Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lifestyle Portraits | The R. Family

     This time of year is so beautiful to take portraits because of the flowers blooming, the not too cold/not too hot weather, and the beautiful sunny days. But of course that went out the door the day this adorable family took their photos. It had been wonderful the entire week and then that morning I look outside....a sheet of snow/ice/hail/it'swinteragain had formed. But that didn't stop Michelle and her family from running around and giggling for these super cute shots! The Cherry Blossom trees looked so beautiful that I just had to capture their pretty pink color in the photographs. Even though it was cold, they made it such a fun session! Here are some of my favorites...enjoy!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lifestyle Portraits | Seniors | Fashion: Stephanie

     I was asked to take a few photographs for one of my best friends the other day for an Ann Taylor contest she will be participating in. Whenever fashion and a photo shoot is involved....count me in!!! I was a little bummed the day was cloudy and gloomy, but the sun made a beautiful appearance later during our shoot ;). I had such a great time, and Steph looked fab in the photos! And guess whaaaaaat??!? IT'S FRIDAYYYYYYYY!!!!!! I hope you have a great one...enjoy! =)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Work of He{art}: Recent Projects

     As the days continue to grow longer, I seem to become more inspired to photograph some things on my never ending list of ideas. In between work and life, I stop and photograph things that inspire me, as well as random ideas that spark up. Here are a few things I have photographed lately, it's these little projects and ideas that keep my passion alive and creative juices flowing. Enjoy and Happy Saturday! =)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Photography | All About Aperture

     We see hundreds of photos from day to day that vary from magazines, to online blogs, to ads on the street. But what is it exactly that distinguishes an ordinary photo from a "professional" looking photo? Well there are many factors that play into the creation of a photograph before it is snapped.

     One of those very important factors is Aperture. So what exactly is Aperture and how in the world does that effect a photo you ask? It's one of those things that I would've rather eaten my arm off than sit and try to understand it at the time, but with some practice I too learned what it was all about...and it pretty much opened up an entire new world for me. I'm going to try to explain it the simplest way I learned it, and hopefully it helps you understand it too. =) 

     Okay, so Aperture. Aperture is simply the amount of opening on the lens of the camera. (If you speak Italian of Spanish you can remember it by the word aperto or abierto.) =)
     You see lenses are designed like our eyes. When there is a lot of light, the pupil in our eyes gets smaller and lets in less light so it doesn't bother us. When there isn't any light, our pupil opens up and gets bigger... so any amount of light gets in and helps us see better. 

     The lenses work the same way as a pupil. When there is plenty of light, you would make the opening of the lens smaller, when there is no light... you open it up all the way. Confused yet? Well, that's not all. In order to control the opening of the lens, you need to understand the numbers that control the Aperture. 

     Below is a a diagram to show you what I mean. This is the part that took me forever to understand. When the lens is opened all the way...the number is smaller such as 1.4, 2.0, 2.8. And when the lens is closed to let in less light, the number is big like 8, 16, 22. These numbers are called f/stops. 

{Via Google}

     In order to control these settings, the camera mode needs to be taken off of Auto, and placed on either Manual or Aperture Priority. In these modes, you are able to control the Aperture numbers. *Dslr cameras have these modes built onto the camera, some point and shoot cameras do as well.*

     When you take a photograph and see that the subject is in clear focus and the background is blurry, that is called Bokeh. The Bokeh is also controlled by the Aperture settings. 

Below is an example of two photographs to demonstrate the Bokeh.

     This photograph displays both the subject and background in clear focus. The settings for this photo was f/10. Since I wanted the subject and background crisp clear, I went for a smaller aperture (bigger number), which is also a smaller opening of the lens. 

     This photograph displays the subject in clear focus and the background blurry. This is usually the effect that beautiful "professional" photographs tend to have. The attention is placed on the subject (which here is my little brother), and it stands out from the background.
     The settings were f/1.8. I went for a larger aperture (smaller number), which is a bigger opening of the lens. 

     Phew!.....well that was a super long post and if you're still here, I hope it helped clarify Aperture a bit more. To much surprise, there is actually a lot of math involved in taking a beautiful photo. There needs to be a balance between many different factors, in which Aperture is one of them. I hope you enjoyed these tips and as always if you have any other questions... i'd love to know! =)

     Here are a few links to point and shoot cameras that have the Manual mode and have the ability to control the Aperture and other settings. Enjoy and Happy Thursday!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Photography | How to Achieve Better Photos

     When I was about 14 years old I grew into a mild obsession with the pretty images in the Limited Too catazine and owned countless framed photos of the amazing work of Anne Geddes. At the time I didn't quite understand why I loved the images so much, to me it was simply because they had this professional look to them that I just couldn't achieve. 
     Of course I didn't have a top of the line camera or flash, but there was something much more important than all of those things that I was missing. The single most important key to beautiful photos is.....light. You see without light, there is no photography. You can have the most expensive camera and equipment in the world, but without the understanding of how light affects a photo....the results will be just the same as a disposable camera you bought at the store. 
     Shocking? Yes, as was I before I realized with a little practice and reading anyone could take beautiful photos. And so I'm here to tell you that even with a point and shoot camera, your images can still be beautiful!

     Okay I will stop babbling on and demonstrate exactly what I mean...

This is an image I took with my Canon PowerShot SD870 IS camera, with the flash pointed at my little doll. 

Then I set my camera to the Macro setting, opened up all of the windows and shut off the flash.

Much better right? I didn't move the doll, just simply used the available light that came from the window to the right. The key is if there is enough natural/available light in your surroundings... use it to give your photos a more natural look. 

Many photographs in magazines and ads are beautiful because of lighting, but also because you can see every detail. 

In this photo, I wanted to show my bracelet but since it is so far away and there isn't enough light, you can't really see the pretty rhinestones covering the links.

 I then set my camera to Macro, got up close to the bracelet and opened up the windows to let in some light. Now you can see the pretty details as well as the name on one of the links. 

Granted they aren't as crisp and clear as the photographs in a magazine, but you can still achieve great detail and beautiful light with images you take everyday as well as on vacation. I always take my PowerShot with me on vacation for certain events that I don't want to lug my dslr around to. Many of my underwater and landscape shots came from my point and shoot...and they came out great!

And so in summary:

1. When there is natural/available light, shut off the flash setting. 
2. Get your subjects closer to the natural/available light before snapping the photo.
3. Set your camera to Macro and get in close for details on smaller subjects.

I hope you enjoyed this post and helped give you a little understanding into the beautiful world of photography and light! If you have any suggestions for any posts or topics, let me know! 
Happy Tuesday! =)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Thoughts

     Photography is one of the things in our lives where we all have a connection with. We grow up taking pictures, or rather our parents taking pictures of us to remember every milestone in our lives. Perhaps we have a photograph of our favorite toy, our pet, our best friend when we were three, our first time we pedaled our bicycle on our own. Sometimes looking at a photograph can evoke certain emotions within us, that no one else can quite understand. I see it as "pressing play" in my mind, and the photograph becomes a video of that moment. I find it amazing that almost every photo I've taken or been part of (well at an old enough age) is stored in my mind like a video clip. Whenever I want to replay that moment, I simply look at that image once again. 
     I love to capture moments as with most people with photography, but for me there are deeper reasons as to why I fell in love with it. You see for me, often times a photo starts in my mind. Then the hardest part sometimes is trying to make that photo in real life, so I can show others what I saw. In our society, photography has become a means to show others what we're doing, where we're doing it, how we're dressed, what we're eating, who we're with etc, etc... I'm just as guilty to participating in all of it as well. But the photographs we show others always depict just how "perfect' our life really is in that moment. Our lives could be falling apart behind the scenes, yet as far as the world knows, it's incredible. 
     At times I see this as a negative aspect, since I grew up with simply wanting to remember a photograph in that moment, to remember everything about it, which is beautiful in all aspects. But then there's the other reason I fell in love with it, and that is because to me photography is also an escape. With photography anything is possible. I could create a beautiful whole other world that exists in my mind, or perhaps that I dream of. While it may not necessarily be true in real life (at the moment), in my photos...it is. Whether you want to be fearless, a dancer, adventurous, a traveler,....to me it's all possible with photography. My heart's been heavy lately with so many thoughts, ideas and dreams, that I simply had to just write. If you happen to stumble upon this post, feel free to tell me what you feel...what's your escape?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Life in a Photo: Instagram | February

     I post everyday musings and inspirations on my instagram, but just in case of the off chance you don't have an account or just haven't found me yet ;)....here are a few of my favorite photos I've been snapping away the past few weeks. It keeps me creative, and sometimes when I don't have a whole shoot planned out, I'll post an image of one idea that came to mind or simply pretty things that fuel me and keep me inspired. Happy Monday lovelies!! <3