Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday's Top Ten

Holy WOW! I didn't forget :) And since I gushed over my baby turning ONE in the last post, I'll spare you the gushy again :) Today, I want to list ten things I either LOVE or have learned about photography. Since, ya know, it's my passion and dream and all. So, here goes a bunch of nerd speak!!! Prepare yourselves ;)

1. I love my 5D MkII!! I'm a Canon girl all the way! And not only was it totally worth the wait and the purchase, it's sooooo much better than my Rebel XTi. So much cleaner and crisper. WAY less noise. I've learned a ton about my camera just by using it. I also HEART my 50mm f/1.4 lens. Sheesh, it's a beauty! I love it for those close up shots ;)

2. I love Google Analytics. I love seeing my stats on all of my blogs/websites. I love seeing the hits, or lack there of ;) I like to see which pages are being viewed the most. You can even see where visits were referred  from, like search engines, facebook, blogs, etc. It's been a great tool for me.

3. Camera Raw. I didn't start out taking photos in camera raw. I started using jpeg. I also didn't know much about photoshop when I first started. Now there is never a time where I DON'T shoot in raw. It makes editing so much better. Yes, it takes up more space on my cards, but I just invested in a few more cards :) My favorite is when I forget to adjust the white balance before I start snapping. When that happens, I just open in Camera Raw and bam, it's so easy to fix. I just change it to the white balance I needed (or adjust it manually) to begin with. Of course I shoot in jpeg AND raw at the same time for those snaps that are of the fam that I don't plan on editing.

4. Speaking of Adobe stuff, at the beginning of this year, I discovered Bridge. I've always had it, just never knew how to use it. I finally just opened it up and started playing around with it. Gosh, it makes viewing and picking out photos way completely easier for me. Faster. Less time consuming! Love it.

5. I also started sometime last year manually selecting my focus points. Taking it off auto select made a huge difference for me. Sometimes my camera would pick the weirdest thing to focus on, or it would pick up something in the background and focus on that. So manually switching up my focus points and learning to do it without ever taking the camera away from my face has been brilliant for me!

6. For certain photos, I believe a noisy (or grainy) photo can be brilliantly beautiful. I like to embrace the grain sometimes. And other times I don't. Noise was a big problem with my Rebel, even at lower ISOs. So I invested in some Noiseware, and wow, was I so glad I did. I love it! I still us it when it's needed. (I need it less frequently now, but still love and recommend it).

7.  I read somewhere to always wear white (or something light colored) when you shoot so the clothes you have on don't create a color cast in your photos. I never thought about that before that day! It's good advice that I will remember. Especially having dealt with color cast before that I had a difficult time with.

8. Learning to shoot on Manual mode was a toughie! I finally figured it out, but it took a LOT of reading and studying and re-reading and studying some more. I'm a visual learner and there are a lot of times I wish an actual person could be here to actually SHOW me how something works. Boy wouldn't that be nice ;) I might have picked it up a bit faster. Ah well, it was well worth it!

9. One thing I WISH I had figured out BEFORE I started charging people was pricing! That's quite a big deal. There's a lot of different views on it. The best article I've read on it is HERE. And I agree with what she says. I WAY under priced myself in the beginning. WAY. I wish I knew then what I know now. I have tons of fun with what I do, but I also have a family and I want it to be worth my time away from my boys. There's a lot that happens with a photo shoot. It starts with the first consultation and isn't over til the prints are delivered and the client is happy. There's lots of behind the scenes work!

10. I finally invested in a Monitor Calibrator and it really has made a difference. We used it on Toby's monitor too and now my photos don't look really good on one comp and really bad on the other. Would totally recommend it. Ours is not even an expensive one. It's a Pantone Huey and seemed to do a really great job. I could tell right away the difference. Plus it shows you a before and after. Pretty sweet!

11. And lastly (I have to add it), I have learned that things are not always going to happen the way I want them too. Things might not move along at the speed I would like, but it's okay. I've learned to be content with what happens with our business. I finally gave it all over to God and said, you know what...God, when you're ready for things to happen for us, they will. Until then, I am happy with how things are. I'm not booming with clients right now, and I'm okay with that. I have fun and that's what matters to me right now.

Are you worn out now?? Boring talk, I know. Well, not for me, but maybe for you ;) I could chat anyone up all day long about camera stuff and photoshop stuff and photography in general!! Ahhhh, it just tickles my fancy!! Even though I'm pretty sure I secretly have no real idea what I'm talking about ;)

Have a great weekend, and for some of you, a great spring break! I'm excited about that!! Sleeping in sounds so delicious!

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