<![CDATA[Amy S. Davis Photography - Blog]]>Tue, 22 Dec 2015 06:20:21 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Moving Forward]]>Fri, 27 Feb 2015 02:10:12 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/moving-forwardWell it's been a while since I've been on here and you deserve to know the reason why so I'll be honest. I recently went through a lapse where I didn't think I was going to take photography anymore. My cousin and life-long best friend and both of her beautiful daughters passed away last May and it devastated me. I couldn't seem to find the passion I once had in my photography. Of course I'm sure it was mostly from my grieving, but that is why I hadn't made any posts until now. 
During the beginning of my grieving period, I found an outlet in creating a photography page for my cousin. She was an avid amateur photographer and a great talent. Before she passed away she expressed to me how she had wished she had a photography website like mine. After she was gone, it felt like the proper tribute to her to create one. I took the photos she had taken, created a watermark for her, and set to work. If you would like to check out her works you can do so here or click on one of the three images below.
Christmas found me with a brand new Canon EOS 60D from my wonderful husband and that a was the first step back "into the saddle" as the saying goes. 
I took a trip to New England for New Years Eve and captured some amazing photos and saw some amazing sights. It was such a blast!

I visited Ground Zero and paid my respects to lives lost on 9/11.
I even made some new friends!
Of course what trip is complete  without seeing Lady Liberty herself!
It was only until just recently that I found myself getting back into the business aspects of photography again when I had to do a bridal shoot of a friend of mine. Taking photos with her relaxed me and reminded me why I still enjoy doing this. 
If you'd like to see more of Hannah's Bridals click here.
So for all of you struggling to decide on whether or not to take the jump into doing something you love or simply trying to decide whether or not to get back into the saddle- I highly recommend it. It gives you purpose. For as it says in the bible: "Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it." Ezra 10:4
<![CDATA[My own family out-takes]]>Fri, 03 Jan 2014 02:26:12 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/my-own-family-out-takesOver the Christmas holidays I didn't take many pictures of things other than people, dedicating my time to my family without being behind a lens the entire time. However, for the times that I turn the camera on, I wanted to share with you some of the laughs I got when going through my family's photos. I hope you snicker like I did when watching how goofy my family can be! Enjoy!
<![CDATA[What to Photograph and Other Tips for Photographers]]>Wed, 11 Sep 2013 22:50:43 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/september-11th-2013I had the wonderful benefit today of being asked to give a private lesson to an upcoming photographer. Naturally, I was completely honored and still a little surprised that my work was seen as professional enough to be asked about all my little tricks and secrets. After giving her some advice that I had to learn the hard way, I liked feeling as if I've made a little difference. At least I hope I did. Photography isn't one big secret or an unobtainable goal. Yet, nothing really is if you have a passion to learn and understand it. I've always liked taking pictures even before I ever owned a digital camera, but I never had a passion for it until I realized that it was actually in my reach to be good at photography. I'm my own worst critic and still see a ton of room for improvement which I will probably ALWAYS feel. Even some of the best photographers in the world need to a goal to work towards, which is usually improving on some skill or technique. 

Nevertheless, I wanted to share some of the advice that I gave this excited but slightly overwhelmed lady.
She explained that she was looking to make her photography more than just a hobby and didn't know where to start. For many people, this starting point can be different. It may come as common-sense to some and others may really be at a loss for where to turn. My advice to her was to set a few goals for her photography. Start by looking up photographers that you admire. Look at their work. When I was a student in architecture (yes, I really had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, lol!) they would call these precedent studies. Depending on the project we were assigned, whether it was to create a museum, construct a water tower, or design a house, we were assigned to precedent studies. Researching previous works (and I mean good quality works too) will give you a goal to work towards. I would even recommend replicating that work in your own way if you can. 
I found this image at http://miskamiller.blogspot.com/2010/10/miller-family-has-grown-by-two-feet.html It's a beautiful photo that she has taken. I liked the idea of using a family's feet. So I did my best to recreate the photo in my own way. 
The photo is different, but still has a similar theme or central pose/idea. 

One of the greatest tips I can give a blooming photographer is to find something unique. Make your photos stand out. I can look through my arsenal of images and give you tons of examples of why I took that image. For example, in the photo below, I found a tree that had carvings all over it. It was unique. I could have picked any other tree in the area, but this one stood out. 
It adds just a little more character to her photo. If you aren't photographing people and think, well I suppose I could go take a picture of this flower for practice, try different angles. Picture what it would look like from underneath, straight above, or even directly beside whatever you are photographing. This doesn't really work as well with people, but it makes nature photography very interesting. 
Angles of things can make an image very exciting and really pop too! It can leave your photos unforgettable or even a little mysterious. This is especially true if you have zoomed in to something. Macro images are some of my favorite types! I could have held my camera at eye level and looked down at the stones or grass and shot from above but it makes the image so much more interesting if I can look at it from a way most people don't see. 
Let's not jump ahead though. It's also important to find interesting THINGS to take pictures of as well. People like to look at people, that's true enough. But what about things? I could sit here at my desk and take a picture of my keyboard if I like, but would that make for an interesting photo? Maybe if I was creative with the angles or other elements of that nature. OR I could go out and find something that most people don't notice or see very often. It strikes intrigue into what you are photographing. How many people really stop to look at a fence post? But I was drawn to it because wood has great texture and rich colors. 
Or we can zoom in even more and look at the barbed wire. I like this image because it shows such a great contrast between the rusty metal and the old wood. 
Yet, I have people say, well Amy that just isn't interesting to me. To which I would reply, GREAT!! If it was interesting to everyone, we would have pictures of fence posts everywhere and would defeat the purpose of it being unique. Maybe you prefer capturing the movement of water like in the image below?
Maybe you prefer something different like in the images below? I wouldn't say these are all super interesting, but some people may prefer the photo of the cake over the photo of the eight ball. To each his own. 
However, I took each of these images because I was learning what I like to take pictures of, which turns out to be things found in rural areas in case you are wondering. Some people like food, landscapes, every-day items, or any number of things. The trick is to make it interesting. Adding a variety to your portfolio will increase the chances of gaining supporters as well as increasing your skills at photographing things outside your comfort zone. 

I ended up giving that lady a bit more advice, but I'll save that information for another blog. I got kind of long-winded in this one I'm afraid. Nevertheless, I hope it has helped some of you. I did want to post that I ran across an article that may help those of you who are passed this point and are looking to make your hobby an actual business. It's not a long article and gives some sound advice. It's written by a photographer named Veronica Gillas. You can find the link here: 

Good luck! 
<![CDATA[Planning Your Photoshoot Outfit: What to Wear and What Not to Wear]]>Thu, 29 Aug 2013 03:45:01 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/planning-your-photoshoot-outfit-what-to-wear-and-what-not-to-wearWhen going for a photoshoot, many people ask the time-old traditional question, "What should I wear?" This is important for many reasons: glare on the face, attention drawn to cleavage or unflattering areas of the body, etc. To help you out, I've come up with some hints on what to wear and some things that should be avoided. 

Let's start with the face, (and yes, most of this is targeted to the women so men, feel free to skip on down some).
  • First of all, wear some! If you don't usually wear makeup, put on just a dab or two. It doesn't have to be much but concealer is better than nothing. Powder also helps with any flash or light glare. And yes, I've seen men put on a little powder before a shoot. It sounds silly but their complexion in those pictures tend to come out a little better! 
  • Try to avoid makeup that is shiny or glittery. It can actually create glares or even look like spots on your face. It's pretty to the human eye, but no so much on camera. 
  • Don't over-do the makeup just because you feel like it won't show up in your pictures. Trust me, the more natural it looks to the everyday you the better. Now is not the time to try out that new makeup artist you've heard so much about fifteen minutes before your shoot. You may get your pictures back and not like them because they don't look like you. Teens- parents usually feel this way especially!
Hair is pretty simple:
  • Wear your hair that is in a style that compliments your face. I speak from experience when I say wearing my hair back in ponytails for pictures makes me have a boy-ish look, or it makes my ears stick out. Typically down is best.
  • Try to keep it neat. Fluffy fly-away strands are hard to photoshop out.
For what most people are looking for, the clothing: 
  • For shirts or tops, try to avoid very bright or bold colors if you are wanting some up-close photos of your face. They can create a glare. For example, stark white creates a very harsh white glare on the face, especially in bright sunlight. Whereas, bright pink for example will definitely give you a pink glow in your face. Eeek! Not always appealing!
  • On the same hand, wearing solid black can sometimes cause you look washed-out especially if you're fair complected. This isn't always the case, such as in the picture of Michelle above, so just be careful with black.
  • It is also important to avoid anything flashy or shiny. Its the same with makeup, it can create unwanted shine (especially stuff like sequence). Typically cotton is best not only for the "non-shine" factor, but also, it tends to breathe, and here in the South where it's more warm than cool that can be important! 
  • If you're concerned with your upper arms or shoulders, try to avoid sleeveless shirts if those areas make you self-conscious. 
  • I can't believe I have to say this next one, but here goes: PLEASE avoid shirts that show your belly (women and men!) I mean, unless you're doing a maternity shoot and that's kind of the main focus, why show off that area? You may think it's cool now, but in tens years, these pictures should look timeless, not trashy. 
  • Also women, please make sure your shirts aren't low-cut and your shorts/skirts aren't high cut and showing off the goodies. This isn't pleasant for friends and families who are looking at your images. In the long run- it usually leads to embarrassment instead of that "sexy" look you were going for. I will not hesitate to ask you to change or reschedule if I think that what you are wearing is inappropriate. 
  • I've noticed that wearing colors that match your eyes really make your photos pop. However, this is completely up to you. 

  • Men, shirts with ties can be great if you want to go for a formal look, but a nice button-up shirt without a tie goes well. Typically solid shirts (polos and button-ups are best). Please don't wear a t-shirt that has writing. It's distracting, and we want the focus to be on your handsome face, not what your shirt says. 
For the bottom half:
  • Typically, dark pants, khakis, and solid colors are okay. Blue jeans are fine too! Just try to avoid those retro patterned pants that you keep in the back of your closet to wear to those 80's costume parties. Not cool on camera. 
  • Again, avoid the shiny fabrics.... and leather tight leather pants are probably not your best option either. 
  • Ladies, we all know the bright leggings and skinny jeans are in but unless you want those lime green pants enunciating your derriere (please no) then go with a more muted look. 
  • Mid-thigh length skirts, shorts, and dresses are preferable as opposed to anything shorter. Let's not get indecent; plus it makes posing much harder if you're wearing something much shorter. 
Don't forget the shoes!
  • I typically recommend wearing shoes that are comfortable for walking, or bringing a pair that is. Since I am an on-location photographer, sometimes the place we need to get to for the "oh so breathtaking backdrop" is a good distance for walking. Shall we say, off the beaten path? Or, these shoes were made for walking... okay enough with the corny quotes. 
  • Full length shots are not done for every picture and sometimes aren't done at all, depending on your session and/or preference. Therefore, wear something that you like and that matches the outfit, but I don't recommend going out and buying a brand new pair of kicks just for this shoot. 
  • Sometimes a photographer will ask you to try out a shot barefoot. Children especially look cute with no shoes. If you aren't comfortable with this just let me know :)
<![CDATA[The "After-Shoot" Process, aka: Post-processing]]>Mon, 19 Aug 2013 22:24:43 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/the-after-shoot-process-aka-post-processingI've slowly become aware of how little people know about what goes on after a photoshoot is complete. Why I haven't blogged about this before now is maybe due to the fact that I was not aware that many clients and other people who do not take photos on a professional scale realize just how much goes into editing images after they have been taken. Now of course, this does not apply to every client's photos or every style of image. There have been many images I have taken that are just exactly how I want them coming straight off of the camera. We call these images SOOC. I have had many that I simply slap a watermark on and upload to my website or facebook page. The image below had no post-processing. This is what the image looked like exactly as I took it, the only addition was my watermark. 
However, these are typically not pictures of people, and if it is, they are rare. Most times, one image takes as long as half an hour to an hour just to get the quality and look of what I want in the final image. 
You have to understand though, most photographers do not like sharing their SOOC images for a multitude of reasons: their images are low to bad quality and they rely on an editing software maybe more than they should, the product they offer is one that is more prone to editing (which is okay if that is what the client wants or likes), they do not want to give away their editing techniques and secrets, or to dissuade unprofessionals from trying to copy or imitate their work. I'm sure there are other reasons, but that's really not the point of my blog today. 

The image below is one that I found online (NOTE: this image is not mine. I do not own the copyrights to it). The image can be found at: http://www.bloomandgrowphotography.com/2011/08/bloom-grow-actions.html
This image is of a newborn, which fyi- takes a TON of editing just because a newborn's skin is typically so rough, pink, or transparent. You'll notice the lighting has changed, as well as the baby's skin. Also, it seems the photographer has edited out part of the top right image, which can also be time-consuming if done properly. 
To illustrate this better (and since this IS a photography website and most of you like to see photos) I have recreated some of the steps I go through to show you just how I get to this process. I'd upload a video, but alas... my new computer does not have the software yet required to record all my steps. So screenshots will have to suffice. For my purpose, I'm going to go through and edit one of the images that I feel needs a much bigger change. The end result will be more dramatic so that you can tell what I am doing; however, this does not necessarily mean that it takes more or less time. It just means I am exaggerating my steps a bit more so that they are more noticeable. 
My first step is to decide how I want the image to look... black and white or a more blueish hue? I don't have to decide yet, just have a goal to work towards. I want something that will pull the eye to the model, particularly his eyes (or maybe his senior ring since this was a senior portrait). I have cropped the image so that you can see the timestamp on each. That gives you a general idea of how long it takes me between each step. You can click on each image to enlarge it. 
I noticed that he had a lot of acne (as teenagers tend to have) and so I went through and blended them into his natural skin tone. This is the kind of thing I mean when I say post-processing. I typically don't cover up moles or freckles unless specifically asked to simply because they make a person unique. I also happened to notice that he had a bad sore on his left hand. I went ahead and edited that as well. 
I went ahead and checked the rest of his skin for any noticeable blemishes. I have to stay zoomed in so that I don't miss it, so this takes time. 
After that I wanted to sharpen the image because it looked a little fuzzy on my screen. 
My next step is to go through and touch up his eyes. This is before I adjusted the opacity so that you can really tell what I'm doing. The whites of his eyes will not be quite as red as they were and you will be able to see the color of his eyes a little better. Many times I don't have to do this step, but for this image, I felt it needed it. 
Next I need to even out his skin color a little better, getting rid of the dark circles below his eyes and any other blemishes I may have missed. Yes, I know he looks plastic, this is after-all, before I have adjusted the opacity. 
As you can see, he now has his skin looking a little more realistic and a little less plastic. 
Remember I mentioned his senior ring? I want to make that pop a little more and be noticeable to the eye as well, so I'm going to pull out the color just a little. It seems intense here, but when I scroll back out, it won't be as extreme. 
I also want to pull the red out of this image some. It's not the color tone that I like for this overall look. 
I wanted to play with the shadows some as well and really pull the focus towards the center of the image. I haven't exaggerated it here just because it looks so dark and with low quality images, it's hard to depict. 
Now for the experimental part. Some images I can look at instantly and tell you what would look best. Others, I have to basically "try-on" different looks to see which I like best. I went with a sepia look first. However, with all the light and shadow behind him, I'm not sure if this is the best way to go with this photo. Let's try something different. 
This may be the way to go, but if it is then I'm going to need to dial down some of the hues in this photo. 
Yes, I like this look much better. However, there is still the problem of focusing the image in some more. After editing the hue, I realize I still need to add a little more shadow around the edges to help pull the eye towards the middle again. I don't want to overdo it though, or it will look too edited. I like my photos to have a much more natural look and not have black frames. 
And then the final step, the watermark. 
Now that image alone took nearly fifty minutes! Did you know that that is how much goes into an image?! 
Next time you think, gosh that photographer is charging a lot of money for just one hour of pictures, think about how much work goes into those pictures behind-the-scenes. That was one image and many clients expect anywhere from 20 to 100! I'm not going to do the math but if I did a bridal session for $100 and gave that bride 40 images, can you imagine the amount I got paid per hour?! So do your photographer a favor, don't request her/him to go back and re-edit, un-crop, or change their final work. It took them a long time to get there, and it comes off as rude or unappreciative. 

Well, I hope this blog post, helps to explain a little of what I and other photographers do after they see you from behind the lens. I've enjoyed giving you a little behind-the-scenes look at my post-processing. 

<![CDATA[Celebration for a New Start!]]>Wed, 14 Aug 2013 20:54:53 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/celebration-for-a-new-startI am so excited to be revamping my website. I have given it a major overhaul and hope that it looks more modern and...well just plain awesome! I find myself at the end of the summer and a little disappointed. I didn't get to take pictures of as many people or things as I had planned this summer.

However, when the Fourth of July rolled around, I was eager to snap some pictures of the amazing fireworks show we always get to see here in my town. 
To be honest, I amazed myself at how clear the shots came out without me having to use a tri-pod, which sadly I don't have. After editing my images a little, I found that sharpening the images was all I even really needed to do to them. Of course, not all of the images came out as good as the ones shown here, but that is just part of learning to adjust your settings as you go. 
I had to play with the shutter speed and other settings before I could get them to come out clearly. It's a good thing the fireworks show was a long one. 
Oh! I almost forgot to mention... if you haven't already noticed, I've made another big change. I have redone my logo as well. I like this new one; it feels more like a logo and not just some name in a specific font. It took me a while to create it just how I wanted, but after playing around with it some, I finally got it how I like it. 
Anyway, I hope everyone has enjoyed their summer!

<![CDATA[How to be Photogenic]]>Wed, 08 May 2013 04:45:10 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/how-to-be-photogenicSo I read an article today about what it takes to be photogenic. I thought to myself, man this is so me! I'm so much better behind the camera than in front of it! But then it occurred to me, this would be great for any of my own potential clients or for those who really want to master taking good pictures! Here's the link I got it from:  http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Photogenic
It's really quite an interesting article! It's all posted below.
Having your photo taken can seem like a frightening endeavor, especially when it seems that you never look quite as good in portraits as you do in reality. This is a problem faced by many people, but is quite easy to remedy. Being photogenic is not an inborn talent, but an acquired skill that can be learned through practice. Try these methods of posing and tips for becoming photogenic and in no time you'll be the model-esq friend all your buddies brag about.

Focusing on Your Face
  1. 1. Clarify your skin. The focus of most portraits is the face, so make sure that yours is in tip top condition. Modern cameras are able to capture the smallest of changes and textures of skin, which is both a blessing and a curse. Keep your skin clean and smooth by washing, toning, and moisturizing your face before having your photo taken. Doing this should be a daily morning/evening ritual but is especially important before a photoshoot.

    • If you wear makeup, make sure that your concealer and foundation are smoothly applied and match your skin tone correctly. Blend them slightly down your neck and near your ear lobes to create the most natural look.
    • Oily skin can ruin a photo by reflecting too much light. Use oil blotting sheets or tissue paper (actual tissue paper, not kleenex) to dab off excess oil on the T-zone of your face.
    • Use an exfoliator on your face to slough off any dead skin cells which make your skin appear dull and lackluster in photos. Use a sugar scrub or a rough facial soap the morning of your photos.

  2. 2. Focus on what makes you unique. One of the characteristics of photogenic people is their confidence in their appearance. Many times we get concerned about something wrong with our face; our freckles, the gap in your teeth, how squinty your eyes get when you smile. Instead of trying to hide those things, embrace them! You will look much more photogenic in your photos that way.

  3. 3. Show your emotions. It is easy to spot someone who is photogenic from someone who is posing; the former doesn't have to fake their emotions. Although getting your photo taken can be nerve-wrecking, don’t let it get in the way of your true feelings. Don’t create the smile you think you need, use your regular smile. The same goes with the shape of your eyes and the curve of your cheeks. The more you allow your natural emotions to show on your face, the better your pictures will look.

    • Always smile with your teeth, because you would never laugh at a funny joke with your lips together. True smiles show off a toothy grin, not tightly pressed lips. Keep your face natural by allowing a real smile to peak through.
    • When you are showing emotions your entire face is affected. Although many people associate a look of happiness with just a smile, your eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, and forehead are all affected equally as much. Make sure that you are allowing freedom of movement in your entire face.

  4. 4. Don’t look the camera straight on. As the old saying goes, “the camera adds ten pounds.” But it doesn't have to! Because the camera is using reflected light to convert a 3D object into a 2D image, the shapes of things are flattened and compressed. Looking straight ahead at the camera will show the fullness of your face and remove/reduce any natural shadows. Instead, turn your face slightly to the side to create natural highlights and shadows and slim the shape of your face.

  5. 5. Adjust the angle of your face. The angle of your face is tied to the direction you are looking at the camera. Just as how you shouldn't look at the camera straight on, you also should not tilt your head up when taking photos. This will make your face look larger and get a good shot up the inside of your nose. Tilt your head slightly down and to the side for the most photogenic of looks.
Posing Your Body
  1. 1. Work your assets. Photogenic people have the magnificent ability of knowing what their assets are and the best way to work them. This goes hand in hand with knowing your physical weaknesses. What parts of your body are the most attractive, and which might be a tad more unflattering in photos? Do what you can to play up your best parts while turn those more negative aspects of your body away from the camera.

  2. 2. Turn away from the camera. Facing a camera straight on does the same thing to your body as it does to your face. Your body will become flattened in a photograph, so a shot from the front will show you from the widest angle and make you look extra round. Turn ¾ to show your body from an angle and create shadows and depth in your pose.
    • To slim your arms, put one on your hip and angle your elbow back and away from your body. Although you may feel silly doing it, there is a reason many celebrities adopt this pose - it is ultra flattering!
    • If you are sitting for the photo, turn so that the camera is at your side rather than directly in front of you. Bend your knees and stagger your legs slightly. If you choose to cross your legs, cross the leg closest to the camera over the top of the other.

  3. 3. Bend your joints. How often do you find yourself standing or sitting perfectly straight, with all your joints in line? Probably very rarely or never. Add both movement and a sense of natural poise to your photos by allowing your joints to bend slightly. This means that your elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles should all be comfortably bent. If it can bend, bend it!

  4. 4. Lean towards the camera. The way we see things works so that things that are closer are larger while things that are further away are smaller. In order to create the illusion of a small, sleek body, lean into photos slightly with your head first.

  5. 5. Do what’s comfortable. All the posing advice in the world can’t make you more photogenic if you aren’t comfortable with the changes. In the end, it is helpful to keep all the posing tricks in mind, but it is best to do whatever comes naturally to your body. Being photogenic means walking the thin line between acting incredibly natural like the camera is not there, and perfectly posing every inch of your body. The best way to reach this happy medium is simply to allow your body to fall naturally into its most comfortable positions.

Considering the Photos
  1. 1. Dress to impress. It is certainly hard to be photogenic if you are wearing your dirty sweatpants and torn-up sneakers. If you know you’re going to have your picture taken, choose outfits that photograph well. Neutral tones and muted colors work best because they simultaneously enhance your natural characteristics without distracting from you in a photo.
    • Avoid anything that hangs or drapes very loosely on your body, as this will look bulky and large in a photograph. On the other hand, don’t wear anything too tight as the flash from the camera will highlight every little flaw hiding under your clothing.
    • Don’t wear anything for photos that you wouldn't normally wear in real life. Your goal is to look like yourself at your very best; you can’t look like yourself if you’re wearing something totally out of your comfort zone or style range.

  2. 2. Find the light source. The source of light in your photo will greatly dictate the quality of your appearance in the end shot. A light source directly above you will give you dark shadows under your eyes, while one from the side will create bold background lines. Work so that your light source is in front of you and slightly above you. Whenever you can, take your photos in natural light near a window or outside.
    • The best lighting for photos occurs in the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. When you can, try to take your pictures during these times.
    • Although some photographers can use light metering to add brightness to a dark foreground, it is best to avoid taking pictures with your light source behind you. A light source coming from behind will darken your entire body and ruin a great picture.

  3. 3.  Choose a great location. Although the seat in your car or in front of your mirror may be the easiest places to perfect your pose and get good lighting, they don't allow for the most scenic of backgrounds. Being photogenic has a lot to do with working your surroundings in addition to showing off your facial and bodily posing skills. Take photos in a comfortable environment where you are the focus.
    • Busy restaurants and bars add a lot of noise to the background of a photo, taking the eye off you as the subject. If you must pose in a crowded area, blur the background to keep the viewers eye on you in the foreground.
    • If you are taking a group photo, try to insert yourself in the center of the group and away from the ends. The two people in the ends of a group shot will always appear the largest and are not often the focus of a picture.

  4. 4. Act confident. Confidence will show in a photo, and is the key to being photogenic. Even if you don't feel confident, act like it for the camera. The quality of your appearance in photos will greatly improve with a bit of personal knowledge that you look good, and that your photos will turn out great because of it.
  • Pretend like you're laughing. Often, this creates an effortlessly natural smile. Right before the camera flashes, pretend like you just saw something funny, or you were just told a joke!
  • If taking your own photos, on a webcam, phone camera, digital camera or something else, this takes practice. You'll need to learn the correct angle you want to take it at, so you can move your hand to the position.
  • Practice smiling in front of the mirror. In no time you'll know which smile looks fake and which is the most flattering. Learning how your face moves will help when someone grabs for the camera. Smile using your top row of teeth: it may feel unnatural but a smile with both rows of teeth can easily look fake.
  • Study pictures of models and other photogenic people. If appropriate for your personality, experiment with mimicking their poses and angles.
  • Avoid saying "cheese" while looking at the camera. This can lead to forced-looking smiles.
<![CDATA[Photographing Christmas Trees]]>Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:12:36 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/photographing-christmas-treesPicture
Getting the perfect picture of your christmas tree can be much harder than it looks! Never fear though! A great photographer, Elizabeth Halford has shown us how it's done! Interested? Check out her helpful tips here > http://www.elizabethhalford.com/photography-tutorials/photographing/how-to-photograph-your-christmas-tree-how-to-get-twinkle-bursts-of-light/

This was my attempt at her tips. Not quite as great as hers but a work in progress. 

Don't forget to check out the rest of my blog posts for other helpful hints!

<![CDATA[Behind the Scenes]]>Wed, 28 Nov 2012 21:21:22 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/behind-the-scenesEver wonder how photographers get such awesome photos in ways that seem impossible? The truth is, they really aren't that impossible after all. Many times, a photographer has to be very innovative to get the shot he/she wants. The trick is being creative and picturing the image you want in your head before you snap the camera. I have often times used whatever I had on hand to get the image I want.
Yes, this includes using an assistant's back pocket to hold up the backdrop. However, you would have never been able to tell by just looking at the image I took of the baby, would you? 
Taking pictures doesn't have to be a dream out of reach. And it definitely doesn't have to done in a fancy studio with expensive materials. Here, we shot in the client's doorway simply because it offered the best lighting. I used materials I had at home (colorful bead necklaces, a play crown, a simple scarf, and a fluffy blanket) to make this image a true and original composition. 
To make this shoot even more personal I asked the client if they had any props they would like to add or use. She happened to have this sweet girl's first stuffed bunny, which you see in the image. It helps to make the photographs unique to that particular client. Plus, the clients like the personal touches that go into their photo shoot with you! 

Don't be afraid to get on a personal level with your clients. Chances are they're more nervous than you are! If your client seems stiff, take a moment to simply talk to your client. Discuss things that are personal and specific to them ("I love this jacket you are wearing! Where did you get it?") Anything to help them take their mind off of being in front of the camera for a moment. 

Now I'm not saying you have to find out their life story and every intimate detail, but many clients just want to know you are more than just a person behind this camera clicking away. With children, this can be very important. Some can be very shy at first. As a teacher, I know that many times children feel awkward around strange adults until you show interest in something they're interested in. Don't be afraid of acting a little silly just to get them to smile. Your smile will probably make them smile! And don't forget an important asset you have at your finger-tips: the parents! Parents are usually more than willing to help you in any way. All you need to do is ask!
I hope this helps any photographer, novice or otherwise. And just remember, you can become a great photographer with a little creativity and a lot of practice! Good luck and if you have any questions, shoot me an email under the 'contact me' tab at the top. 
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Photographs]]>Wed, 07 Nov 2012 21:26:52 GMThttp://amysdavisphotography.weebly.com/blog/august-14th-2013Thinking of bringing your camera to that giant stuffing fest we call Thanksgiving? Taking pictures of family at events like this is a great idea, but here are some helpful tips that might revamp your pictures while still capturing the essence of that Thanksgiving gathering.
By Allan Peterson
The autumn season brings about trees covered in yellow gold leaves, spooky Halloween tricks and also the special occasion of Thanksgiving. During this time, Americans and Canadians celebrate by having family dinners which usually end up being quite memorable. But memories fade and digital pictures don’t so if you want to record everything that has to do with Thanksgiving, whip out your digital camera and read this fabulous photo tips:

Take pictures of the food – Thanksgiving is well known for its dinners and people go out of their way to make sure the Thanksgiving meal is perfect in every aspect. There are staple dishes such as the roasted turkey, the pies and the mashed potatoes. Brush up on your food photography techniques and take photos of the meal that has been lovingly prepared. You can get close and shoot the textures and details of the golden turkey or step back and include the entire dinner table in your shot. These food shots can then be included in your stock portfolio if you are a member of a stock site. 

Be creative with group shots – families often make it a point to gather together to celebrate during this occasion. This is the perfect opportunity to take some pictures of family members interacting and enjoying each other’s company. Take fun and creative shots aside from the traditional poses where people are staring straight at the camera.

Use a wide-angle lens if you have one – this type of lens can capture a wide area at a shorter focal distance compared to other lens types. This allows you to get everyone in the family included in the shot without you having to step back too far. You can also have more of the table laden with food. Wide-angle lenses are great for indoor shots where there isn't much room to position yourself to take pictures.

Don’t take pictures of people eating – your family and guests most likely won’t want their pictures taken while they are chewing or swallowing their food. They might feel conscious and end up not enjoying the delicious meal and have you to blame for it. Instead, why not take photos of them before they are about to eat. It will be less intrusive plus the feast will still look great while untouched.

Take candid shots – the characters of people come out when they aren't asked to pose and smile at the camera. Thanksgiving provides numerous instances for interactions and special moments with the family. Parents and grown-up children might see each other again after many months of being apart, young children will be exuding excitement and the designated cook will be busy in the kitchen preparing for the evening feast. Go around the house and catch moments between people or people doing an activity such as setting the table while swapping stories, these little things that are a part of what Thanksgiving is all about.

Include yourself in some of the shots – during gatherings, the designated photographer often ends up having no pictures of themselves. Don’t forget to also take pictures of yourself having fun with relatives and friends by using the camera timer and setting the camera on a tripod or a steady surface like a table. Thanksgiving is for the whole family and the pictures should show that you were also in the celebration.