5 Ways to Shoot With the 50mm Lens

How many of you bought a 50mm lens as your first lens? I think it is the first lens most people choose to buy. For the most part, we all spent a good long time with that stock lens that came with our first cameras, am I right? It's true, the 50mm is a favorite among most. It's probably my favorite, with a close running to the 35mm. And it's a favorite for good reason. One can get a lot of miles out of the 50mm because it's so versatile.

I spent the first 5 years of my photography journey shooting portraits with my 50mm lens. It didn't take long for me to use the 50mm for nearly everything; landscapes, details, low light, and cityscapes. To this day I still use the 50mm lens, but I use it primarily to shoot styled stock photos and it's highly versatile with everything I shoot today.  

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My photography journey started in lifestyle portraits which were my favorite for a long time... until I started shooting flatlay. The 50mm makes it so easy to capture lifestyle images. It has a great low aperture allowing lots of light to enter the lens and also creates a beautiful bokeh. The 50mm makes it easy on you as it's a "normal" lens, meaning the view that it produces is natural, similar to seeing it with the human eye. 

I shoot a variety of lifestyle images for each styled stock photography collection I create and I've found the most brands are interested in utilizing lifestyle images for social media because they are so inviting. 


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The 50mm is also great for shooting details. Getting sharp details with the 50mm is as easy as picking the right aperture. F2.8 is a good jumping off point. I actually prefer not to shot any lower then that to maintain the sharpness of my photos. It's great to include detail images in each styled stock photography collection because it adds variety. 

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Shooting flaylay is one of my favorite types of photos to shoot. Because of the versatility of the 50mm lens it's great for shooting flatlay as well, as long as you're using the right settings. When shooting flaylay is important to shoot with a high f-stop, like f10. When you shoot with an f-stop that large, it allows for all of your props to be in focus. 

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I view mockups as either lifestyle or flaylay because I shoot a variety of mockups that fall into both categories. I wouldn't say there is much of a difference between the technique between lifestyle and flatlay, you're simply treating the item that you're using to mockup (imac, ipad, iphone, notebook, ect.) as the subject of your photo, so you'll want to do your best to keep the focus there. If you're shooting lifestyle you'll want to shoot it like a portrait with a low f-stop. If you are shooting flatlay you'll want to shoot it with a high f-stop.


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I think desktops are great photos to use to add interest to your brands website, perfect for banners and landing pages. Shooting desktops is just like shooting flatlay with a high/large f-stop. Desktop styled stock images are perfect for setting the tone of your brand. Nearly every page of my website as a hero image that was shot as a desktop styled stock image and I think it represents the Elah Tree ethos very well. 

There are far more ways than 5 to shoot with the 50mm lens, what are some of your favorites? xoxo! Samantha


Lifestyle & Desktop Stock Images

Green is the new pink. ;) Remember that episode where Rory goes to Sherry's baby shower and everything is green instead of pink...even though Sherry is having a girl and the entire baby show they say, 'green is the new pink!" Well, that was my inspiration for this collection.... kidding! My inspiration for this collection was actually the green fabric that you see in all the styled desktops. A few months back I went looking for really great textured fabric and I specially looked for fabric that had really rich tones. One of the fabrics I came away with was this really great green. I knew I wanted to create a collection around it and the Terra Collection was born. 

I wanted to keep the collection really earthy and less obviously feminine. This collection is full of styled desktops, lifestyle images, and mockups.  I do my best to round out each collection so that images can be used in a variety of places like Instagram, blog posts, Pinterest, newsletters, social banners, social ads and more. The Terra Collection has over 20 styled stock images and I can't wait to see how you use yours!

This collection has 13 vertical images, perfect for lifestyle posts and Pinterest (my favorite social platform for driving website traffic) plus each image is easily cropable for Instagram. It also has 10 horizontal images. Scroll through the gallery below to view the entire Terra Collection!

Snag one of your favorite bundles here and set your brand apart! xoxo! Samantha


Free Stock Photos for Bloggers and Creative Professionals

The idea of starting small and growing slow used to be so hard for me. I'm 100% sure that everyone else created their business overnight and became instant sensations. Just kidding! But seriously, we've all thought that, right? We totally forget the fact that they spent years behind the scenes working on their craft and growing their brand. We probably even stumbled onto their blog way back when and totally forgot because they were still working things out. But, man we just saw their brand yesterday and we're 100% sure they just came out of no where. ;) 

It's tough starting out. It's tough a few years down the road too. But it doesn't have to be so hard starting out. We can read books, ask for help, and find free stuff to help us on our way. And that's what I want to bring you today. Some FREE stuff to help you on your way. Something to help you look a little more polished and professional. Something to help you stand out. Something that will allow you more time to do what you do best. 

I send out FREE styled stock photos every month. But the extra cool thing is that you can download a sample pack of 15 photos right now! That's 15 FREE photos that you can use on your website, or 15 FREE photos you can use on your blog or hat's 15 FREE photos you can use on Instagram. Ready to make things just a bit easier? Sign up below!




Life and business are always better together. :) And if you need even more photo check out our membership option. xoxo! Samantha  


Lifestyle & Mockup Stock Images

I'm not even sure where to start with this collection... Maybe I should start by telling you that curating this collection was a bit of a passion project for me. I had it in mind to create a collection that set the tone for a new direction for the Stock Photo Member Library. Something a little less feminine (more gender neutral) and a departure from the classic white feminine photos that I often see. I knew I wanted to move away from styling flaylay on white backgrounds and I wanted to set a foundation for the type of colors schemes that would be housed in the Library. 

I knew that making this choice would mean that the colors offered would not meet every business's branding color schemes, but I also knew that I could provide amazing stock photos for those businesses who's color schemes aligned with the Elah Tree style. Moving forward the main colors housed in the Elah Tree Library will be neutrals, earth tones, blues, blacks, grey, wood tones, and maybe the occasional pinks (seeing as there are currently pinks in the library.) ;) 

With all that being said, let me introduce you to the Lennon Collection. I created this collection with Lifestyle images and Mockups in mind. Lifestyle images are perfect for Instagram, blogs, and Pinterest. And the collection is well-rounded with a variety of desktops and mockups.  The Lennon Collection has over 30 styled stock images!

This collection has a variety of vertical images, perfect for lifestyle posts and Pinterest (my favorite social platform for driving website traffic) plus each image is easily cropable for Instagram. I also include a few horizontal images. Scroll through the gallery below to view the entire Lennon Collection.

Snag one of your favorite bundles here and set your brand apart! xoxo! Samantha