
This is the perfect dinner for a Fall evening! In under 20 minutes, your family will be enjoying the amazing flavor of curry, coconut, potatoes, lentils, and more!
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 small knob ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 head broccoli, sliced into florets
- 5-6 large Yukon potatoes, diced (any potato will do)
- 1 can lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 can coconut milk, full fat
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- Juice of 1/2 lime (or more!)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Avocado and hemp seeds to top
Saute onions, ginger, and garlic in 1/4 cup vegetable broth. Add more if needed.
Once soft, pour in spices, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, broth, potatoes, and broccoli. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add in lentils and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Pour into individual serving bowls and top with sliced avocado, hemp seeds and a squeeze of lime.