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Behind the Lens :: Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

Hi Dallas Moms!  As a new contributor to Dallas Moms Blog, I’m excited to share my passion and profession with you! In addition to a love for my kids, I also have a love for the lens. I hope to provide you with helpful tips and tricks that will make your portraits of your kiddos and family stunning, effortless and unique.

Want to hear the good news?  You get to start taking beautiful portraits now!  With the equipment you currently own and the skills you already have.

“Mel, the ‘equipment’ I own is a smart phone.”  Awesome!

The image quality of smart phones these days is incredible.  Which means you’ll even be able to create large wall portraits and canvas wraps with images you capture.  Big, expensive, professional camera equipment is not necessary to take great portraits. Repeat that out loud to yourself 10 times.  (Or in your head if you’re not alone.)  In fact, larger and more complicated equipment can often be daunting to learn if you don’t use it often enough.  A point and shoot camera and smart phones are an awesome alternative and produce beautiful results.

“But I don’t have a good eye for photography.”   As a mother myself, when it comes to my son, I want photographs that are real and candid.  Not staged and formal.

In my opinion, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to capture your child’s moments when they are in a place of genuine happiness, or captivated by something new, or sleeping soundly with drool on their cheek.  These are the times that count and they happen around you all day.  I’ll show you how to effortlessly capture relaxed smiles and unexpected moments that you’ll hold on to forever.

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The first tip I’ll share is probably the toughest hurdle:  I want to encourage you to lose any judgements or comparisons you have regarding your photography.  A quote that I refer to often is “comparison is the thief of joy.”

Think about that for a second.  How many times have you second guessed your own great idea, project, home decor, or a new outfit after comparing it to someone else’s?  You begin to consider ways to change it, to make it “better” even though you absolutely loved it initially.  Your joy that was once there, is now gone.

Don’t let that happen!

When it comes to photography, know that your style is unique to you.  There is no one else on the planet with the same creative eye as you.  Sure there are similar styles and niches of photography.  But no one will ever capture the same image you do in quite the same way.  So embrace that uniqueness and know that it’s yours to play with and tweak as you learn and grow!

Be in love with the portrait of your son with slimy hair and dirt in his teeth.  Be proud of the portrait with one kid looking at you smiling, one looking at an airplane and one sobbing.  This is real life and your family moments (bloopers) are as unique as your creative eye.  So let’s have fun with that and along the way I’ll show you tips and tricks that’ll make capturing those icing covered smiles even easier!

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Finally, I want to hear from you!  What do you want to know?  What would you like to learn?  What do you struggle with the most? I’m all ears and an open book.  Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email at info(at) dallasmomsblog (dot) org.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

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6 Responses to Behind the Lens :: Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

  1. Michelle May 27, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    Mel – I love this post! You have me pegged to a “T” when it comes to the photography bug. I love capturing those beautiful (relatively speaking of course) moments of my boys, but I do often struggle with the itch to always be better at it. One of the things in my “needs improvement” column is working with angles. Some of the best photographers like you do amazing things with angles. Maybe I need to get better at thinking outside the box? I could also use a tutorial on photo storage and archiving. I’m looking forward to following your posts to continue to improve my skills. I have no doubt I’ll be grateful for it in 30 years when I’m looking back and reminiscing about my sweet babes.

    • Melissa Preston May 27, 2014 at 10:26 am #

      Hey Michelle! I love the idea of a post on various angles. Very often that can make or break a great shot. Archiving is also a good topic and it’s something I struggled with for a long time. I’ll be sure to share a few helpful tips on that as well. I’m so glad to hear you’re photographing your sweet kiddos!! The one, sure-fire way to improve your photography skills is to shoot often. Keep it up!

  2. Robin May 27, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Love love love this Mellissa. And so happy to hear you’re a contributor! Looking forward to sharing this with Society Bride readers and enjoying future posts!

    Cheers!
    Robin

  3. Becky May 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Looking forward to learning more! I’d like to know more about editing photos after you take them…whether they were snapped with an iPhone or a high end camera, what tips do you have for editing them into even better shots?

    • Melissa Preston May 27, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Love this idea, Becky! I will definitely discuss editing tips and inform you guys about free editing software that can make a huge difference!

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