Tips

Selfie Tips | Nashville Photographer

As soon as I walk into a room, I notice light.  What it illuminates, what it hides.  And sometimes I can't help but take a selfie, without shame.  But my favorite kind of selfie is when I get to include this pretty girl.  You beautiful, exhausted Mothers of the World: GET IN THE PHOTOGRAPH.  You will never be this young again.  And, I promise, your children will want to remember you like this.  Regardless of the bags under your eyes.  Regardless of the few extra pounds you may carry.  And I am here to help you take photographs of yourself in the most beautiful, true way possible.  I want to teach you to find beauty in yourself naturally with the right angles, with the right light and with the best editing possible.  

So, let's get started!  

First step:  Find the light.  Start noticing where the light hits in your home at certain times of the day.  If you have a blank wall where the light hits in the afternoon, you are golden!  (no pun intended). I usually am drawn to late afternoon light that comes through my kitchen window.  

Second step:  Walk towards the light.  No you are not entering into eternity but you are going to shine like an angel when we are finished.  And bring a child with you, if you dare.  

Third step:  Move around.  Put your phone on selfie mode and then click on your face to get the exposure correct with the light.  Move around to find what looks best on your face.  Don't worry about what is behind you right now.  Just find the light that makes you look most beautiful.  

Fourth step:  My secret for the best selfies ever: put your phone on the 3 second timer.  You have so much more control and can move your hand further away from your face which will make you look slimmer, naturally.  Up and away.  

Fifth step:  Just keep shooting.  If you don't like it, try something different until you do.  Even something as simple as putting your hair up can make a huge difference.  

Final step:  Edit.  But edit lightly.  One of my favorite apps for editing iPhone photos is Facetune.  Mainly because it allows blurring of the background.  I will go over editing in detail in a later blog post.  


The image below is one of the first photos we took together in this series.  Notice the light hitting the wrong areas.  Our eyes are completely in the shadow.  I usually try to always highlight the eyes.  And the light here just seems to accentuate all of my wrinkly parts.  A BIG NO.  

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The next image goes in the complete other direction.  The light is way too bright on our faces.  How do you change this?  Click on different areas of your face and the exposure will change accordingly.  Or you can manually change the exposure by sliding the exposure up or down by clicking on the sun icon.  

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The one below was my favorite of the group.  I like how the light gently hits our eyes and the soft expression on both of our faces.  

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Below is the fully edited image.  I edited everything on my iPhone.  I blurred out the background and lightly brushed my face, specifically on the place the sunlight directly hits.  And, of course, put a filter on it.  But the real secret is with editing is to NEVER use the full power of the tool.  Always move it down in intensity.  

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Feel free to ask me any questions!  Hope this was helpful!

Finding the Light | Nashville Photography

I needed a bit of a break from my super intense personal blog posts so I thought I would start sharing with you all a few of my photography tricks.  If you follow me on instagram then you saw many of them in my video posts a few months ago.  I took them all down so thought I would write a lot of them out here so you can have them for reference if you want!

One of the first questions (besides what to wear) from my clients is usually, "where do we need to take the photos?"  In the beginning of my years as a photographer that was also a very important question to me.  I would spend hours scouting out the perfect locations and trying to find the exact right field or barn-like door.  Now I feel like I can go *almost anywhere and get the exact shot that I want.  How?  Looking for the light.  

The first thing I look at when I arrive at a location is where the sun is located in the sky and any area that is shaded in the vicinity.  Then I decide on which shaded area I want to try first.  I usually look for an area that has the sun behind it and is partially blocks out the sun if the sun is high in the sky.  If the sun is lower then I just find an open area and shoot with the sun behind me.  That gives my photos the dreamy, sun-washed look that you expect to see from me.  Now the one thing you must be careful of is the sun-rays can impact a photo by blocking out part of a head or an entire person.  So I always just move around until I get the exact right light that I want to fall on my subject.  MOVE AROUND- even with an iphone.  It makes such a difference!  

So next time you are taking photos with your camera or iphone, try looking for the light.  When I see beautiful light, I cannot help but take a photo.  Just ask my patient children!  Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have...

Here are a few photos that I took in the middle of Sevier Park with a tree and the sun behind my subjects.  There were many distractions behind the tree but the sun was able to wash those things out so the focus could fall on my subject and the beautiful light.

Selfie | Nashville Photographer

Now I love a good selfie.  GOOD is the key word here.  And, trust me, there are some really bad ones out there.  You know what I am talking about... The girl with the duck lips trying to be super sexy.  The guy at the gym with his shirt off.  But the worst of all to me is when someone can look so much better than they look in their selfie.  Bad light and bad angles are the major causes for bad selfies.  So we need to stop this unnecessary dilemma now.  Below are my favorite tips on how to take a good selfie.  

1)  As I always say: FIND THE RIGHT LIGHT.  And, yes, I just screamed at you but you need to get that in your amazingly smart brain of yours.  Look for shade as close to the sun as possible.  But never stand in direct sunlight- that will only cause unnecessary dark shadows on your face making you look so much uglier than you really are.  Because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL so let your selfie show it!  

2) MOVE AROUND.  The best way to do this with your iphone is to turn the camera around to face the screen and literally move your body around to see where the light flatters you most.  Now I love backlight with my subjects because I can control so much more on my camera but with an iphone selfies usually don't work well with backlight.  The most flattering is usually with the sun hitting your eyes while you are in the shade.

3)  YOUR CAR!  Your car is an amazing place to take selfies.  That is why you see so many girls with their seatbelts on looking amazing.  The light filters in through the windows creating a soft light that flatters anyone.  Now make sure you have your sunroof closed if the light is too bright from above.  Or open it if there are a lot of clouds.  The only rule here is to only take selfies while parked (or at a stoplight while your neighbor car watches on and laughs).  Who doesn't laugh at someone taking a selfie?  And who hasn't been caught taking a selfie?  Of course not me.  

4)  Go easy on the filters.  This is HUGE.  Many of you just pop a filter on your selfie and don't ease up on the opacity.  Always make sure you put the opacity at least to 50% or less.  Because you don't want to look like an orange.  

So, there are my tips for making yourself as beautiful as you really are.  I really do love seeing photos of you all on my instagram and not just your kids or dog or grandma.  It makes me happy.  So please keep posting and try these tips!  If you do let me know.  I would love to see!  Have a great weekend friends!!!  

This is a selfie(s) with my youngest boy... Love him so.