Slide background


Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography

April Flowers The Prudent Homemaker Blog

The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller

Lovelies: Photography Tips

Mother's Day 2012
Many years ago, we had some fantastic family pictures taken. I loved them, and we ended up choosing a whole lot of them to have printed. When the total came, however, I turned to my husband and said,  "I could have bought a camera for that." At the time I only owned a film camera with a basic zoom.

I knew then that I was done paying for family pictures, or for any pictures of the children.

My husband was telling my children jokes when he took this picture a few years ago (notice there are only 6 children in this picture), and my mom was making funny faces at the children as well.
It took a while before I was able to buy a camera, but eventually I was able to find a digital camera for close to the same amount I had spent for those Mother's Day photos.

Everyone told me that the camera I was considering wasn't good enough. They said I needed a better camera with better this and better that. I thought that the camera I was looking at was going to do what I wanted, and that I didn't need a more expensive camera.

When the time came, my husband found an online Black Friday sale and ordered the camera for me. We also made sure to order a remote so that we could take family photos (my husband had an old tripod that worked with my camera).

Then I needed to know how to use the camera to achieve what I wanted. I started looking online. I started studying my favorite bloggers pictures like I had studied painting, looking to see what I liked and what "made" a shot.

Along the way, I found some great advice:

Shani's simple tips for photographing have made me think differently about where I stand when I photograph, and it's change the way I shoot. She also inspired me to take trampoline shots. My daughter's pose in the shot above was inspired by her daughter's trampoline poses.

Kristin Duke's Photography Tips have given me so much to think about. I've incorporated several of her ideas when photographing my family.

Wondering how to use the manual settings on your camera? Simple and easy: Nailing the Exposure

Excellent tips on adjusting the white balance and more

My favorite food blogger introduced me to a food photography class taught by Penny de los Santos on Creative Live. I was thrilled to be learning for free. Since then, I've watched a lot of Creative Live classes for free, and each has taught me something different.  (Old classes can be purchased on their site). Tomorrow, Australian Creative Photographer of the Year Kelly Brown is teaching a free newborn photography class on Creative Live. It is three days long, from May 9-11. The class is free to watch while it is live; there is usually a replay right afterwards for those in different time zones. You can enroll here. (If you enroll they send you an email that links straight to the live feed, or you can just click over to Creative Live and watch on their live feed page). They also have an upcoming class on Fine Art Portraits.

For food photography, I studied my favorite bloggers like crazy.

I was thrilled when my other favorite food blogger did a basic explanation of food photography here. A few years later, she wrote a book about food photography entitled Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling. I checked the book out from the library, but by that point I was feeling like I had learned those things already from lots of study (especially of Helene's shots from her blog) and practice. (If you are new to food photography, I highly recommend her book!)

Poppy from my garden two years ago. The poppies are just starting to bloom in my garden again this week!
I'm still learning and practicing. Like any art, it takes practice. I'm so grateful for a digital camera and the chance to take hundreds of pictures without the cost of developing film.

For those who are wondering what I'm using:

A Nikon D40. (There are newer cameras out there now with more features, like the Nikon D3100, which is what I would probably get if I were looking for a camera now, still on the "lower" end of a DSLR--and their regular price for that one at Amazon is what I spent for my D-40). I ordered mine with the kit lens, but eventually I was able to get a 50mm fixed lens (on sale, of course!) and I pretty much use that all of the time now.

I use a reflector that has been discontinued but is almost identical to this one.

One of the things I want to capture more is the everyday moments, like my oldest and my youngest reading a book together.

Happy Mother's Day! I enjoyed this Mother's Day video.

Take some family pictures this weekend, and/or ask your husband to take some pictures of you and your children. It's a Mother's Day tradition we've been doing for several years now, and I'm really glad we do it. Last modified on
Tagged in: Lovelies


  • sakkeller November 24, 2013

    Any suggestions on what to use for an inexpensive ...

    Any suggestions on what to use for an inexpensive backdrop? I've tried looking at fabric, flat sheets, etc., and can't come up with the right thing (and/ or right cost). Being that it's already 15 degrees here our next pictures will need to be indoors. Thanks!

  • The Prudent Homemaker September 14, 2013

    How exciting! You can do it!

    How exciting!You can do it!

  • sakkeller September 14, 2013

    I did it! I was scared to spend the money, but I j...

    I did it! I was scared to spend the money, but I just ordered the Nikon d3200. Thanks for your help! I am excited to start learning to take better pictures! Your suggestions here will help me with that too!

  • The Prudent Homemaker September 12, 2013

    You may want that one or one that can go to an eve...

    You may want that one or one that can go to an even higher ISO (though 3200 is pretty great!) Some cameras have an ISO up to 6400, which would be awesome in low-light shots like indoor band performances. I've been learning more about ISO lately and I think, now, that I would look for one that can go to 6400 if I were to upgrade, but even the 3200 that that Nikon does is pretty awesome.Read reviews and see if it has what you want. There are a lot of choices out there.I have not regretted spending the money on the camera. I just took new pictures of the children and had them printed in 8 x 10s at Sam's Club for a total of $11.56 for seven 8 x 10s and one 5 x 7. That sure beats having pictures taken! At this point, too (and it's taken a few years and lots of practice) I think my shots are much better than the ones I purchased years ago.

  • sakkeller September 12, 2013

    This post made so much sense to me! We have been s...

    This post made so much sense to me! We have been setting money aside for a nice camera since reading this. As much as I hate to spend the money, I think we will soon. Would you still suggest the Nikon D3100? We are trying to decide between that and the Canon T3. I want to take great pics of my kids, their class performances, band concerts etc. Suggestions?

  • dmhnj May 14, 2013

    You take wonderful pictures. The last one of your...

    You take wonderful pictures. The last one of your oldest and youngest together is precious.

  • Marivene May 09, 2013

    You can always save old frames, take out the lense...

    You can always save old frames, take out the lenses, then use those frames for the photos. No glare!I love the picture of your oldest & youngest reading together.

  • Karin Katherine May 09, 2013

    Your family is as beautiful as your blog! You are...

    Your family is as beautiful as your blog! You are really inspiring me to try gardening. So far I've just got a few fruit trees (that we love) but I think it would be wonderful to harvest our own vegetables and herbs as well.Cannot wait to dig into your blog more.-Karin Katherine

  • Marjorie Crawford May 09, 2013

    Great resources! Thanks so much for posting this ...

    Great resources! Thanks so much for posting this Brandy! That Creative Live link gave me an idea for you. For those of us who live far, far away and could not come to your garden tour...would you consider doing some sort of web-based seminar on edible landscaping? Maybe a combination of videos of your garden, and a short talk, Q&A, etc.? I am willing to bet there is an audience who would even pay a small fee for this valuable info (me included!). Your garden is just so beautiful! When you are starting from scratch like me, it can be overwhelming to wonder where to start. My backyard is pretty much a blank slate...but I just get overwhelmed thinking about how/where to start. Just an idea. Happy early Mothers' Day!

  • mom of 7 May 09, 2013

    I would defiantly get the d5200 if you have the ex...

    I would defiantly get the d5200 if you have the extra money. I have the d5100 and I love it. When I got mine at Sam's club they had the best price plus if came with a dvd, 2 lenses, and a bag. What sold me from the 3100 to the 5100 was how many pics per second it takes and the screen moves on the 5100 and 5200. The d3200 is highest of the non professional cameras and the d5200 is the lowest professional grade. If you have children who move a lot go with the 5200. You won't regret it.

  • Vanessa M. May 09, 2013

    Thank you for taking time to share all the links a...

    Thank you for taking time to share all the links and camera information. The links you shared are so helpful!

  • newmom2008 May 08, 2013

    Thank you for putting up the resources as well as ...

    Thank you for putting up the resources as well as your recommendation on the camera to get should that be the dilemma. My husband and I have a basic digital camera and though I have maxed on learning its limits, and also we have used it quite a lot since our son was born 5 years ago I know we did love to get a new one to do more with it. This is def. a good start with the numerous resources...

  • Southern Ladye May 08, 2013

    My skill at photography is no where near yours but...

    My skill at photography is no where near yours but I too came to the realization that "professional photos" are outrageously priced and most of the "affordable" places are now out of business which means you have to now go to a private studio for portraits. My daughter in law wanted maternity pictures done but could not afford them so I offered to try my hand at taking some. We used her Canon digital camera to take some shots which I then downloaded to my MacBook Pro which has enhancement features built in so I played around with those to get some variety such as black and white, softened edges, etc. She liked them so much that I actually used one of them for her baby shower invitation. I made those by uploading to a free website call PicMonkey which allows you to make collages, invitations, etc. out of your own digital pictures. After that, I simply uploaded the finished invite to Wal mart's online photo center, got 25 free pictures for opening an account, and printed out her invites at a fraction of what it would cost me elsewhere. A good camera, a little practice, and being willing to learn can save a lot of money in pictures.

  • cathie May 08, 2013

    thanks so much! I have a cannon and I'm trying...

    thanks so much!I have a cannon and I'm trying to "play" with it and get better at taking photos - I was just wondering where one would find all this info so perfect timing.Your family is gorgeous and these photos are amazing!

  • buttercup May 08, 2013

    your photos are beautiful and give a proper feel g...

    your photos are beautiful and give a proper feel good factor to the day. The tip about looking at professional photographers photos is great and can be applied to other areas of our lives. I did this with dress making way back in the 1960's when I was a teenager and 'home-spun Harriet' was not a good look. I really looked at the way commercially produced clothing was made and copied it or did it better. At the risk of sounding incredibly smug most of the clothing I have produced has been mistaken for store bought, even jeans and I only have a normal domestic machine. Anona

  • The Prudent Homemaker May 08, 2013

    My wedding photographer had us change the angle of...

    My wedding photographer had us change the angle of our glasses on our face, or change the tip of our head. I can't see the glare when I'm using the remote, like in the picture above of the whole family, but when I'm taking the pictures, I can see it and have the people make the adjustments.

  • Laura May 08, 2013

    Thank you for the links! I am not gong to be gett...

    Thank you for the links! I am not gong to be getting a DSLR any time soon, but I know I could do better with our point and shoot, so I will check the links so I can learn more and improve the photography on my blog. I know it could be better if I understood things better.

  • Sakura May 08, 2013

    Thank you for this post. I am looking at purchasi...

    Thank you for this post. I am looking at purchasing my first DSLR camera and I've been given lots of advise. I'm torn between the D3200 and the D5200 cameras. I haven't owned a camera like this since my 35 mm Nikon I received in high school.

  • Dawn May 08, 2013

    I have a Nikon D40 also and have really been study...

    I have a Nikon D40 also and have really been studying to take better photos. I was reading your blog last week and thought you used a 50mm for some of your shots. I have yet to figure out the food photography so I may visit those blogs a bit later. Thanks for the information!

  • Linden Townhouse May 08, 2013

    Oh, thank you, thank you. I am off to visit my mo...

    Oh, thank you, thank you. I am off to visit my mom out-of-town, but I look forward to reading these links when I return. I too have the Nikon D40 and want to purchase the fixed lens. I have done so much reading ("Nikon for Dummies" book, online tutorials etc.) but have not made much progress. Your photos are so lovely, so I won't give up yet!

Leave your comment

Guest June 24, 2018

Spring Gardening



 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background




Slide background




Slide background


Slide background



The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

Spring Gardening



White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List