Photography Tips

4 amazing tips for capturing great portraits of your kids this holiday season!


Planning on taking photos of your kids this holiday season?  Just want some better images from under the tree or near the Menorah?  Here are some tips to get you started., the mirrored image photography, tips for photographing your kids, take great portraits, taking great photos, photography tips,

Photo Tip of the week: Take better pictures with your IPhone or My favorite photo app!: Professional Photographer Plymouth South Shore

So many people are thrilled about the new release of the iPhone 6.  I am one of them.  I am also very disappointed that I won't get an upgrade to my phone for another year.  Most of my disappointment has to do with the changes that Apple has made to their camera and the fact that I desperately want to get my hands on that! If you are like me and won't be getting a new iPhone any time soon, let me help!  Here are just a few helpful tips that have made my picture taking much better with my current IPhone:

1. Camera+ :  this is probably the best app that I have found for gaining control over your pictures.  You can control your many facets of your overall frame as well as the different components of your picture.

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2. Use the little box: You have all seen this; the square that pops up in the middle of your frame.  Did you know that when you tap in the middle of that box, your phone selects your exposure?  Also, you can move that box, I suggest moving it to the darkest part of your image and seeing if this helps to give you something that is more evenly exposed.

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3. Pay attention to the light:  If you are posing people, and I have said this about taking pictures with a camera as well, move them to a place with good light.  The easiest way to take a well exposed picture is to put people in the shade.  That way no one has weird shadows on their faces and you can expose for a even lighting source.  If you are comfortable with being a little more advanced, play with light.  Look for highlighting on hair or other neat accents to your photo.

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4. Keep your finger on the trigger and steady yourself:  The iPhone won't take a picture until you let go of the capture button so hold your figure on the button to set the frame and make sure you are happy, then release your finger.

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Good luck with all of this and I hope it helps.  Happy Shooting!

Photo Tip of the Week: Tips on Photographing Jewelry and other small items

Sometimes people will come to me to have me professionally photograph their jewelry lines or small items that they are producing.  However there are a lot of individual artisans out there that cannot afford to hire a professional and still want nice looking photos. Here are some suggestions.

1. Use poster board as a backdrop.  the white background is smooth and easy to photograph and will not detract from the look of the item.

2. Use external lighting.  For a truly professional look you want to use studio lighting but you can get away with setting up some make shift studio lighting of your own.  Go buy some silver work lights at home depot and some Halogen bulbs.  Position the lights on either side of the item and don't use the flash on the camera and I guarantee you will be happier than if you used the on camera flash.

3.Go buy a plexi-glass frame from Staples and place it under the object.  This way you get a slight reflection to add some visual interest but not to mirror the image exactly.

If you have the money, a professional has the equipment to really knock it out of the park ; If you don't these tips will help you to produce images you can be proud of and to sell more product!

Happy Shooting!

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Photo Tip of the Week: Taking pictures of Fireworks!!: Professional Photographer Plymouth South Shore

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!! Leading up to this fun festive time of year, I wanted to give you some pointers on photographing fireworks. First, you need to use a tripod (or another stable surface like a table) to keep your camera from moving.  Otherwise you are going to show the vibration of your hand in the picture and it will come out blurry!!  We don't want that!

If your camera has a bulb setting, you want to use that and it you have a remote trigger even better.  You want to keep the shutter open for the whole time that the firework is in the air to get the most dynamic picture.  Open the shutter when the firework goes off and keep it open until it dissapates.

Use a low shutter speed for a clean shot.  The natural tendency would be to use a high ISO because it is dark out, but that also brings in all the residual light pollution from every other light source around you.  Your sky will look yellow and grainy instead of clean and crisp.

Happy Shooting!  Can't wait to see some of those firework pictures!!!




Last Call for Cameras and Cocktails tonight at Alden Park!: Professional Photographer Plymouth South Shore

So excited for my next round of Cameras and Cocktails with Alden Park.  Alden Park has been such a fantastic venue to work with.  I would highly recommend their function room to anyone looking to host small group gathering.  And tonight we are going to have so much fun! Here is my little elevator speech for Cameras and Cocktails! If you have some time tonight, its not too late to come and join us! Drink, Socialize, Have Fun, and Take Crazy Pics!
Tuesday 6/24/14 - Cameras & Cocktails - In a Snap! 
at Alden Park Bar & Grill in Plymouth, MA
A night of fun; A lifetime of better pictures!
Come and enjoy the cocktails and take some crazy photos with your friends!

Get your friends and join us for some fun! This isn't your boring old lecture session on cameras and how an F stop differs from your aperture settings. Get insider tips and tricks on portrait photography and have a great time while you do it! Don't have a fancy camera with lots of different lenses! No worries, these tips on composition and posing will work whether you are using the camera on your phone or a top of the line camera!

You need to pre-register so sign up now!

29.99 per person

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Photography Tip of The Week: Pay attention to your background: Professional Photographer South Shore Plymouth

There are certain things you start to pay attention to when you take lots of pictures.  When you feel like you have gotten the aperture right and the shutter speed right.  Your exposure is good.  Now how does a good photo become a great photo?  It's attention to detail.  If you want your subject to stand out you pick simple but picturesque backgrounds.  If you are taking snapshots on the fly and you can't control the background then you shift your subjects to make sure that there is no tree growing out of their head or a pole!  Seems simple right? But if you don't pay attention to the small details you pictures look cluttered and your subjects get lost.  Or worse, they look laughable because some object is protruding at just the wrong angle!  I try to pick simple backgrounds; a row of tall bushes, a brick wall, the beach when no one is there.  When you have control over your environment it eliminates anything that might get in the way. Happy Shooting!

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Professional Photographer Plymouth South Shore: The best cheap investment for photography gear

Okay, so as photographers we all want lots of big fancy things to help us do our job better.  What I have come to realize is this.  The person behind the camera is more important than what equipment you have.  Its what you do with what you have.  Also, when you finally go out and buy a lens that you have been yearning for, you need to protect your investment.  I make it a rule of thumb to put a UV Filter on every lens I own.  The cost is 10-15 dollars more.  The most important thing to remember is this..if you scratch your filter you are out $10-15 and if you are scratch your lenses you can loose anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars.  Which choice would you rather make?Photography tips. filters, UV filter, professional photographer, plymouth, south shore

Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Photo Tip of the week: Taking better family photos!

So now that it is getting nicer out and summer is coming more of us are thinking about taking vacations and getting out and about.  In addition to wanting to have loads of fun on your trip, you probably want to capture some moments that remind you of the great time that you had. Here are some things that I find helpful.

1. If you are driving bring a tripod.  You want a picture of the WHOLE family.

2. When you set people up look for a location with a bench or some rocks, something that will make it easier to stagger people.  Photos are so much more interesting that way.

3. Stay away from bold prints.  If one person is wearing a brig floral caftan, that will certainly be the focus of the picture!

4.  If you have kids, take pictures in the morning.  That is usually their best time and the time they are most willing to listen to direction.  Also I am not above bribery (carry a little treat with you, a couple M&M's go a long way!

5. Mid afternoon is the best time to capture great lighting.  It's called the golden hour and you have great light if you think you can get you family to pose then.

6. Save noontime for lunch not pictures!  There is usually a hazy film on your images when the sun is right over head.  I try to avoid taking pictures at this time if I can help it!

If all of this seems like a lot, consider calling a photographer located where you are staying and having them meet you for an afternoon.  Family Photo Shoots are affordable and you won't regret having some great images to cherish!  Happy Shooting!

Family 1 beach

Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Photography Tip for the week: What's the right photo equipment for the best picture?

So I spend a lot of time taking pictures both at work and at home...that's probably a given. I had three photo shoots this weekend (photos to follow).What I have learned over the years is this, you don't have to have the biggest and the best to get the best result.  In fact, two of my favorite lenses are the least expensive ones I own: 1. AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens

2. Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Autofocus Lens

Both lenses were under 200.00 each brand new and I find them indispensable.  Fixed lenses make a huge difference in portrait photography.  They give you more control over the clarity of your subject and the ability to dial down your aperture enough to really make your subject come to life.  Even with a starter camera you will see a phenomenal difference using a fixed lens.  The 35mm lens is my most used lens and I love the way my images have changed since buying it.

Of course the bigger and better you camera gets the more difference you will see in the image that is produced as far as image quality goes, but I think you will be amazed at what you see by switching from a to something like this.  The onus is on you to do the work of moving around your subject but it is worth all the effort!


Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: A little Jazz..A little Photography...a little talk about taking candid photos!

So as the daughter of a jazz musician, I occasionally get to have fun taking photos of my mother and her fellow musicians out at their gigs.  I thought it might be fun to use some of their pictures to talk about how to take better candid shots.  So obviously when you are photographing a band, or a group of kids on stage (the list goes on...)  You can't change what they are doing and you can't change the limited number of angles that you have.  I have a couple tips on doing the best you can with a difficult shooting situation.

The first tip, when I go on any photo shoot, I set my camera settings ahead of time.  The benefit to this is that I am relatively confident that I am not going to miss any of the action.  If you are in the same room for the whole time (barring being closer and farther from changing light sources like windows) you can usually make sure you are happy ahead of time and just focus on composition.

The second tip is don't be afraid to move around the room.  Get as close as you can without disturbing others around you.  Not a lot of good pictures are had by just sitting in your seat and watching the show.

Change your perspective if you can.  Stand on a chair. Lay on the ground. If you are taking pictures of a dance group, try taking pictures of just their cute little feet all in a row.  Don't be scared to play around.  

Make one subject your focal point, take a picture of the singer and blur the band.  Take a picture of the guitarist when he or she is playing their solo.  Try to catch each person in their element.

Happy Shooting!



Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Photo Tip of the day!: Dealing with Harsh Lighting

One of the biggest issues that I have come across is how to deal with less than ideal lighting situations, especially direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight creates a bunch of unflattering shadows on your face. Over exposes details so you have odd highlights and a multitude of other problems that just don't add up to a good picture!  Here are a few tips on how to deal with that: 1. If you can, photography in the shade.  Put people under a tree or under the shade of a building if it is at all possible.  Granted this is not always possible.  Sometimes you can't change the position you are taking the picture from and you just have to deal with it.

2. Another great way to deal with the sun is to use your flash to even out the shadows.  Fill-Flash will fill in the shadows and even out the tones on your subject.

3. If you have one, another really good option is a reflector.  You can use some different DIY reflectors on the fly to reflect the sun back at you.  You can make a reflector if you want to keep it really inexpensive.  (Glueing aluminum foil to poster board).  Most reflectors are affordable and easier to transport.  If you have photos coming up or you are in a pinch then the DIY method is a good one.



Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Photo Tip of the Day: Most Flattering Portrait Angle

So I would say that pretty much all of us, me included, have something that they don't love about their appearance.  As a photographer, you are trying to not only take a technically good photo, but also capture people in their best light so that the results show the best of who they really are.  This doesn't mean that your photographer needs to know how to make you loose 25 pounds in photoshop or how to erase age lines to make you look 10 years younger.  You just need to know something about light and positioning.  The best angle I have found for almost every body type is to sit your subject sideways looking at you slightly over their shoulder with you taking the photo at eye level or slightly about.  Also when it comes to lighting avoid harsh sunlight or shadows.  Stand you subjects in the shade or wait for a partly cloudy day.  If you can't avoid the shadows, use your flash outside and in bright sunlight.  The flash will help to fill in the shadows that are cast at weird angles so that people are more evenly lit. Here is an example: headshot



Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Priceless Baby Candids

Who knows what runs through the mind of a two year old! Each day is new and exciting (and challenging, LOL) I am working on putting together the presentation for my Intro to Digital Photography Class on May 4th and I wanted to get different pictures representing different aspects of photography.  One being aperture.  Portrait Pictures are always better with a lower aperture setting because your subject stands out more from the background and comes to life a little more.  Since I have a built in subject, I asked Lucy to pose for me and after several attempts, this is what I got.  Lucy lunging toward the camera with her bunny saying : "He do it, He take my picture!"  Just such a cute moment to bring a smile to my day! Lucy 7

Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Photography Tip of the Day: Taking good family photos

I find one of the toughest things for people is to make a family photo look interesting.  When you go on vacation someplace nice you want to take a photo of yourself there to capture the moment.  However, lining everyone up in a line is usually not that interesting looking.  One of the easiest things you can do is to have people at different heights.  Even with just a few people it adds more visual interest.  Use something available like stairs at a famous building or rocks at the beach and have people interspersed at different levels so that you are filling the frame with interesting content or making it more interesting. With kids, another good thing is to provide snacks and drinks and time to run around.  If kids are grumpy and don't want to take a picture then give them 10 minutes to goof off and/ or have a snack.  It usually changes the mood right away.  I almost always have snacks and waters on hand a family photo shoots just to make life easier for people.  If you are planning a big trip, consider hiring a professional where you are going to take a photo while you are there.  It makes a once in a lifetime trip even more memorable. Happy Shooting!



Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Photo Tip for the day!

I do a lot of reading to provide content that not only shows my work but also tips that give helpful info to other budding photographers out there.  This tip was taken partially from a list of photo tricks on Digital Camera World's Blog and partially from my own experience working with Children:

Great Photography Tip for the day: 

Taking photos of kids is fun but challenging. Keep a portrait session with kids short and sweet. If it is a larger group, take photos with kids first. Play games with them: ask them of they can see their reflection in the front element of the lens is a good way to get some eye contact.

If there is room for them to run and play then I like to use a 50mm fixed lens so that I can catch them in there element but not be on top of them. I would love an 85mm lens for these types of shoots also but I am building my collection one lens at a time.  I like fixed lenses better because you have more clarity and more control over the aperture.

Make the most of opportunities when they’re still for a moment, such as when they’re concentrating on a toy. Chat to them as you would with adults and once you’ve taken a few photos show them the results on the LCD screen, so that they feel involved.

And of course I can't resist posting a picture of my little honey with these tips!


Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Photography Tip of the Day: Close, Close, Close

Photography Tip of the Day: Close, Close, Close: Getting close to your subject creates a sense of intimacy and and invites you into the photograph. Be creative, fill the frame, even take a picture of a piece of a person. Don't be afraid to play around!

Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Tips for taking better photos

Some of my best inspiration comes from following other people!  If you are looking to take some of your own photos, there are some really great tips available here:

Plymouth South Shore Professional Photographer: Tips for taking better photos of your kids!

With the holidays approaching aren't we all trying to figure out what to give to others that doesn't cost too much and is still meaningful. Before the weather gets too cold, here are some tips from Nikon on How to take better photos of your kids!