Today’s post is for those mamas who have a fancy DLSR camera, but you either forget to use it, or it seems easier to use your iPhone.
Before I bought my DSLR, I just used my phone to take pictures. It was nice to have my photos in one convenient place… but then I learned how to use my DSLR in Manual mode and I never looked back. Sure, your phone takes great photos. But once you learn how to operate your camera in Manual, it can feel limiting to pick up a phone without having creative control over exposure, shutter speed, depth of field, lens choice, etc. Plus, DSLRs give you the advantage of shooting in RAW, which is the format photographers use to produce higher quality images.
Most of us are probably guilty of leaving that expensive camera packed away, out of reach of tiny hands… so when your kids are doing something adorable, you grab your phone instead of your DSLR, because by the time you unpack it, attach a lens, and turn it on… that magical kid moment is over, right?
That situation has happened to me millions of times, and even though I’m always thankful I captured whatever adorable things my kids did with my phone, there’s always regret, too. I can’t edit an iPhone picture like I can photo taken with my big camera, and my iPhone pics lack the magic I can capture with my DSLR. So what’s a mama to do?
Here’s today’s tip: Leave the DSLR out where you can get to it easily, fully charged, with your favorite lens attached.
That’s right, take it out of the bag, check the battery, put your lens on and leave that baby out (in a safe place!) and ready for action. All you’ll need to do is switch it on and remove the lens cap!
My camera stays either on the bar just outside our kitchen, or on the mantle in the living room. My monkeys can’t get their little hands on it (which, if they ever did, I would probably go into cardiac arrest), but it’s close enough to wherever they are that I can grab it just as easily as my phone. I charge the batteries as part of my evening routine and put them back in before bed.
Once I started doing this, I found I was reaching for my cell phone way less often and I was MUCH happier with my images. I typically keep my 50 mm 1.8 lens on my camera, which is a super affordable option on Amazon. I got mine for around $100 a couple years ago.
If you aren’t fully comfortable with your DSLR, take the time to really learn it. Learn to get out of Auto mode and into Manual – you’ll be so glad you did. You can find some good how-tos online, or you can take a workshop on a weekend. Teach yourself about exposure, depth of field, different lens options, etc.
I’m at a point where I’d rather save up for a really nice lens over a fancy pair of heels (which is really too bad for my husband, because the lenses cost more than I would spend on shoes!). I invest so much time and energy into learning more about photography not just for my business, but because I’m making the memories my family will treasure for years. Let’s be practical – you can’t hire a professional photographer to capture every little thing your kids do. But mama, you can learn to take really good photos that you’ll want to give as gifts to family, show off online or hang on your walls. You don’t have to hire a photographer for every little moment to fill your walls with laughter and happy memories!
Here’s my challenge to you: go unpack that nice camera, check the batteries, attach the lens and leave it out where you can easily grab it next time your baby is chewing on her toes. When instinct tells you to grab your iPhone, get the DSLR instead. Try this a couple times and see if you don’t love the images a little more than you do your iPhone pictures 🙂
If you get stuck with your DSLR or want some basic tips for taking photos of your kids, shoot me an email! I’ll be happy to help!