Several months ago, my friend Jessica and I decided to collaborate on a fun photography project… welcome to our first inspired collaboration! From here on out, each month we will choose a theme and then capture what inspired us about the theme with a photograph.
The impetus behind this collaboration was to create authentic photographs that were life inspired, to capture the beauty that surrounds us every day. And to push ourselves to grow as photographers.
Jessica and I became friends a few years ago, after I approached her about taking pictures for Wild Olive. I had fallen in love with Jessica’s style and eye for light in her photography and was awed when Jessica graciously agreed to help. Since then I’ve continued to be blessed by her friendship and amazed at her ability to balance motherhood – she is a mother to 5, with one beautiful baby girl waiting in China – so flawlessly with her blossoming business – One Willow Presets.
Oh, and her presets? Are ah.mazing. Once you have used the One Willow Brush Set once, you’ll never want to edit a photo without it.
I am a complete amateur who dreams of being a real photographer. I’ve been shooting in manual for years, but have found myself stuck in a rut. So, I’ve determined it’s time to shake the dust off and actually work at this thing called photography, in order to take the pictures I’ve always wanted to of the beauty that surrounds me daily. And teaming up with Jessica for this project – my friend and also my photography hero – is absolutely a dream come true.
So here we go!
I captured this a few week’s ago when my Mom was in visiting. It was a lazy summer evening of sitting outside talking and taking photos. The boys had grabbed their Grandma’s camera and decided to be be the photographers and I snapped this photo of them trying to figure the camera out.
I loved the sun flare I was able to capture as the sun was setting. I was sitting on the ground and positioned myself a tad bit lower. My camera settings were:
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
I set my ISO up a bit higher than usual so that I could use a smaller aperture of f/9.0. By using the smaller aperture I was able to capture the starburst of the sun and the super yummy light droplets. Also, my boys are constantly moving so I wanted to keep my shutter high enough that I wouldn’t have blurred movement. I placed my focal point on the boys so that they were in focus.
I took this picture after several failed attempts to capture what I had envisioned for this month’s theme. Since I’ve never gone out to purposefully capture “evening light”, I found it to be a much bigger challenge than I had anticipated.
On this night, the weather was perfect. I got out earlier than I had in previous attempts because the light changes so rapidly as sunset approaches. Once I found the spot (an open field with just a few trees) I kept moving around my sweet subject – not sure if what I was getting was going to be what I was after – and took lots of pictures. This picture was my favorite because of the way the light is captured all around her… even a few strands of her hair were caught up in the wind and got lit up by the sun setting behind her.
Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: 50mm 1.4
I got down on the grass in front of Poppy and moved around to find the best ‘frame’ for her. I needed the trees to diffuse some of the light and once I found a spot I liked, I just snapped away. In order to help my camera focus on her, because the sun was so low, I blocked some of the light coming through the lens and locked my focus on her, then moved my hand to take the picture.
Once the light changed, I moved again and took a few more. I’m hoping to improve my eye for evening light so I won’t need to take as many shots, but for now, I’m just happy to have gotten a few I really love.
Be sure to stop by Jessica’s blog to check out all the beautiful things she has going on at One Willow Presets. Serious eye candy, y’all. And don’t forget to come back next month to see July’s collaboration theme: Water. If you are currently participating in a Collaboration project and would like to share, please feel free to link up in the comments below.
P.S. June is almost over! If you are interested in having your blog or business featured here on Ni Hao Y’all in July, be sure to visit this page for all the info. The Numero Uno is booked, as well as a few of the Big Dogs, but there are still lots of options available for just about any budget.