Answers

Thanks for all of your fun and interesting questions! Like I said, I’ll try my best to answer and hope they help!

1. Kristi asked “I am photographing a wedding on Saturday. any advice, tips, poses. help! “

Wow! That’s great! I’ll bet you’re excited, nervous, anxious, and totally prepared, right? 😉 I’m not sure if you are photographing the ceremony, bridal party photos, or reception (or all 3) but here are a few tips that have helped me.
I’ve only photographed a handful of weddings, but some things that have worked for me is to make a list of poses you WANT to get for SURE. That way you can feel comfortable knowing you got the biggies. Then, have fun and play with the bride and groom’s personalities. Posed shots are nice, but it’s also nice to keep clicking, even in between – so you can capture those “in love” looks they give each other. It’s also fun to document the little things like the bride’s shoes, the rings, the flowers – the gorgeous flower girl twirling around in her cute dress. 
Be sure you are always looking at the background. The worst thing is having a gorgeous shot with a street sign, or a telephone pole sticking out like a sore thumb in the background. Move yourself, or move your subjects to avoid those. 
Always focus on the eyes. If the rest of the photo is out of focus, but the eyes are sharp – it will still work! 
Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask people to move, or to pose. Also, be sure if you are allowing family members to photograph behind you (a big IF), ask them to not use flashes as they will distort your own lighting. Also it’s helpful to look at the skin on the faces of your subjects to avoid any harsh shadows or sun spots. Just a small change of position can eliminate those.
Finally, have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles, poses, shutter speeds – whatever! Like I said if you’ve got the “must have” poses – feel free to play a little! Usually those shots are the best in the end.
2. Maren asks “Trying to search your blog for info about what camera you use for your amazing pics…..clicking on the photography button doesn’t work =(
Also any suggestions on a camera for taking family pics and action shots?”
To answer your first question, I am currently using my Canon 5D, which I LOVE but before that I was using my Canon XTi, which worked beautifully! For all of the recent biking date pictures, my husband was using our point and shoot Sony Cyber-shot, which also does a great job for just over $100. 
As for what camera to buy, DIV { MARGIN: 0px } there is no denying – the equipment does make a big difference. There are cheaper DSLRs and more expensive ones. If you can afford it, I would say go for a DSLR. You can always purchase different lenses as the budget allows if you want to go fancier. I love the results, especially with the continuous shooting mode. 
 

BUT, if you read your manual and play with your Point and Shoot settings, you can often do a lot more with it than you might think. You can even purchase some higher end point and shoots that have some of the same capabilities as DSLRs. Really, it’s just doing your homework, deciding what you want the camera for, seeing what’s in your price range, and making a go! 
I can’t recommend, personally, any DSLRs besides Canon, as that’s all I’ve used. It’s important, if you are purchasing a DSLR, to try one out – how does it feel in your hands? Where are the buttons located, and how easy is it to maneuver? How heavy is it? How intuitive is it to use? For the price, you want to make sure you get one that works with YOU. You can also purchase slightly used or refurbished DSLRs for cheaper – just be careful of the condition, and make sure there is a warranty.
3. Tiffany asks “[How do you make] rounded corners in cs4 for photos?” 
Tiffany answered her OWN question in minutes by browsing through my Tutorials page. She came across this link for ROUNDED CORNERS
4. M asks “If you could choose ANY other photographer to take YOUR family pictures, who would you choose? “
 Oooh, great question! I have crushes on several photographers out there in blog land. If I HAD to choose ONE and distance/money was no object, I would have to choose Laura Seibert, though it would truly have to be like a quadruple tie with Leah Profancik, Maggie Holmes, Kate Benson, and Anna Jones! I could go on. I love Kate’s photography, though, because she knows how to work with light REALLY well, and her photos have a spark and personality that I love, and would want in my own family photos. If I can be a fraction as good as these ladies, I would count myself blessed!

5. Debbi asks “I want to see a collection of your ALL-TIME favourite pictures. Done by you, done OF you, or ones that inspire you! “
Could you ask anything harder? 🙂 Photographs inspire me, color inspires me, light inspires me – everything! It’s difficult to narrow it down, but I’ll give you a couple.

This photo from National Geographis inspired me as a teenager to want to photograph people. It was interesting to me. It told a story, even though there was nothing else in the frame except her and her haunting eyes. I never thought portraiture could be interesting. Totally inspiring!

Favorite photo of my family – my husband’s family. I love photos that show personality, and this one SCREAMS it!

 

It’s hard to choose a favorite photo that I’ve taken – not because I think they are all goo, but because I criticize them to death! I do love this shot, though, because it was unplanned, not posed in a typical fashion, and just shows pure joy!

And favorite photo of myself? Well, again, I don’t like photos of myself… at all! BUT this more recent one is not  bad of myself and better yet, has my hubby in it! I love this guy, and my favorite pics of myself are always the ones where I am with my husband. I don’t feel complete with out him “in the picture”. LOL!


6. Andrea asked a lot! “Do you need photoshop to do digital scrapbooking? Say that I wanted to do digital scrapbooking… what’s the first step for someone that has no idea?
Do you really truly love the city you live in?
How do you find time to do it all (all that you do)?
What’s this FHE box?
Would you ever home school?
Favorite store to buy clothes?
And of course we need a very personal one in there too- any more children? (jk- you don’t need to answer that one).

So, to answer in order, 

1. There are other programs you can use to digi scrapbook besides Photoshop. I’ve never used any, but here are some of the ones I’ve heard about:

  • Memory Mixer – heard a lot of great things about this software, and at around $50 it’s not bad – I mean, it’s less than some Photoshop software (though I would still go for Photoshop Elements in that case).
  • Paint Shop Pro – It’s a pretty well known software, and it works well, too!
  • Corel Draw – don’t know a lot about this, but also well known
  • Foto Fusion
  • Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Designer


There is also free software out there for download if you search “Digital Scrapbook Software”. I can’t vouch for any of them as I’ve never tried them. 



For a beginnger course on how to digital scrapbook, you can check out a tutorial I did a while back that walks you through each step of creating a digital scrapbook page. It’s HERE. Obviously it walks you through using Photoshop, so if you aren’t using that software, you can find resources online to help. There is also a great page I came across that is helpful for beginners at the Digital Scrapbook Place.  Main thing, though, is getting some digital scrapbook paper, which you can purchase from online stores and download as .pdf or jpeg files on your computer. The design like you would any paper scrapbook page! Good luck!


2. YES I truly love the city I’m in. It’s just the right size, people are VERY friendly, and everything I need is here. I do think loving where you live is an attitude thing, though. If I wanted to, I could find reasons to hate it here, I’m sure. But why? What’s the point in seeking out misery? No place is perfect, but I really love living here.


3.  How do I find the time? Well, I don’t always find the time. I struggle with things being left undone sometimes, or put on the backburner. I have to often shift my priorities around to fit the things that are most needful, and more often than not – I need reminding of what those things are. The things that I try to reserve TOP priority for, though, is my personal worship and my family. Those are things that are eternal in nature and are most deserving of my time. I have been reminded over and over that if I put those things top on my priority list, somehow – like the miracle of the loaves and fishes – there is room for everything else. And if not? Then I find it easier to let the unneccesaries go. 


4. FHE box! Okay, I don’t know where I got this idea, but in our house we have struggled with racing around on Monday trying to decide what our lesson will be for Family  Home Evening, what the activity will be, and what the treat will be. Too often I choose a topic that I feel the kids ‘need’ to hear about and it turns into a preach fest. I wanted the kids to be more involved in what we learn about, the activities we do, and even the treats we have.


SO, we spent one Family night making lists of the kids favorite scripture stories and gospel topics. Some of them surprised me! One of my daughters mentioned how she would like to learn more about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis – something I had no idea she even knew about in the Book of Mormon. My husband chose topics like “Gardening”! We made lists of different activities like bike riding, playing musical chairs, and drawing pictures. Our treat list was obviously the most extensive (ha!) and included everything from brownies, to smoothies, to pie.


The next day I hopped on the computer and designed 4X6 in cards that have each of those topics or ideas on them (one card for each thing). For the lesson cards I also included some scripture references and/or the Gospel Art Picture Kit # that coordinates with that lesson for reference when we pull that card out. For the treat and activity cards I included a picture of the treat or activity, to make our mouths water and add to the excitement!
 


I ended up with several Lesson cards, Activity cards, and Treat cards – which I then popped into a box I had left over from my Project 365 kit. It fits them perfectly. I separated them into the 3 categories, and now each Sunday we pull out one card from each category – ready made Family Home Evening! It’s been SO great – no complaints, everyone is excited, everyone is involved. It’s truly made our Family Home Evenings much better.


5. Would I ever homeschool? No. I’m sure I’ll get hate mail because I feel this way, but I think the social interaction is too important for my kids to deny them that. I also feel it’s important for my kids to learn to take direction and to respect other adult figures in their lives, and I feel that they can get a good education in public school as long as I keep completely involved in what they are learning. I also think it’s good for them to learn to live what they believe in situations where not everyone does, and to also learn respect for other’s beliefs and cultures. Just my opinion. And I’ll be honest – if I want my children to live to adulthood – they need to be out of my house for a few hours a day. LOL! 
Do I respect and admire those who homeschool? Absolutely. In fact, they blow me away with their talent, patience, and commitment. I think everyone makes decisions for their family based on their circumstances, ideas, and goals. It’s just not for me.

6. Favorite store to buy clothes – For me? Reitmans. I love their selection of modest and stylish clothing, and the prices can be very decent. Otherwise? Superstore and Wal-Mart. 

7. And no – no more children are in the plans 🙂 We’re happy with our girls!
7. Nora asks “How do you stay chipper and upbeat all the time????
Will you ever move back to Calgary?
How’s your Mom and Dad?
And tell them I said hello please.. kk :)”
 
  1. I love you, Nora! And how do I stay chipper and upbeat all the time? Who said I did? lol! Have you heard the expression “fake it ’til you make it”? I live by it. Doesn’t Dr. Phil say “You behave your way to success”? I’ve also heard it said that “What you think about, you bring about”. Basically, I try to think cheerful thoughts, and if I can’t – try to write cheerful words, and sooner than later, I’m feeling cheerful! It’s not always that easy, though. I get stressed out, I feel down, I feel lonely sometimes, out of the loop – you name it! Don’t we all? I guess I don’t like to air my diry laundry on my blog, so my readers just assume I’m ALWAYS happy! LOL! I do try, though.
  2. Moving back to Calgary is not in the plans – sorry 🙂 To be honest, we aren’t sure what the Lord has in store for us (we never expected to move FROM Calgary, afterall!) and we’re open to wherever we might be led to move. BUT for now – moving back isn’t in the plans. 
  3. My mom and dad are doing GREAT – loving life in BC. Healthy and happy – and I’ll be sure to tell them ‘hi’ from you!

8. The Wrath of Khandrea asks “How do you balance your career and your family? and more importantly, how do you remain cheerful in doing so? Any tips on developing a photography website?


 For an answer to your first question – see my previous answers. I do my best. There is no perfect equation that works for everyone. Like I said – I try to put my family and personal relationship with the Savior ahead of everything else, and the rest falls into place. It’s easier for me, though, because I can set my own hours – work as often as I choose. I can imagine how difficult it must be for some out there who don’t have that luxury. I have to admit, though, that I do often second-guess myself or wonder if I should be doing photography at all. I always come back to doing it, though, so for now – it’s a happy part of my life.

Tips on developing a photography website. Well, there are dozens of templates out there you can use to develop a website, even using blogger! The key, though, is to find a way to display your photos LARGE and in High Quality. You also need to develop a portfolio of your favorite shots which also show your range and your style. There is a lot of planning you can do before ever creating the website. What will you charge? How many sessions do you plan to book each month? Have you designed a contract? What types of photography will you offer?
As for the website – I, myself, went with Blu Domain who have several pre-made templates that I could work with and customize to suit my needs. I don’t design webpages from scratch – at least not flash pages. I love the look and feel and it suits my needs perfectly. 

9. Lynn asks “Will you be moving back here once Lyndon is finished school?? “

 See previous answer – not in the plans, but who knows? 🙂
10. Proud Mom asks “How did you decide it was time to start a business? What tips could you give to someone trying to make the leap from ‘casual’ photographer for friends and family to business owner?”
For me it was 2 things – one, I wanted a DSLR badly and knew it would be helpful to have a business to pay for it! LOL! But really, it was friends and family members asking me to take their photos for them. I did several shoots for free – to build up my portfolio – then had referrals from those shoots which started my business. I felt I was ready to charge when I was confident that I could handle whatever conditions I came across – lighting wise, location wise, weather-wise. It also  helped that I had people ASKING to pay me for my photographs. It was definitely a leap, and even now I am surprised that I get paid to do this. I love it.
What helps is reading up on photography forums like those at I Love Photography or Two Peas In A Bucket. There is so much helpful information out there to help you as your progress from casual to professional photographer! Good luck! 
11. Tiffany asks “Where do babies come from?”
Gosh, Tiff, I thought you’d have the hang of that by now after having 4 beautiful children – BUT since you asked….
I’ll refer you to this great book on the subject: “Where Do Babies Come From?” 
(that’s what I get for saying you can ask ANYTHING!) 



12. Micki asks “That age old ‘printing certain sizes’ question. Some say you have to crop to a specific size but what if I like the crop the way it is??? I was also told I would have to save for each size…. that could mean 2 or 3 saves for particular photos….. i’m so confused…. personally I should be able to crop the photo to the 2:3 or whatever dimension and I should be able to get 4×6, 5×7, etc.. prints from that without it ‘cutting’ some of the picture.
Another great question. What you’re really wondering about is ASPECT RATIO. It’s essentially the relationship between the width and height of the photograph. When you are cropping your photo to the 3:2 ratio, for example, you are cropping a relationship, not an actual specific measurement. Does that make sense? 
Let’s say that I have an image with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The actual size of this image in pixels can be 300 x 200, or 600 x 400,  or 1350 x 900. So long as the relationship between the width and the height is always 3 to 2, the aspect ratio does not change even though the size of the image does. The resolution can be different.
So, a 3:2 ratio will give you a completely different crop than a 5:7 ratio, for example. Here is an example chart of different common print sizes, and thei aspect ratios:
Print Size Aspect Ratio
4×6 3:2
5×7 7:5
8×10 5:4
20×30 3:2
So, if you upload a photo that has a 3:2 ratio, but you want to print a 5X7 or an 8X10 print, you are going to lose some of your photo as it will have to be cropped. Let me show you an example.
This is a photo of my daughter. It currently has a 5:7 aspect ratio. Different cameras automatically produce images with different aspect ratios. Let’s say my camera produces photos at a 5:7 aspect ratio, like this one.  I could order a print as a 5X7 and it would appear exactly like the photo below.
But let’s say I wanted to print it as a 4X6, not a 5X7. Well, let’s see what happend when I try to crop the image in photoshop, using a width of 6 in and a height of 4in. 
 
Can you see the part at the bottom of the photo that will be cut off? That’s because a 4X6 photo has an aspect ratio of 2:3, NOT 5:7. 

If I wanted to order the print as an 8X10, what would happen?

Now I’m loosing some off the side, because an 8X10 photo has an aspect ratio of 5:4, not 5:7. If you want the photos you are seeing to come out in print exactly the way you see them, you can either use a camera that automatically uses the same aspect ratio as the prints you order (eg. use a camera that produces image with an aspect ration of 3:2, if you order 4X6 shots). OR, crop the photos in a photo editing program BEFORE you order your prints. That way you can control what get’s cropped off your photo. There is no “one size fits all” ratio that works for every print size, unfortunately.
13. Tabitha asks “I would like to design my own website, any advice? I don’t even know where to start.”
I am not a web designer, or claim to know everything there is to know about website design. Like I said before, I use a template from Blu Domain for my photography website. 
That being said, here are a few tips that helped me. You need to buy a domain name. This is basically “www.whatevernameyouwant.com” You can search “buy domain name” and find places where you can do this. It’s usually a certain cost per year. You can search to see if it’s already taken, and perhaps have a different ending like .ca or something. I went with Netfirms for mine (grunewald.ca) and it’s reasonable – like $7 a year or something.
Then you need to find a place to host your website. This is where blu domain came in for me. I not only used their template, but I host through them. They made it super easy for me. You can also google “Website Hosting” or something like that to learn more and find more options for hosting. Often the place you purchase your domain name offers website hosting as well.
I’m not a technical guru, so I went with what was intuitive and easy. 
Then you build your website. Will you be making a flash website? HTML? Using a pre-made template? Do some research, decide what you are looking for, then take the leap! There are many free resources out there to help, as well. 
Not sure if that helped.
Thanks for all of your great questions! I’d love to know if the answers were helpful. I don’t know everything about everything (no kidding!) but much of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned through simple research (google is my friend) and experimenting. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, getting messy – that’s how we learn, right? 

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5 thoughts on “Answers

  1. Ahhh, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. I knew the answer but was hoping, lol….. so when a photography studio offers you 3 different choice sizes, they process that one image 3 different times??? Sighhhh, you'd think with todays technology there'd be an action or something, lol. (I know wishful thinking…..)

    Thank you and PS: I get paid Friday and although I can't afford much to help the kids….. I'll be donating 🙂

    hugs

    Like

  2. That National Geographic photo was so captivating that I, too, was inspired in high school when I first saw it. I actually did both a charcoal and pencil rendering of it…They still hang in my home today.

    Like

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