Category Archives: Personal

Tips for better iPhone photos | Louisville, KY Photographer

Every trip or family event I struggle with the decision on which memory capturing device to take. My heavy professional DSLR, my little entry level DSLR, my point n shoot, or my iPhone. I recently took a mini family vacation to Kings Island and once again found myself struggling with which device to bring. While I LOVE the results I get with my DSLRs, I decided to only take my iPhone for pictures this time. I wanted to travel light and be able to quickly take a picture and pocket my phone so I could enjoy time with my family.

Here are a few tricks and tips I’ve learned over the years with using an iPhone to get great results and not just a snapshot of your family!

1) Treat it as you would a DSLR and set up the shot. This means looking for good lighting, background distractions and composing the image. If good lighting isn’t available in the spot you want to get a picture, check back later to see if the light is better!
Our first shot of the day in this spot (see end of the post) was taken early morning during bright sunlight. When we came back later in the evening, the lighting was a lot less harsh and I was able to get this image of my kids. There wasn’t a line of people when we came back, so I was able to pull my kids away from the designated spot so I could get the entire tower in the image AND have them be a larger part of the image too. The closer to your subject, the more space they’ll take up in the image.

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2) Tap the screen over the subject to tell your iPhone where to focus + get exposure. If the image is still too dark, after tapping drag your finger up or down the screen to adjust the brightness.

Also, you can use the focus + exposure lock feature. If you hold your finger on the screen over the subject, the focus and exposure will lock, you can then move around the phone a little to compose the image how you’d like it to be without having to adjust the brightness again.

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Left image: iPhone automatically selected the exposure
Right image: I adjusted the brightness by sliding my finger up after tapping the image to increase the brightness.

 

3) Use a technique called “panning” to get clear pictures of moving subjects. It’s a simple technique that relies heavily on timing, so it may take a few tries. All you need to do is follow along the movement of your subject with your camera while you take the picture.

When there’s a lot of light, you might not need to use panning as the shutter speed the camera selects will be enough to stop the motion. However, in low light, it can be a great asset! I didn’t need to use it while my kids were on the swing this time (left image). But, years ago I used panning to get a shot of my family on a similar ride that wasn’t a complete blur (right image).

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4) Change your angle. You can completely change the feel of an image by changing your viewing angle. Taking pictures of multiple angles also helps tell the story of your adventures!

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Don’t be afraid of trying new angles to get the shot. For the right Eiffel Tower image, I was basically on the ground, with my phone upside down, angled up so that I could get the top of the tower in the picture while my kids played around. I’m certain I looked a little crazy down there, but it was worth it.

 

5) Zoom in. When my kids rode this roller coaster, I positioned myself to where I could zoom in and out to capture the whole thing. This allowed me to get a variety of images to show their experience and capture their expressions as they got closer to me.

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Side note: When you want to take a detail shot of something very up close, zoom in! This works great for pictures of flowers, bugs, jewelry, etc.

 

6) Turn off the flash. When it’s getting dark, use natural light to capture the emotion and avoid the “deer in headlights” look.
For the left image there was light from a ride to the left, helping illuminate my family while allowing the glow from the glow sticks to take precedence. The middle image I took during the fireworks show. I loved my daughters little hands holding her glow wand. For the right image I looked around for an area with a lot of light to get our family picture. The nearby carousel was the perfect light source! So we walked over and asked a stranger to take our picture with us facing the light.

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7) Act natural and capture your surroundings. When taking pictures of your family or kids, do not ask them to look and smile for every picture. They will quickly tire of that. Instead, try capturing them in the moment. Or you could take a picture of your surroundings to capture what they saw. This will tell the story of your trip so much more than a “say cheese” picture.

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8) Don’t be afraid to process iPhone images. When  you get home and you’re a tiny bit disappointed that an image is a little dark, do not despair! Pull the image into the editing software of your choice (I LOVE Lightroom) and polish off the image a little as needed.

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Ahhh, much better. Just had to increase the exposure a little and brighten the shadows. If you practice tip #2 then you wouldn’t need to do this!

I also loved the image of my kids in front of the eiffel tower so much, but there were a lot of distractions with people passing by. If you have kids, you might know that their patience has a limit when it comes to pictures. Thankfully I snapped a few and was able to merge some together to get a cleaner shot that is now a framer.

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What was your favorite tip? Do you have any other tips you’ve learned? Sound off in the comments!

Also posted in Adults, Blog, Children, Family

Clickin Walk | Louisville, KY Photography

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Mark your calendars! This year’s Clickin Walk is coming up soon!! It will be April 26th at 3pm!

Sign up for this FREE event and join local photographers on a photo walk around downtown Louisville! All skill levels are encouraged to come! From Hobbyist to Pro, we will love to have you walk with us!
After the walk, we’ll head across the river to Rocky’s for dinner and the opportunity to capture the Louisville Skyline from Indiana!

To sign up for the Clickin Walk, head on over to the Clickin Moms website: http://www.clickinmoms.com/clickinwalk/clickinwalk-louisville/

Louisville KY | Photo Walk | Michelle Kersey Photography

Louisville KY | Photo Walk | Michelle Kersey Photography

Louisville KY | Photo Walk | Michelle Kersey Photography

Also posted in Adults, Blog

Jim Beam Distillery Tour | Louisville, KY

A couple years ago I spent a few days at Jim Beam Distillery photographing decanters for a project they were working on. Over the course of the photoshoot I met and worked with some awesome and extremely friendly people. I even got to meet Fred Noe himself! Three days and over a thousand decanters later, I left Jim Beam feeling like family. Everyone there is just so warm and welcoming.

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On a recent trip back with family I got to take the full distillery tour and was SO EXCITED to see the decanter room. Glass cases were filled with the decanters I photographed. Large monitors showcased each individual decanter. And, a gorgeous mosaic mural made from the images wrapped around the room. It wasn’t until we had moved on to the next part of the tour that we looked at the pictures and could really appreciate all the different aspects of the mural. Here are some of my favorite shots from the tour…

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(Thanks to my hubby for snapping a picture of ME in the decanter room!)
The whole experience from start to finish has just been so amazing. There are no words to describe how AWESOME it feels to see your images plastered over an entire room. So, if you find yourself looking for something fun to do, you better go take the Jim Beam tour… and tell me which decanter is your favorite! Mine is easily the world globe… or maybe the chainsaw. They’re all so unique and cool, you have to go see them in person!

Also posted in Blog

Blog Circle Saturdays | Letter’s to our Sons

I am part of a blog circle with some amazingly talented ladies. Each month we’ll post images and a letter to our sons and at the end of my letter there is a link for you to follow to te next photographers blog. 

 

My lil Cam man,

There’s something you should know. You are amazing. You put 110% into everything you do. You are just full of laughter and love on a daily basis and you make me so proud to be your mama. I enjoy every moment of our daily life together, from the mundane days where we just play outside with chalk to the busiest of days where we’re running around from activity to activity.

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Through it all you keep your spirits up and are such a bright light in my life. Baby, you’re a FIREWORK!!!

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We had such a BLAST this July!! We started the month celebrating our nations independence at home. We grilled out as a family. We threw SNAPS at each others feet. We watched fireworks. Our neighbors gave us quite the front row seats this year! We just sat at the top of our driveway lighting sparkler after sparkler and enjoyed the view. Watching you experience things will always be one of my favorite moments in life.

We really had quite the busy month. What else is new, right? You had swimming lessons again this year, where you massively surpassed my expectations! We don’t get to practice swimming that much, so I was very impressed when you held your own and quickly picked up where you left off last year with swimming. You learned new strokes and breathing techniques. I don’t think I need to worry about you in the pool anymore. You are an official swimmer. You are afraid of going into the deep end, though I won’t complain about that. 😉 You enjoy being in the pool now… and I don’t have to hold onto you. We can just play, dive, swim and have a good time. Win. Win. Win.

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Another fun memory making moment last month was a family day we had! For a few months you’ve been asking to paint a plate like mommy and daddy did. So, we made a big family day of it and we all painted something at Louisville Stoneware. There was no surprise when you saw the tiger stamp on the wall and decided upon a blue tiger for your plate. You did such a fantastic job on your plate and you got creative and added grass and a sun to make the whole scene. your creative mind is so wonderful, I love encouraging you use it!

 

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Goodness, your faces are just so wonderful. You are a constant source of joy for me with each face you give me. :) Oh, and that last picture reminds me… you lost your TWO front teeth this past month!! Woo hoo! We did have to make a visit to the dentist to get one out. You really are NOT a fan of having your teeth removed by anyone. You much prefer them to fall out on their own. You hate it when daddy or I even wiggle them. You’ve lost 5 baby teeth now, 15 more to go. Hopefully one day you will get used to the process and let mommy or daddy help get those teeth out! Truth be told though, I hated the process too. Just know, I’m in your corner always buddy. Doing what is best for you.

I’m going to keep it pretty short this month. (kinda short?!) Just know that I think you’re pretty amazing with all that you do and who you are. Thank you for such an awesome month little man. You’re the best and I’m going to miss you when school starts back!!
Love always,
Mommy

 

Follow the blog circle around by reading Brooke’s letter to her sons!

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Blog Circle Saturdays | Letter’s to our Sons

I am part of a blog circle with some amazingly talented ladies. Each month we’ll post images and a letter to our sons and at the end of my letter there is a link for you to follow to te next photographers blog. 

My little buddy….

Whoa… what a busy month that was!!! I have so much to say and so much to show, that this will probably be a pretty long letter…

The first part of June I was taking a workshop through Clickin Moms called Capturing Joy. You were the subject many weeks and I am grateful for all the joyful images I have of you. One week my assignment was to get a self portrait with you. I loved this assignment because I love to be in pictures with you, so when I’m gone… you will see that I was there too and not just the mom behind the camera. These are some of my favorite images with you…

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The weather was really nice, and with school being out for the summer we had many late nights. I loved every minute of our time hanging outside until well after the sun went down. Watching you practice basketball and riding your scooter at night will be one of my fondest memories. I love that summer allows us more quality time together. More chill time. I’ve missed hanging with you my little buddy this past year! Summer will become more and more important. With each passing year you will get older, have more friends, and want to be around me less. But, I hope I continue to get the snuggles and love that you so freely give me still.

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We ended up taking an impromptu vacation in the middle of June. We don’t get to take vacations often, or do big extravagant ones. But, this year, we splurged. We went to the beach for a couple days (Daytona to be exact.) You loved the beach, playing in the sand, jumping waves, and just having a fun time.

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After a couple days at the beach your dad and I had a surprise for you! We were going to Disney! We really wanted you to experience the magic of Disney while you were still young enough for it to feel magical. And, boy was it! You were grinning so much during our time there. You loved all the Princesses (which I was worried you’d get bored with, but you enjoyed talking to each one!) You HATED roller coasters. Literally cried the entire 3o seconds of the two tiny ones we went on. (Your sister loved the roller coasters BTW… sorry you were tortured for her pleasure.)

And you LOVED the parades! Even though it was 2000 degrees sitting there!

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Another fun memory is from our first day, at Animal Kingdom, where you picked out your souvenir… a stuffed animal (or “Pal” as you call them) that you named Leopard. He went everywhere with us and the first night, you didn’t even want to sleep with Blue Tiger. Just Leopard. That was huge as you’ve not slept with Blue Tiger twice in the past three years.

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That day we also met Pocahauntas. After our picture with her, we hung nearby looking at animals and when she was about to leave, she came by, and sneak attacked you with a kiss and ran away!! We were all laughing about it while you sheepishly wiped your cheek with a grin on your face.

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You also got to do the Jedi Knight Training and become a Padawan. Probably one of your favorite things from our Disney trip. We had to wait a few hours for you to get into it, but once you did, you were so stoked, you completely forgot about all that waiting!!

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I could go on and on about our month and our vacation. But, what I really want you to know is that you are my buddy. You have such a kind, gentle spirit. You  care about others. You give the best snuggles and I hope they will never end. Thank you for hanging out with me this past month You make me smile every day and I’m a better person for being your mommmy. May you always enjoy doing “silly face” pictures with me!

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Follow the blog circle around by reading Brooke’s letter to her sons!

 

Also posted in Blog, Blog Circle, Children Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |