How I Take My Photos

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I thought I’d do a very quick post on how I use my digital camera… for beginners! 

I used to always use my trusty Iphone when I first set up my Instagram page which does the job perfectly.
However when I started to get some small jobs through my page I knew it was time to bring the digital camera out and up my game to look a bit more professional ..  it’s turned into a real hobby of mine now and I’m continuing to learn.
Don’t get me wrong.. digital cameras are not difficult to use .. you press a button and ta- da ….  But this post is all about how I’ve learnt to take my camera Off ‘Auto Mode‘ .

Again, excuse the lingo, I’m really still learning myself. So here it goes:

Aperture – ( aka Blurry backgrounds )

The ‘A’ in the dial is what my camera is almost always set to ( not Auto.. just ‘A’).

A low aperture such as 1.3 or 3.6 gives subjects more focus and the background blurry ( also known as depth of field in proper photographer lingo )
Low aperture is perfect for close ups, product shots or portraits.

However If you’re  photographing a whole room , you want the opposite. Therefore I adjust my aperture to about 9-10 to ensure the whole picture is sharp and in focus.

The aperture dial can go up to almost 20 , but if you go over 10 you would need to use a tripod .

 Tripods hold the camera still and steady and are necessary with a high aperture as the shutter speed ( how quick or slow the camera take the photo) adjusts automatically on ‘A mode.’ …  More on this in point 2.

So if the aperture is at it’s highest .. maybe 18-20 ( all in extreme focus ) the shutter speed will be at its slowest to capture the whole image as crisp as possible … which means the natural shake of your hand taking the picture will result in a blurry all over image… not a great look!! Wow that was a lot to take in .. did it make sense ?! I hope so… hang in there.

Shutter speed

This is the ‘S’ on the dial and I use this when photographing the boys… especially George who is a mover and shaker.

On the ‘S mode’ you control the shutter speed AND the aperture…  The camera automatically adjusts the ISO ( not really sure what it is if I’m honest,but it’s to do with light entering the camera I think ) .

The shutter speed, as I mentioned above, is how quickly the camera takes a photo.

Quick is perfect for kids and babies as they never sit still, therefore you won’t get a blurry arm motion in your picture… you know the one !

It’s also perfect for some lovely playful water shots .. like catching splashes mid air.

I love this shot I captured on ‘S mode’ when we were on holiday last week.

The only down side to a high shutter speed is as the camera takes it so quick , very little light gets in so you don’t want to have the shutter speed too high either .. find your balance depending on the natural light.

On the other hand , although I never use it , a slow shutter speed is also great for city night shots , you know the ones with the car lights in long lines  … or even a misty waterfall shot … I’ve not taken any of this style to show you but hopefully you get the idea.

Manual mode

I’ve not yet braved this one yet .. it’s where you adjust all the settings yourself .. The Aperture , ISO AND shutter speed .

When I’m taking my photos, I usually don’t have a lot of time to play about with the settings a whole lot before hand. But I’m continually learning and hopefully will master the manual setting before the end of the year. I’m actually signed up for a photography day course this October.


Finally , on all the settings you can adjust the exposure .. this is how light an image is. I always have mine set at 0.7 -1 as I like my images as bright as possible .. Not everyone’s taste but it’s the style of my Instagram so I never really adjust this one .

I hope this is helpful in some way or another if you have a digital camera in the house. Hopefully you will get it charged up and give it a try off Auto mode.


  1. Jo
    September 19, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    This is really interesting, thanks for posting this! I use my iPhone 6s to take most of my photos but would love to get a proper camera. I’ve always wondered what the ‘a’ stands for! 🙈
    Jo xx

  2. Jo
    September 19, 2017 / 7:48 pm

    This is really interesting, thanks for posting this! I use my iPhone 6s to take most of my pics but would really like to start using my hubby’s camera more. I have used it a few times for photos and do like the result. I also now know what the ‘a’ actually stands for!
    Jo xx

  3. Victoria mackey
    September 20, 2017 / 6:59 am

    This is brilliant… thank you perfect for us novice Instgrammers

    Beautiful pictures too

  4. Meghan
    September 25, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Loved your post. What type of camera do you use?

    Thank you!

    • lauraann
      September 25, 2017 / 2:55 pm

      Hi Meghan I use an Olympus Pen EPL 7 xx

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