Photography + Workshop Launch!

Happy Friday!!! Hope you all have had an amazing week, who is excited for the Superbowl food & commercials this weekend?! I am excited about today’s post for a few reasons, many of you have asked about the camera that I use & how I edit my photos and I wanted to jump right in and share some of the basics.

I currently shoot with this Canon Rebel, which is far from top of the line in terms of DSLRs, but I love it because it is super easy to use & it was much more affordable than some of the Canons that I originally had my eye on. I mostly shoot with my 50mm lens, and I have this wide angle lens for shooting rooms and such, I wouldn’t say I love it necessarily but it was relatively inexpensive & gets the job done.

The reality is though, that on most days I am taking pictures with my iphone, and there are definitely some ways to make the most of iphone photography and get the photos that you want. The number one key to getting the best photos (really whether you are using your iphone or your DSLR) is to shoot in natural light. Of course when you are just taking pictures of your toddler smearing yogurt all over their face at breakfast, this doesn’t apply, because those pictures are just great all on their own. But knowing when you get the best light in certain rooms of your home or heading outside on a perfectly overcast day, will always get you a better quality photo. Using the grid lines feature on your iphone will help you to set up a straight shot, and tapping your finger on the subject of the photo will also help you get the best focus (although be careful with this because sometimes it can blow out the light in the background and your shot can be over exposed). I also like to make sure that I am adjusting my perspective when I take pictures, especially of my kids. It is habit to take out your phone and just hold it in front of you and snap. Instead, try sitting on the floor and being eye level with your kids, or standing on a chair and shooting down from a birds eye view.

As far as editing goes, the more filters you add on your iphone, the lower the quality of the photo will be, I especially stay away from using Instagram filters. I like to stick with adjusting my brightness, contrast & temperature using Afterlight, then jumping over to VSCO or A Color Story for a filter at low strength. The key is finding filters and styles that you love, getting in the groove of editing them all the same, and developing your own style by keeping everything consistent. I usually use the same few edits and filters for all of my photos, so I encourage you to play around with editing tools and find a style that speaks to you.

So, we have some exciting news! Last Spring, I co-hosted a beginners photography class with my fav photograper team here in Atlanta. And after months of work and editing, we are so excited to share that The Good Snaps Workshop is now available as an online course! In this class (which you can do right from your couch in your pajamas at your own pace) the photographers who have taught me just about everything I know about shooting in manual, will teach you how to use your camera! You’ll learn basic camera functionality, how (and why!) to shoot in manual, tips for getting the best shots of your kiddos & you’ll get to sit in on the actual Q&A from our workshop. And as a bonus, a full PDF of my shooting & editing process (no photoshop required!) from the point of view of a non-professional. 😉

The course will only be available for a few weeks, I am positive this class will help you take the photos of your dreams, and I cannot wait to hear your feedback!!!

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    February 3, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    I’d love to take the course – but first I’d have to get a camera! Haha!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • Reply
    Teri
    February 4, 2017 at 2:18 am

    I signed up this morning! I have a nice camera but have no ide how to use it. Hoping this gives me some basics.

    http://www.shhmommysdrinking.com

  • Reply
    Jenny Knutson
    February 4, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Will there be any info about photoshop? I have it but have NO idea how to use it!

  • Reply
    Christine McLaughlin
    February 4, 2017 at 2:33 am

    That’s the camera I use too! Do you like the 50mm lens? It’s been in my Amazon cart for months but I’m hesitant only because all my research says that since the Canon Rebels are cropped sensor cameras, the 50mm I more like a 75mm? But I really want an affordable fast lens. I just want to make sure it’s not too zoomed in to take pictures of my toddler. Also, what program do you use to edit pictures you take on your camera (as opposed to iPhone apps)? Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Megan Esqueda
    February 4, 2017 at 3:20 am

    I’m sure the class is amazing!! I have always loved your photos!

  • Reply
    Jenna
    February 4, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for this! One question: If we purchase now, will we have access to the course infinitely or for a limited time? The only reason I ask is because there was a recall on the lens of my camera, so it’s not working properly (at all!) right now. I still need to send it in! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Chrsitine
    February 4, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Yay!!!! I have been hoping for this!

  • Reply
    Darby
    February 4, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    My goodness, Claire is Harper’s twin in that photo! So sweet. I totally agree with the IG filters. I have my go-to in VSCO and I will never go back!

  • Reply
    Emily
    February 5, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Love this!! Do you think you’ll ever make a guide with all of your training tips without an online course? I love the online course idea but with working full time, law school part time, and an almost 3 year old, I simple don’t have time to watch an online course. I would love to learn how to take better pictures though!!

  • Reply
    Shawnna Thompson
    February 6, 2017 at 2:51 am

    So excited to learn more about the course! Can I ask what filters you like to use in VSCO? I always adore your editing style. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Holly Hopkins
    February 6, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    I always look forward to seeing your pictures. You have an eye for this. Your kids are beautiful keep up the good work Mama. I look forward to seeing more great photos!

  • Reply
    Nitsa Jensen
    February 7, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Hi Jess! Thanks for the great info on the camera you use and course! Do you mind sharing which filters you like best on VSCO? For some reason I can’t seem to find a filter that works with a majority of my photos. They’re all over the place! Thanks so much!

    XO,
    Nitsa
    http://www.westcoastjensens.com

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