Friday, November 30, 2018

How Getting a New Camera Changed Our Picture Game

Disclaimer- This post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something on here, at no extra cost you, I may earn a small commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 



One of the things that I have always loved doing with my family has been getting my kids' pictures
 taken each year.

When my first child was born, I took him to our local Walmart picture studio for every month of his first year... except for that one month because I was mad about how that previous month went.

I never really went overboard with the price, because at the time, I could get a picture package for a single picture from anywhere between $5.99- $9.99. (Did I mention this began almost 9 years ago?) Here and there, we'd purchase a bigger package for special occasions, but mostly, we stuck around with the cheaper one because my husband and I were freshly out of college and our jobs, at the time, didn't pay well.
He's cute, but why did they tilt him like this?

When my second born came into the world, we tried to get her pictures done, but somewhere along the line, Walmart's studio left the building. But not to worry though, because grandma two and a half hours away had a picture studio that offered a similar package and their pictures were done very well and the experience was 100x better than Walmart's was.

Unfortunately, that meant that there were pictures that we just couldn't let go of because we needed singles photos of each child and we also wanted family pictures with them. This meant that we could only purchase a package once or twice a year because a $200-$300 portrait package just isn't in our "amount we want to spend on anything" budget.


When my last child blessed us with his presence, I did a terrible job of keeping up with pictures. I know how my youngest sister must feel now, being the hidden child. The child that there was no record of... ok... My youngest isn't really a hidden child because we took many pictures from our phones, but the chances of getting those printed and handed out has dropped to like a mere 10-15% chance of doing it.

So, about once a year, we began getting pictures taken of the kids to pass out a Christmas gifts- Surprise! You're getting a coffee mug with my kid's faces on it every year until the day you die... Well, we do make picture books and notepads, too.

Unfortunately, for us, the picture place closed so we tried to do another portrait place over in . Shaumburg. The pictures were cute, but the we didn't get much for our buck.



So this year, I decided I would try to take our own pictures. My daughter had a fall tea party and one of the things that I thought would be fun to do was to set up a picture station. I bought a plain white table cloth and taped it to one of our walls and then taped some fall decorations on to it as a photo drop. The idea was cute and if you squeezed everyone together, you might be able to get a good photo without the kitchen or the tan wall being in the picture, but the picture quality wasn't professional with my camera phone and my camera was slow in making some shots.


As you can see, the picture isn't focused well and it appears to be a little grainy. It's still alright because when I look back at older photos with older phones, those pictures are almost always blurry or just awful.


I also noticed that the camera on my phone doesn't focus on what I want it to. So when I went to Starved Rock and Matthiessen to hike, I told my husband that I would like a new camera. A good one. A professional one.



At first, he told me that it wasn't something that we could really do, especially since we have our phones to take good pictures with, but I think that after taking pictures of the outdoor scenery and seeing how the photos didn't do the colors and details of the outdoors justice, he began to mull the idea over.




I would leave little hints about how my blog could use some more professional looking photos and how we didn't really have any pictures to hand out at Christmas, this year, and then one day, I got an email from him while he was on his break at work.

He sent me several pictures of cameras with all of the details about what they came with and all the specs and wrote, "Would you like this as an early Christmas present?" After much debate and talking about the expense and telling him that I would be ok with something smaller, he said, "If we're going to get a camera, we're going to do it right."

Who can argue with that logic?


So now, we have a camera.  The camera above and it came with ALL of that fancy stuff. It's one where I have to turn the lens to zoom it in and our and focus with it. One that gives me a manual option- options that I should remember from my photography class I took 12 years ago... hahahahahaha- it also gives options for outdoors, sports, different lens and their attachments. I can take photos, good photos. I need to practice.



She really is that pale. This is a few days after she got over the flu.





I'm still getting the hang of it, but I think that this is going to be one of the best purchases we make, this year. So be prepared for more pictures, because I'm going to be taking them!

Closing Questions for you!

  1. Is anything stopping you from taking awesome photos?
  2. What tips, if you have any, would you give for someone who is a newbie at taking pictures?
  3. What are your must have photography items?
  4. If you edit your photos, what are the best free or low cost programs to use?
  5. What kind of pictures do you like to take? (Please keep them clean as this is a family friendly site. 


28 comments:

  1. I just bought a camera and I am excited to use it for the holidays. I have backdrops that I can use and might need to get some more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't bought any backdrops, yet, but I want to. I just bought some things to try to make some with. Fingers crossed that they work.

      Delete
  2. great shots you got here and the kids are so cute! I always believe in quality over quantity so getting a good camera for sure makes a big difference

    ReplyDelete
  3. I grew up with a father who was a photographer- so having photos all over the walls is “normal”. With our phones we tend to just keep photos on our phone or online but what about when our kids get old? I am old-school with photo albums. Your post is great and I love how you describe the beauty of capturing memories with photographs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I loved always using disposable cameras when I was in Jr. High and high school. I have several albums just from them.

      Delete
  4. Your kids are adorable! I have a regular Canon camera but just bought an Iphone 10 since the camera has portrait mode and it has stepped up my photo game by about 100%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think they're adorable most days. :) It's amazing how different a new camera changes things. I really liked the camera on my phone when I first got it, but the battery does so quickly that it ruins the shot.

      Delete
  5. Seriously want to try the Nikon-D3400! It comes with a lot of accessories and lenses to get started. I don’t think you even scratched the surface of its capabilities from this article and my research. The pics look great nonetheless. Keshia Richmond

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still just learning all about it. Once I learn more and understand the camera better, I'd be glad to write more about it.

      Delete
  6. Mirrorless cameras have the advantage of usually being lighter, more compact, faster and better for video; but that comes at the cost of access to fewer lenses and accessories. DSLRs have the advantage in lens selection and an optical viewfinder that works better in low light, but they are more complex and bulkier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very bulky! The case that we got with it is small and we'd like to replace it, soon. Thanks for this information!

      Delete
  7. For starting photographers it is best to learn about composition and rule of thirds. When you move up to a DSLR add learning about the relationship of light, ISO and shutter-speed. Any decent camera will do but having a good lens is key. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I took a class, but that was a long time ago and I had a difficult time following along with it. I know that there are so many things that a camera can do and I'm looking forward to learning about it again.

      Delete
  8. I love using camera specially in travel but I don't have DSLR for me it's expensive I'm using my Iphone 6plus for taking pictures :) Your kids looks so adorable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have gone with something cheaper, but my husband, although frugal, likes to splurge when we do purchase things.

      Delete
  9. If we have camera we can capture the moments of life much easily. Using a good camera, light the key to take good picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was always so frustrating when I was taking pictures with my phone because if the battery was low, which it almost always was, then the pictures turned out awful or it would completely miss the shot I was going for.

      Delete
  10. What a wonderful post! I love these photos and I'm glad you guys like the new camera. Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I can't wait to take the family photos that I've been gathering props for. I hope they come out ok.

      Delete
  11. My sister got a new camera and it was awesome! I love taking pictures now because of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good camera changes things. There is a large gap in age pictures for when my daughter was younger because the camera we had then stopped working and the same for my youngest because the camera phone I had was an old model.

      Delete
  12. Does the camera record good videos? I'm looking for a good camera to record YT videos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a very good question. I haven't used that feature yet. Sorry!

      Delete
  13. Thats so sweet of your husband to give you an early Christmas gift to enhance your brand. As a fellow blogger I too could use a new camera as well!

    ReplyDelete
  14. A different camera with better quality can drastically change the way your photos turn out! I always love seeing how much of a difference there is. Your photos look amazing, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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