Sweet Charlotte lit up my studio with her incredible expressions. From a giant smile, to a frown, to a single eyebrow raise, she was so full of character it was pure joy for me to photograph her. Her parents (mom Katey is the co-founder of Lemon & Lime Event Design here in Baltimore) are smitten with her, and rightfully so. See for yourself how sweet she is!
I'm willing to bet that all of you mom's and dad's have smart phones. Most statistically probably have an iPhone. And of those of you with an iPhone, you probably take a lot of photos on it. You don't even bring a "real" camera anywhere anymore because the iPhone camera is so good. BUT I'm also willing to bet your iPhone photos are still just OK. There are lots of ways to improve your iPhone photos, and I'm here to list 5 of them for you!
Remember to look and see what else is in the frame before you take the shot. Backgrounds are distracting! And the biggest composition rule: the rule of thirds! Remember than one and use the in camera grid apple provides you! You can turn that on in the Photos & Camera Settings
- Brighten before you take the photo!
Do you hate how dark your photos are? You can brighten it up before taking the photo. Hold down on the screen where your focus should be until a square flashes and says "AE/AF LOCK". Then you'll see a little sun icon to the right of the box. Use your finger and slide up or down and you'll see the exposure change right there!
- Get down!
Taking photos of your kids from an above angle is never a good idea. Get down low, on their level. Sit on the grass or ground or do some crazy low sumo squats while taking the photo. Your kids will look better, and they'll probably smile at your yoga pose shooting.
I use VSCO app on my phone to edit my photos before posting anywhere. straightening, cropping, brightening, or more detailed edits are so easy and, I think, WAY better in this app than through Instagram or other in app editors. There are lots of apps out there and PicTapGo is another good one, but it's more complicated I think than VSCO. And the more simple the better with your edits. Don't #overfilter it.
- TURN OFF YOUR FLASH!
Now that you know how to brighten the photo before you take it, you don't need that gross flash. It never looks good. If it's too dark to take a photo, don't.
Creatives and Finances.
Sometimes those 2 things don't go hand in hand.
But now they never have to.
If your brain is like many creative brains, you don't have any interest in sitting and doing your business numbers. You'd rather just figure you'd like to make X amount right now and so you charge that. But then comes tax time, and cost of goods and taxes (and lots of other things) weren't factored in, and you are left with WAY less than you thought.
This spreadsheet is a system that will solve that problem for you.
With pages designed and formulated for factoring in film costs, detailed product pricing, your entire annual business budget, and much more, you don't have to think as much about your numbers aside from plugging them in!
Don't go any longer with the guessing game. Do your numbers and know your value! Once you know what you should be making, you can feel CONFIDENT creating the right pricing structure for you and your business. Not just going off of "Photography by Becky" down the street.
And if it is still overwhelming to you,I can help set it up.
I am passionate about photographers knowing their value and would love to help you with your spreadsheet. There are a few options for assistance and you can find out about them here.
The spreadsheet comes will full directions and notes embedded
in cells to explain their function and proper use!
ANNNNNNNDDDD . . .
As a bonus, you'll receive my Market Plan Tracking sheet! Which makes planning out your year simple and easy. And it comes with complete tracking so you can evaluate what campaigns were worth it, and which were not.
What are you waiting for?
Baby Madeline was a peanut. When her mother strolled her into the studio this winter for her newborn session, I literally "meep"-ed out loud. Half of the session she was showing off her gorgeous big eyes and the other half she slept as peaceful as can be. She didn't make a sound. Her beautiful skin tone went beautifully with her pale pink blanket! And even the Honest Co. newborn size diapers were falling off of her little body! As cool and content as could be, she rocked her first photoshoot.
As a newborn photographer, I see mothers come into my studio during the strangest time of their lives. It's true. After having a baby, every single thing about your being changes. In a literal flash. No matter if it's your first, second, or eighth baby. And that newborn time is an incredible time for a mother. It's full of contrast. Sleepiness and excitement. Extreme joy and sometimes extreme sadness. Where your baby is 100% dependent on you, but you might be 100% dependent on your husband or partner to take care of you. Wary eyes but a giant, content, love-filled smile across your face. It's a blur, and that's not a cliche, it's the truth. (Plus those hormones are a bi#@h.
I've gotten to that stage in life when I can relate so much to my mother. Which is a strange feeling. Because A) It makes me feel old and B) it's not something I ever imagined I could do. Now, in the last few years, since I became a mother myself, I began to understand. But growing up, and as a spoiled teenager (that converted into a crazy selfish 20 something), my brain was only focused on me. And I get it. I get so much now.
I understand the love and the sacrifices. I understand that she wasn't perfect. I understand she is human. I understand that she had choices to make and bills to pay and 2 other children to take care of and worry about. I know she never took care of herself and that she was always last on the totem pole. I see her now. I see her as a person, not someone who is there to do something for me or give me something. But it took probably 29 years to begin to get there.
Now that I'm almost 35, there is another shift in thoughts and feelings. And some of them are directly related to my mom. She was my age when she was pregnant with me. And for a split second (really, the tiniest nanosecond) I thought about having another baby. But then I decided that was not what was best for our family, for my husband, but mostly for myself. I want to take care of me. I want to take care of my mind, my body, hell, even my hair. I want to shower more than 2-3 times a week! And I know I can do all of that, and still be a good mom to my boys, and still provide them with everything they need.
I think back to the moment right after each of my son's was born. That instant where I changed as a human. Turned more into the person I was meant to become. I didn't realize it at the time, what was happening to me. That exhaustion and excitement kicked in and 100% of my focus was no longer on me. I try to think about my own mother, wondering who she was moments before I came into the world. I have only a few photos of myself with my boys during the newborn stage. I took a few myself on a tripod or with a self timer. I regret not hiring someone. I have no photos with my mother when I was a baby.
But no, this is not a "hire me or you'll regret it later" post. At all. It's a post to say thank you. To my own mother. To my grandmothers. My sisters. My best friends. To all of you who are mothers. Thank you. We are all a community. Who give each other sympathetic smiles in the target aisle when our kids are breaking down. We are a community that doesn't judge when our hair is a mess and we accidentally only wore 1 earring that day. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for working your ass off to make sure your kids are good people. We are all in this together.
This post is also a reminder to take some time for yourself. NOT because it's almost Mother's Day, (I mean, every day should be freaking Mother's Day). But because you deserve it. Everyone deserves it, even those who are not mothers. It's that we tend to feel guilty. Guilty for putting ourselves first. Guilty for spending time or money on ourselves. Sometimes we feel we need permission to do these things. You have it. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Because when you do, your family thrives more. Your business/job thrives more. Your children thrive more. And your hair will look amazing. ;)