Tuesday, July 12, 2011

photography :: special guest

Today's topic is one of my favorites... "Photography." I always love hearing and learning from other aspiring photographers, and I'm thrilled to introduce you to our guest blogger today... Meet Melonie from Very Easily Inspired. She's an incredibly talented photographer in Orlando, FL... check out her photography blog, My Imago Photography. Melonie and I have never actually met, but she's one of those people that I just know I would instantly connect with... you know the kind... a virtual BFF, if you will. I know everyone will enjoy Melonie's post for today... whether, you too, are an aspiring photographer, or even if you barely know how to operate your point-n-shoot. Be sure to head over to Very Easily Inspired and say hello! Enjoy...


Howdy. Hello there.

My name is Melonie.

I’m guest posting today for Julia

while she is off gallivanting around in Alaska.

{insert a teeny weeny (whole lot) of jealousy here}.

No, really Julia, we hope you have fun!

And we’ll try hard to hold up the black diary fort

while you are away in glacier wonderland.

On to our topic:


Ah, one of my personal faves.

And as my focus of the day,

I’d like to chat a little bit about light.

I heard an older, wiser picture-taker-

sage-type say recently that

“photography” in Latin means:

“writing with light.”

Isn’t that beautiful?!

I love fluffy and romantic translations

and symbolisms.

And so I am rolling with it.

Not sure how loose this translation is.

but it sounds right.

And fluffy, so there you have it.

Heh, hem. Okay, back to my point:


Whether you own a fancy schmancy dSLR or

a plain ole point and shoot,

light has the power to change your life!!!

{Or at least to help you to take

a much better photograph.}

So, with lighting in mind,

I’ve come up with a few helpful hints

to consider before snapping your next shot.

Be aware also that I am partial to natural lighting.

So, in this little advice column,

I will not address the use of a flash.

I guess you could call me a bit 0f a

natural light snob.

And I would be o.key.doke with that.

Now, on to my hints:


Pay attention to where your subject is

in respect to the sun

(or whatever source of light you have.)

That bajillion year old giant ball

of fire (or blazing lava lamp) can really

mess up an otherwise perfect picture.

This here is one of my most favorite shots.

The light was glowy and diffuse, bouncing off

from several different sources.

But look at that little sunbeam

shining in on his shirt.

These little mishaps can be fixed with photoshop,

but who wants to spend time

fixing a mistake when we could have

prevented it all together by moving him a smidgeon

to get that harsh light out of the frame.

There is an old adage about making sure

that the sun is shining behind your backside

as you photograph your subject.

This rule of thumb works just fine.

But, as with most rules,

there are always exceptions.

Which brings me to number point #2.


Consider what feel you are going for.

Would different light accentuate your photo art?

There are 3 main types of lighting

{besides that dreamy diffuse light

that I mentioned above,

which is ideal but not always attainable}.

So, let us consider other viable options:

a) frontal lighting.

This is where light shines on your subject from

{listen closely so as to not miss an important detail}:

the front.

In this scenario,

there is even lighting on the subject.

This is great for picking up color details

and getting a nice, evenly distributed shot

of a group of folks.

b) side lighting.

Side lighting is lovely for portraits

because it makes the subject more dramatic,

by bringing out the texture and form.

And I am admittedly a fan of a little drama.

c) back lighting.

I love using light in the back

of my frame to tell a story.

Be careful with this option,

because as fun as it can be,

you will likely lose detail in the subject.

So, make sure it’s worth the sacrifice.

In the shot above, the backlighting works beautifully

to tell the story of this young at heart old man.

And this light makes

this sweet little peanut playing in the dirt

look even more majestic.


(since most of us don’t wear watches anymore.)

Consider the time of day.

The sun shines brightest in the middle of the day.

Shocker, I know.

But really, if you are hoping

to get a nice family shot

or a special photo to commemorate

your kiddos first birthday,

then make it either early or late

if you have a choice in the matter.

I usually try to shoot between 8:30 and 10am

or then after 5:30pm to avoid issues

with too much sunlight.

Us Florida peeps would otherwise risk

being burnt to crispiness being outside midday.

{Yeah, yeah. Be jealous come October.

But not in the summer months, my new friends.

It’s hotter than blazes up in here.}


And lastly, realize that you cannot control everything.

This is true for photography and beyond.

Sometimes, no matter what you do

to attempt to remove some kind of not ideal light

from your shot, it can’t happen.

Let this be your chance to let it go.

A picture that is a little off

is way better than the one that was never taken.


what will your photographic signature be?

I’m raising a glass of vino,

toasting to you and hoping your chances

of photoggy chicken scratch

are a little less after

applying some of these simple techniques.

Be inspired.



You can find me at


or at my photography blog, which is



Liz said...

Hello Melonie! I loved this post. I'm new to my dSLR and this definitely provided tips for me when trying to capture those perfect (not always) pictures! Thanks!

The Rigoloso's said...

Loved this post, Melonie! And the Latin definition made me so happy. ;)Beautiful photos.

destination wedding photographer said...

Amazing! You're such an inspiration to me! Oh, and I'm still interested in schlepping for you anytime ;)

MellieButterfly said...

Thanks for the feedback folks. Glad it was helpful. Happy picture taking! :)