Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Post: The Lovelee Girl

Please give a warm welcome to my sister, Ashlee, today! When I asked her to write a guest post she was hesitant, but when I suggested she write about photography she just about couldn't stop writing! I hope you learn something new from her tips and tricks! Thanks Ashlee!

This is Ashlee from The Lovelee Girl, also known as The Other One or Heather’s twin sister. I’m so excited to be her guest blogger today!

When I was in high school I fell in love with photography. It helped that I had an amazing teacher [Hi, Mr. Nichols!]. Back then I was working with black and white film and developing it in a darkroom. There is something so raw about working in that environment, versus using a “digital darkroom” aka Photoshop on my MacBook Pro. The darkroom is still my favorite, but not as practical for me right now.

In late May of 2008, I was accepted into an online MFA Photography program the day before I lost my job. I hadn’t pursued photography in college because my school didn’t offer a program, or else I’m sure I would have done it sooner. This spring I decided that the MFA wasn’t where God wanted me. I knew that I still wanted to do photography, but needed to go in a different direction that He was leading me.

Until January of this year I had been unemployed [besides a random temp job last summer] since I had lost my job back in 2008. Long story short, my dad wanted to help me find a job. After what seemed to be an obvious nudging from God, I applied for a position with Bella Baby Photography in Boise and was hired at the end of my phone interview.

The company based in Illinois and currently in over 30 states, started in Boise at the beginning of this year. We’re currently in two hospitals in my local area. Bella Baby captures baby’s first photographs in the hospital room. It’s something I never thought about until the opportunity approached me, but it is an amazing job. I feel very lucky to be able to capture such a special time in people’s lives. I know I’ve done my job, and done it well when I make the moms [AND dads] cry while showing them their online galleries.

With the advent of digital photography, EVERYONE and their monkeys can take pictures. While anyone can take pictures, not everyone can be considered a photographer. I wanted to share a few tips that will [hopefully] help you take better pictures.


Read Your Manual: Seems like an obvious thing to do, but easy to overlook. Get to know how your camera works! Read it through once without your camera, then re-read it with your camera in-hand and get to know where everything is and what everything does. Refer back to your manual in the future if you have questions or want to try something new.

The best camera is the one with you: There’s a chance that you’re not always going to have your camera on you, but you may have your cell phone or even some other device with a camera. Utilize what you have and get to know the different settings on your various cameras so you’ll be comfortable when you need to use it.

Get close: Don’t be afraid to get in someone’s face [with their permission] or end up in an awkward position to get your picture.

Lighting: I’m the biggest fan of using natural light. Be aware of how the lighting looks in your picture. Don’t be afraid to move around and find the best light. Lighting can make or break a picture.

TURN OFF YOUR FLASH: If you remember anything about my post today, please remember this tip!! This is my biggest pet peeve! Whether you’re at a concert [especially if you’re at a concert] or any other low-light setting, turn off your flash. Chances are if you use it, it will bounce off of something in front of you, other than your subject, which defeats its purpose. Obviously there are times when a flash is absolutely necessary, but as a general rule: keep your flash off.

Be aware of your framing & what’s in the background: This is pretty self explanatory, but you never know when you may accidentally be giving someone horns or there’s something random in the picture you don’t see at first glance.

Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try new things with your photography.

Here are a few ideas of things to experiment with!

Focus: Fyi, your pictures don’t always have to be in focus. Also related to this, you can experiment with your depth of field.

Light: Some of the best natural light comes in the early morning and the early evening. The light is softer and has more of a glow. In one class we took a series of pictures at different times throughout the day in order to understand it better.

Perspective: Get up high, get down low, turn sideways, upside down. How do you see the world?

Movement: I love experimenting with slow shutter speed [how long the lens is open].

Recently I played with movement, light and focus on the 4th of July [see HERE].

Have fun: Take your friends out and play. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun with it!

Take your photography to the next level by incorporating elements of design:

Line: the visual path that enables the eye to move within the piece

Shape: areas defined by edges within the piece, whether geometric or organic

Color: hues with their various values and intensities

Texture: surface qualities which translate into tactile illusions

Form: 3-D length, width, or depth

Value: Shading used to emphasize form

Space: the space taken up by [positive] or in between [negative] objects

A few of my favorite photographers include:
Richard Avedon
Annie Leibovitz
Mary Ellen Mark
Steve McCurry
Sarah Rhoads
Allister Ann
John Keatley

Here’s a list of some of the equipment I use:
Epiphanie Lola Bag
Canon 50d
Canon 35mm f/2
Canon Speedlight 580ex ii
15” MacBook Pro
Photoshop CS5
Formula One Actions

On my wish list:
Kelly Moore Libby Bag: A bag that hold my camera AND my laptop.
Formula One Organics Collection Actions
Canon 5D Mark ii

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope you've learned something that you can put into practice the next time you pick up your camera!

See my Bella Baby Photography HERE.

Find me:
The Lovelee Girl Blog
My Photography favs board on Pinterest


  1. Those photographs are truly beautiful!

  2. Great tips! Your photographs are gorgeous. I bought an dslr about 6 months ago that I'm still learning how to use. Experimentation has definitely helped!

    ♥ Gina Michele