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My Nikon D90 was a gift I hinted to my husband about 2 years ago.  It’s a gift I received, so I could create those beautiful, amazing photographs of my children without having to spend thousands of dollars every year for the rest of my life.  It is a gift that still has the factory settings, and definitely not used to its fullest potential…until now.

My girlfriend, you know, September, and I were preggers at the same time.  Her baby born in January, my twins in September.  She told me about how she was putting money aside to have this amazing woman photograph her babe for his 2 week photo shoot.  When she revealed the pictures, she was right to have put that money aside, because her photos were just beautiful.  So, when she asked me if I would be interested in taking a photography class taught by this woman, Meghan Poort, I signed up right away!  Meghan promised to teach me how to take my Nikon D90 off the auto setting and get some slice of life portraits of my children.  Not that I wasn’t taking great shots of them to begin with, but I noticed how that stinking flash was always getting in the way, casting shadows where I didn’t want them, and making my subjects look flat.

I want to respect Meghan’s business and not give away all her trade secrets in my post, you’ll have to sign up for one of her classes for all that jazz.  I want to share with you, though, how excited I am to be using my camera now.  I feel like a real photographer…well, sort of.  The class went a little something like this:

  • Turn your camera from Auto to Manual
  • Set your ISO, your appeture and your shutter speed
  • When you have all that figured out, you will be owning your camera instead of the camera owning you!

Of course, Meghan explained, you have to work with it.  It’s like a math problem (God, I was horrible at math, but I think I got this figured out!)…more like a math word problem.  Your ISO+Aperture+Shutter Speed=Amazing Photos.  And, depending on if you are inside, outside, how many peeps, action or still, depends on how you set all of those things.  You just keep trying different amounts until the formulas add up and you get a perfect, or close to perfect picture.

Here’s some examples of my practice shots at the class:

My formula was off: Underexposed



Overexposed-what Meghan calls "hot"




Close to perfect! Subject is even looking into the light. Thanks for being a great model Meghan!











Baby B is underexposed in this pic. My parent's house photographs dark, so this was a challenge for a rookie like me!



Baby A outside with his great uncle is overexposed



Perfecto! My sweet nephew looking good!






Naturally, I did not want to forget my newfound talents, so I took my camera to my parent’s house where we were having a little family bar-b-que.

Do you see how this last photo is close to real life? This photo was taken without the use of a flash.  All I needed was the right formula.  We are headed off to Telluride, and it is one of my most favorite places to photograph my kids.  I cannot wait to test my mad skills out there.  Thanks Meghan!

OH! And Meghan shared two cool tips, which I was happy to know myself:

1. Mpix.com-the only on-line site, or any site, to get your photos printed…I’m just checking it out for the first time, but the other class attendees agreed. It’s the best quality for the best price. Meghan uses it herself.

2.  When organizing or categorizing photos, she gave this great tip for quick finds: Year/Month/Child.  I wish I would have known that 7 years ago!!  Baby steps.

For more information on Meghan Poort Photography or to sign up for one of her photography classes, check out www.MeghanPoort.com.