Tyler and I have been together for almost 9 years, that is so crazy! We've been married for almost 5 years... boy does time fly. When Tyler and I first started dating, point-n-shoots were all the rage. Man, I wish I still had mine so I could show you how cool I was, haha! ;) Our selfie game was strong. We took pictures of everything... every date night, every car ride, every trip for ice cream, every gingerbread house we made, every pumpkin we carved... everything.
But it's been 9 years, remember? And we're not always the best at capturing our time together. We're super great at taking photos while were out on adventures, but getting photos of us together is hard. And getting photos of us together doing everyday things is even harder. So I was inspired to get us back to our roots and do something like we would have done when we were dating... taking everyday moment photos, capturing a date night in and sharing with you the photography tips to get you there too.
REMEMBER YOUR TRIPOD
If you've been hanging out here for any length of time you know I harp about tripods. Tyler and I rarely get a picture together unless we have a tripod. When you're prepping for your photos remember your tripod. If you don't have a tripod, don't stress, find somewhere to set you camera up; a bookshelf, a chair, a stack of books. Get creative. :)
Pro tip: Don't get stuck in one tripod location or position. Move your tripod around. Tilt you camera. Lower your tripod. Make your tripod do what you want it to do. It look me a long time to get comfortable with moving and changing my tripod. It felt like so much work, but getting creative with your tripod forces you to take better photos.
INCREASE YOUR ISO
ISO is tricky and it's also sensitive to each camera. Even if you're using a tripod, you will most likely have to increase your ISO. Our apartment light isn't super great, so I knew we would have to increase our ISO, which increases our camera's sensitivity to light. If you're shooting in low light take a few test shots to determine how noisy your photos get based on your ISO. I'm impartial to noise or grain in my photos so I always err on the side of a low ISO. For these particular photos I chose only had to increase my ISO to 350, which ins't much since most cameras ISO range up into the 1000's+. I chose this ISO in tandem with my tripod and shutter speed. Let's talk about how they all work together...
ADJUST YOUR SHUTTER SPEED
I knew going into these photos a variety of technical things had to happen. I knew we would need our tripod; one, because something needed to hold the camera, haha! Two, because I knew we would need a relatively slow shutter speed. Because I could slow down the shutter, I knew, that I could hold off on increasing the ISO too much. We used a variety of shutter speeds, ranging from 1/8 to 1/30. Without a tripod both of those shutter speeds would result in a little ghosting in our photos, so a tripod was very necessary.
GUAGE YOUR LIGHT
We've talked about ISO and shutter speed, now lets talk about how we can gauge the light and temperature of our photos. Gauging the light is important since we're shooting inside and it's important based on the time of day we're shooting. If it's completely dark outside and we're shooting with artificial light inside, it's important to understand how that lighting effects our photos and the temperature of our photos. If you review all the photos in this post you may notice there are cool and warm tones. This almost always happens in our apartment because the light streamy into the window has a cool temperature. The light that is being reflected inside is often a little warmer. It's frustrating at times, but because I can see it in the photos and now why it's happening, it's easier to accept, ha! Know that your everyday photos moments in your home may have a variety of temperature and tone, it's it's totally okay.
BLACK & WHITE
One thing that I've learned is that when we shoot inside and the lighting isn't the greatest a super easy fix is to turn the photo black and white. This hides all the weird light and distractions. I'm still learning the best tricks to editing in black and white, but we all start somewhere. :)
ADD DETAILS & SNACKS
When Tyler and I switched from using our point-n-shoot to shooting with our tripod and DSRL (way back when) I was kind of overwhelmed. Thinking back on it... it may be been me that stopped wanting pictures, because I would always get overwhelmed, haha! But I'm here to tell you not to get overwhelmed and to have fun! Pick up some fun snacks and make your evening memorable. These details and fun snacks will really add to your photos. Plus, it will add to your memories and snacks are a must-have on movie nights, right? :) Tyler and I swung by Walmart to pick ups some snacks. We grabbed some Pop Secret and some fun candy... though Tyler doesn't really like candy... so it was mostly me picking out candy, haha! Plus, if you buy 2 Pop-Secret 10 ct or 10+2 ct bonus packs at Walmart between 12/7/16 - 1/8/17, you get an $8 credit toward a ticket to the Assassin’s Creed movie (while supplies last, of course.)
Fun fact guys, Tyler and I LOVE movies. We love watching movies at home and we love going to movies, but, we're in a season where we're trying to pay off student loans, so we're not able to go to movies as often as we would like. BUT, how great is it that you can get $8 credit towards movies tickets! Also, Tyler is a pretty big fan of the Assassin's Creed game so we have high hopes for this movie!
Aside from all the technical tips, I think being intentional is incredibly important. No one is going to take pictures for us. Our every day moments will continue to pass us by unless we slow down and capture them. It's really easy for me to rush through each day trying to get as much done as possible, but for us to slow down and take photos, it took being intentional. I want to remember our every day moments; the quiet moments, the still moments. The moments that were simple, yet beautiful.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
I really wanted to include this one because I wanted to encourage anyone who is just starting out. Anyone who has just started their photography journey... keep practicing guys. Practice, practice, and practice some more. One of the hardest things for me when I first started was seeing how great everyone else was. I never thought I would get there. Practice. Practice gets us there. Practice is still getting me there.
Who's taking photos this holiday season? This really has inspired me to get more pictures with Tyler... to set up our tripod and capture our moments. What are some of your favorite ways to capture your memories sans tripod? I would love to hear! I would also love to see your work, hashtag #elahtree and join our community! xoxo. Samantha
Guys, posts like this make it possible for me to keep bringing you rad photography tips. So get out there, buy some popcorn, and take some rad photos! ;)