Hello Storytellers! My name is Alyssa or Aly. I’m a huge fan of normal, lazy days. I’m a homebody and I’ve always been one. Unlike many photographers, I got into photography before my children were born. I begged anyone and anything to let me photograph them. By doing this I did find a passion for macro photography. But by the time my son came around, I had a pretty solid understanding of exposure, light, and composition. What I didn’t realize was that there was so much more to photography than just those things. Those things are important and can sometimes make or break an image, but sometimes moments trump those in my book.
After my son started crawling, then walking, then being a little more independent, I realized I didn’t want to just document his life…I wanted to make our everyday look beautiful. Because it was beautiful to me. And I knew this meant becoming comfortable in all different light situations. I remember having a portfolio review done and I told them if there was ugly light, I was uninspired. But now it’s almost the opposite! I like to make the light work for me no matter what. And some favorite lighting are my computer screen or phone’s flash light or even the bathroom light. My point is that life happens in all types of light and I’m totally okay with capturing those everyday moments in everyday light.
Now that’s not to say that it’s not fun to manipulate the light some or to use pretty light in my work. I’m just saying that I’m comfortable in almost all light situations and that has really pushed my comfort zone and made me a better photographer. Because I not only look for the light now, I look for a moment. I look for a chance to capture the beauty of the everyday life.
I’m a stay at home mom with two really small kids and I’m a homebody. I don’t like to go out of my home very often. But some days my son begs me to do it. And even those unplanned adventures are worth photographing because they are part of our everyday. I often take my camera along with me on our outings. I generally stick to one lens for my outdoor images which is usually my Sigma 24mm 1.4 ART…but lately I’ve been loving the beautiful compression my Sigma 85mm 1.4 ART gives. If I take my camera out with me on my outings, I stick with one lens so that I don’t have to lug around a ton of equipment. Just makes life easier with two small kids!
Sometimes light that is hardly there is my favorite type of light. Lowlight has its challenges. And if not done correctly can look grainy and images can be out of focus, but something about it just makes my heart pitter patter with excitement. I love it when I find a scene and it has lowlight. It makes me stop and think, “how am I going to photograph this and get the light and moment the way I want them to be?” Lowlight shows up in almost all of my images because I actively seek for it. I love a good backlit image just like the next girl….but low light will always have my heart.
Getting in the frame is something I love to do with my littles. Since I am part of their everyday life, I like to try and show that in my self portraits. I am just now exploring the art of self portraiture as more than just little snapshots of our everyday life and making them more creative. Because, let’s be real here, self portraits are hard. But they are so worth it and the most gratifying thing I have done for my photography.
One of my favorite focus tips for self portraits is this:
Set your tripod up (or wherever you’re putting your camera, any sturdy surface like a desk, tv stand, or shelf will do)
Take your camera and stand in the spot you want to be standing in your image
Focus on the tripod (or where you’re placing your camera) and switch to manual focus to lock focus in place
Mark your spot (I usually use my lens cap)
Place your camera back on your tripod
Return to your mark spot and start taking pictures
IN FOCUS EVERY TIME
That is one of my favorite tricks for getting myself in focus for my self portraits. It literally works almost every time if I do it correctly (i.e. make SURE the tripod is in focus!). Self portraits are such a wonderful gift we can give our children. Telling them, we were there too. So if you only get one thing from this little blog post it’s this: get in the frame, you’ll thank me YEARS later (trust me, it might be years) but get in that frame. Your kids don’t care what you look like. They only see the beautiful mama (or daddy!) they have, and that she was present.
Pretty light or not, I will continue to capture my kids in the beauty of our everyday.
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