This is my daughter lounging on the floor watching cartoons.
I have decided to start a series on this blog geared toward new moms and their new “fancy” cameras. I myself was once a new mom with a new dSLR and I wasn’t sure where to start. My daughter was six months old and for our 5th anniversary my husband surprised me with a new camera!! I was thrilled, but I had no idea how to use it! I kept it in auto for awhile only to discover that the pictures were turning out comparable to my iPhone pictures. Considering the cost difference between the two I knew I needed to get my money’s worth out of my new camera and start making the magic happen. Just over two years later I am still figuring out how to use my camera (there are literally hundreds of settings that you can mix and match) and getting the perfect shot of my children who are always wiggling (it was so much easier when they were babies and couldn’t move around).
I can’t remember where, but I heard once that if you aren’t using your dSLR camera at least once a week then you’re not getting any better at taking pictures. I have taken that to heart. So for this first series installment I want to give you some ideas that have worked for me for taking pictures regularly. These may or may not work for you but hopefully this list will get you started in the right direction.
- Leave your camera out where it’s easily accessible. It’s so easy to always grab your phone because it’s always within reach. So, leave your camera out where you can reach it. I leave mine on my kitchen counter where my kids can’t reach it. If you have bigger kids maybe you can leave it on the fridge or on a shelf in the pantry. Leave it out where you can just grab it and turn it on without fumbling with a big camera bag stored in hard to reach places.
- Purchase a pouch for just your camera without all the accessories that go with it. Last year I got a similar one to this from amazon. I choose one lens that I think I will want for the day and I put the camera in my diaper bag. YES, it is heavy, and NO I don’t always use it. For me it’s worth carrying around for those times when I do end up using it. Pumpkin patches, random play dates, lunch outings, etc. Having my camera with me means I am more likely to use it than if I leave it at home.
- Since you have invested the money for the camera, invest in the time it takes to figure it out. I didn’t pick up my camera the first time and understand what white balance is. I read about it and then I played around with the white balance to discover what the differences were between the different setting options. Make the decision now to invest some time in learning about your camera. Whether it’s during nap time, after the kids have gone to bed, or if they’re just quietly playing. It’s amazing how even just a half hour a week of reading about something helps you learn so much.
- Practice Practice Practice. Start capturing all the little things. Digital cameras make practicing so affordable!! Don’t be afraid to click the shutter over and over again as you’re figuring out what you like and don’t like. You never know when you’ll snap that “one” picture you want framed on your wall.
Friends, we are just getting started!! Taking great pictures of your kids is possible. You will be able to capture all the little things that you will forget without pictures. Come back next week for Part 2 of learning about your dSLR. We’re going to talk more about white balance and the difference it makes! Let’s enjoy this journey together!! Leave a comment below if there are any specific questions that you have!!
THIS WEEKS’S HOMEWORK: LEAVE YOUR CAMERA OUT WHERE YOU CAN REACH IT AT ALL TIMES.