Thursday, December 8, 2011

The wonderful world of awesome.

Hi Friends! :) you are very very very lucky today! That wasn't near enough verys. Add in about a thousand more and that should be about right! Today we have Lissa Chandler from Me&Mr. C.
The first time I discovered Lissa's blog, I didn't stop smiling for one second while my eyes browsed her pages full of beautifully articulated words and equisite photographs. Okay those adjectives were a bit over the top. Admitted.
But honestly.
 She is so sweet and hilarious. One of my favorite things about her is that she always tells you how it is, but is able to still give an optimistic twist to it. I love that about her. She's here today to give you all some tips on how to take wonderful photographs. You can see some of her art work as well. She certainly is an artist! Enjoy! :)

Hey! My name is Lissa C. and I am a happy photo addict, here to welcome Alexis and her favorite man into the wonderful world of swoony, exciting, and heart-pounding camerahood bliss. It's an awesome place to be.
Alexis Guest Post
My love affair with photography started around the same time that most girls my age fell in love with Tamagotchis and Beanie Babies. I didn't care about how often my virtual pets died and I didn't care when one of my friends in fifth grade gave me one of her duplicate, tagless Beanie Babies for my tenth birthday, but I really, really cared about photographs. Luckily for my friends, they all grew out of their elementary school obsessions, but mine is still going strong.
Alexis Guest Post
In junior high and high school, I was one of those girls who carried a camera in my purse, my locker, my car, and my coat pocket, too. I had discounted cameras I'd found at party stores with stupid sayings. I had two old Polaroids that actually belonged to my mom but acted like they were mine. I had see through pink plastic cameras. I had disposable cameras covered in paper. And eventually, at eighteen, I had an SLR- a film one with weird batteries and a button that let me twist off the lens... not that I had any other lenses, but still. Anyway, I could talk for thirty-six straight hours about how I got into photography, but that's actually not what I'm here to talk about today. I'm here to give a few basic tips for beginners, so hold onto your office chairs, because this is going to be fun!
Alexis Guest Post
Alexis Guest Post
Lesson One: To put it lightly, photography is about light.
The best part about this is that everyone sees light differently. I am a light chaser. I love sunlight. I love how it wraps around bodies. I love how it wraps around buildings. I love how it adds romance to simple shots. I love how it looks in the morning, in the afternoon, and right before sunset. To me, sunlight is the best addition to any photoshoot. There are a lot of other photographers who feel the same way and there are other photographers who are much happier in studios than laying on their bellies in mud trying to get lighting just right. But! That's the beauty of it all. Even if every photographer only shot natural light, no photographer sees light the same as another photographer, which means no ones photographs will be exactly like someone else's.
Lesson Two: Shooting Manual is so rad, but you need to figure out how to see first.
My cameras never come off of Manual. I love controlling Shutter Speed and I always shoot at the lowest Aperture possible. So! If you're currently learning to shoot manual, then embrace your light meter. Your light meter is your best friend. Don't know what a light meter is? Simply look through your camera and, underneath the frame, you'll see a little meter. That's it! You've found your light meter! So twist and turn your dials to your hearts content- just make sure they stay where you want them to be! I like for my photographs to look creamy and colorful, so I typically overexpose by one to three clicks, depending on the circumstances. But! Before you start twisting dials, make sure you know how to see first. When I built my portfolio, I very rarely took my camera off of "P" (program) or "Av" (aperture priority). While this may not work for everyone, it was perfect for me to learn how to work with clients and learn how to capture a certain feeling without worrying about when to twist dials. Then, when I was ready to make the switch, I transitioned into shooting Manual within twenty-four hours of the first time I switched the setting. I was confident in how I saw the world, I knew how to edit, and I knew how to interact, so I switched... and then I shot a wedding the very next morning. And afterwards? I never took my camera off Manual again. Controlling all of the settings on your camera will make your photographs soar and you'll be shocked at how easily it becomes second nature, but it is a process that can take a lot of time and tears.
Lesson Three: Photography is like the rat nest to end all rat nests.
Seriously. Photography is tough and, once you've started working on it, you can't stop until you're finished. Honestly, photography is hair-pulling, knot inducing hard work. From the outside, it may look like sunshine and roses, but if you're interested in progressing in photography, there are going to be a lot of tears, a lot of late nights, and a lot of self doubt. And that's okay! Cultivating a talent and artistry takes time, so don't expect everything to just click because it probably won't.
Miller Family

Lesson Four: There are no rules in photography.
Yes. It is wise to read as much as you can, look at as much as you can, and memorize the basics. But! Some of the most interesting, most beautiful photographs come from rule breakers. Photography is an art, so once you get used to shooting and know the fundamental concepts of working a camera, be a visionary! The world can always do with a little more out-of-the-box kind of thinking.
Alexis Guest Post
Lesson Five: Everyone starts somewhere.
The first time I accepted pay as a photographer, I was nineteen. The photographs I took sucked and, honestly, I was paid nearly as much as I am now for a basic portrait session. Over the past five years, the photography market has changed dramatically which, if you're thinking of being professional or even just respected, can be really scary since the market is flooded. This can be disheartening, but it should also be encouraging. Look around you! There's no one who shoots the same way you do, who sees the same way you do, or is so similar to you that you can't distinguish between your photographs. So! Whether you want to take photographs for fun, for your family, or for clients, don't constantly sit and compare yourself to others. Go out and shoot instead! It will be hard and it will continue to be hard, but when you create an image that reverberates all the way down to your soul (Yep! I just went there!), then all of the work leading up to it is completely and totally worth it.
party guest post
PS. You can read about me, my husband, and our funny babe here. Or see more of my photography here.
And Thanks Alexis! Welcome to the world of Big Girl Cameras!


elise @ elise's pieces said...

I LOVED everything about this post. And I think I've found a new bloggy BFF. I'm giddy now.

Emma Frances said...

Such good advice! :] My husband and I just got a camera {mostly for him} and I am so making him read this! Teehee! Your pictures are amazing!

Mangotatoes said...

thanks so much for the awesome comment! I love these photographs they're amazing!