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Why Taking a Break is Good for Your Photography

I believe taking the occasional break from your photography is good. We get caught up in pleasing everyone that we forget about ourselves. Same thing can be applied to photography. I took the longest break last year after I found out I was pregnant. For one, I was just too tired. But, I also just wasn’t inspired. However, that break did wonders for my photography and I am really glad I took it.

need help getting out of your photography rut? here are 4 ways to get our of your photography rut.

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it helps you realize why you are photographing

When I took my break, I was able to reflect on why I photographed things. What was my goal in photographing? For me, it was so that I could get good enough to document my future children’s lives. For me, it relaxes me and I really enjoy photography. I love the challenge of trying new light, and I love trying new compositions. Photographing different locations made me happy and so did photographing my back yard in different ways. For me, the ultimate goal was documenting. And after my break I realized I wasn’t really documenting my days. Documentary photography is something that is very hard for me, but something that I love. I know I will find it easier when I have a cute little one to document every day.

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it allows you to look at your photography differently

During my break, I would look at my photography and think, “Wow, these are great photos! But they’re not what I want my photography to portray”. I always thought I loved the bright and airy photos. The fake, bright, airy photos. You know, the ones where you envied that photographers house because she had such beautiful lighting all the time and the cutest decor? That was what I wanted. But, deep down, my photography really reflected me. It reflected the imperfection and the darkness, but it also reflected the light I have in my life. After realizing these things, I started noticing a change in my photography for the better. Look at your photography during your break. Figure out if it truly makes you happy.

it allows you to prioritize what’s really important

I am sadly admitting that before my break, I was constantly plugged in to the computer and social media world. Constantly thinking about what I could post to get likes. Who was posting. What new workshops were available. I was obsessed. Don’t get me wrong, be connected is great! I still love instagram and I still love getting on the computer to work on my photographs. But, I also love spending time with my family. With my husband. I made new rules where I would try to limit my social media and computer time to when my husband wasn’t around (and I am mostly sticking to it, but I could always improve!). I find that my photography means more to me when I make time for just photography and when I make time for just my family. It will make you a happier photographer.

 

Figure out what you can change in your photography, and take a break. I took a short break over the weekend. I still shot every day, but I wasn’t focused so much about good lighting and composition. I was totally checked out. But, I have some photos that I will cherish for a long time, even though they are definitely not what I would normally photograph.

What are some ways taking a break has helped your photography? Do you take short breaks or long breaks? I’d love to hear!

 

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How I Easily Put My DSLR Images on Instagram

I use Instagram a lot. I love it. I really like enjoy meeting new photographers on there and making friends. There are a lot of good things about Instagram. Plus it just gets a little addicting sometimes. Sometimes I think new photographers get a little intimidated and aren’t sure how to put their DSLR images on IG. Instagram was started to be just for phone pictures. But it has evolved and you will now see many photographers putting their pictures from their big girl camera up on IG. It’s fairly easy to do, but it could be a bit daunting at first. Let me show you how I do it.

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upload your images to flickr

It’s extremely easy to upload your images to Flickr. On the top right side there is a little cloud icon with an arrow pointing up. Click that and then click ‘choose photos and videos to upload’ and of course, choose the image you have in mind for uploading to Instagram. That’s all you need for this step.

go on your phone and open up the flickr app

Assuming that you have the Flickr app, open it up and click on the image you wish to post to Instagram. Now I click the share button, which is the one in between the word bubble and circle with an i in it. I click Save, and from there I usually choose the original size, but you can decide which size is the best for your IG feed.

head on over to instagram to post

And now, the super easy part, is to head over to Instagram to post your picture. I like to use an app called InstaSize that allows me to add a white border to my images. I personally don’t love the square crop, but it is a total preference on how you personally upload your images to IG and make your feed look. I like being consistent so I always use that app when uploading my images to IG and I also always use horizontal images to keep my feed looking the same.

That’s it! Super easy and literally takes me seconds. I usually upload my images to Flickr the night before and have plenty of images to pick from. Another way I have used in the past is uploading to my Facebook page first, and then downloading them on my phone. But I prefer my Flickr method because it is faster and easier. What are some ways you upload your images to Instagram? I’d love to hear! Are you a full time iPhone or phone shooter? I’d love to know that, too!

Because You’re Important Too

I’m going to be talking to mom photographers/photographers right now. Mom’s in general, but if you’re not a photographer, seek out a photographer to take your images. 😉 Alright mom photographers/photographers. You’ve got that camera in your hand 24/7 it seems. You’re chasing your little ones around and it’s so much fun. Years from now you look at all the images you’ve taken over the years. They’re all great. There’s that one of your oldest putting dirt all over herself. There’s that one of your youngest being comforted by your oldest and it touches your heart. There’s another one of your husband holding your oldest for the first time and it’s magical. But as you look through ALL of these photos, you realize something is missing. That something is YOU.

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Let’s be real. As photographers, it is SO hard to get behind the camera. We’re worried to pass the camera on. Or maybe we’re worried about doing a self portrait. Maybe we don’t like the way we look. Maybe we don’t know where to begin to start getting in the frame. Put all of your insecurities aside. People need to see you throughout your history.

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Don’t worry. I’m here to help. Because you’re important too. You were there too. Your children want to see pictures of you too. They’ll cherish any picture they have of you way down in the future. So, keep that in mind. I want to make something very clear. It doesn’t have to be JUST YOU in the photo. Add in your husband. Add in children. Add in dogs. Add in cats. Having something else in the picture might put you at ease and you’ll actually have fun! And as a side note, you don’t even have to have your face in some of the images! Like the one above of my dog and my feet. 😉 Have fun with it. Explore! There’s so many different things you can do with self portraits. If you have little babies, set them up in their high chair, set up the tripod, and feed them food, or just interact with the images. There’s sooo many different things you can do.

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There’s a few things you need to achieve a self portrait, let’s list them (because we all know I love lists!):

  •  Camera (any will do that can have remote or interval timer capabilities!)
  • Remote (optional)
  •  Tripod (optional)
  •  YOU!

If you don’t have a tripod, don’t worry. You can set your camera up on a mantle, a shelf, a chair, whatever you can find. Just make sure it’s safe and your camera won’t fall easily.

So you got the camera and the tripod. Now what? There are a few ways to go about getting a self portrait. First up is the remote. I ALWAYS set my camera to have it delay 2 seconds. That way, you don’t see the remote in my hand. 😉 Each camera is different, I highly recommend you look through your camera’s manual. It comes in handy A LOT. Trust me.

The next way is to set an interval timer. I have mine set up for 10 second delay, taking 9 shots, with 2 seconds in between each shot. I think this is my favorite way to take self portraits because I’m not having to constantly push a remote’s button.

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The last way is to hand the camera over. I’ve done this with my ELEVEN YEAR OLD sister (she took the one above of me and my dog). I set up the shot by making the exposure the way I wanted and then I handed her the camera, told her how to back button focus (because that’s how I do things) and told her WHERE to focus. I think that is the key here for handing the camera over. I usually say, focus on my eye or something like that (unless I don’t want my face in the image, then I’d say focus on my hands, on my dogs eye, etc). It’s so easy, even my eleven year old sister can do it. 😉 The image below my husband took.

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Ok you got everything set up. But wait. HOW do I focus on ME? I have had some failed focus issues in the past. I had my camera set to face recognition, and I’m sure that works for some people, but it just doesn’t work for me. Every time I’ve used it, it focuses on my nose. Only every once in a while can I achieve the focus I want. So how do you achieve focus for a self portrait?

There are a couple of ways to achieve focus. You can have a stand in! For the shot below, I had my husband stand where I wanted us to be. I focused on him, and I actually changed my camera to manual focus so that it would stay put (AFTER focusing, because auto focus is easier to get it crisp). Then I set up my interval timer and pushed the shutter button and stood next to him. We’re in focus! Yay! So, if you have someone around, use them as a stand in! I have done this with my sister as well, where I had her stand where I wanted to be, I took some shots of her, then we switched places and she took some of me (all while the camera was still on the tripod). She had fun, I had fun, and I got some photos of me. Win win win.

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Another way, and this is probably my favorite because I don’t always have someone with me, is to stand where you want to stand and mark that place (I usually put my lens cap on the ground where I want to stand) and focus on your TRIPOD (or wherever your camera will be if you don’t have a tripod). Set your lens to manual focus so that it stays put. Set your camera up on your tripod or a ledge or wherever it will be. Then when you hop back in place where you were standing, you’ll be in focus. It’s amazing. I love it. You should definitely play around with it. I’ve finally figured it out to get perfect focus almost every time.

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This is the image of my tripod as I focused on it (I don’t always take a picture, but I did this time to show you). And then below is where the tripod and camera were pointing to, to get the last three shots of this blog post.

 

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Ok, last tip, and this one is HUGE. You will have more success getting what you want in focus if you have a higher aperture. Yes. That’s right. DO NOT SHOOT WIDE OPEN! I get it, I love the look of wide open images. But we need to make it easier on us. When shooting a self portrait, I usually try to shoot 3+. There are occasions that I shoot wide open. But for the most part, getting that higher aperture will help a lot! If you are photographing you with a group of people, you’ll need the f-stop even higher, so keep that in mind. 😃

 

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If you have any questions or anything to add, comment below. Thanks for reading! ❤️