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Jennifer Foik Photography and Sarah Sovereign Photography Workshop

June 19, 2014

We had the pleasure of hosting Jennifer and Sarah from Jennifer Foik Photography and Sarah Sovereign Photography at our last Moms with a Camera meeting. They put on a Storytelling in Portraiture workshop for the members, and we had a great time! Jennifer and Sarah shared so many tips, suggestions, and ideas for how to tell beautiful stories in our photography. We appreciated their humour and willingness to share so many ideas, and even their philosophies of family photography. They brought along beautiful mother-daughter models.  They were absolutely gorgeous and it was a pleasure to practice our photography on them. Here are some of the photos taken by members. Enjoy!

 

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Jenny J

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Laura B

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Laura B

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Sonja D

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Sonja D

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Laura B

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Laura B

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Sonja D

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Sonja D

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Sonja D

 

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Sonja D

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Laura B

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Jenny J

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Teresa D

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Jenny J

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Laura B

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Laura B

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Teresa D

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Teresa D

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Anna H

 

Make sure to head over to Sarah Sovereign’s Photography page to check out her ethereal photography style, and Jennifer Foik’s Photography page to check out her authentic and captivating family photography!

Intro to Newborn Photography

January 26, 2014

Newborn Photography Jan 2014

We are so excited about our next Moms with a Camera photo tutorial session. Melissa Newbery will be presenting her tips and tricks for taking newborn photos in the hospital, lifestyle photos at home, and posed shots with props. Learn how you can take photos that your friends and family will cherish, and also learn some ideas that will apply to other photography genres as well!

Introducing MWAC 2014

December 27, 2013

We are quickly approaching the start of our 2014 season of “Moms with a Camera”. We meet twice per month in Abbotsford, BC and we would love to have you join us! We will start up on Tuesday, January 14th.

MWAC postcard 2014 Ad

Please see our 2014 calendar of events:
2014 Season Overview

If you have any questions, please check out our FAQ section on this website, or check out our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MomsWithACamera
Additionally, you can email us at momswithacamera@gmail.com

Christmas 2013 Photo Challenge

December 19, 2013

We would like to invite all members or web-site visitors to participate in our Christmas Photo Challenge.  Please place your photos into the 2013 Dropbox (members only) or email to momswithacamera@gmail.com

Christmas Photo Challenge

Get in the Photo: Mother’s Day Contest!

May 2, 2013

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Mothers Day is just around the corner!  We want to celebrate all you moms out there, whether you’re pregnant, have children and/ or experienced motherhood in some way.  I’m passionate about moms not only being behind the camera, but in front of it as well.   It’s time to hand off the camera or take a self portrait with your kids.  If possible, try to get a photo that’s not just a snapshot, try to capture emotion, play and/ or the love between you and your child(ren).  Email your photo to momswithacamera@gmail.com and we’ll post it in an album on our facebook page.  Since this is not a popularity contest in anyway, the winner will be randomly chosen by random.org on Mother’s Day.  We’re keeping this simple, so the prize will be a $10 gift card to Starbucks.  So take a photo and send it in!  Check out my post here for more details on taking self portraits with your kids, or my personal blog post here about the importance of being in photos with your kids.  I’ve included a few of my own pics to hopefully help inspire you to see beyond typical snapshot pictures. The contest is open to anyone, it doesn’t matter where you live, etc.  Good luck!

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Indoor Image: Photo Challenge

March 17, 2013

For the past months we have been talking about how to take better photos indoors.  We have discussed attributes of a strong black and white image, directions of light, manipulating light, subject placement, etc.  For this challenge/ critique MWAC members should submit a photo that they took sometime during the “Playing with Light” series.  Our first image critique is April 9th therefore please email your image to mwac.challenges@gmail.com by Sunday April 7th.  Please also bring a printed  5 by 7 of your challenge photo in a frame to our meeting on the 9th.

An image critique is a great experience to see photos in a new way and essential for growth.  They should never make the photographer feel down or disappointed about their image, but rather encouraged and hopeful about how their image could be improved.

Below is an idea of possible critique comments that could be made about a photo.

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+Great expression on Calvin’s face; very sweet.  I love how you can see the tiny hairs on his shoulders due to the back lighting.

+Lovely use of light, like how Calvin is silhouetted in the hard light on the carpet.  The hard light on the carpet also acts as a wonderful natural reflector!

-Would like the blind cord and outlet cloned out in post processing since they are distractions and don’t add to the overall story/ feeling of the image

– It would be great if the image was adjusted slightly so that the base board/ horizon line was straightened out.  It would also be ideal if the image was shot from a little lower down so that the base board wasn’t running through his head.

-The image looks slightly blown out on Calvin’s hair.  Since Calvin’s face is exposed correctly, I would suggest “recovering” the blown highlights in post processing.

-One idea for composition would be to have stepped back a little to be able to put Calvin more in the left third of the frame.  It would have been great o see more of the light beam on the floor as well.

+ I love the innocence of this image and the way that the little boy was so naturally captured.

Buying your First DSLR

January 5, 2013

You’ve made the decision to buy a “fancy” camera, but now the question is what camera to buy? I’ve had a lot of people ask me for advice regarding what they should know about getting their first DSLR, so I thought it was time to write up some of my thoughts.

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To keep things simple, I’m just going to write a brief comparison of Canon and Nikon. I think that both of these camera brands are awesome. You really can’t go wrong with either. It’s like choosing between Coke and Pepsi, both good just a little different depending on your tastes. There will always be a debate about which is better and I’ve come to believe that one isn’t necessarily better than the other, they’re just a little different.

The first question that I would like you to ask yourself is what you plan to do with your camera. If you plan to just stay on AUTO mode (or P or any of the other auto modes), it really doesn’t matter what kind of DSLR you choose. Make your decision on how the camera feels in your hands, possible previous camera brand experience and which name you prefer. I personally believe that an entry level DSLR and the highest end DSLR will create results that are virtually the same in the hands of a beginner on AUTO mode. Some photographers argue that a DSLR on AUTO mode is just a very expensive point and shoot camera. Yes, the images will be a little sharper and there won’t be that pesky shutter delay that you experience with point and shoots, but other than that the actual photos will be quite similar. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that mine definitely were and so are those of so many others that I know. We all wish that getting a DSLR will instantly make us better photographers, but that just isn’t the case.

Now that you realize that getting into Manual mode will greatly improve the awesomeness of your photos let’s talk about that.

The Manual Exposure Meter

When you expose in manual mode you are manually setting the apertute, shutter speed and ISO. I won’t get into what that all means here, however just keep in mind that aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together and therefore make up the exposure triangle. When you are “exposing” you have a meter that helps you see if the image is under exposed, over exposed or just right.  The meter is the bar with smal dots and a – and + sign on each end.

With Canon, the meter is under exposed on the left and over exposed on the right.

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With a Nikon, the meter is over exposed on the left and under exposed on the right.

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One isn’t better than the other, they’re just a different way of doing the same thing.  Ask yourself what makes the most sense to the way you think?  How would you set up playing cards in your hand?

*Canon’s lowest ISO is 100 whereas Nikon’s is 200.  A higher ISO may provide a few more challenges when shooting in very bright conditions.  For example, it’s a sunny day at the beach.

Focus Points and Metering

This is an area that I feel Nikon has a slight advantage over Canon.  On every DSLR you can toggle your focus points.  Each little dot/ square is a focus point, the dot lit up is the area of sharpest focus.  The image below is of an entry level Canon camera’s focus points.  The Nikon cameras generally have more focus points.

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If you continue to grow in photography you will likely start spot metering.  This is when you are exposing to a very small (Spot) area rather than the exposure of the whole screen (evaluative).  On a Canon the place that you have to expose is the centre regardless of which spot you would like to have as the sharpest focus point.  On a Nikon the focus point also works as the spot metering point.  This just makes more sense to me.

C (Creative Modes)

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A Canon DSLR has several C modes on the function dial.  This is something that Nikon cameras don’t have.  When I started making the move from AUTO to manual I loved the creative modes.  They allow the user to make partial manual adjustments without needing to have full knowlege of manual exposure.  While this was great when I was a beginner, it’s something that I haven’t touched in a long time.

Ease of Use

Some people find that Nikon has almost too much detail and too many “windows” to toggle through, whereas Canon seems a little more simple and direct in the LCD navigation.  This all comes down to personal preference.

Price

Both Canon and Nikon are very comparable in price.  Buy the best camera body that your budget can afford.  The lenses are what make a huge difference in the look and quality of your images.

Some last but very Important Notes

The kit lens that you will likely buy with your entry level camera body won’t be great quality.  It can be good for taking general photos, however they will look very similar to any photo that you would take with your point and shoot camera.  If a salesperson tries to sell you more than one kit lens, DO NOT go for it!  The big difference from ok to great photos is in the lens.  **Invest in a 50mm 1.8 prime lens (fixed focal length so there is no camera zooming).  This lens will allow you to get way more light into your camera so that you can take better photos indoors without your flash.  It will also give you lovely blurry backgrounds, it’s also considered a portrait lens for this reason.  The 50mm 1.8 lens costs between $99-$120 making it a very cheap lens with an incredible value.

Well there you have it, a few comparisons to help you with your shopping. I have a Canon and LOVE it! However, if I had started with a Nikon I would probably feel the same way.    Just remember that when you purchase your first DSLR you are likely going to stay in the same camera family forever (or a very long time) due to lens compatibility.

In the end, don’t stress, don’t overthink it.  You’ll make the decision that’s right for you.  Both brands make excellent cameras!