Friday, April 9, 2010

Photography Tips and a GIVEAWAY!

Well, I promise Headband Week isn't over yet.  I have plans to be back later on today (it may be much later... we'll see how things go) with another great headband tutorial.  But probably none of you even care very much about that right now since you just saw the word "giveaway."  So I'll get on with it.  :)

Today I am very excited to introduce you to the lovely Marcie Jessee!  Marcie and I first met... through blogs!  Yes, we are blog friends turned for real friends.  And I'm so glad.  Perhaps you remember hearing about Marcie Jessee Photography back when she took pictures of my (now extinct) line of onesies.  Or when she took newborn pictures of the big O (seen both here and here).  Or (did I forget to mention this on here?) when she took took some recent 6 month pictures of Olivia.  Today I am delighted to hand things over to Marcie.  She's going to give us all a few simple and practical tips for getting better pictures of all the great things we make and blog about.  And, yep!  That's right!  She's got a little something to give away.  So, let's give it up for Marcie Jessee!
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Hello bloggers!
My name is Marcie Jessee and I am a semi-professional photographer in Utah County, wife to a fabulous hunksband as well as a chef, chauffer and boo-boo kisser to three wonderful children, ages 4, 3 and 6 months! In my spare time (spare time?) I enjoy reading mindless fiction, blog-surfing and healthy-ifying treat recipes. I have been known to grab a few chocolate chips every time I walk by the freezer and overabuse parenthesis and exclamation points when blogging.

Now that you know me (and probably even have something in common with me right?), let's get into the fun stuff! I'm going to talk about how to improve your craft (recipe, decor ...etc) blog pictures in just a few simple steps.
First ...
Get to know your camera
Sounds simple right? But have you ever taken the time to check out your user manual? How about figure out what the mysterious "M" and "P" mean on the handy dial.
Understanding how your camera performs under different settings and functions can help you to take control of your camera instead of taking pictures and hoping your camera does a good job :) Those of you with advanced point and shoots or DSLRs are even MORE lucky! Your have so many possibilities for creating stellar photography when you can adjust your aperture ... but I can already sense your eyes glazing over so we'll end with this : At the very least learn how to force your flash OFF on your camera. Even if it means digging out the owners manual to do so :D
Turn off the Flash
I hope you've heard this a million times. But just in case ... I'm gonna say it anyway! Turn off your flash! Nothing will kill the pics of your gorgeous craft or home redo quite like a head-on burst of flash. Want to see what I'm talking about?
Or, even worse, look at another picture (taken same location with my camera set to "Auto")
Yuck. See the glare? The washed out colors? Sure, it'll do in a pinch ... when you've finished a project at midnight and are just dying to blog right then ... maybe ;) See what a difference some natural light makes:
Much better! Natural, lovely colors and a pleasing attractive photo to look at.

Learn to love light
When you turn off the flash you've got to help out your camera with some extra light from somewhere else. So go ahead, open those curtains! I've been known to open the front door in 20 degree weather just to catch that beautiful natural lit picture of my sticky buns fresh out
of the oven :) Speaking of sticky buns, anyone with a recipe blog? Look what natural
light can do for your food too:

So go ahead, open the blinds and pull up a table near the window to catch that perfect diffused light (diffused: Not in direct glaring sunlight, usually means in the shade).

Try a new perspective
When sharing your craftiness in the blog world, nothing makes for a great picture like some fresh perspective. What am I talking about?
Don't shoot every single picture head-on. See this (notice the nasty flash too)?
The tendency in craft pics is to grab your craft and lay it on the nearest table and snap a pic. You're a creative person! You just finished a fabulous project using your incredible creativity, now show the world just how great it is with some flair!
Compare it to this:
A nice setup adds interest to your project and makes for a nice photo.

Thanks for sticking with me to the end! If you have a passion for photography and want to learn more, feel free to follow my blog, www.jesseephotography.com, because I'm announcing a basic photography course in Provo Utah coming soon!

Now for the giveaway (because I really, truly, am a sucker for a giveaway...) I would like to offer a free photography session for any of you local to the Provo area! The session could be a family (up to 8 people), child portraits or senior pictures to take place before October 2010! You'll receive the hi-res CD with Copyright release and lovely edited pictures to share with your friends and family :)

Here's how it's gonna work:

-One entry telling me what type of session you would like to win.
-Second entry for blogging/tweeting or spreading the word on Facebook! 

Just leave a separate comment on this post for each entry! 

***This giveaway will close at midnight next Thursday, April 15.  The lucky winner will be announced the following day on Friday, April 16!***

And just so you can get a feel for what you could win, here are a few pictures showcasing my favorite people to give you a feel for my photography style:



Thanks Katie for letting me steal your blog for the day! Good luck everyone and go take some pictures!
(p.s. the incredible calendar blocks were a gift from a dear crafty friend of mine, and the fabulous pillows were made by Katie!)
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Thanks Marcie!  I hope you all learned a bit about how to show off all the great stuff you make!  I am definitely going to be looking into that photography class.  And is anybody else dying for those calendar blocks?  How adorable!  Thanks again Marcie!  Your photography is wonderful!

**Updated to add:
-Sorry, but I will not be back tonight with another headband tutorial.  We have been too busy playing outside today.  Hooray for nice weather!  Hopefully I'll have it ready for tomorrow.  We'll see how the day goes.

-If you're not local to the Provo, Utah area it IS OKAY to enter this giveaway on behalf of somebody you know who is the area.  Or if you'll be traveling to the area within the given dates you are more than welcome to enter.  Thanks everybody!


Now... enter that giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed, effective midnight April 15, 2010.

36 comments:

Nancy said...

You have some great photos! I would like to win a family session that I would give to my cousins out in your area.

Josh and Alice said...

I would love to win a family session or possibly even a photoshoot of my 8 month old baby (who is adorable). :o) I love your tips and can definitely tell the difference it makes. I've recently started turning off the flash and love the pictures much more.

Stephanie said...

We are in need of a family session...but my daughter just turned one and hasn't had pictures yet...hmmm...

Richard and Emily said...

please, please, please! I have been wanting new pictures of Richard and I for our adoption profile!

Jo-Dan said...

I would love to win a 6 month shoot for my little man...or a family session. I always love your pictures, and your tips are VERY helpful. Now I need some advice about shadows...

Jo-Dan said...

Marcie...I mentioned the giveaway on Facebook for another chance to win!

lArZ said...

I've already gotten awesome pix taken by you and LOVE them! =) just wanted to say COOL tips, helps a lot with me and my trusty yet dusty point-n-shoot camera!

Rebecca said...

Great tips! Would love to win a family session!

Polly said...

I would LOVE to have some great family photos. I think we may be going through Provo this summer. If not...I have several sibs-in-laws who would love a family photo shoot in my place. (Well...and of course Katie :)

Polly said...

I mentioned it in my next blog post. It should show up tomorrow (Apr. 10) sometime around 6 am.

Barefoot Queen said...

Family Session all the way.... its hard to keep a family photo updated. We got our last one up on the family wall just in time to have the next child... hmm.

Naazju said...

And you (Marcie) were worried no one would enter! I'd love to win a family session (my folks are coming up sometime this summer).

And, as always, super cute pics!

Alina said...

I would love to win the family session and I am spreading the word on facebook.

Rick Janee Mathias & soon to be John said...

My family and I would love to get a free family session. We havent had family pictures done for almost a year and a half.. and we have a new addition on Monday. Your pictures are great!

angie said...

i just made my way over here from one pretty thing. what a great giveaway! i have been wanting some new pics of me and my husband! we haven't had our pictures done since our wedding 3 1/2 years ago. thanks for the chance!

Steve and Gaby Barsh said...

I would love to win a free family session!!! I want it for my husbands family who is so very special to me..where 2 of his sisters are pregnant and well we will soon be hopefully too..it would be so special! Thanks! Good luck everyone!

torri said...

I am torn between the family session and the child session...I would probably go with the child session because I would love some 18 mos pics of my little boy! Thanks for the giveaway!
torrimahoney at gmail dot com

Dorothy said...

Sign me up for a chance to win a photo session for a toddler. I don't live in the area but my daughter, husband and darling baby do and I LOVE having updated photos of that sweet little girl! Thank you!

whelmar said...

I'd like to win a child portrait. Way to go Marcie! Thanks for the tips!

whelmar said...

I facebooked this blog entry! =)

torri said...

I tweeted about this giveaway!

Sew Much Ado said...

Oh pretty please let me win! I would love this!

Fraser's and Co. said...

I have been dying to get my little girl some pictures for her upcoming 3rd birthday!

Lindsay and Eric Mitton said...

Marcie- thanks for the tips! My blog photos are always awful...maybe that's why I never post anything (or maybe I'm just lazy)! I'd love a child session-- baby is due in 3 weeks! Even if I don't win- I'll be calling you to set up a session.
-Lindsay :)

The Stells! said...

i would love to get a family session for my fam of 4!! :)

Sophia & Cameron said...

I would love a family session for my family of four. We are not local but will be spending the Summer there visiting family & friends. Hmmm... both my kids haven't photos for a while yet either; decisions, decisions.

J. Miyoshi Zuehl said...

I'd love to win a session for me and my little Lillian when we come out to UT this summer! (and the hubby if he can make it) I LOVE your work, Marcie!

J. Miyoshi Zuehl said...

Me again... posting the opportunity on my blog!

Jenn said...

Okay, so I never win a giveaway. In fact, I hardly ever enter them anymore, but when I saw this, and I thought, Erick and i are coming to Utah in a few weeks, and we really need family pictures, and we really don't have money to get pictures taken, and these pictures are REALLY, REALLY beautiful that she takes, I couldn't resist. I really hope I win.
We need a family pic sooo bad!

Clare said...

I'm not local but would be around when visiting my husband's family. I would love some new family pictures.

Clare said...

Posted about the giveaway on my blog!

Clare said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

We would LOVE a family session! We don't have any current family photos and our daughter just turned 4 months!

Katie said...

we could definitely do for a great family picture!

The Lind's said...

I hope I am not too late...but I would love a family session...way overdue for family pictures!! beclind12@yahoo.com

Sarah said...

Great photos! We would love to win a child portrait session.