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Dallas Photography Mentor: You Just Need One

When I teach DSLR classes, I get a lot of the same questions. As I go along in the mentoring/teaching journey, I have begun to pre-empt those questions more often than not.

“How do you get everyone in focus in a big group?”

“Why can my photographer shoot in darker areas than me?”

“How many keepers do you get when you shoot at home with your kids v. how much you shoot?”

I want to address the last one, for a minute and give some examples.

As parents, we all want to capture every moment, it seems.  In the beginning, we sacrifice settings, hoping to adjust later, just to get what we think might be THE MOMENT. Now, while we are shooting, still not yet with adjusted settings, we may come to realize that there were many “moments” throughout those few minutes. You may want to make a storytelling blog post, like below, so you snap snap snap. But then, you upload to your computer and womp – you should have taken time for settings. This is hard to realize when you’re first starting out. The concept that you just need one.

There are two main parts to photography, in my humble opinion – Light and Perspective.

1. Light. You need to evaluate your area – look at the windows, the sun outside, the overhead lights (if you choose to keep them on) and get your settings right (including white balance). It takes only a min or two max to go through your settings to find something usable for that space. A quick tip is to try to learn general settings for some rooms in your house. This can help you simply walk and change settings to give yourself a starting point. Then, when you’re in there, you can just adjust one or two things and be done.

2. Perspective. The photo needs to be interesting. It needs to be able to stand alone and still tell a story. While lifestyle sessions are my heart, while I love being able to tell a story with images in a blogging-type situation, without taking just that one photo in each story that sums it all up – your photos are just merely a snapshot of each piece of the puzzle. The image that matters is the one photo that wraps up the entire puzzle and presents it to your viewers (facebook, your family, just your own personal blog….): the entire story in one big bow.


Dallas photography mentor Lifestyle photography Amanda Skelte Gingersnap PhotographsPINIMAGEDallas photography mentor Lifestyle photography Amanda Skelte Gingersnap PhotographsPINIMAGEDallas photography mentor Lifestyle photography Amanda Skelte Gingersnap PhotographsPINIMAGE

It doesn’t matter how many “keepers” I have if none of them hold any substance. Rushing through shooting without taking the time to get your light and settings correct mean you have NO keepers, even if you have nice perspective on the story. No one wants to have to heavily edit photos to save things. And then, you think, you don’t even have a photo that is has impact without the other ones next to it.

My challenge to you today, this week, whenever you can… is to slow down. This will help, so much, the frustration of trying to balance “living in the moment” with “capturing the memory”. You may think you need 48 photos of painting. or 23 photos of your child tying their shoes. but you just need one. The one that makes people stop and already be able to put the whole puzzle together.

Dallas photography mentor Lifestyle photography Amanda Skelte Gingersnap PhotographsPINIMAGE

If you are looking for a Dallas photography mentor – or to e-mentor, email me any time.  I would love to help you learn more about photography to help you achieve the images you are striving for.

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