03 Jun

VLOG: How I Take A Picture

Posted by Jenna, Under Photography, Video

I thought an interesting vlog might be a demonstration of the thoughts that go through my head when I want to take a picture of T1. I’m still new to this and I realize I need to work on looking directly into the camera when I’m talking, otherwise it looks like I’m being interviewed by someone off screen a la Michelle Bachman.

Would you like to see more vlogs where I talk about photography? I have a hard time understanding how to translate things to a 10 minute vlog. What are your suggestions?

23 Comments


  1. I think it would be neat if you could do part vlog part written tutorial. It’d be nice to see you take the photos and then see HOW the photos turned out straight from the camera!

    Also…I love how calm T1 is, just doing his own thing while you’re vlogging!

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  2. I thought this was great and I’m going to watch it again and write out my list of questions. It’s been a while since I ambushed you with a bunch of questions, hasn’t it?? Haha, anyway, I think this was a great vlog and I so enjoy having the chance to hear your voice and see a different perspective of your personality that comes through in video but isn’t necessarily in your blogging.

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  3. This was SO helpful- I’m always to nervous to shoot in manual unless I have a lot of time to play around because it’s such a guessing game for me. I never even thought to use the meter to find a good starting point, so THANKS! :)

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  4. I loved this vlog, and would LOVE to see more photo vlogs from you. It’s fascinating to watch you at work, and I’ve picked up some tips just from this single tutorial! Thanks!

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  5. I love the tutorial! I really want to learn how to take better pictures, and this is a great start! Thanks!

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  6. I don’t usually watch vlogs but I’m interested in how other photographers shoot so I watched this one. I’m wondering how you learned back button focusing? Did someone teach you how to do it or did you teach yourself? I want to give it a try but not sure if I’ll like it. Do you always use spot metering? And do you use your camera’s focus points or do you focus/recompose? I’ve been trying to use the focus points because so many people swear it’s better, especially with moving kids, but my natural tendency is always focus/recompose.

    I’m also wondering what you like about the 50 mm 1.2 So you don’t like shooting it wide open, which I’ve heard others say, so what’s the benefit of that lens over say the 1.4? Just curious!

    Jenna Reply:

    I learned about back button focusing on Formspring I believe, which is where I learn pretty much everything about photography these days.

    I switched to spot metering about 6 months ago and I like it much better. You can always kind of wave your camera around to check different areas of the photo, but I’m almost always shooting portraits and skin is the most important thing to me.

    I focus/recompose. Formspring also taught me that the center focus point one is the strongest/most reliable. I think it’s just personal preference.

    The 50 1.2 is sharper and I like the colors a bit better (the glass in it is significantly better). I believe there is a bit less vignetting with it at the wider apertures. I personally don’t think it’s really worth the upgrade. I’m glad I have it, and I use it because I bought it, but if I could go back I would have invested my money in other lenses instead.

    emily kate Reply:

    THanks. Sounds like I need to give Formspring another go and find some photographers to follow.

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  7. I loved this video, thank you! I have my go-to settings that I tend to rely on because I feel like getting all the settings right takes so much time. This helped explain a lot. I know you’ve answered this before but I can’t seem to find it: if you had to pick one lens to buy, which would you recommend? Right now I just have the kit lens (the horror!). I am an aspiring photographer and I’m ready to upgrade. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to help all of us out.

    Jenna Reply:

    The 50mm 1.8 or the 1.4.
    The 50mm 1.4 is significantly better but it costs a little more. That’s the lens you want if you want to do portraits/still life style stuff.

    If you want to do landscapes/action you should get a zoom, but I don’t know anything about them.

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  8. I really found this helpful! Thanks!

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  9. Loved this post! I’m trying really hard to learn more about my camera, but I feel like all of this stuff just goes in one ear and out the other. I have a hard time holding on to information about cameras and photography for some reason. I definitely found the video helpful, though! Hopefully someday I’ll know what it all means too :)

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  10. Melissa says:

    Love the vlogs. Keep em coming :)

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  11. Well, this was fun to watch. I haven’t seen many VLogs but this one was great to watch. You answered some great questions earlier so I just wanted to let you know I really appreciate this post. :)

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  12. Great VLOG! I have always loved photography, but admit that I don’t know much about it. I really felt like it was easy to follow you and understand what you were explaining. Looking forward to more!

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  13. Loved this video. It made me realize how I know nothing about photography! Where and when did you learn all this? I’m impressed!

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  14. Love the Vlogs!! This was very helpful and inspires me to get my rebel off the shelf where it’s languishing because I still don’t know how to use it.

    Do you use a lens guard (I don’t know what they’re called like a collar that goes around the lens?) I’ve seen these a lot and wonder what they’re for. I assume something about reducing glare but I’d love to know.

    Another very newbie photo question – so you always have the camera (or is it the lens?) on manual focus or is it on autofocus? Can you do back button focus on a rebel?

    What would you recommend for someone who is really starting from scratch about learning? I’ve looked into classes at a local photo lab and I have a dummies book but didn’t get all that much out of it. A lot of my photos are out of focus even when the camera is on auto.

    thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and I have to say that you look great!!

    Jenna Reply:

    They are called lens hoods, and yes I use them. They keep out the lens flare or any light leaking in that you might not want.

    The lens is what lets you swithc between manual and autofocus. I almost always use mine on auto unless I need to take over because it’s having trouble. I don’t know about the Rebels, you would have to read the manual.

    You might want to try Nicole Hill’s classes. http://nicolesclasses.blogspot.com/2011/01/here-at-nicoles-classes-weve-taken-our.html

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  15. Loved the VLOG Jenna!! I have my first photoshoot in a few months tomorrow morning (in your neighborhood actually), so this really got me thinking about my settings again :-).

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  16. HI! I started following your blog through a blog of a friend of mine. Love that you post so often. Fun to check out your site. Also… your little boy is too cute! And I am inspired by your weight loss. You look great!

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  17. Thanks Jenna! That was super informative!

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  18. that was great. thanks jenna!

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  19. This was really helpful. Thank you. I need to work on so many things. I’m just so lazy when it comes to figuring out my settings. I just play around for a sec and then shoot. I want to get better, so thanks for this!

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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