Are you a Clickin Mom?

Click sml

If you’re a mom and a photographer, striving to capture the fleeting moments of your children’s childhood I must urge you to just have a look at this site if you’re ready to grow and learn.

Clickin' Moms

Most Photography sites and magazines are aimed straight at men. The layout, the jargon the whole atmosphere is quite emotionless, technical and in-your-face bold. Now, us visual people realise when something as visual as a magazine or website design isn’t aimed at us and doesn’t make our spirit hum! Don’t we? Photography is not just a science after all. Yet there are millions of photographers out there like you and I, who for many years have been left out of the loop.

Recently that has started to change and this is one of those sites that’ll make you ooh and aah about the possiblities of photography, for hobbiests and professionals with their own beautiful feminine touch.

Clickin’ Moms actually just has too much information. You will continually learn on the site, no matter what your level. Here’s a little guide to let you know what’s on there.

Where do we start?

The Blog: Interviews with a range of photographers, from hobbiests to professionals, with detailed tips and personal information written in female language. And with stunning examples of their work. You could start by subscribing to the newsletter and have highlights from the blog sent to your inbox.

Free Tutorials:  From the very basics to more complicated concepts are covered here. They’re topics that really apply to us.

Topics like:

“8 Tips for Photographing unco-operative children”

“Ask the pros what gear do you want for Mothers day?”

“5 Tips to taking photos from the passenger seat”…

Browse through them and pick anything you want to know more about.

cmuniversity  These are paid on-line courses on a variety of subjects from technical stuff, to personal work, to fine art photography. I haven’t done any of these courses, so I can’t comment on them, but the range that they cover is sure to inspire you. Many courses offer different prices for full participation or not. I think there’s really something there for everybody.

Forums: For this section one needs to subscribe to the website. If you go there now, you’ll see the topics but not the information. This put me off at first, but I decided to give it a try and it’s great! What I am able to do, is go to the food photography section, upload my food photo and get positive constructive feedback. And in return I can have a look at what others have been doing and give my advice and support. There are also forums that challenge you to extend yourself, by taking a photo a week or a daily challenge, with themes to get your photographic mind ticking. Some forums ask for criticism, while others are crit-free forums. You can post questions about techniques or equipment and you’ll get good logical understandable feedback. Because you need to subscribe to the forums, only members get to comment and interact with you here and you get very supportive advice, from lovely fellow female photographers. At the moment they’re running a free 30 day trial period, which I would really like to recommend to you, if you have some time and would like to grow photographically.

Magazine: For Christmas, I convinced my husband to buy me the magazine subscription, which is pricey if you live outside the USA, but when it pops through my door I get so excited! It’s filled with beautiful images and photographic inspiration and advice for the PHOTOGRAP(HER) as they say, and I’m able to hold and keep all that info in print! It’s MINE!

So next time you have some time to browse on the web, push Pinterest aside and have a peak into Clickin’ Moms, you might just find yourself inspired!

Clickin' Moms

(PS I’m not being paid advertising fees here, if you decide to join Clickin Moms and use the link above to get there, I might get paid a few ridiculous cents, but you can just go directly to the site too. That’s not why I posted this. I know of a couple of photographers out there who are dying to grow, but don’t know what they’re looking for or need. I hope you’ll find what you need there. I honestly think Clickin Moms has helped me to see photography in a new way and I just love promoting feminine photography! It’s time the world sees things through different eyes!)

Light

Tulip

It’s drizzling outside. The beautiful bright happy light of the last couple of days has disappeared again and it’s replaced, with soft gentle quiet light. Shhhhhh….

My book arrived!!! And I’m devouring it! Some bits I’ve been able to skim, but even the stuff I know is written about in such a clear yet sensitive way, that it’s like learning it all anew. At the moment I’m reading about light, and how every type of light has something different to offer. There is no such thing as “bad” light. Coming from Johannesburg, where the light is generally so strong, this is a gentle reminder to me to keep looking for that literal silver lining, which she says you only really find on dark rainy days.

Photography is really all about capturing light. The light you choose sends the most subtle messages across to your viewer. Generally they don’t even notice it. It’s like an added secret language you use. You can have the most amazing image, but if the lighting is wrong it’s all just wrong (and it can’t be fixed in photoshop).

This week I was photographing handbags for a small, newly fledged company that sells custom-designed handbags. We only did the straightforward shots on plain white background, but I knew that the way I chose to light the bags would be the essence that would tell you about the quality – subtle and not simple at all.

Other times light is not subtle. This image is ALL about light, you can feel it all around her, flooding the picture with warmth.

Image

 

So today I thought I’d just remind you to look out for light. Even on the gloomy days, see how it lingers delicately on the edge of your coffee cup? See how it gently traces over your child’s face as they sit at the window?

When you’re choosing an image to photograph, draw, paint, don’t forget to ask yourself what is the light saying? If I looked at it from a different angle, how would the light change? Look at the shape of the silhouette, or the highlighted edges… switch off the flash of your camera and see what happens.

See! Enjoy! Play!

 

Stuck in a rut? Bake a cake!

I’ve ordered my book on Food Photography! I am impatiently waiting for it to arrive in the post. Yes the post – living in Germany means that I cannot just run out to my local book store and buy a book in English, I have to order it. Luckily this one is coming from the UK and not the USA, so I should have it by the end of the week. Hold thumbs!

In the meantime, there’s not much learning happening here. In fact I’m a bit stuck. Stuck in a rut. So what do I do? I rope in the girls to help me bake a cake, because us girls love cake! Normally this only happens for special occasions like birthdays, but today I need a boost and my birthday is just much too far away.

First I get the ingredients ready. The girls help and I torture them with simple baking sums like: we need one and a quarter cups – how many quarter cups do we put in? They learn something and they get to help me choose the pretty bowls and carry everything through to the dining room where…

…I’ve set up my expensive lights. Then I beg, “Please girls!!! Watch the cables, no bouncing, no dancing!” This is really hard for them, because we LOVE cake! We really really love cake! Isn’t it exciting? (bouncy bounce) Especially when it’s a sweet, soft, fluffy cake, with rich butter icing that you just don’t get here!

The tall one gets to read the instructions, littley gets to pour and they take turns to beat and stir. (This time I didn’t even have to play referee. This cake is made with a heap of love) I try to get the camera settings right and get some shots in, in record timing… and before we know it, it’s done.

The girls get to lick the bowl and our house is filled with the divine happy smell of a vanilla sponge cake baking in the oven. Cake baked. Memories made. And I have some lovely shots too! Happy Ne’!

This time I will type out the recipe for you… see below.

The Recipe

 

This was a Victorian Berry Sponge Cake, but the berry sugar is just too obscure around here, so I converted it to a Simple Vanilla Sponge Cake.  It doesn’t rise very high, so if you want to be fancy you can bake 2 layers and put icing between them. Or just keep it low key – bake in one shallow tin, smear icing all over and dig in.

(PS I am not a foodie, no baking expert or perfectionist. This recipe worked for me, I hope it works for you. It’s simple and yummy!)

SIMPLE VANILLA SPONGE CAKE

  4 eggs 3/4 cups castor sugar 1 cup self-raising flour 1 Tablespoon cornflour (maizena) 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons melted butter 1 teaspoon Vanilla 1/3 cup warm water   Heat oven to 180 degrees Grease  2 x 20cm round tins (or one bigger one in any shape you want – we use a heart-shaped tin) and line with baking paper.   Beat the eggs until creamy and gradually add the castor sugar. Keep beating until the mixture becomes really thick. (they say this can take up to 10 minutes – oops, I was too impatient for that…)   Sift the flour and cornflour and fold it into the eggy mixture.   Next stir in the warm water, butter and vanilla.   Pour into your tins and bake for 20- 25 minutes. Allow to cool before icing.

MY ICING

125g butter
250g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
(and a little splash of coffee)
Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat some more, until it’s  smooth and yummy.

Ice the cake and eat it! (remember: it is good to share…)