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Thursday, March 7, 2013

remote control

So as many of you know, I am not one of those ubiquitous duos of blogging girlfriend/professional photographer boyfriend (Oh to be Nicole Warne). Unfortunately, when the manfriend & I met over 3 years ago, it wasn't even on my radar that I should be testing out my date's photog skills. Missed opportunity there!

Surprisingly the most common email question I get, is about photography tips! Either y'all are just being nice, or there are others out there wanting to stop relying on your boyfriend/friend/mom's subpar skills/limited free time & start taking your photoshoots into your own hands.

As the story goes, I dove straight into blogging & tried to convince my boyfriend that taking photos of me should be his new hobby. It all started on my point & shoot camera & gosh were those photos a million kinds of awful, but I didn't know any better & it was what I had to work with at the time (don't believe me, check out this gem from the archive, but just be warned, your eyes might bleed!)

150 outfit photos later, Ty & I decided that it wasn't healthy for me to "direct" him while he worked the camera. There are many things that my man is good at:
- being an incredible pug father
- making delicious beer
- looking sexy on his motorcycle
But we both came to the conclusion that photography just wasn't ever going to be his "thang", it would be just me & my tripod from here on out!
Here & Now photography
I LURVE my tripod (found here)
Christmas 2011 brought me my first DSLR (Canon Rebel T2i). I turned it to the "Auto" setting & we got to know each other from there. After taking a photography class in June, 2012 I felt comfortable enough to make the leap to "Manual" settings (eeep!)
And then just this past Christmas (2012) I upgraded my "kit" lens to a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens

So that's the story... now what useful knowledge to I have to share??
Welp, just this one nugget for today: get a remote!
Here & Now photography
My remote is this Canon one.
I started out with my tripod using only the self-timer option, but quickly realized that a remote would help me better achieve the crisp photos of which I was dreaming!
But, there is one major trick to using a remote. You of course don't want to look like you are using a remote.
 On the back of my remote is a toggle switch, that can either be on "2" or a dot (see picture above & see if yours does too). When I first got my remote, I of course didn't read the manual, & just started using it right away. Just in the last month I realized that the "dot" setting means that the picture snaps right away, but the "2" means a 2 second delay... GENIUS! I have to have my remote pointed EXACTLY at my camera (annoying much!?), but the 2 second delay is just enough time to "hide" my remote (AKA look natural). 


So all you tripod users, first get a remote, then change the toggle switch to "2" & start snapping away! 

Here & Now photography
Many of you spotted my tripod friend reflecting off my glasses in this post (sneaky sneaky)!
Resources that taught me a thing or two:
Another tripod user, Megan of Feathers & Freckles, has some genius tips about lighting & background choices here
Julia, of Gal Meets Glam, is lucky enough to have one of those incredible boyfriends-turned-photography-pros, and he was geneorous in sharing his tips for taking your DSLR from Auto to Manual here.

Ok, you tripod users of the blog-world, what are your tips?
Any other remote "hiders" out there?
And if your boyfriend/mom/friend takes your pictures, you be nice to them!
**P.S. if you have specific photography questions, leave them in the comments & if there are enough I will try to do another post**

50 comments:

  1. Great post Jess! I am one of the lucky ones with a boyfriend "photographer" so I don't use a tripod. However, would you be willing to do a post about posing?? I feel like that is what I struggle with the most! Your pictures always look so natural and I'd love to get better at that!

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  2. My tripod is my boyfriend as well, I also got a remote as soon as I purchased my first dslr. Great post!

    xo
    http://pinksole.com

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  3. Great tip! I use a tripod as well, but unfortunately I don't have a DSLR, so I have to run back and forth like a crazy person! lol One day I would like to upgrade and I'll definitely get a remote!
    ~Sara
    sarastrauss.blogspot.com

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  4. Great post! I bought a remote & tripod awhile ago because apparently directing bf to take artsy photos of me for my Etsy shop is much harder than we both thought... however, I didn't end up using it much because I didn't try the time delay either! I should give it a go again.

    http://gardenandsea.blogspot.com

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  5. I've noticed your pictures get significantly better... Becoming good with photography is a must for us bloggers... way to go


    happymedley.blogspot.com

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  6. That's awesome. I have a crappy OLD point and shoot camera right now and have to put it on a bookshelf to take my pictures. I don't have the budget for a DSLR camera (although I would love one!), so my point and shoot will have to do for now. My pictures are pretty crappy right now, though. If/when I get a DSLR, I'm for sure going to go the tripod/remote route. I am so awkward in front of the camera when someone else is taking my pictures, haha!


    I have been following your blog almost since the beginning, and have noticed your pictures getting better and better all the time :)

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  7. Yay thanks for this post Jessica! I use a remote and tripod too, since my boyfriend is long-distance and we're always so busy when we see each other. I used to try to convince him that as my boyfriend he should LIKE taking photos of me, but I mean I can see how he doesn't want to waste all of our time together doing that :) My only odd question is how to take up-close photos of certain areas- ex: a clutch and nails or your shoes. I find it hard to aim the camera and zoom correctly.

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  8. These are great tips! Sometimes I think I should do this, just because there are days I like my outfit and my bf isn't around, or he is busy doing OH YOU KNOW his life's work called a job and being a student. I feel bad for bothering him sometimes, but he enjoys doing it!

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  9. My boyfriend is *not* a photographer either. He is many, many wonderful things, but a photographer he is not. I got the tripod. I have a pretty decent point and shoot but it doesn't have a remote, so I've been using the 30 second delay when needed. But I would love to take more outfit posts. Crossing my fingers I can get a new camera body soon, as my dad's' already promised me is 50mm lens!!

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  10. Taking photos is so hard between finding the right person to do them and finding the time. You do a great job!

    xo Ashley

    http://www.ashnfashn.com

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  11. I'm so glad you did this post. I used to do the tripod, but never practiced my camera skills, so although I was taking photos, they weren't great. I then started working with a photographer friend and we barter photos for social media. But lately I've been wanting to snap a few on my own when I catch myself in a cute outfit on a random Monday. So back to the grind of tripod and remote. Now I just need to practice my manual setting skills.


    xo Jessica
    www.mystylevita.com

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  12. Your pictures were NEVER terrible, but I so empathize with the process of going from point and shoot to tripod/remote. And attempting the significant-other-as-photographer along the way. (See attached photo) You pictures are gorgeous now, and I can't wait to read through the tips from these other bloggers!

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  13. Your pictures were NEVER terrible, but I so empathize with the process of going from point and shoot to tripod/remote. And attempting the significant-other-as-photographer along the way. (Exhibit A here: http://i1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh520/minimestyle/oops_zps1feb2299.jpg) Your pictures are gorgeous now, and I can't wait to read through the tips from these other bloggers!

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  14. So glad you did this post! I had a tripod that broke (sad) but that was before I actually started doing outfit posts. Usually, I have a friend or someone who's around that weekend take pictures for me, but I hate bothering them! I'm in the market for another tripod, so I may take your suggestion and get the same one!

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  15. Yay! thanks for this post. I am totally jealous of your self-photography skills, because I'm still stuck with a point and shoot on auto, as well as running back and forth between the self-timer... so, my pictures aren't the best quality and sometimes they REALLY suck. My husband and I have opposite schedules so he can't take my photos for me (and even if he could, I get too embarrassed "posing" lol). I've been wanting to get a dSLR but I take my pictures on my lunch break, and I'm already carrying enough stuff to work everyday as it is, I would hate to have to start bringing a dSLR bag to work as well. I wish remotes could work with point and shoots! how nice would that be :)

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  16. You have some pretty good skills! I am terrible at trying to take my own pictures. I just boss my husband around. Hope he doesn't mind... :)

    Amy

    Fashion and Beauty Finds

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  17. a remote...what a brilliant idea!! i need to check that out


    -Lauren
    www.prettypiecesblog.com

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  18. Yep the remote is the key to selfies! Although I should mention that I just got mine off ebay - for less than $2! As for photography questions: I'd love to know what settings you usually shoot on -aperture, ISO, focus etc. I think that would be really helpful to compare! Your photos seem a lot crisper than I can get mine and I'm wondering if that's the difference between a 1.4 and 1.8 lens or just my lack of skillz :)

    life-etcblog.blogspot.com.au

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  19. I need to invest in one like asap .

    xo Meg<3

    Meghan Silva's Blog

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  20. I, too, take my own photos and am SO jealous of the women who have photo savvy men in their lives to take theirs. However, I get a little bit of self gratification from taking my OWN photos. I do need to invest in a tripod. Right now I use a gorilla pod and attach my camera to the back of a chair! (NOT IDEAL!) It works, for now. :)


    xo Nina
    afterthe40barfinish.blogspot.com

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  21. You are so good at your pictures! Thank you so much for sharing this awesome post. I love to hear other photographers processes. I also use a tripod and remote control, but I don't keep the remote in my hand, I keep it next to the camera and it takes 30 pics at a time, with a 2 second delay between shots. At first it was so hard to take my own pictures, but now I truly love it! I love it because it gives me creative power and I can take as long as I want without feeling like I'm bothering my "photographer". :)
    www.shannonheartsblog.com

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  22. Loved this post! I am 50/50 with my tripod and remote and my crazy-talented photographer fiance. I've gotta say, I love being able to be completely self sufficient with my photos, but when he's up for it, his shots are always dynamite! And keep up the good work, your photos rock!

    brenna

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  23. I use a tripod to take product photos and I think it's a savior! I love that you're using a remote for your posts. I think that is a great idea. Something I have never considered. I'm trying to do more fashion posts and I think this would help a lot.

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  24. I don't have a fancy camera like yours, but I do have a new tripod! I'm just learning how to use it....thanks for the info!


    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.blogspot.com

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  25. ummm i need a remote!!!! wait so does it focus and everything too? AH seriously, i need one! i have to put mine on timer from time to time lol so sad

    -marsa
    The DayLee Journal

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  26. HappinessatmidlifeMarch 7, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    I am sooo behind the times. I take my photos with an iPhone. I am expecting to get some $$ soon that I will spend to buy a quality camera, tripod & remote. I enjoyed reading everyone's comments - my hubby and I do not see eye to eye when it comes to photo taking.


    Alice
    www.happinessatmdlife.com

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  27. Love this post! I'm still in the point & shoot digital camera era, and my model doesn't work with remotes- DANGIT! (But I gave myself a goal that if I can keep up my blog this year, I will get myself one at Christmas.) I'll be looking here for tips :-)
    Valerie
    www.the-style-files.com

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  28. I have the same tripod! However, I have not mastered it yet. How do you get your vertical photos to look so clear? All of my vertical photos are blurry. I've been reading it has something to do with the sensors or something I can't quite understand. I'm using a 55mm f1.8 lense. And how do you make sure everything is in focus when using the manual setting on the tripod? Do you mark your posing spot with an X? haha.

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  29. I don't do anything differently between shooting vertical and horizontal photos, besides how the tripod stage is positioned. I have my lens set on auto-focus (AF vs manual focus which is MF), and when I point the remote at the lens, it focuses to the spot I am standing.
    xx

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  30. You go girl! I would definitely recommend checking out your local camera store to see if they sell refurbished camera bodies for less. I got my camera body from Amazon, and purchased the older model right when the new model came out, so it was slightly more affordable.
    xx

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  31. Yup, the remote is awesome. With my lens set on auto focus, the remote makes the lens focus on the spot I am standing - it rocks!
    xx

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  32. Thanks! Jealous of your photo savvy fiancé!
    xx

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  33. Whoa! 30 pics at a time with a 2 second delay...!? That sounds like a self-photographers dream. Is that a special setting on your camera body, or something to do with the remote you have? Do share please!
    xx

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  34. Very true about the self-graticication aspect! Girl, get yourself a proper tripod, you will love it!
    xx

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  35. I actually took your advice, and went from shooting at f/1.4 to around f/3.2 just to get to know my lens better. Now that I am understanding the "prime" lens better, I am inching my way towards a wider aperture (currently ~f/2.2-1.8). I take most of my photos in bright daylight, so I keep my ISO at 100-200 (to reduce graininess) & prefer a shutter speed of ~200 so that I can capture any movement in sharp focus. I have also recently been forcing myself to finally learn to use the PhotoShop that has been sitting idly on my computer, & learned that a little bit of post-processing can really go far to "clean up" my photography mistakes. Specifically for "sharpening" my photos, I followed this tutorial, & found that the results were subtle but effective!
    xx

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  36. You are too adorable, even when slightly blurry ;)
    xx

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  37. I'll cross my fingers too! I got my T2i camera body for cheaper right when the T3i model came out, so that might be worth stalking :)
    xx

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  38. Rachel,
    Taking those up close detail shots are SO hard on your own, really my only advice is trial and error. I probably take 50 photos for every 1 that makes it into a post for you guys to see. With the remote you can focus on any part of your outfit, so that helps a bit, oh and cropping out the junk that I don't mean to be in the shot helps too! Practice, practice, practice!
    xx

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  39. Thank you Brynn,
    I have become quite the student of photography lately, and seriously learn new things with every photo shoot!
    xx

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  40. Miranda,
    When I first started blogging I looked to the poses of other bloggers that I enjoyed (Kendi of Kendi Everyday & Sydney of The Daybook always have natural poses & are great sources of inspiration to me), and then practiced in front of the camera until I figured out the ones that felt & looked "right" to me. This might be a time when even though you have a boyfriend photographer, you should set your camera to the self-timer mode and "practice" in front of it as it snaps off pictures, that way you won't feel pressure from anyone else watching & you will have physical evidence in the photos as to what works, and what doesn't. Also, the link I included to Megan's blog above talks about poses, and she is the queen!
    xx

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  41. The timer is on the remote that I have. I have a Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3. So far, it's worked really well for me. :)

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  42. Thanks so much for the reply Jess! Yeah I can tend to get a few good shots at about 2.8, if the lighting and everything else is right haha. I'll have to try out that tutorial - I've got Photoshop but haven't used it yet because it's too intimidating! I'll see if this will work on Pixlr :)

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  43. This post is great because my last post I attempted to use a tripod for the first time!! It was such a disaster. That remote is genius!! :)

    xo

    Molly

    sirpaulandcompany.blogspot.com

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  44. I also use a tripod and the best way I've found to get clear pictures is to set the tripod up, put my hand in front of the lens and have the lens go into "trying to focus mode" then I got to my standing spot and press the 2 second timer on my remote - then the lens focuses on you since it's not fixed on a spot already. Does that make sense?

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  45. I so need to invest in a remote. I have a tripod but I'm always trying to beat the timer.

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  46. Wowzers! I may need to hop on this bandwagon, like yesterday! So amazing!! Your pics are phenominal! Found you on SBS and I am now following via GFC!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Adrienne
    http://myblackwhitecolor.blogspot.com

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  47. O!M!G! I have had that same remote for 2 years and never knew it had a switch on the back. You just rocked my world!

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  48. Ha, happy to help! I had mine for a while before discovering its secret too, and my reaction was very similar! Mind. Blown. xx

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  49. I just stumbled upon this post, and laughed my way through it. The story of my blogging life! My husband will actually take some photos, which is nice, but he always manages to snap right as I open my mouth to direct him and remind him to "make sure it's in focus, honey" lol! So I did as you did and got a tripod and do my own 90% of the time.
    You're pictures are fantastic and it helps to have Nashville as your beautiful backdrop.
    You're cheeky and charming and I love it - Keep it up!
    Love,
    Emily
    www.elle-em.com

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  50. Yay for tripods! Boy do I still struggle to get the shots I want with my little set up, but I must say it certainly does feel good when I finally get them! And let's just hope my neighbors don't hear my horrible language from out in the alley way!
    xx

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xx