Hi there!

Welcome to my blog. I love to share recent sessions and other information from time to time. Take your time to browse around. If you like what you see, I’d love to visit with you! You can contact me here through my website or via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The Loerwald Family – San Antonio Family Photographer

The Loerwald Family – San Antonio Family Photographer

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We all know couples that would be amazing parents – they just have to be given the opportunity. When it finally happens for them, we all celebrate with them and cry our own tears of joy! For me, one of those sweet families is the Loerwald’s. I’ve had the honor of knowing the Loerwald Family for over 10 years. I first met Michelle when she was Hudson’s 2nd grade teacher. 3 years later, she was Carson’s 3rd grade teacher. She is one of the most talented, creative, and hardest working teachers I’ve ever known. She is so great with all of her students and goes above and beyond daily for them and their families.

Michelle and Casey are a beautiful and fun couple, and I have loved watching their love grow over the years I’ve known them. I’ve even had the pleasure of photographing them for their anniversary a few years ago, and yesterday, November 19 was their 12th anniversary!

(Happy anniversary, you guys!!)

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Loerwald Family San Antonio Family Photographer, San Antonio Newborn Photographer, San Antonio lifestyle photographer, adoption, National Adoption Month

Meant to be a Mom

I knew from the moment I met Michelle that she was meant to be a mom and that she would be a fabulous one. She’s naturally at ease with children and has such a youthful spirit! For most of the time I have known her and Casey, I knew they were trying to have a baby. Michelle struggled with infertility for many years, and they eventually started the adoption process.

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In July of 2017, their lives changed forever. A birth mom had read their story and picked them as prospective adoptive parents for her soon to be born son. Michelle says from that moment it was a whirlwind of activity as they prepared for their son to be born!

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Loerwald Family San Antonio Family Photographer, San Antonio Newborn Photographer, San Antonio lifestyle photographer, adoption, National Adoption Month

Cy’s Arrival

Right after Michelle started a new teaching position in a brand new school district, they got the call they had been waiting for – their son was making his debut. Michelle and Casey left immediately so that they could be present for the birth of their new baby boy. Cy Joseph made his debut on August 21, 2017.

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Friends and family of Michelle and Casey were ecstatic to hear their news, because we’ve watched and prayed for them over the years that they would be blessed with a child. To see them with Cy is a beautiful sight. Michelle and Casey are so natural as a mommy and daddy that it is clear that adopting Cy is what God intended for them.

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November is National Adoption Month. My own family was blessed by adoption and gave me two brothers many years ago. Adoption is a beautiful gift, and I am so honored and thankful that the Loerwald’s had me be a part of their story.

If you are interested in booking your own newborn lifestyle session or family session, I would love to hear from you! Contact me here for information. To join my VIP list and download your complementary Family Welcome Guide, click here.

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Morgan – San Antonio Senior Photographer

Morgan – San Antonio Senior Photographer

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As a San Antonio Senior Photographer, I know I say it a lot, but I LOVED MORGAN’S SESSION!!!! It is true, though, I adore each of my seniors, and Morgan is no exception. Working with seniors is such a joy and a huge blessing for me. I love watching them as their comfort and confidence in front of my lens grow during their session. I love to work with them plan their session and see their vision come to life in their images. I love to see the faces of my seniors and their loved ones as they see their images for the first time. The whole process is so fulfilling and meaningful for me!

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Morgan

Morgan is part of my 2018 PCP Senior Team. She is a senior at Clark High School and is a Varsity cheerleader. She loves fashion and had a clear vision of what she wanted from her senior session. She wanted a beautiful, natural area, water, and gorgeous tall golden grass. During her consultation, we decided on the perfect location, discussed her clothing ideas, then she and her mom went to work perfectly styling her looks for her shoot. Morgan’s hair and makeup were done to perfection by Jax and Olivia at Jax Studio.

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Morgan’s Session

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Morgan chose Cibolo Nature Center for her session, because it checked all the boxes for what she wanted in a location! The light filtering through the oak and cypress trees was beautiful, and I loved the way the grass looked in the evening sun!

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Morgan is a natural when it comes to fashion and styling. Every outfit she chose to wear for her shoot fit the vibe she wanted. My personal favorites were her green dress and her white top and denim skirt (and the hat,of course!) she rocked that outfit. (I wish I could look great in a hat. Not happening for me, though!)

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Book Your Senior Session!!

Are you ready to put your vision into action? I can help you make it happen. Contact me here  to schedule your complementary consultation. My fall dates are nearly full, so my January – February calendar is now open! To learn more about the PCP Senior Experience, join my VIP list and download your Complementary Senior Guide here.

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Demi’s Senior Session – San Antonio Senior Photographer

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Demi’s senior session was so much fun! Hot, but fun! Demi is a fun, sweet senior with a 1000-watt smile. She is always smiling and kind. Demi attends Robert E Lee High School and is varsity cheer captain. She also volunteers as a cheer coach and enjoys tubing, kayaking and paddle boarding. I am so happy to have her as part of my 2018 PCP Senior Team. She will be a fabulous representative this year! To find out more about the 2018 PCP Senior Team, click here.

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Demi’s Senior Session

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Demi’s vision for her session was full of color and San Antonio style! We used La Villita, the Riverwalk and Alamo Plaza as her session’s backdrops. Demi’s wardrobe choices fit her style and personality perfectly! We began with dresses with vibrant color and prints, then finished her session with a tribute to her dad who was a police officer killed in the line of duty 2 years ago. Demi wanted to incorporate the Thin Blue Line flag to honor her dad. It was a beautiful tribute.

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To add to Demi’s perfect style, her hair and makeup were done by the fabulous team of Jax and Olivia at Jax Studio. They are hands-down the best in town at what they do and it shows in Demi’s flawless look. Although it was over 100 degrees the day of Demi’s session, you’d never know it! From beginning to end, Demi was absolute perfection.

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It’s your turn!!

What is your senior session vision? The PCP Senior Experience is the perfect way to realize that vision. We walk together from booking and consultation, to session, to ordering your products and hand delivery. Your session is designed around you, your ideas, and your style. Your PCP Senior images will be ones you can use even beyond high school for applications, sorority rush, organizations, and portfolios.

If you’re ready to find out more about PCP Seniors, Contact me here.

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PCP Seniors Beach Session

PCP Seniors Beach Session

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The 2018 PCP Senior Team is such a special group. They are my largest group of seniors yet, and I am excited for you to learn more about them. They represent high schools from San Antonio and the surrounding area and are such a FUN group to work with! Recently, we headed to the beach for a destination team shoot. our PCP Seniors Beach Session was our first destination shoot with hopefully more to come in the future!

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I absolutely love these seniors! Some of them I’ve the pleasure of knowing for many years – one since elementary school! Part of why this year is so special is because one of them is mine. Hudson is part of my senior team this year, and that is just a little surreal! It is such a pleasure to work with this incredible group of young people. They are athletes, scholars, cheerleaders, and all love their schools.

PCP Seniors Beach Session

We were excited to collaborate with Cinnamon Shore on Mustang Island. Cinnamon Shore is a gorgeous beach side community. I always feel relaxed the moment I arrive! Beautiful homes, gorgeous pools and lagoons, tons of events, and beautiful sunsets make Cinnamon Shore a perfect getaway!

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The PCP Beach Session was the first time that the team was all together. Although several of them already knew each other, some did not, yet they clicked really well and had a great time together. To meet the 2018 PCP Senior Team, click here. As members of the 2018 PCP Senior Team, they represent Pagette Callender Photography, get session discounts, referral bonuses, and participation in at least one group shoot in addition to their individual session.

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The goal for session styling was based around blues and greens and summery styles of sundresses, shorts, cute tops, and jumpers. The team’s outfits were perfect and colorful. Beach means sandy toes, so we didn’t bother with shoes!

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Now Booking Fall Senior Sessions

What do you envision for your senior session experience? I will help you fulfill your vision with a session, location, and styling that reflects your style and personality. I have a few fall dates remaining on my calendar and I’d love for your session to be one of them! Contact me for more information.

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The Who I Am Project

Growing up is hard to do…..

I’m sure you remember the tween and early teen years.
For me, this was a time of braces, permed hair, shoulder pads (ugh), glasses that allowed me to see the chalkboard, and the oh-so-fabulous official middle school pictures. I felt like the opposite of beautiful. I was lacking in self-confidence and in belief of who I could become. Looking back at those images of me now, I see so much there – so much beauty, so much ability. I wish I could go back and give Tween Me a hug and show her how great she really was, let her know that everything was going to be okay, and to not worry so much.

As a mom and San Antonio family photographer, I see that this age range often gets overlooked – that Tween age that starts around 9 until hitting the official 1-3…and teenager-hood. This time of life is also a huge transition, as I’m sure we can all remember. It can be confusing, and self-confidence and self-image can get shaky.

The Who I Am Project and Tween sessions

I am starting The Who I Am Project in tandem with Tween sessions to fill in the forgotten photo years while enriching the lives of girls up to 13 years old. I’m making it my personal mission to capture those lost preteen and early teen years. The main goal is to make pre-teens look and feel beautiful and be confident in who they are.

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Who I’m looking for

As I begin these sessions, I am looking for 5-10 female models for the photography project, ages 10-13. I will ask the model, their parents, grandparents, and maybe their coach a few questions, then combine the text and photographs to create one compelling piece of art.
If someone surprised you with 10 or more positive quotes about you, how would you feel? Amazing, I’m sure, and that is what I am doing. Well, not for you but for your awesome 10-13 year old.

Why The Who I Am Project?

I want to capture the personality of these tweens and new teens and record the last stage of their childhood before they become young ladies. I want them to realize their true beauty so that they are confident in themselves approaching and during middle school. Imagine the impact a single beautiful image can do for your child’s self-image.

How to participate or nominate a friend

Please respond by filling out the contact form HERE by Friday, August 11th if you are interested in having your child participate in this project or if you would like to nominate a friend or family member of yours that you think would be perfect for this. During this kick-off period, please nominate people you think would enjoy the boutique experience I provide. During this model-search kick-off, the session itself is complimentary and includes $50 in product credit (a total $250 value). No minimum purchase is required. My goal is to create a gorgeous group of photos you’ll love and that truly show your child’s spirit and soul! Many people like to use these photos as birthday, Mothers Day, Valentine’s Day and “just because” gifts for their daughter. My Tween/Early Teen portrait collections start at $399.

Maile’s Senior Session

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Maile’s Senior Session was so fun and unique! Maile called me to discuss her session and told me it was a surprise for her mom. That was a first. It was exciting to plan and work with Maile because she had such great ideas and knew exactly what she wanted. Maile is an amazing young woman. She worked two jobs during her senior year and is very motivated to succeed as she begins her college life this fall.

Maile’s Senior Session

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Maile wanted to express her inner horse-loving-country-girl. She is all about boots, the country, and animals of all sorts, but especially horses. She chose to have her session at Tejas Rodeo Company. This was my first time to use Tejas Rodeo and it was so much fun! I loved the wide open spaces, the rodeo arena and of course, the horses!

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On the day of our session, Maile had her hair and makeup done to perfection by Jax Studio, then she and her grandfather met me for the shoot. Her grandfather was such a great sport out in the heat and was so sweet to support Maile and help her with the surprise for her mom.

Maile invited her mom to her Reveal Night (and her grandfather, too). Mom got teary as she watched the slideshow video of Maile’s session. She was so surprised and loved every picture!

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Maile’s Next Chapter

Maile just graduated from MacArthur HS and will be attending Texas State in the fall. Congratulations, Maile, on your graduation! I am so excited to see the fabulous things you do in your future.

Are you a Class of 2018 Senior??

My love is serving high school and college seniors and their families! If you are looking for a senior photographer that can provide you with a premium and personalized experience from consultation to product delivery, I would love to visit with you and answer your questions. Contact me here. To receive your complimentary Senior Welcome Guide, click here.

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What’s in My Camera Bag

What's in my Camera Bag, Photography class, learning your camera, camera class, Photography, learning your camera, camera lenses

What’s in my camera bag? I get asked about my lenses all the time. What are my favorites and what’s the best lens for ….. Compared to some photographers, my collection is small. I have 5 lenses in total. One is a kit lens that I never use anymore (except to take this picture), Canon EFS 18-55mm f/3.5. I won’t talk about that one, but my others are all useful and my go-to for different shooting situations. I certainly have a wish list of lenses and other equipment, but the lenses I have get the job done!

What’s in my camera bag?

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L:  This is my everyday go-to lens. This is what is on my camera for most of my personal shooting – vacations, school events, and other everyday needs. I also use it for shooting events. The L series lenses are pricey, but are definitely worth saving for. This lens is fast, sharp, well built, and versatile. It is a little heavy, but you get used to it. It has been one of the best lens purchases I’ve made!

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Honey and Gramps with the grand boys – Christmas 2016 – 24-70mm f/2.8

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8: I love this lens! It is my favorite of my 2 portrait lenses. I love the bokeh (blurry background) it creates. It’s small and lightweight, and as far as lenses go, very reasonably priced! I love the focus speed and sharpness I get from this lens. It isn’t part of the Canon L series, but my research convinced me to go with the 85 f/1.8 over the much more expensive f/1.2.

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Senior Session – 85mm f/1.8

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4: I love this lens too! It’s great in lower light situations because of the 1.4 focal length. It’s a great portrait lens, is lightweight and inexpensive. This and the 85mm are the two lenses I use exclusively for portraits.

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Teen Session 50mm f/1.4

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L: My go to for my boys’ sports! Both my boys play football, and one swims while the other plays basketball and tennis. Therefore, I shoot a lot of sports! I rented this lens many times before I could save up to buy it. I love that this lens is fast, sharp, and perfect for action shooting. The only learning curves (not even negatives) were that I had to learn to keep the camera very still on long focal lengths (200mm) because of camera shake. This occurs because of the weight and size of the lens. A great way to avoid this is by using a monopod or bracing you camera against something steady.

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Carson #32 – ball carrier – 70-200mm f/2.8

A few tips..

Invest in good “glass”. Many years ago a photography instructor gave me the best piece of advice about camera equipment. Invest in your glass (lenses). If you have a DSLR, but it is an entry level body with a cropped sensor (such as a Canon Rebels or Nikon DX Series), buy lenses for full frame cameras, if you have the option. Most cropped sensor bodies are compatible with full frame lenses. The cropped sensor will change the focal length some, but they will be a better long term purchase. By investing in better lenses you have the opportunity to learn more about technique and shooting. Having the latest and greatest camera body is a great goal, but not the most important purchase, in my humble opinion!

What is the best lens for you? That’s a personal question. Are you looking for a versatile, daily use lens? Are you looking for a longer focal length to use from the stands at sporting events? Or, are you wanting to try a prime lens? When lens shopping, this is the first thing you need to determine.

Do your research. Once you know of a specific type of lens you’re searching for, look at reviews for not only your camera’s brand of lenses, but competitor brands, as well. Sigma and Tamron make some fabulous lenses that are often as good as Canon and Nikkor, but at a lower price. One of my favorite lenses that I used to own was made by Tamron. Go to a camera store and play with lenses, ask questions, compare, and rent one to test out for a weekend.

Look for deals. There are great and reputable sites to purchase used equipment. Both of my L series lenses I purchased used, and they are fabulous. It’s a great way to get great equipment at a considerable savings. Lens rental companies, Canon and Nikon, and online camera equipment stores all sell refurbished equipment.

Ready to learn more??

What are your questions about camera lenses? Comment below or contact me with your questions! Want to learn more? I will be hosting a Basic Photography Class this summer, so be sure to sign up for PCP emails for priority notifications and receive our complimentary Family Photography Welcome Guide as our gift.

 

Senior Parent Bucket List

It’s official. Wayne and I are the parents of a high school senior. The mix of emotions is incredible. I am excited, terrified, and overwhelmed – all at the same time! There are tests, college visits and applications, and lots of lasts {and firsts!}. And for me, I know there will lots of tears. I’ve already warned Wayne and Hudson. This unique time has made me start thinking about how we can make this very busy and exciting year even more special. Hence the Senior Parent Bucket List was created.

The Senior Parent Bucket List

  1. Take a special family trip. – Whether this is a weekend getaway to a favorite place or a European vacation, make sure it’s a place that you and your senior (and other kids) can do activities that you can all enjoy as a family. Making memories is the goal!
  2. Make a photo book. – Take lots of pictures – with your phone or big camera. Pull together images from senior year or from all four years. There so many great online services for making albums. Add stories and journal about the images in the book to make it something that your senior will cherish for years to come.
  3. Professional Senior Portraits. – This is an investment that your won’t regret. It reduces your stress about image quality, getting grad cards done, getting portraits made for family, etc. Also, if your senior plans to rush for a Greek sorority or fraternity or join other campus organizations, you can use their senior portraits for their head shots/ portfolio. Done and done. Guess what! I can help you with that!
  4. Go on dates with your senior. – Mom or dad – go out with your senior for some one on one time for dinner or an activity. Engage him or her in conversation, ask questions and listen to what they have to say. Cherish those few moments you can share free from distractions.
    Here come the tears…
  5. Gather Recipes. – Make a notebook of your senior’s favorite recipes as well as some basic recipes and cooking tips. Yes, most of our college freshman will be living the dorm life, but most dorms have kitchens so that kids can share a home cooked meal with friends on occasion.
  6. Professional family portraits. – I hear so often from my senior parents about how it’s been years since their last family portraits. Take the time and have them done. It will be harder once they leave the nest to align the stars in order to work in a family session!
  7. Give them more time with friends. – Chances are, your senior and his or her friends will be scattered late next summer as they all head off to different schools, programs, other opportunities. This is so hard because we want so much to hoard those precious moments with our seniors, but they also need their friends.
  8. Have the the gang over. Often. – Our boys know that we always like having their friends over. I am happy to feed them and give them time to hang out and be together. Feed the friends, feed the team, whatever. Embrace the noise, chaos and mess because it will all be gone too soon!
    Where are my tissues???
  9. Teach life basics. – We started several summers ago with this. My boys do laundry kitchen and bathroom cleaning, cooking, and Hudson started monthly budgeting a couple of years ago. Think about all the things your senior will have to do on their own.  We’re pushing our birdies out of the nest. We want them to be successful, and we want them to come back to visit – not to stay….
  10. Don’t let the college search process make you crazy. – I know, easier said than done. I’ve already had a few moments of wigging out over sticker shock. Make a list and do research with your senior. Give them realistic options for schools and boundaries. “No son, we will not foot the bill for a $40K+/year school without you getting scholarships and making the price more affordable.” Did that sentence sound familiar? It’s heard a lot at our house. Hudson knows he has to do his part in school, and needs to be open to lots of college options. And yes, he will be applying for lots and lots of scholarships and will be working on his test scores. Here are some scholarship sites we have begun to look at: JLV College Counseling, Scholly, and Scholarships.com. I know that great scholarships can be hard to come by, but there’s no chance if you don’t apply! I even found this great checklist from Organized31 – you can download it directly from their site!
  11. Hug them often. – Steal a hug as often as you can! Remind your senior often how crazy your are about him/her.
           Now I’m bawling…..

I can hardly get words out when I’m talking about our year to come. Anyone who knows me will tell you what a sap I am! I am so excited and proud of Hudson, but I am no where near ready to have him leave for college! In the mean time, I will cherish every moment, try to complete my Senior Parent Bucket List, buy lots of Kleenex, and hug my Hudson.

What’s on you Senior Parent Bucket List? Please leave your comment telling me how you plan to enjoy your child’s senior year!

How can I help??

I am currently booking Class of 2017 Senior Sessions for summer and fall! Contact me and Together we can plan an unforgettable session for your senior.

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Hudson, Class of 2018, International School of the Americas

Photography Basics – Understanding Camera Modes

This week’s topic is Photography Basics – Understanding Camera Modes. How many have you tried to use? Anything other than full Auto? I hope so! If not, your challenge after reading this is to GO PLAY WITH YOUR CAMERA! You might not be ready for full Manual Mode – my personal fave – but I want you to explore all those wonderful things your camera can do.

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Nikon Shooting Modes

Understanding Camera Modes

When I say camera modes, I am talking about that nifty dial on the top of your camera. While every camera is different, the settings are similar. Even if you shoot with a point and shoot compact camera, your camera will still offer some of these modes. I won’t cover all, but we will discuss a few of the most used modes, the benefits, and disadvantages of their settings.

Automatic Camera Modes

Auto modes are the modes that do all of the thinking for you. This can be good and bad, as the setting the camera chooses may  or may not be right for the shot. If you are a novice, they are a good place to start, but the more you learn, you’ll better understand the shortfalls of only using automatic modes. Here’s a few of the most popular Auto Modes.

  • Auto: In this mode, the camera does all the thinking. It analyzes the scene and chooses the best settings. Auto mode produces very basic images since it doesn’t allow for any creative adjustments. This may be shown on your dial by a green square or a camera icon
  • Portrait: The camera adjusts the aperture (makes it wider) so that the background is more blurry. The disadvantage is that it is best for images of an individual subject. Often identified on your dial by a profile image.
  • Sports:  Sets a faster shutter speed to freeze action. The flash typically will not fire in this mode. Running man on dial.
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Canon Shooting Modes

Creative Camera Modes

Creative modes give you more flexibility in your photography. If you are at the point that youwant to experiment more with your photography, then try out the creative modes.

  • Program: Camera controls aperture and shutter speed, but allows you to adjust white balance, ISO, and flash use. The disadvantage is that you may end up with blurry images since you cannot adjust the shutter speed. This mode is usually represented by a ‘P’ on your dial. I would suggest you avoid this one…..
  • Shutter Priority: (TV – on Canon) – You set your shutter speed and the camera sets the aperture. This can be useful for shooting moving subjects, but I haven’t found it to be very useful.
  • Aperture Priority: You get to set the aperture and the ISO in Aperture Priority Mode. This is useful when you want to have some control over your depth of field (DOF). If you want a shallow DOF, you choose a large aperture – like f/1.4. Remember that shallow DOF gives you the really blurry background. The camera selects your shutter speed so that your image is properly exposed. **This is my favorite of the semi-manual modes because I think it’s the most useful.
  • Manual Mode: I know this mode seems completely out of reach and intimidating, but it allows you the utmost creativity! You choose all of your settings – ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture and use your camera’s meter in the viewfinder to determine the settings you want. When you have time to play, start trying to use Manual mode. You can’t mess anything up by playing – if it doesn’t work, just delete the image and try again!

Understanding camera modes and when to use them will help you start to improve your photography immediately! Bottom line – play with your camera. Try out the settings, find tutorials online. You won’t hurt your camera. You might have some overexposed or underexposed images, some blurry and out of focus images, but that’s a starting point! Once you understand the basics, you can begin to expand your creativity and be your family’s official photographer!

What’s Next??

What are your questions about camera modes? Comment below or contact me with your frustrations and success stories! Want to learn more? I will be hosting a Basic Photography Class this summer, so be sure to sign up for PCP emails for priority notifications and receive our complimentary Family Photography Welcome Guide as our gift.

Griffin’s Senior Session – Austin Senior Photographer

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As a San Antonio and Austin Senior Photographer, Griffin’s senior session was very special for me. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Griffin’s mom and dad, Valeria and Craig, for well over 25 years. When Valerie called and asked me to be Griffin’s photographer, I was over the moon. One, I was photographing an old friend’s awesome kid, and two, I got to work with a great guy who was totally engaged in his senior session! Today, Griffin just finished his last day as a senior at Anderson High School in Austin. He is a smart, multi-talented, and athletic young man with a bright future. He is a swimmer, plays water polo, and is a vocal performer who has excelled in choir and musical theater. In honor of Griffin’s last day in high school, I’m celebrating him and his fun session!

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Griffin’s Senior Session

Griffin’s session was all about him. His swimming and many accomplishments, his Jeep, and his Austin neighborhood. We started with swimming and water polo shots at his home. Being a swim mom, this was perfect for me. The ideas can be endless! We then Next, we drove down to a park near the Tyler’s home to showcase Griffin with his Jeep and his neighborhood of Northwest Austin. SO. FUN. We just kept shooting until we ran out of light! After the session, I had the roughest time choosing the best images that I knew Griffin and his parents would adore. They were all great!

Griffin’s Next Adventure

Congratulations are in order for Griffin, who will be swimming for and attending Colorado College in the fall. I will be praying for Griffin, Valerie and Craig – that they will enjoy every moment as they start this next adventure.

Now booking Class of 2018 Seniors

I love photographing senior guys. Guys – you need a senior photographer who will help you showcase you and what you love. Contact me today and let’s talk about the possibilities!

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