it took me a while to decide on whether i wanted to write this post or not - bc i want it to "come off" the right way.
so here goes...
when we get our first dslr cameras - or even a nice p&s - we are told that we can emulate professional looking photos if we just try hard enough... just learn all the settings... just practice. and i want to start out by saying that its not necessarily *untrue*, but i feel like realistic expectations need to hold a place in our minds as well.
having been on several message boards, FB groups, etc for photography (or just for moms), ive seen people get super frustrated trying to do things that their cameras simply... can't. for instance, when everyone wanted to do twinkle lights for the holiday season, not many people realized that their p&s or kit lens couldnt do the job as well. i am not saying this to make people feel discouraged -- i am the #1 person to tell people to learn their gear and that they'll be happy in the results. but there is a reason people spend $2500 on a camera and another $1500+ on each lens --- bc they do make better photos.
***i am going to throw in the obvious disclaimer. it is also, entirely possible, to have $5000 worth of gear and still take a shizzy photo, still not know how to use your camera, and still have it come out looking like a p&s. so please - before this becomes misconstrued, the camera does NOT make the photographer. but its naive to say that it doesnt.... help. it helps someone who already knows what they are doing. who already can maneuver around manual, who already knows how to nail focus and exposure, etc.
i just see a lot of disappointed MWACs. who want their photos to like their favorite photo blogger. but that photog has spent a long time and invested a lot of money in what they have built behind their name.
there are few simple things that i think help any mom, trying to take pics of their kids at home, get better photos (besides, of course, being 100% on the technical end, of course lol)
1. getting rid of the flash. either by having it off completely, using a lightscoop, or getting an external flash.
2. buying a sharp prime. a 30/35mm, 50mm, or 85mm for nikon, canon, and sigma have low f/stops that let in a lot of light (of course, nailing that focus would be first, right?) and your kit lens is not going to cut it. ever. lol
3. editing correctly. meaning clean. meaning without being crazy, buying actions that you dont know how to lower, adding layers of "vintage" or horrible vignette that you think "adds something!!" but really ruins your photos. as a sidenote, hobbyists and pros buy actions all the time --- expensive actions, sometimes, that can make or break that photographer's style -- but they learned how to use them correctly, adjust them for who THEY are, etc. they also pay $$$ for editing programs. picnik and iphoto isnt gonna cut it lol bc, well, equipment matters, right? and remember, pros have monitor calibration software for their computers so that their photos are true to color/print all of the time. that also costs...
this is the time to start taking photos for you. to start comparing yesterday's with today's. and last year's with this year's. to improve for yourself. dont compare yourself to everyone around you -- this goes for all of you pros, too.
for 2012, i want to be *me*.