Monday, April 30

A Vintage Autumn

Hi girls, I hope your week's started off well! Unfortunately for me I spent the weekend feeling quite under the weather but I'm starting to feel better today and I know I've probably been pushing myself too hard, so my fault really, I'll have to try and prioritise sleep over all the other things I'd rather be doing!

So, today while I was trying to keep myself occupied at home all alone (well, the fur babies were there but they're not the best conversationalists!) I thought why not show you a few of the cute vintage finds I picked up the other week and play stylist/photographer at the same time! Yeah!

For a little background, last Saturday a friend and I went out vintage shopping to look for some photo shoot props, she is the queen of that kind of shopping so with her expert help I found SO MUCH good stuff. I got some really great items including a vintage trunk for $7 and the simple baskets below are two of my favourites.

They're just so versatile and will look really sweet for family/child photo sessions and I can even get some use out of them around the house, at $1 each it was an easy decision to bring them home...



The white cable knit throw is something new I picked up at Bed, Bath & Beyond for future sessions and I love it, I might have to buy one for myself! And then I just threw the apples in because they feel very Autumn-y to me, I'm loving the warmth of the deep red, I'm usually a real neutrals girl but with the grey skies we had today things needed warming up!

So, here's to a warm and cosy vintage Autumn...












Those long black boots are my go-to winter footwear and I was definitely loving them for this impromptu Autumn shoot, it all felt a little bit country here today!

How was everyone's weekend? Was anyone else playing stylist or photographing pretty things around the house? It's a sickness I tell ya, so much fun and I know you girls understand! ;)

Talk soon...

xo K

Linking up to:
Coastal Charm
Between Naps on the Porch
Faded Charm Cottage
Savvy Southern Style
Project Alicia
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Brambleberry Cottage
The Charm of Home
At the Picket Fence

Friday, April 27

My Family Photoshoot Debut

Woohoo! The day is finally here and I can show you the results of my first family photo session!!

I'm so happy with how it all went despite a little technical malfunction (thanks to my flash dying on me!) but it didn't make too much difference because we had great late afternoon light to work with and my hubby was on standby holding a big reflector!

I was initially a little concerned about how their sweet baby would handle having his photo taken for an hour and a half but he was a real trooper! He smiled and laughed the whole way through and was a complete pleasure and obviously he's gorgeous to boot! I adore his big brown eyes and those eyelashes, my goodness!!

I won't keep you waiting any longer, here is the amazing family I was lucky enough to photograph...their joy at just being together as a family was so beautiful to watch and I hope I've captured some moments that they will cherish for a long time to come. I so enjoyed telling their story as a new unit of three...
















Such a beautiful family! They were naturals in front of the camera, an absolute dream for a newbie like me! :)

So what do you girls think? Do you have any favourites?? It's so hard for me to pick one, I loved every single minute of this shoot!

I do especially love all the ones we did outside the old weatherboard house with the cute park bench, such a great spot for photo's and the light was amazing and that little guy looks so sweet sitting up there all on his own!

I also loved that they brought along a little rugby ball (in the second to last set of photos) that baby is supporting our national obsession sport at such a young age haha, loved it!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, I'm feeling so blessed that I got to photograph this family and hopefully many more to come in the future!

Talk soon...

xo K

Linking up to:
At the Picket Fence

Wednesday, April 25

Playing Catch Up

I'm definitely playing catch up this week on writing posts, replying to your lovely comments and visiting all your blogs, the photography thing really takes over!

I've just finished editing Sunday's family photo session so I'm really looking forward to sharing that with you on Friday once I've given the CD of images to the clients. I'm really happy with how they turned out despite a little malfunction where my big external flash pretty much died after 10 minutes of shooting!!

I couldn't believe it! I really count on it to 'fill' in the areas where the light isn't quite even, but alas the batteries had gone flat (on Googling the issue I found out I need to recharge the batteries every single time I use it because it's so powerful) so I was flash-less for most of the shoot which was a shame but I made do as best I could and I tried not to let the panic show on my face and told myself that editing can work wonders, which it really can and the end result is pretty cool, so no harm done and another lesson learned - there are so many silly mistakes you can make in this field!

Since I can never have a post without a pretty picture, here is one I took at the park where the photoshoot took place while I was waiting for the clients to arrive. It's truly Autumn here with leaves falling off trees and the light in the late afternoon is quite beautiful...

I love areas like this that make me feel like I'm in the countryside!

I hope my Kiwi and Aussie girls have had a wonderful ANZAC day, it's been just beautiful here, warm and clear, we're so lucky Autumn has been so gorgeous this year.

I'm so looking forward to showing you all the photoshoot on Friday, I hope you guys like it and I'll see you then!

xo K


Monday, April 23

The Weekend

A little sneaky peek at what I got up to this weekend! Isn't he a cute little guy?! More to come soon from this adorable family...


I also snuck away Saturday morning and went vintage shopping for photo shoot props with a friend and found some really great things, I can't wait to show you when I get a spare second!

So, how was your weekend? Was anyone practising their photography too?

I can tell you that photographing a family with a baby is hard work, my goodness! But lots of fun, more of this shoot to come, there are so many shots to work through and edit but I'm loving every minute!

Chat soon...

xo K

Friday, April 20

Photography Friday: Composing a Great Photo

Hi girls, it's been awhile since I've posted a Photography tutorial here and my husband was bugging me to tell you all about some of my new found skills so here it is!

Today I'll be talking about how to compose a great photograph. This is all information that I've read/heard (thanks hubby!) or found out for myself over the past 10 weeks of owning a DSLR so hopefully you will pick up some tips that will help you take better photo's of everything from landscapes and interiors to children and pets!

Since I'm still new to photography, as far as I can see you don't need to be 'trained' in photography to take a great, balanced looking photo. You just have to give a little thought to a few factors before you press that shutter button, so I though it might help to see how my thought process works when I'm taking a photo as a photography-newbie...

1. Consider your lighting, foreground and background:
Before I even lift the camera to my eyes I look around. I'm looking to see where the light is best for what I am wanting shoot. For instance, if I'm shooting interior decor items, flowers or food (actually pretty much anything indoors) I will want to be near a window where there is plenty of natural light to highlight my subject, like in the images below:  


All these images were shot with afternoon light predominantly coming from a large north facing window...it's flattering on pretty much everything, people included!



Photographer's all seem to swear by that good north facing light and since my main living room window faces that way and I seem to get great shots time after time in there with very little effort, I'll have to agree with them and recommend it! ;)


The next step for me is that I think if I shoot in this great spot with north facing light, what (if anything) will be in the foreground and what will be in the background? That way if I need to move a few things around and add or remove objects to get a better shot I can sort that out first. Obviously if I'm shooting someone outside and there's a giant ugly wall or similar in the background I will have to choose a better location or shoot from a better angle that hides it. It's that old saying of location, location, location!

2. Frame your shot:
Once you have your location and gorgeous natural light sorted you're half way there, so hold your camera up and focus on your subject through the lens, how does it look??

For me this is 'the moment' - I can instantly see if what I'm framing through the lens looks balanced and 'right'. If you don't trust yourself to see that just yet, just ask yourself what was your first impression of what you saw? If you wrinkled your nose up now is time to fix it! But how do you do that?

A good place to start is to walk around your subject (if you can) and look at it through the lens from all different angles, get down to it's 'eye'-level, stand slightly above it etc. Is there an angle that stands out for you? Is anything getting in the way of your shot if you take it from this great angle?

Perhaps you want to bring something in closer to your subject to add interest? I often move things around at this point before taking a shot, 'staging' I suppose you'd call it and you know how I like doing that...


Resting my camera on the coffee table gave me a much more interesting vantage point for photographing these coffee cups!

Now you have found a nice angle that makes your heart sing, go ahead and take a few shots; try holding your camera both vertically and horizontally (or portrait and landscape) and see which image looks best.

I always shoot a mixture of both, so don't forget to mix it up! Take a few shots, try out different Aperture settings to get more or less of the image in focus (see  the Shooting in Aperture Priority Mode tutorial if you need help with that) and review them on your display screen, how are they looking now?

Are you happy with them or do you want MORE?! I always want something more at this point haha, so below are some tips to get your nicely lit photo's looking that little bit more special!

3. The Rule of Thirds:
There are some additional 'rules' when it comes to taking a photo that looks beautifully balanced. You'll know when you come across one because it'll just pop out at you though you probably won't consciously know why (the human brain is subconsciously a very mathematical beast that loves visual symmetry) and I'm still learning how to apply the rule of thirds but I'll tell you what it is and how it helps.

 

Right, so the image that comes out of a digital camera is essentially a rectangle. Imagine that rectangle is divided evenly into thirds, both vertically and horizontally so it's nice and balanced (the OCD side in me loves this idea of balance!) with these dividing lines there will be intersecting points where the axis meet, they are demonstrated nicely in the image below:


Image via Google

The idea is that by placing your subject on one of these vertical or horizontal lines or at one of the axis points your eyes will be able to view the image in a more natural and pleasing way and you'll have a more impressive shot!

Having your image centered in the frame - while there is a time and place for it - is apparently not always the best way to get an eye catching shot...hmm, so that's why photographers always have people off centre and doing all kinds of funny things in photo's - there is a method to the madness! ;)



Here the foreground glacier sits right on the first horizontal line with the background glaciers perfectly placed on the second one...beautifully balanced and obviously taken with care!



But hey, these photography 'rules' are made to be broken and you don't have to fret and worry about getting it perfect but I've found that it definitely helps you compose a more balanced shot to keep it in mind no matter what you're shooting. Just ask yourself, if this picture was divided into thirds where should my subject be? So, there you go, you can use this rule, or break it, up to you! 




4. Create some 'Negative Space':
This is probably something that most amateur photographer's don't do and I only did it initially because I remembered my husband rabbiting on about it back when he was learning photography all those years ago! ;)
Negative space is the space in an image that isn't filled up with your subject. It's just the empty area. That's it


Here I took pretty much the same photo, one with a tight 'portrait' crop and one with a loose 'landscape' one allowing plenty of negative space. Each has it's own mood, but which is more interesting to you?

You can use this 'empty' space to your advantage to take a more dynamic shot. While there is a time and place for a person or subject to fill the whole frame or most of it, it's also great to let your subject 'breathe'. Just give them some space and if you can put your subject on one of the third lines, even better! You're well on your way to a professional looking image, woohoo!
Here are some examples of my photography using negative space and the rule of thirds together, it's not a hard concept to grasp (even for the mathematically challenged like me) but it takes a little practice (and yep, I'm definitely still working on it!) but I know you'll be rocking it in no time you clever things...


Plenty of clean white space draws your eye to the beautiful blooms and the main point of focus is about where the first vertical line would be too, score! :)



I think this image is the best I've done working with the rule of thirds and negative space, here my model is exactly on vertical third line, yay!



I noticed my niece is about on the vertical third line here in my first ever portrait shoot! My eye did it naturally so it's definitely a subconscious thing.  Just remember when using negative space with people that their eyes should either be gazing into the lens or looking into the empty space, never away from it, that would be weird but hey, if you want to try it... ;)


So, I hope these tips have helped you guys today! They have been a godsend to me and are pretty much the rules and ideas I'm living by right now, though I break them here and there or where's the fun in it right?!

Once you get shooting balanced looking images down pat you can move on to playing with different lighting conditions...back lighting, fill lighting with flashes etc...I'm having some fun with those on my portrait shoots right now, so I will post a tutorial on lighting soon! :) 

Don't be shy, go and take some shots of whatever you like using the rule of thirds and negative space, I'll bet you'll be impressed! And if you post them on your blog, let me know, I'd love to see them!!

Till next time... 

xo K 


Linking up to:
Inspiration Friday
Serenity Now
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style
Shabby Creek Cottage

Wednesday, April 18

Autumn Favourites

Just wanted to share some of my favourite things now we are halfway through Autumn in New Zealand! I've been loving my new work bag in classic tan leather, I love the hardware and it's big enough for my Kindle and all the other things I take to work each day...



I've also been living in my tan leather ankle boots, I bought these over a year ago but hardly wore them, now they're hardly off my feet! I love a kitten heel and ankle boots are better than knee high's with my tailored work pants and boot cut jeans...



Love the extra detail with the bow!
The dogs are obviously fans of my Autumn favourites too, I left the room for a few minutes to take some other shots and I came back to this...

 
Thank you for dribbling on my shoes Nala! ;) 
At least you didn't chew on them I suppose...


This month I also finally got some of my photograph's printed and framed, I never seem to do that since they're digital, do you?? The blue photo of my sister at Karioitahi Beach looks great on my white shelf, I'm really happy with it...

I've been loving the turquoise earrings and gold cuff that I bought when I styled that beach photo shoot. I always keep my favourite jewellery and perfume out on a silver tray on my dresser and they are definitely in high rotation...


A great colour for a bit of pop with my neutral Autumn wardrobe!
So, what are you all loving this season, whether it's Autumn or Spring in your part of the world?

Monday, April 16

Puppy Dog Tales

Happy Monday girls, I hope you had a fantastic weekend! We had lots of sunshine here which is always nice and unexpected this time of year. I just wanted to post something cute to brighten the day, getting up on Monday mornings is always an epic struggle for me, so anything helps! ;)

I caught my dogs playing silly games with each other  last weekend while I was photographing some other stuff around the house and I captured them 'in action' playing a little give and take or more like take and take! Nala (our Retriever) has the most expressive face, you really can tell what she's thinking, they're so funny together check out my two crazy critters...






Hehe, how funny are my two fur kids?! They can put a smile on my face anyday of the week! :)

Have a great Monday everyone!!

For those of you wanting to check out all of my final Picnic Photoshoot images you can check out and follow my online gallery here. Hopefully I'll have my own website up and running by the New Zealand summer but this is it for now! Thanks again for all your kind words about my photography, it means a lot to me :)

xo K

Friday, April 13

Friday!

So glad it's Friday at last! It's been a very busy week with working, editing and planning for another busy weekend. I'm hoping to put together the whole 'storyboard' from this shoot for a Monday post but here are a couple more I've been working on...the running one is how I feel right now! Bring on the weekend!!




Enjoy the weekend and thanks so much for all your sweet comments this week! My readers are just the nicest bunch of girls and I'm glad to 'know' you all! :)

Be back Monday...

xo K

Linking up to:
DIY Home Sweet Home

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