Monday, December 31, 2012

Excitement is brewing...

Today over on Facebook, I'm going to launch my first contest for a free session. I am so pumped about working for people and sharing images that they'll cherish for a lifetime. Come on over to my facebook page and enter your photo. Rules will be posted there as well.

In other news, I have had my DSLR for a little over 6 months now, and I have come a LONG way. I see lots and lots of improvement all the time, and it's exciting.

What's also exciting is that Jared Polin from is coming to San Francisco this weekend. He will be at Union Square at 4pm and I couldn't be more thrilled to meet him.

It's because of his desire to spread the love of photography and improve the images of amateurs around the world that I have found my true hobby. I can't wait to shake his hand and tell him just that.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Be Merry, Friends.

Be holly.

Be jolly.

Be merry.

Please take a moment this season to think of the families who are incomplete this season. Be a little more grateful for those gathered around your tree than what's under it.
Be warm.

Be caring.

Be generous.

Take time to really hug everyone crossing the threshold of your home. Welcome them with genuine hospitality and grace.

Be grateful.

Be humble.

Be sentimental.

Remember that the intention of the Holiday season is to reflect on the year we have had, to celebrate the Holiday (whichever you choose) and remind us of what's important. It's not the gifts, friends. It's the smiles.

Be cheerful.

Be festive.

Be bright.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Practice Session: Studio Portraits

I attended a portrait photography workshop last weekend and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to experiment further with strobe lighting. It's exciting because you can't tell what an image is going to look like until you press the shutter and the lights all flash in sync and BOOM! A photograph is born.

Caitlin was a great model for us. She was a true professional and very patient while we learned how to properly use the lights.





I might be asking Santa for some lights this year :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

90 Days

I don't know how, but I've made it 3 months without losing interest.  I have a tendency to get really excited about something and then fall off the wagon, so to speak.

This also makes more than 6 months total since I got my DSLR.  I have always had a hard time with work/life balance and having a hobby that was just for me.

I think I've found my "thing".

At the risk of sounding far more philosophical than I actually am, I have to say my heart has found it's happy place in preserving the moments and things that make this life special.

Boy Meets Ocean

I attended a workshop on touring our National and State Parks a few months back, and I think it's high time I start putting that information to good use.  Now that I've passed my "probation period",  I think I feel a road trip coming on...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Contest anyone?

I am considering running a contest for a free portrait session.  Something similar to what other local photographers are doing.

You submit a photo of your family, your dog, your kid, whatever the subject, and whomever's photo gets the most "likes" wins.  The LadyD Photography page gets likes, the winner gets a free portrait session, and hopefully that leads to your friends and family finding out about LadyD Photography for their next session. 

What do you think?  Is it a win-win or do these sorts of things just drive you bananas?

If you give me some feedback, I'll even give you a high five next time I see you. Consider this an advance!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Have you ever thought "I have a D-SLR, now what?"

Fair warning: this is a wordy post. 
Best read when you need to kill some time at work or after the kiddos hit the hay, but preferably not in the loo - that's just gross...

I know that was my first thought and, like many others, I have personally been found guilty of using my D-SLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera) on fully automatic mode. *cringe* I've come a long way since then, but not without the help of others who have blazed the path before me.

You may be considering upgrading from your household compact cameras, receiving D-SLRs for Christmas gifts, or maybe you already own one but don't know what to do with it.  I thought it would be nice to share a couple of my favorite websites to help you get addicted started.

I'd like to share some resources with you that I have found ever so helpful. I want to make it crystal clear that I am not being compensated by any of these resources.  I am recommending them because, after weeding through a LOT of tutorials on YouTube and other crevices of the web, I find them to be the best.

I'll start with my favorite online guru, Jared Polin.  His website can be found at and he also has a YouTube Channel that can be found HERE.  Jared very easy to understand and has hundreds of YouTube videos ranging from camera and lens reviews to understanding ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, etc all without making you feel like a second grader.

Jared has recently published a 3 hour video - Fro Knows Photo: Go Above and Beyond Auto that can be purchased rather inexpensively. He also has a weekly Podcast called RAW Talk, and there are forums available on the website where you can post your photos for critique and ask photography related questions about gear, editing, etc. I have learned the majority of my skills from his website and I continue to learn and grow from it.

I have become a member of several local photography clubs through MeetUp.  You put in your interests and it shows groups in your area that do fun things, like photo walks, workshops, etc.  Most events are free, but there is a charge for others.  The knowledge I have gained by being able to ask real life questions has been invaluable - like "How do I move that little red focus dot on my viewfinder over to where I want to focus?" LIFE CHANGING!

Another great resource is your local Adult Education center or community college.  Unfortunately for me, all of the courses seem to be in the middle of the day when I'm working at my real job.  I am hopeful that someday I'll be able to take a course though.

I think everyone should know how to use their camera, pro or not, to capture the impromptu memories that would otherwise fly away like dandelions in the fall.

I thought it might be fun to post a little  photo set of where I started all the way to where I am now.  Check it out over on my Flickr page. Just click on the first image, press "L" on your keyboard and hit play.