How to Shoot in Manual Mode (+ a manual settings cheat sheet!)

How to Shoot in Manual Mode (+ a manual settings cheat sheet!)

I’ve spoken a lot about just how darn important it is to learn how to shoot in manual mode if you want to get great photos, and today I want to teach you how to do that - step by step!

Yep, that’s right, for all you AUTO (or semi-auto!) lovin’ folks out there, you’re going to take the first step in taking control of your camera, by learning how to shoot in manual mode!

So, grab your camera and let’s get started!

5 Steps to Getting Great Photos

5 Steps to Getting Great Photos

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when learning photography - let’s face it, there is SO much to learn, and so much information available online that you can sometimes feel like you’re drowning in information.

But the truth is, although there is definitely a lot to learn, if you can focus on just five key areas in photography, you’ll get better photos. And if you are new, they can even be done one after the other, as you want to layer on the knowledge, not take random pot shots from each area and try to fit them together (doesn’t work too well!)

So today’s blog post is what you need to focus on to become a better photographer. Do just these five things, and by the end, you’re photos will look freakin’ amazing, I’m telling you.

Must Use Camera Settings for Portraits

Must Use Camera Settings for Portraits

Although I’m a big fan of unposed “lifestyle” or documentary images, I can’t deny that i love a good portrait shot too!

So this blog post, we’ll cover the best camera settings for portraits using natural light - either indoors or outdoors.

Please note that if you work with studio lighting, or use flash, your settings are going to look different from the ones below. But since I love natural light, and I’m guessing that most people who read this blog use natural light, that’s what we’re going with :-)

Your Reading List For Getting Better Photos of Your Child This Summer

Your Reading List For Getting Better Photos of Your Child This Summer

With summer officially just around the corner (at least it is if you are reading this as it goes live!) I’ve got a lazy and breezy summer themed blog post for you today 😃👙☀️🍦🍹

I noticed a definite dip in how many photos I took each year just after my son started school. No longer could I just pick up my camera at any time of day - I had to try to squeeze in photos in the morning (unlikely, since I’m never organised enough to find myself with a spare 5 minutes before school starts) or having to wait until he got home, which in winter, meant it was already getting dark.

So, for me, summer is a time when I tend to take a lot more photos since we don’t have to get anywhere in a rush, and where I can take photos all day long if I feel like it.

I also read something that resonated with me (and if you have kids I’m pretty sure it will resonate with you too) that we only get 18 summers with our kids. That’s SO crazy to think of it like that, right? It makes me just want to bottle up each and every summer. Since I can’t do that, capturing them as best I can is the next best thing.

So, in honor of aiming to capture another one of our 18 summers together, I thought it would be fun to compile a summer reading list for you, all with posts that should help you get better photos of your kids this summer.

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Taking a Photo

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Taking a Photo

Do you ever feel like sometimes you’rre just winging it when you pick up your camera?

That you get all flustered and not quite sure what you should be doing….?

….So you end up just clicking and hoping?

Then this week’s blog post is for you!

I wanted to break down some of the things you should be thinking about when you take your photo - many of them before you even lift the camera to your eye - so that you can shoot more purposefully, and most importantly, get better photos.

So we’re going to go into FIVE questions you should ask yourself when you take your photo. There are more of course, but these are the big ones, the ones that can make or break your picture, so let’s dive into those now…

How to Choose the Best Lens for Your Photo

How to Choose the Best Lens for Your Photo

Whether you want to shoot a portrait or a landscape or a documentary-style photo, you’ll want to choose the best lens for the job!

With an array of lenses to choose from, it can be hard to know which one to pick, and which will suit your photo best. As I have far too many lenses to choose from, I thought i’d go through my thought process when picking out a lens for a particular photo. Of course, there may be other reasons why I pick a lens (versatility for going away on vacation, or weight if were going on a trek) but the two MAIN reasons are the focal length, and the aperture.

Let’s go into the four questions I ask myself (which you can totally steal, I don’t mind) for choosing the best lens for the job.

Why are my photos grainy (and how do I fix it?)

Why are my photos grainy (and how do I fix it?)

One of the biggest problems I hear from new photographers is that they are struggling to understand why their photos are so grainy - and what they can do about it!

I totally get how frustrating it is, believe me. Back when I was using my Canon Rebel, a lot of the time my photos would look grainy, and simply wouldn’t have that same sharpness that I could see from other photographers, which to put it mildly, is freaking annoying.

So that’s the problem we’re going to address today - why your photos are grainy, and most importantly, what you can do to avoid or fix the problem!

Case Study: How I Went From Auto to Manual Mode With Auto to Awesome

Case Study:  How I Went From Auto to Manual Mode With Auto to Awesome

One of the things I love seeing is the change in people’s photos as they are learning photography - where you can literally see the difference in the “befores” and “afters” - and I know this is inspiring for many of you too!

So today I’ve got a case study for you that I think you are absolutely going to eat up :-)

It's from one of my amazing Auto to Awesome students, Erica, and she’s put together some amazing before and after photos for us, plus some of her favourite photos. It shows two things - how learning photography doesn’t just happen overnight, and also that with the right training, you can absolutely take amazing images with an entry level camera. (Although she has since upgraded, Erica shot most of these images with an entry level DSLR and kit lens - proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to take great photos)

For those of you who are already in Auto to Awesome, I hope it inspires you to keep going through the program! And if you’ve been thinking about maybe enrolling in Auto to Awesome, this is one blog post you’ll definitely want to read.