When I'm shooting, if it can be just me and my camera, I'm a happy camper. If I can go sans tripod, filters, flash, and anything else, then my time with my camera is golden. I'm not saying that any of those things are bad. I use my tripod every week. I use my flash when doing flay lay work, and on a rare occasion I'll put a filter on my lens. But in the end, I love to pack light, just me and my camera.

When I first started shooting I never thought I would be as comfortable as I am now. I never thought that I would automically now the best settings for the light I'm shooting in and I never thought I would be able to adjust my settings so quickly while shooting. Practice can sure get us to where we need to go.

Today I thought I would share some of my everyday photography cheats, specifically when shooting portraits. These are things that we can all take advantage of while shooting without anything but our camera's. 


FIND REFLECT SURFACES: This can be anything from a body of water to a white or light colored wall. Shooting near bodies of water, especially during the magic hour is my favorite. The light reflected from the water helps to keep your subject well lit and if exposed properly will make them glow. ;) 

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USE TREES TO FILTER THE LIGHT: Trees are the best when shooting and are great at filtering light. Say you want to shoot your subject back lit, but you need fewer sun raise coming into your lens. You can position your subject and yourself so that the trees filter the light while still allowing for enough light to come through for a nice back lit photo. This same principle goes for shading your subject. If the sun is too high you can position your subject in the shade for a softer, diffused light.


YOU CAN STAND IN THE SHADE TOO: Have you ever felt like you were fighting the light? You may not be trying to shoot with your subject back lit, but no matter what you do there is just too much sun coming into frame? The great thing about trees or buildings is that they provide shade, not just for your subject, but for you too. Step into the shade when shooting and you'll remove any haze from your lens.

Sometimes if we take advantage of our surroundings it can make our jobs as photographers way easier... and cooler too. ;) What are some of your top photography cheats? xoxo. Samantha