Hands down the questions I get most often via email and DM on instagram are about my camera and photos. I’m pretty sure that’s because there are so many Mom’s out there wanting to learn how to take better photos of their kids and their everyday lives and do it themselves. Am I right?! It’s nearly impossible to afford to hire a professional photographer to capture ALL the moments you want to save over a lifetime. I’m hoping this Q and A will answer most of those questions all at once and also help you all find equipment and tools that work well for your own photography. As always, feel free to shoot me any additional questions! I will always take the time to answer and help as best I can. You can also find me on instagram @sweetersidemom where I can easily and quickly answer any more questions you have. Hope this helps!
- A tripod like this one.
- Canon 70D DSLR Camera.
- Shutter remote control.
- White poster board.
- At least two 32 gig memory cards.
- This lens (technically dicontinued by manufacturer but you can still find and buy them!) 50mm f1.8 canon lens.
- The 50mm f1.4 canon lens.
- This Sigma ART 35mm lens.
- My recent purchase- the Canon 10-18mm wide angle lens.
So what’s the deal with all my gear? Why do I love it? Why did I choose specific lenses? I’ll answer as much as I can below!
Q: What camera do you use and why?
A: I use the Canon 70D. I chose this model for many reasons; 1. It was in my budget. 2. It does really well in low light because it has a “high iso range”. 3. It has really great HD video capabilities which I’m still learning and exploring! 4. It wirelessly connects to my iPhone which I’ve loved more than I thought I would.
Q: Do I need the kit lens or just the body?
A: If you are serious about photography, the kit lens will probably be unnecessary for you. It’s fine…but any other lens listed above (except the 10-18) will give you much better results. If you are ready to buy another lens, you can probably purchase the camera body without the “kit lens” and save some cash.
Q: How do you get your photos to be so light and bright?
A: A few things help me with this one. First, I use a lens like the 50mm 1.4 or the sigma 35 listed above to help my get the f-stop really low (the lower the number the brighter the image- it’s more complicated than that but that is the short version!) I also use plain old white poster board as backgrounds and as a reflector! It’s cheap, light and disposable if it gets dirty or messed up carrying around in the car. After I’ve taken the image I use photoshop to adjust white balance and brighten if necessary, or I use the app Afterlight on my iPhone to brighten.
Q: What lens do you use to take photos of food and baked goods?
A: I almost always use the 50mm f1.4. I love this lens for food photos! I gives you nice sharp details in the food and blurs out the background.
Q: What lens do you use to take photos of your kids?
A: 90% of the time I use the sigma 35mm. It gives a similar effect as the 50mm lenses but gives you “more life” in the frame on a crop sensor camera. You can be close up to your subject but still get more of the room/area/world in the shot.
Q: What lens do you use for newborns?
A: I started out exclusively using the 50mm 1.8. Once I upgraded I used the 1.4 religiously. Now I use a combo of the 1.4 and the sigma 35mm.
Q: How do you take wide angle shots of the inside of your home?
A: I’m SO EXCITED about sharing this one: the 10-18 lens is ah-MAZING for interior design and decor photos. It lets you shoot the *entire* space in one frame. It’s so so so so much fun to use. Really. I think I’ve only scratched the surface on what I want to do with this lens. (Hello wide angle Disney World shots!)
Q: What lens do you use for shooting clients? Families or couples?
A: This varies. Love my 35mm but still use the 50mm. I’m excited to try some new stuff with my wide angle though!
Q: Did you take photos classes somewhere or just learn on your own?
A: I learned so much from my brothers who are super great photographers. I also learned a TON from youtube and pinterest. Seriously any questions you have…it’s been answere (for free!!) on pinterest or youtube.
Q: Can you recommend a point and shoot? I can’t afford a DSLR!
A: NO!!! I really cannot. Point and shoots do not compare in any way to the control you get when using a DSLR. Use your smart phone for point and shoot (I LOVE my iPhone camera anyway!) and save the money you would have spend on a point and shoot toward a DSLR. Even if it takes you years to save up to buy one, it’s worth it. My first DSLR was a very old Canon Rebel that worked SO well- I did so many newborn shoots on that camera! – and it only cost a few hundred bucks on Craigslist!
Q: Can you teach me how to…x, y, z.
A: Maybe, ha! I am always always always more than happy to share what I know and explain what I do. If you ever have a specific question about a photo, how I shot it, what lens I used, how I managed the light or set up the frame etc. etc. I will always tell you. I love to teach and share and it makes me happy to know more women are getting interested in taking better photos- especially when those photos are of their own families.
I hope this helped answer the questions I get most often. If I missed any or you still have questions, just let me know in the comments or on instagram and I’ll do my best to add them back in!
Thanks for reading, as always- I do use affiliate links because I’m amazon obsessed and think it’s the easiest way for hermit Mom’s like myself to shop (haha!) but I trust Amazon and trust their prices. Any purchase you make through my links helps support my little family and we are eternally grateful for that support!
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