Behind the Scenes ~ Photography

Behind the Scenes ~ Photography


So, this isn’t really a homeschooling post but I get a lot of emails about photography so I thought I would try to address the FAQ here too! I am no longer a pro photographer but was at one point years ago!

What is your photography background, how did you learn?

  • I have always had a passion for photography but never did anything with it until after I graduated from college(where I was a Birth-Kindergarten Child Development major). My roommate in college was actually a photography major and I remember always secretly wishing I was doing that!
  • While teaching Kindergarten I decided to take a photography course at our local community college, my best friend joined me and we had a blast. We took another class, learning all of the basics together (this was before either of us had children).
  • After completing our courses we realized we were on to something and we jumped into starting a children’s photography business together. We began with a darkroom and used all BW film, printing all of our own photos. We switched to digital awhile later and then began a HUGE self-taught learning curve.
  • We ran our business together for about 4 years, until I moved to become a missionary in 2004.

What kind of camera do you use, what did you start with?

  • I currently use a Canon 40D
  • I started with a film version of the Canon Rebel back in the day but if I were to begin today I would start out with something from the Canon Rebel Line.

What about lenses?

  • My favorite lens is my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 IIwhich is also my cheapest lens! I LOVE this lens because of the f/1.8, that’s what gives you the ability to shoot in lower light without a flash and also gives you the nice blurry background when shooting portraits. It is NOT a good lens for everyday use because it is fixed lens (meaning it can’t zoom to anything other than 50mm).
  • For everyday use, I currently have the Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USMon my camera. This is a fine lens for everyday use, and it was what I could afford at the time. I wouldn’t use this lens for professional use but it works fine for what I need on an everyday basis.
  • I used to use the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM but now my old business partner has this lens (we used to share lenses when we ran the business together). We also used our Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USMfor photo sessions this is also a *fixed lens* like the 50mm I currently have. The 85mm is great for close up portraits.
  •  Edited: I was given this lens as a gift from my Daddy! he saw what I wrote on this post and surprised me! If my wildest dreams would come true I would have the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM which as you can see costs more than my camera body alone!!! Why you ask? Because it has a fixed aperture of 2.8 which is a BIG deal with a zoom lens. Most lenses have a range like my f/3.5-5.6. If that makes no sense to you, then you’ll probably enjoy my next set of answers below so you can learn the photography language!

What photography blogs/sites do you recommend to help me learn to take better photos?

  • The online forum I used as a HUGE learning tool when I first began is: This is a GREAT community online and you can learn a TON. You might even see some of my old posts from years ago (around 2002/3), online over there I am "Little Moments" which was our business name. Be careful, this site will suck up your time if you are really interested in trying to learn photography!!!
  • Pioneer Woman has an awesome photography section on her blog with great tips and tutorials.
  •  i heart faces is a fabulous photography blog

How do you edit your photos, what software do you use?

  • edited 6/2010…I am now using Adobe Lightroom for my editing, I like it better than Photoshop for what I need-it saves me tons of time!
  • I use Adobe Photoshop 7.0, but that’s only because I won’t upgrade for the cost. If I were still working professionally today I would use Adobe Photoshop CS4.
  • Learning to use photo editing software was actually MUCH HARDER than learning the basics of photography itself! I felt like I was going back to college and I was self taught on Photoshop. The ilovephotography forums help a lot with the learning. It is a VERY long process and one you have to be committed to.
  • If I were beginning, I would use Adobe Photoshop Elements. It is a great and cost-effective way to begin learning PS. But even with Elements, you need to be dedicated to learning-it is in NO WAY easy!!!! I have heard Elements is much easier than PS, but I wouldn’t know as I began right away with PS7 since I got it as a gift way back when!

How about printing your photos, storing online, etc. What do you use and/or recommend?

  • I use Phanfare for all of my online photo storage needs. I absolutely love this software.
  • I use WHCC for all of my photo printing, for portrait type prints. For regular snapshots that I print, I use Winkflash, but I wouldn’t say they are necessarily any better than the competition in their category (Kodak, Shutterfly, etc.) It’s just what I have grown accustomed to.