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Finding Fresh Inspiration in the Mundane

It was a muddy afternoon in February. The sun had finally peek through the clouds after being 25 and snowy all week. So I wanted to be outside.

The problem was, it was MUDDY and wet. But it was 55 degrees, so I know that the kids needed some nature time.

I hadn't taken pictures in a week of my kids. I know it seems like a long time, but with any skill, if you don't pick up your camera every week, you will you lose your edge.

I pulled out my camera and on it was my 85mm 1.8. It's usually the lens I use for couples and wedding portraits. But I decided to keep it on my camera instead of my usual 35mm 1.4.

Having a different lens on my camera challenged me to think differently about what I wanted to shoot. (Ifyou don't understand about prime lenses and how you can use them for different looks on your DSLR camera, check out this video)

I decided to think up a random theme in my head while I was shooting. I wanted to capture different angles. I usually do full-body shots with my 35mm lens on, but with an 85mm, I had to be really tight on my subject. Therefore, I had to think differently about the angles that I wanted to shoot. In this particular photo, I was practically laying on the ground to get it!

If you only have a kit lens on your DSLR, never fear, you can RENT gear for some great prices. I always use www.lensprotogo.com or another website is www.borrowlenses.com

As long as you stick with the same camera brand, any lens you choose in the same company will fit your camera! (Eat your heart out iphones! You can't do that!) I've rented all sorts of lenses- from professional level to amateur level- just to change up the look and get practice before buying something!

I decided to focus on my kids' feet and little muddy hands, instead of the full yard. My back yard has tons of kid stuff everywhere. So I knew that if I focused on a different thing, I would not see any of my random backyard stuff in the background of my photo!

This is the beauty about prime lenses- my 85mm 1.8 doesn't zoom, but the background get's super buttery! If you don't have one- I strongly suggest as least getting a 50mm 1.8 for canon or nikon! You will NEVER go back to a kit lens.

I wanted some different facial expressions in my subject. So I showed my daughter a funny face and then she cracked up! I had my camera snapping shots the whole time- and I finally got this face! That's the beauty about digital- you can take as many photos as you want!

In LIGHTROOM (my editing software program), I wanted to change up the way that I edit, so that this mundane, muddy day wouldn't be so mundane. So I changed a lot of my photos to black and white. The best thing about black and white is that it really takes all the distractive elements out. The background of the photos was littered with trash cans, balls and bikes. But with the black and white, you just focus on my kid's face. Plus, I always shoot at f stop 2.8 or lower, so that background get's blown out. (You can only do this with a prime lens! So get one if you don't have one!)

I took over 200 hundred photos from today. I only kept 20 or so. It's totally okay to not get the look you want every shot- just keep trying. Don't give up. Be picky about the story that you want to tell. If your photo doesn't tell the story you want- don't be afraid to delete it!

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I would love for you to let know if any of these tips have helped you in your photography journey!

Christal

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