How to Use Your Camera

DIY Portraits

You don't even have to shoot in manual to have control over your photos. It can be done, but you need to know how to use your camera.

After all, wardrobe and those cute props you  made from Pinterest won't matter if your picture is blurry and strangely orange.

That's why I offer photography workshops at your convenience. Gather some friends, get a fruit tray from the grocery store, and host a How to Use Your Camera Workshop in your home.


How to Use Your Camera Workshop!


Sunday, June 7, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

at Harry Moss Park. Corner of Greenville Ave. and Royal Ln.

Tickets available on Eventbrite.

A fun and friendly crash course in manual photography:

  • F-stops
  • ISO settings
  • Shutter speeds
  • White balance
  • and FOCUSING!

Plus, a goody or two to keep.

This is a true workshop; you'll learn by doing. We work in groups, play games, and learn how all cameras work while having fun. Expect tons of one-on-one time with the instructor. Questions are encouraged.

Bring your DSLR camera, a bottle of water, and your brain. You'll need all three!

Get your tickets here.


Make things darker ... with light!

Darken parts of your photo with light. It sounds contradictory, but using a flash can actually help you darken parts of your photo.

After all, photography is just light. So when you have lights that are brighter than other ones, your camera is going to show you the difference (even if your eyes don't).

It takes some practice and a fair amount of camera knowledge, but after mastering shutter speeds and F-stops, you can add a flash and see what happens. Here's the method in a nutshell: -Set your camera settings to expose the ambient light to your liking (for example, under-expose it). -Then set your flash to the proper brightness to expose your subject the way you like.

Of course, it's a little more complicated than that, but photography is all about trying new things, making mistakes, and learning as you go.

Happy shooting.

How to Use Your Camera: Lenses

Wide Angle Versus Portrait Lens  

What does a wide angle lens do? It's easier to see for yourself.

I used one lens for these two photos, the Sony Zeiss 24-70 lens. The top photo was shot at 24 with me standing very close to the family, and the bottom was shot at 60 with me being further away from them.

Notice the difference? Look at the size of the dad's head, the width of the son's shoulders, and the distance the wide angle creates between the parents and their kids.

Many people will tell you never to use a wide angle lens for portraits. But I say, break the rules! Do what you want to do and create your own style. That's what photography is all about.

What Kind of Camera Should I Get?

"Oh, you're a photographer? Let me ask you a question. I'm looking to buy a camera. What do you recommend I get?"

If I had a dollar for every time I'm asked that question, I wouldn't need to charge for photography.

I never know how to answer this question, either. Because to be completely honest, the answer is: It depends.

Are you serious about photography? Do you want to learn about f-stops and shutter speeds and light balance?

Or do you just want to take photos at holiday parties? Or are you snapping your children at sporting events?

Because truth be told, no camera is going to work if the person holding it doesn't truly know how to use it.

Besides, I don't work for any camera manufacturer. I can't tell you the ins and outs of every point-and-shoot, DSLR, and SLT on the market. There are hundreds of them out there and they're constantly getting updated.

But I can tell you basic photography and I can steer you in a direction.

So, what kind of camera should you buy?

If you want to learn more about photography, truly learn about it, buy a camera that scares you.

If that's a point and shoot with interchangeable lenses, get it. If you're comfortable with a small camera but the thought of learning what an ISO does starts to blur your vision in fear, go for that.

And then use it. Take hundreds of photos of the same thing but change one tiny setting each time. Actually see in real time what your camera is doing.

That's the beauty of digital photography. Instant gratification. Learning while doing. Being up to your eyeballs in the process.

Get a camera that scares you, tame it, and then become a real photographer.


The Joys of a Zoom Lens

When Sony followed me around (wow, I still can't believe that happened) I got to play with the alpha 55-300 lens. And man oh man is that thing fun! Of course, Sony couldn't possibly show all of the photos I took, but here's one of my favorites.


And yes, I shot that from the ground. Cool, right?

Anyway, see more by watching the video below (if it embeds properly).

One city seen through seven different Sony lenses.

Well, I can officially talk about it now. Sony (you know, SONY!) picked me to play around with two of their awesome cameras and seven of their must-have lenses. A crew flew out to Dallas and followed me around for a few days, took over my house, and dragged me out of bed at horrific hours. But it was SO MUCH FUN.

I had a great time making these videos and taking photos all around my city. And I really hope that you, yes YOU, can learn a little bit about how lenses can help you see a whole new world.

Visit the site and learn about the lenses.


How to Use Your Camera - Online

This Sunday, I'm trying something new.

I'm hosting a free Q&A type of How to Use Your Camera workshop on Ustream.

I'll be teaching the basics of how a camera works and then answering specific questions from you!

If you've attended a How to Use Your Camera workshop in the past, or are interested in attending (or hosting!) one in the future, check out the stream.

Sunday, January 16th

2:30 p.m. Central time

Veronica's Camera on Ustream

Have your cameras charged and ready. See you then.