Michelle Bodamer Photography: Mid-week Photo Tips and Cookies!

We are halfway through the week and I thought this would be a great opportunity to write a blog post with tips for anyone looking to improve their photography!

Today was a long day, but I came home, lit some candles, turned on some music and went to work baking! I am a confessed stress/comfort baker---it's true! I like to bake cookies, cakes, brownies, anything sweet to make the house smell amazing. I don't even necessarily eat what I bake (I am not a huge cake fan) but rather share it with interested family and friends. Tonight? Mint chocolate chip cookies! Not only will I share my cookie photos with you, I'll share some of my photo tips with you too!

Because it was late at night with no access to natural light, I used a speedlite flash on my camera---not the flash that pops up automatically which can create photographs that are too bright or wash out the subject of the photograph. I mounted my flash, and then I adjusted it so that the light would aim up at the ceiling and then shot my photograph. I bounced the light off the ceiling so that I could get a more natural looking subject. I did not want harsh shadows on the cookies because I felt it would make them look unappealing. If you have access to an external flash unit then give something like this a try the next time you are photographing a still life. If you do not have access to one, try borrowing one from a friend or see if you can find one to use, this is a fun exercise to try!

Another interesting thing to practice is your composition. You always want to try to think of new and creative ways to photograph subjects. A helpful guideline to keep in mind is the rule of thirds. Consider thinking of your composition as being broken up into nine sections, or three horizontal sections and three vertical sections. Like this...

You want to try experimenting with shooting your subject off the center of the frame. Putting your subject in the center of the frame can often make for a predictable composition. If you try putting your subject a third of the way in from the sides of your composition or a third of the way in from the top or bottom, you may be surprised by the difference it makes overall. In the following photograph of the cookies, you can see that the main cookie I was photographing is positioned a third of the way in from the left, and the edge of the cookies stacked behind it, line up a third of the way in from the right. The cookies in the foreground that are intentially blurred, are aligned at the bottom third of the photograph.

There are so many ideas, tips, and tricks you can try with photography, but these are some fun things to try the next time you are shooting. Get out there and experiment, or even at the next event with friends and family give it a try!

I have to say, with all of this cold weather it was nice to turn on the oven tonight and bake, and the house smelled FANTASTIC. For anyone who is wondering about the recipe behind this... I had my camera set to 800 ISO, and 1/60 of a second at f2.8.

Stay warm everyone and enjoy!


PS: Want to see more photography tips on the blog? Send me your questions! If you have a question, stick it in the comments section of this post and if we have enough people interested in the same subject I can do a blog post about that topic. BONUS: If you try one of the tips in this post, leave a comment to let me know how things turned out, have fun!