Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Time I Tried To Be A Family Photag

What I learned? It's a lot harder than it looks. 

I've owned my D7000 for nearly four months and I am confident it's one of the best purchases I could have made. I am starting to get all the fun features figured out...though I have yet to figure out how to do video -- any help?!?...and really having fun with it. I am always amazed on how sharp & crisp the photos are, and you want color? The D7000 delivers.

However, I will be the first admit that I am not a professional. A lot of people think that if you buy a nice camera, you can immediately take great pictures. But it's not that simple. It takes so much time and practice to really get to know your camera, let alone perfect your craft, but I do think the camera is a start and any time I can shoot pictures, I will. It's all about learning.

So when my sister asked me to do an casual family photo shoot for Christmas card photos last fall (I know...just posting about it now!?...you don't have to remind me), I hesitantly agreed.

Don't get me wrong, I was really excited. This would be a great opportunity to practice photographing people (I tend to get a lot of practice on cows, not always people) and all I needed was one good one, right? But there was that nagging voice that kept reminding me how terrible it could go. You know, the whole "I am not a professional" thing kept dragging me down.

Then I reminded myself that Cathy wasn't paying me, so I warned her a few times that it could go terribly wrong, put on my big girl shoes and did it.

Here are some of my favorites.

All in all -- it turned out pretty well! We ended up with some photos that not only will work, but also managed to capture the personalities of my niece and nephew perfectly. (Aren't they the cutest?) That's definitely the bonus of having your sister be your photographer. We didn't have too many forced smiles, managed to escape with only a half-crabby kid and got to enjoy a beautiful fall day tromping around the woods together. 

I'll mark it down as a success.

Hopefully we can try it again in the spring and hopefully by the time my kiddos role around (in the far, far future), I will be a professional a little more confident.

By the way, a downfall (and a perk) of having a grown-up camera is all the photos you take. In less than an hour, I snapped 546 photos. WHAT?! That, friends, equals a LOT of editing.

And finally, I have no idea what settings I used to take these photos (literally, I had owned my camera for less than a month when I took the pictures), but I did do most of the editing with the help of good old PW's photoshop actions. You can download them here

So what do you think? I'm open to friendly critiques. When I took the photos I was so frustrated with the amount of bokah in some of the photos, but luckily Cathy liked it...and unlucky for me, I haven't figured out how to come even close to the same results again. Suggestions? I am also on the lookout for a good photography book to read this winter -- let me know if you have a favorite!



  1. Wow you took Cathy's Christmas card pic? I thought it was great, definitely a professional job!

    1. Thanks! We were both really happy with how they turned out -- glad we tricked you on the professional! :) Hope all is well in FL!

  2. you did a great job... its always scarey to try something new. but it's also exciting to get out of your safety zone!

  3. They are amazing Jamie!! These are pics of some of my most favorite people in the world (in front of the camera and behind it) xoxo

  4. Hi! New to your blog and already love it! Great job on the pictures. You really captured some sweet monuments. I have a Canon T2i and love it! It has taken me about a year but I finally feel like I am getting some where. Turn that bad boy camera of yours to manual and start shooting away. Don't forget about your white balance. That really makes a difference in where you are shooting; shade, sunshine, cloudy. I have also been playing with my ISO lately and that has helped in making some changes too. Best of luck to you! Keep up the good work. LJL

    1. Manual!? Such a scary word. I am trying to conquer Aperature & Shutter mode now, but manual is on my to-do list! Thanks for the advice!

  5. really like it! It has taken me about a season but I lastly experience like I am getting some where. Convert that bad boy photographic camera of yours to guide and begin capturing away. Don't ignore about your white-colored stability. That really creates a difference
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