So you have a “fancy camera” but looking at the controls and reading through the photography lingo is like a foreign language. You feel like you have wasted a pretty nice amount of cash on something that is not producing the “professional pictures” you had hoped for.
Well don’t fret my love, you’re going to learn to cut through the headaches and bs (pardon my french, but I’m known to swear on occasion…)
Today, I’m sharing with you all the one lens that completely changed my photography. If you are a photography beginner with a DSLR (you can change the lens) camera, I’m sure you have plenty of blurry images with a horrid orange cast/creepy glow or images taken with your pop-up flash that produced some pretty unflattering shadows. And you’re thinking you were going to be able to take professional looking pictures because you had your fancy professional camera.
SO frustrating, right?! Believe me, I was there too when I first bought my first Canon Rebel.
My first tip for you-turn off the lights. Yes, do it. Immediately. Now coax your kid into going towards a window. Not right smack dab in the middle with their shoulder touching the window, but close enough that you see some beautiful natural light on their sweet little messy face. It’s really important to stay away from harsh direct sunlight. This will completely blow out all of the details and just like your pop-up flash, will produce some yucky shadows. Then your adorable little toddler isn’t looking so adorable anymore…
So what now? How do I get soft, beautiful images like this with the creamy background?
With a prime lens that lets in plenty of yummy natural light (no flash needed).
When I first started out in photography (about 7 years ago), I learned really quickly that my kit lens was crap. 18mm-55mm sound familiar? There was no way I was shooting indoors without pop-up flash with this lens. So I did my research and figured out that I really needed to pick myself up a prime lens, particularly a 50mm.
Since I shoot Canon, I’m just going to use Canon lenses for reference. There are three different 50mm lenses in the Canon lineup and you’re probably super confused on why there’s one for $1300, one for $350 and one for $110…quite the price difference, eh?
To put this in terms you’ll understand, the more light the lens lets in, the more expensive. So you don’t have $1300 lying around to spend on your photography hobby? No problem. I don’t even the 50 1.2 (the $1300 one), although it’s high on my wishlist 🙂 This leaves you with two (still stellar) options.
The 50mm 1.8 (which I started out with).
Nikon user? Here’s a comparable lens:
or the 50mm 1.4 (I loved this when I upgraded). It lets in more light, my images were sharper and the colors were brighter, more saturated and you get the even creamier background. This is still incredibly cheap when it comes to lenses and has a much better build than the 50 1.8.
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Since I bought my first prime lens 7 years ago, I’ve never used flash indoors again. I now have the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm primes and will never go back to zooms. If you’re interested in my Intro to DSLR workshop coming up in April, one of these lenses would be fantastic to have!
Haven’t signed up for my workshop/mentoring email list yet? Hop over here to join!
Guess what?! I’ve decided to offer a FREE 5 day email course for anyone interested in learning about their DSRL camera! The content will cover the basics of photography terms (shutter speed, aperture, ISO) and will be broken down into bite size nuggets each day so your mind has time to actually process the information.
Anyone who is on my email list will receive this free 5 day course. AND there will be a special subscribers only discount on the workshop that will be announced on day 5 of the email course. Get ready to learn how to take gorgeous images like this of your own kiddos this spring!