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A little photography (pre D7k)

A little photography (pre D7k)

A couple of months ago when dad started his “photography business” he offered a special on FB.  I mentioned here that I got roped into being his second shooter.  Well I’ve finally gotten my slack ass in gear and finished editing pics from Kayla and Brian’s shoot.  Editing is by far my least favorite thing to do.  Part of it is I have to use my old clunky laptop (oh the horror!  I can’t use my Ipad) and then there’s photoshop.  Oh photoshop, why must you suck!  And then there’s the ever present “need” to have extensive editing.  I guess if I were proficient in PS I wouldn’t mind so much but let’s be real here.  Who has hours upon hours to edit to that degree?  I don’t and I don’t want to spend a ton of time editing.  Basic fixes for this girl.  Luckily I’ve found a few awesome presets.  This lets me get that photoshopped look with a few clicks of a button. 😉

I think I’ve also come to realize that many of the photos I think are amazing are highly photoshopped.  I know I’m not that good with PS but I guess I’m also not that creative.  Anyhoo, enough about my PS wooes.  I wanted to share the link to Kayla and Brian’s pics from Duke Gardens.  This was a first for all of us and it proved to be an awesome location.  Only downside, it was pretty busy.


PS here is the link to baby Owen’s photoshoot.  Courtesy of dad’s FB special!


Picture Post

Picture Post

This week has been pretty eh but I have spent a good deal of time reading, rereading and playing with my new camera. I feel the pics already look much better. {Hey, for the price they should right?} I went through Ken Rockwell’s site and set my camera according to his recommendations. So are so many options, there’s not way I would even know where to start. Anyway, so far so good.

Monday and Tuesday I pretty much sat on the couch and took picture after picture of the fireplace or bookshelf. I would read, adjust settings, take pics and repeat. Wednesday afternoon was nice so I went outside and took pics of flowers. Played and tweaked settings and took more pics. I am by no means feeling super comfortable with this camera yet but I’m getting there.

So far my only problem is the auto focus. There are like 30 different focus points the camera can focus on and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to choose the location I want to focus on. This is the one thing I am used to from my old camera. It picks a focal spot and I can manually change this should it not be correct. I guess I’m going to have to do some more reading.

Playing with the white balance.




Just playing.


Playing with exposure.




More randoms.




Hello my pretty!

Hello my pretty!

Today my new Nikon D7000 arrived! I pretty much stalked the FedEx website waiting for delivery confirmation. Of course it arrived during lunch while I was in a meeting.

After my meeting I ran upstairs to collect my package. I then spent the next hour or so getting it ready and looking at websites. I did manage to wait till I got home to go to Ken Rockwells site to go through the menu settings. I got the initial set up done tonight but I still have a ton of buttons left to play with. This might sound crazy but I feel like my pics already look better. Maybe not so crazy….

Look for lots of pic posts in the next few weeks as I play with settings and just take pics!


Let’s talk photography

Let’s talk photography

I’m super excited because I placed the order for my new camera yesterday!  WOO HOO!  It should ship tomorrow and be here next week.  I wanted the new camera before my meeting next week with the couple who’s wedding I’m shooting in September.

Since I decided I wanted a new, bigger, better and greater camera I’ve actually started to try and learn more about the basics.  I don’t feel like I have great reading comprehension when it comes to instructions and manual {this could be why I don’t follow instructions.  EVER.} to the point I thought about taking a basics course so I could get some hands on experience.  I seem to be a more hands on learner.  Anyway, a few weeks ago I stumbled across a website called Digital Photography School.  You can sign up for emails with tips and tricks.  So far I’ve read almost all the articles I’ve been sent.  Even though it’s not actually showing me how to work my camera, it’s helping me understand all the moving parts, which is very helpful as well.

I got my current camera, a Nikon D50, for Christmas a few years ago.  It was a total surprise!  Turned out my dad’s boss at the time bought it, used it a few times and decided he didn’t like the idea of the sensor so he switched to a Canon.  He offered dad a good deal and Kelly got her first DSLR.  Unfortunately I didn’t really take the time to figure out my camera.  I could point and shoot and that was good enough for me.  Matt went so far as to buy me a D50 manual, but we were back to the whole reading comprehension thing.  I tried to read the manual and follow along but things just didn’t seem to make as much sense so I didn’t get very far.  I’ve tinkered with my camera and played with the settings.  I even bought the super duper 18-200mm lens last year.  I was in heaven.  But now, now I just spent a ton of money on bells and whistles.  {The D50 was more of the base model when it came out.}  And with bells and whistles I feel like I owe it to myself and the camera to really understand everything I can do.  I’ve found a youtube video that is about an hour long that goes over the D7000.  I haven’t watched the video since I don’t have the camera, but let me tell you I am ready as soon as I have it in hand.

On top of buying a new camera, Matt found a great deal on Tanga.com last week for a lightbox.  As you all know, I tend to take a lot of pics for my blog.  Well most of them end up with the countertop in the kitchen as my backdrop.  Not really ideal.  For $26.99I got a lightbox valued at $100.00 (and PS it’s still on sale).  It has 4 backdrops, 2 lights, a mini tripod and the whole thing is encased in a handy carrier.  Now I can take better blog pics. 🙂  Plus it was such a good deal you almost have to buy it right? 😉

So that’s my spiel on photography.  I hope to start posting more than just iPhone pics in the coming weeks.


Hello my pretty!

Hello my pretty!

A few years ago some friends asked if I would take their wedding photos.  “Sure, why not.”  Wow!  Can I just say it turned out to be a LOT of work both day of and after.  Don’t get me wrong it was a wonderful learning experience and I’m happy to say I’ve shot a wedding.  Since that time I haven’t done many photo shoots.  Just a few here and there for friends.  I think I am definitely my own worst critic.

Anyway, a few months ago the little sister of the wedding I shot asked if I would photograph her wedding in September.  She asked for a dollar amount and said she would pay! AHHHHH!!!  I said yes, hesitantly.  Since then my dad “said” he was going to start a photography business in the area.  I spent several weeks getting a website ready as well as a facebook page.  He did one special for a free photo shoot.  Well he only ended up with two people participating, both of which were friends, so somehow my services got included.  Since then we’ve done 2 separate shoots.  Both of which confirmed, I need a new camera!  {There is a strong WANT factor too but I feel like a new camera would up my game.}

Okay, well to be completely honest, I didn’t really know I wanted/needed a new camera until a few weeks ago.  Matt’s parents were in town and during our all day shopping affair we stopped by Best Buy.  I started fiddling with the new Nikons and well, fell in love!  The new D7000 is AMAZING!  So quiet for one.  Has 2 memory card slots.  Two programmable presets. AND a self cleaning sensor!  {The bane of my current existence with my camera}  And that’s just a few of the awesome features my current D50 doesn’t have.  In. Love!

I’m not saying my D50 isn’t a good camera but when it came out it was the base model.  The D7000 is the top model before you start getting into the actual pro cameras.  Needless to say this bad boy comes with a pretty bad boy price too.  I’ve been researching and found the refurbed D7000s are priced pretty well, and quiet frankly, less than my 18-200 mm lens I bought last year.  Now my biggest hurdle is Matt.  I need him to give me the go ahead.  I couldn’t get it last month because we had vacation, we had to replace the water heater and we had to start paying for our football tickets.  I plan the use the money I make from the wedding to actual pay for the camera but I need the camera before I get the money.  Honestly it’s not a big deal and I hope to have it in the next few weeks.  I’m just being dramatic!

I didn’t take a lot of time to learn all the ins and outs of my current camera so I want to have enough time to really get to know my new camera.  I’ve already read a ton of reviews and found youtube videos with tutorials and such.  So until I have it in my hands I will continue to lust over this beaut.













I posted a few pics from my dad’s photo shoot on Sunday, well he was having website issues so I decided to play around with my photo site. You know, that thing I haven’t touched in about a year? Poor Matt and ripped down and reinstalled numerous platforms and operating systems for me to try. It all started when I asked him to install Piwigo which is what dad’s site is currently using. I was trying to add something and didn’t want to experiment on his page so I tore my site down and started over. Then I wanted to try another one to see if I liked it and might move dad’s. Finally I settled on a WordPress site.

I feel like the current options were available when I first started trying to build my photo site because I feel like I am finding tons of options now. The gallery features are much cooler, there are cart options. It really does have it all. My main complaint the first go round were the gallery features. They were boring, boxy and kind of sucky. Now they slide, glide, fade. You name it you can find it. I must say I’ve been pleasantly surprised. It’s also given me something to do at work when I have some downtime.

I still have a lot more to do, like actually adding good pics but so far I’m happy with the direction my site is going.

Feedback is welcome. Kelly Suzanne photography


Photo shoot

Photo shoot

Since my dad is having problems finding a job he’s decided to start a part time photography business. This means I’ve been spending time working on a website for him as well as other photo related items. About two weeks ago he created a Facebook page and in an effort to build his portfolio he offered a free shoot. One of our friends won and scheduled her sons shoot for Sunday.

I grabbed a few props I had and bought a few more things from Michael’s. On Sunday I met mom and dad at the museum of art. We scouted a few locations and made a game plan before my friends arrived.

Once they arrived dad set up and I started taking random pics on the side. I haven’t picked up my camera in a while so I thought this would be a good opportunity to “dust” it off. I have to say I got some pretty good shots straight out of the camera. I’ll probably do some editing this weekend (it’s hard to break out the laptop since the iPad).

Here are a few faves with slight edits from the iPad.





I love the look on his face in this one!