Get out your Cameras and Get Ready to See the Magic


Ok so you have a fancy new camera and a little scared to use it?  Let me give you some tips and encouragement because once you get the hang of things…magic happens! I had a canon DSLR for years and only pulled it out for vacations.  Man do I regret that!  Of course this was before the handy Iphone with a camera built in!

First things first: Don’t put pressure on yourself to master the manual setting at first. The more you use it, the more you will gain confidence.  Start with Auto and work your way there.  It took me years before I got there.

2.  Set your camera on your counter (or somewhere handy) and have it ready to capture some everyday moments.  Turn your dial on your camera to the little green square:  that is automatic and let the camera do the thinking for you.  You need to gain confidence and train your eye to capture sparkle everyday with your family or outdoor landscapes.

Everyday magic:  this is what I call mindfully taking in all the little moments that make up your life.  For example:  when you sneak a peek of your little girl trying to paint her nails and making a mess.  Grab your camera and zoom into those little piggies.  More on this concept in the next post.


I grabbed my camera this morning to take a pic of the sun coming up.  I could have easily grabbed my Iphone but I am trying to learn different settings on manual to capture light at different times of the day.  I found one of my teenage girls next to me taking photos on her phone.  It dawned on me how necessary it is that we need to model using technology to see beauty everyday for our teens(more on this topic later!)


(morning sunrise taking on ISO 1600 f/5.0 1/200)

3. Let’s talk about the dial on your camera and some of the settings I want you to focus on.  Do not let this overwhelm you.   Auto and Sports Mode are the two I used for years.

Full Auto:  The camera will choose the aperature, ISO and shutter speed for you.  This is amazing because this will let you focus on how to frame your subject, zoom etc.

Manual: The beauty of manual is that you control how much light enters your camera and how much focus you want on your subject. Every photographer is different.  Some really like a glittery bokeh(like me) or some really like a very clear and sharp picture.  You will find your style the more you practice. You will choose F-stop(also called Aperture), ISO and shutter speed.

Shutter Priority: The user sets shutter speed and camera will select the F-stop that will produce good exposure. ( Also TV on some models.)

Aperture Priority:  User selects F-stop and camera selects shutter speed that will be properly exposed. (Also AV on some models)

Programmed Autoexposure: Camera selects aperture(f-stop) and shutter speed to ensure proper exposure.

Close up:  Soft focused backgrounds for detail shots.

Landscape: Designed to keep both near and far subjects in sharp focus(higher aperture).

Night Portrait:  Same as portrait but combines flash and a slower shutter to brighten backgrounds.

Portrait Mode: Designed to produce softly focused backgrounds for flattering portraits.

Sports Mode: Moms…listen up…you will need to use this one as well as auto.  This selects a quicker shutter speed to capture moving subjects. I use this all the time for my son’s sports.

Ok, I think this is a good start to help you get comfortable with your camera. You can do this sweet friend.  Don’t be afraid, you will find so much joy in the details you will capture of your family.  You are here for a reason and I am here cheering you on.  Let’s do this together.

Please let me know how you are doing.  I would love to see your everyday sparkle and progress.  Please tag them #everydaymagic2017 on Instagram or message me on Facebookso we can build a community and support each other.

 Next post will be on mindfully taking in the little magical details of everyday.

After we get a little more comfortable we will talk about the Exposure Triangle.


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