Finding My Passion
I really want to share my journey in photography with all of you. I plan on sharing the pics that I’ve taken each week and what I’ve learned.
I’ve never known what my “passion” was, other than being a mother. I have always envied those people who knew what theirs was because I wanted to have that one thing in my life outside of my family that I wanted to know more about and learn as much as I could. I’ve finally realized that it’s been right in front of my face! I’ve always loved to take pictures but never really thought about doing it professionally or learning how to make my photos better. I took pictures to document me and my family’s life and that was all.
I now have a completely new perspective. I want to take photos that are beautiful, that speak to other people outside of my family. I find myself wanting to go outside and bring my camera with me every day. I see the world around me in a different way now. Things that I thought were ugly and annoying are now beautiful because I can picture them through my camera lens. Seeing things through a camera in completely different from how I see them with my eyes. It’s very therapeutic for me in many ways. I love it and I can’t get enough of it. I feel like a sponge soaking up as much knowledge as possible now. I’m currently learning on my own, but I plan on trying to take classes at some point.
Why Did I Wait So long?
Last year for my 30th birthday my husband and parents all got me a DSLR camera to take nice pictures for the blog. My iPhone photos just weren’t cutting it anymore. Once I had the camera our youngest son started moving around and I had to be constantly watching him. I couldn’t just set him in the pack n play anymore while I worked on the blog. Needless to say, I didn’t do much blogging for a long time so I didn’t use my camera.
The camera didn’t get much use for a while because I wasn’t used to taking it with me and I would forget it all the time. We had a family reunion for my husband’s side of the family that you can read about here and I remembered to take my camera. I was dubbed the photographer for the weekend and I loved it! That’s when it all started. I started looking on the internet about self-taught photography and the #1 thing that I saw was that I needed to take my camera off of Auto Mode. It was extremely scary, it was like a foreign language to me and I didn’t want to mess up this expensive camera that my family purchased for me.
The 2nd thing that I saw the most was that the best way to learn how to use your camera in manual mode is to just use it, and it use it a lot! Practice is the best way to figure it out, so that’s what I did. I would print out things that I found on Pinterest and keep them with me as references but I finally figured it out. I’m still learning but I can proudly say that I very rarely use the auto mode on my camera now. It’s been a couple of months since I said no to auto. It gets a bit easier each time that use my camera but I still have a long way to go.
My Messy Little Pic Collection
This week I’m going to show you some of my favorite pics that I’ve taken over the past month or two. Some of these were taken in auto mode but the majority of them were taken in manual. When I took these my focus was learning manual mode, which I’m still practicing, but I’m also starting to throw lighting in there. None of these have much editing done to them at all. I plan on playing around with some of them and doing some subtle editing but I really haven’t even gotten into learning that yet. Baby steps!
ISO 1000 f/5.6 1/500
This was a spur of the moment photo shoot! I wanted to practice so I called my dads girlfriend and we took the boys to the apple orchard near the house. Don’t worry, she’s right to the side of the picture next to the baby. I get a lot of “wow, how did you get them to do that and all look the same way?” My answer is… I was at the right place at the right time. I took 2 photos of them like this and 1 of them they all just happened to be looking the same way. I may have asked our oldest son to look at the baby, but I don’t think that I did. This was the first good photo that I took in manual mode!
ISO 100 f/4.5 1/80
We had just gotten a couple of loads of firewood and I stacked it up on the porch. I was on the phone outside talking to my mom and actually said “I have to let you go, I’m looking at my awesome stacking job and I think that it’ll make a really good background, I need to get my camera and take some pictures of the boys” lol. So, we had another impromptu photo shoot! I had a few good shots but this was one of the favorites on my Instagram. This was shot in manual mode.
ISO 6400 f/7.1 1/60
I love this photo for multiple reasons. It symbolizes the day that my perspective changed. I say that it’s the day I started seeing things around me through a camera lens. This old rusty truck and many others like it sit in the yard of the empty house behind ours. For years it has done nothing but irritate me and make me feel like I live by a junkyard. One day, after I picked our son up from school, I decided to drive back there and see if there was anything that I could take pictures of while the 2 little dudes were sleeping. I found a few things and then got back in the truck to head up to the house and that’s what I saw this truck and the pretty colored trees behind it (that you can’t even see in this photo lol). I didn’t see a broken down POS anymore, I saw potential for a really cool photo. When I took this, I looked at the screen and knew instantly that my settings were right and it was an awesome shot lol. This was in manual mode.
ISO 200 f/5.6 1/80
It was a beautiful fall day so I decided to take the boys to the county park and take some pictures while they played in the leaves. I was able to get quite a few good photos so I decided that it would be better to create a collage. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this. The boys found a couple of girls who were making a big leaf pile and asked if they could play too, they had a blast! I wish that I could put which settings I used but they’re all different. We did a lot of moving around so I used a lot of different settings. They were all taken in manual mode though!
Talk about spur of the moment and seeing things through a camera lens! I was pulling out of my driveway to take our son to school in the morning and thought, “man that frost looks really pretty”, that’d be a cool picture! Normally I hate seeing frost, it means that it’s going to be getting cold out and snow. My perspective has changed though and I didn’t think about the cold or snow, I thought about the beauty and capturing it. I thought about it the 15-20 minutes there and back. I ran into the house and grabbed my camera, told the 2 little dudes to watch me out the front window and got down as low as I could to the ground and shot a few pictures from different angles. This was the best one of the 5-6 that I took. It has gotten a lot of love on my Instagram, waaaay more than I ever would have thought that it would! Once again, shot in manual mode.
ISO 3200 f/5.6 1/1000
My mom and I took a little girls trip to a park that I was thinking about taking my cousin’s family photos at so that I could scope it out and get some idea for places to shoot. We walked down to a little fenced in deck on the water. I got down low and took a photo through the fence, I think that my mom thought that I was crazy until she saw what it looked like. I was reading about “natural frames” and lines, I thought that this was kind of cool. When I look at it now I probably would adjust it a little differently so that it’s brighter but I’m still pretty happy with the composition of it. Shot in manual mode.
This is one of my favorite black and white photos. We were at my husbands grandfathers house. We were out in his barn and he was helping us make this little dudes bulldozer costume. The boys had a few cars with them to keep them busy so when I looked over and saw them playing in the saw dust my initial reaction was to get them out of it, but I stopped myself because they were being quiet and playing. I grabbed my camera and this was one of the photos that I got. I love how you can really see the saw dust on his pant leg in the black and white. Shot in manual mode.
ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/40
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I hope that you enjoyed looking at my photos as much as I enjoyed shooting them! I can’t wait to share my progress with you all. I would love any comments, constructive criticism or helpful hints! I’m just trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible and become the best that I can be.