photography for parents

The Power of Kind Words | 'Only Little Once' | Hampton Roads Photography Education

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I'm a big believer in letting the people in your life know what they mean to you. If you've learned from them, been inspired, or they have helped you in some way... shining a light on them helps you both shine brighter!

This might be why I love complimenting strangers. If you're out shopping with me, just know I'll stop someone at Target to compliment their hair or mention how patient they are being with their toddler. We ALL need words of affirmation, even if that's not our primary love language. ;)

There’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
— Scott Adams

This week, I got the sweetest email from a previous student of the Only Little Once workshop. Emily is an amazing Mom of four sweet kiddos. I have photographed her family, mentored her in photography and I'm so grateful for her heart and friendship!

Since she's had her hands full (four kids, remember?) I was so moved she took the time to send me this thoughtful review complete with before and after example pictures. Talk about blown AWAY! Emily has always had talent with her pictures, but she is next level now! The lifestyle images she takes of her own kids... are beautiful. 

Reading this email, I had just gotten home from a beach session and was covered in sand. Pretty soon, I was blubbering through tears and showing my husband the email. It made my week! This is what kind words can do, friends.

From Emily:

"For as long as I can remember, I have loved photography. I love capturing those magical moments that become memories. 

And once I had children, that love of capturing those memories grew even more. Since I couldn't slow or stop time, I had the desperate desire to at least preserve it through photographs. My photos weren't "bad," but they weren't incredible either. I longed to take beautiful "frame worthy" images of my family, but somewhere there was a disconnect between what I was envisioning in my mind and what I was actually able to produce. 

Then my husband gave me the gift of a seat in Erin's Only Little Once course. To say it was life changing is not an overstatement. It was less than an hour into the class when a lightbulb went off and all of those little pieces of knowledge I had about photography clicked into place. Thanks to Erin's gift of teaching, I FINALLY "got" the puzzle!

I used to rely on post processing software to "fix" my photos since I could never seem to get them just right in camera. Now I use it only to enhance the incredible images I am getting straight out of the camera. 

If you have a love of photography, if you long to take beautiful photographs of your family, friends, or other interests, if you feel like you're holding some of the pieces but just can't seem to get those images right in camera - this course is for you! Erin is incredibly talented, warm, knowledgable, and, above all, an excellent teacher. You will be so glad you invested in this course and in your photography. After all - they truly are Only Little Once!"

Yep. This was me reading the email... only with crazy hair and sandy feet. The BEST!! I'm so grateful. xoxo

Look at these adorable before and after images!

Before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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If you can connect with anything Emily said, then I want to personally invite you to this workshop! I created this for Moms, Foster Moms, Fur-Moms, Hobbyists, Grandmas, anyone who wants to learn their camera. If your DSLR is sitting in the closet collecting dust... let's change that! 

The Details:

Saturday, July 28th in Virginia Beach

2-4:30 PM

Cost: $120

Includes a learning manual, instructional time, an opportunity to practice AND membership to our private, VIP Facebook group!

* If you register by July 1st, use the coupon code 'EARLYBIRD' to save $10! Yay!*

Space for the workshop is limited and seats are filling! For more details:

If you know this workshop is for you, YAY! Let's do this!


I can't wait to see you next month! If you have questions or are wondering if this is for you - I totally get it. Please feel free to email me and let's chat. :)

xoxo

Erin

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Images | Photography Education for Moms

I love that photography is a continual journey. One where you're constantly learning something new and asking more questions. Pushing yourself as an artist is one of the best ways to improve your skills!

Unless you do something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you will never grow.
— Ronald E. Osborne

Here are 3 easy ways you can improve your images today! Can't wait to see what you create. :)

1. Skip the center framed pictures. When you begin paying attention to image composition and framing - you start to notice it everywhere! Consider famous paintings or photographs - they are rarely with the subject in the very center of the image, looking at the viewer. Sometimes this can be really soulful and powerful. But, I would encourage you to think outside of the box with this. Not sure where to start? Open up Google and search: Rule of Thirds. This popular photography 'rule' helps you understand composition a bit more. 

This image from The Office (who's binging episodes on Netflix with me?!) is a great example of the Rule of Thirds! #lovehim

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

2. Look for even light. Shadows are fun and dramatic light can be amazing to experiment with! But, when first starting out, look for even, flat light to photograph your subjects in. I will sometimes use the back of my hand when finding light. I move it around to observe where the light is falling and if it's uneven. This will help with proper exposure in camera. Too many variations of light can be frustrating when learning manual mode - your meter will be hopping around like crazy!

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3. Get eye level. I love exploring angles, it's a powerful tool to use when photographing families. But, my favorite way to capture the portrait of a child - is on their level! I am pretty tall (like Amazon 6'1 status lol) so I always drop a knee when photographing little ones. Next time, get low when capturing your kiddo and see what a difference it can make!

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That's it! Now, get out there with your camera and start clicking, friends. :)

Want more tips? The EAP Education Newsletter is hitting inboxes this week! Sign up below for more updates, inspiration and photography support. Chat soon! xoxo

5 Tips for Christmas Morning Picture Prep! | Hampton Roads Photography Education

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1. Charge Batteries. This may seem obvious, but with the chaos of Christmas Eve - it can easily be one more thing that slips your mind. Prepare now! Charge and have back up memory cards and batteries ready to go. Set your camera in an ideal spot so that you can capture your kid's reaction as soon as they see the tree! Lay this all out well in advance so you're not scrambling last minute.

2. Set the Scene. Christmas decorations are so festive and happy, but can easily become cluttered. Take a moment to tidy up the space/background where your family will spend most of Christmas morning. Toss any newspapers, paper clutter or stray items. That way, the focus of your pictures will be on the memories and not last week's laundry piles! ;) 

3. Consider Camera Settings. - With all the paper flying and excited kiddos, make sure your shutter speed is high enough to freeze the action. I would suggest not shooting under a 1/200 shutter speed. Don't be afraid to increase your ISO, because most likely - it will still be dark out. You'll be relying on artificial light unless your kids are angelic wonders who actually sleep past dawn on Christmas Day. If that's your situation, I would keep that information to yourself, hahaha! Yes, a higher ISO may add more grain to your images, but they should print just fine. Consider how you want to use these images and if they are just for your family - then remember, it doesn't have to be perfect! 

4. Make A Mess! Resist the urge to pose your kids. Let them enjoy and try to capture the big moments. Not everything needs to be documented, but maybe there is that one special gift from Dad that you would love to see your daughter's reaction. Pick and choose what matters and then put the camera down in between. You can always stage images after or try again. No stress!

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5. Grab Those Details. I love capturing the sweet, messy bedhead of my girls. Their fuzzy slippers and chipped nail polish. These are things that pull at my Momma heart. I always take a few of these on Christmas morning to tuck into a family album.

Bonus Tip: Get in the Frame and Enjoy! If you have a tripod and remote, try to capture the whole family after the present opening is done. If not, prop your camera up on the couch and set the self-timer. Or, even better, pass the camera to someone else and have them capture you opening a gift or snuggling your kids. Mothers disappear from memories because we are often the ones behind the camera. Let's change that! Then, sit back and enjoy yourself. Your family deserves your attention, so try not to focus too much on capturing every shot. 

I hope these tips encouraged you! If you're looking for a photography community, come just us in the 'Stay Little' Lounge over on Facebook. We'll be sharing our messy memories and cheering one another on. See you there!

 

Merry Christmas, friends!

xoxo

Erin

Neon District Photo Walk | Photography Education and Community

I recently bragged about how incredible my workshop and mentoring ladies are to some other photographer pals. Not only are they talented beyond belief, but so supportive of one another. I knew I wanted to build an even closer knit community for us, so hosting a photo walk was at the top of my list! This meetup had been rescheduled a couple of times due to crazy weather and me being super sick in March. So thankful for the nice weather and this great group of ladies!

Street photography is obviously not my speciality, but I wanted to challenge myself by shooting something different. Of course, most of my favorite images from the night are all the behind-the-scenes of us shooting. No surprise there ;) #peopleperson #ilikefaces 

Street photography is a challenge because it reverses many of the "rules" we use in portrait photography. I'm not trying to capture one subject, but more tell a story or communicate directly with the viewer of the final photograph. I found myself thinking about composition even more than usual and the Neon District does not disappoint with the amount of inspiration available! I found myself on the ground many times trying to frame a shot correctly.... I think this is why all my jeans have holes in them, oops!

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I loved all the designs on this wall! So fun. 

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Loved these bees too - aren't they cute? :)

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Attempting reflective big camera "selfies" haha ;) 

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The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much
— Annie Leibovitz
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I loved this last image from the night, I've always been a big fan of this wall. But for some reason, it really struck me differently seeing these talented Moms standing under it. It jumped out to me: We Can Create. 

Because we can. We must. Just because you're a Mom now, doesn't mean you are no longer creative, artistic or imaginative. It's even more important to pursue creative endeavors that make our hearts sing. For some, that might look like crafting, scrapbooking, cooking, blogging - the list goes on and on. But if you happen to land on photography - be prepared to jump in feet first. It's a beautiful and incredible journey. And the best part? It. never. ends. Always something new to learn. Always chasing light. 

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Thanks to Nicole for this image of me in my element :) 

 

If you're wanting to learn more about photography AND be part of an incredible community of Moms, I would love to meet you! One-on-one mentoring is offered year round and the next Only Little Once 101 Workshop is coming up on May 13th. Bring a friend and get off Auto mode! 

You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter just for photography education! Receive tips, editing how-tos and opportunities for continued learning.