Monday, April 29, 2013

the kindness project: alexis

doing something as simple as giving money for a snack can totally brighten up someone's day. let's face it- we need to be kind to our bodies and feed them when they are hungry.

Friday, April 26, 2013

carolee's photo tip of the week: let's talk about photo gear

which kind of gear would you say is worth it to buy and use when first starting out?

this question is similar to the one i answered last week, but it has its differences and so i really wanted to address it. let's say you're just starting out... or you've been taking pictures for a little while now. you love it. there's something so fulfilling about creating beautiful photographs. maybe it's pictures of your kids, or maybe you're really into landscapes, or photographing the beautiful details of your day-to-day life. you've got the photo-bug and you don't want to stop creating. you're ready to make an investment into a quality system but you're not even sure where to start? let's talk about what you need to do.

first of all, you need equipment that is reliable. something that you can easily figure out. something that will provide you the ability to get the results you want over time. ask yourself the following questions... what kind of photographs do you gravitate towards? who are photographers that inspire you? if you follow one or two or even a handful of photographers, don't ask them what you should buy- instead ask them what they like to use. this is an awesome question because you'll find out what equipment works for them. and honestly, their photographic style has a lot to do with the equipment they use and the process they take as they photograph.

so step one?:

ask an expert what they use

after you've done your research and figured out who your favorite photographers are and what they have as far as their equipment is concerned, then start saving. OR find something that will work as you learn.

let me answer the above question so that it's clear how i'd help someone who is wanting to get into photography like me.... a huge part of how i shoot has to do with the fact that i shoot film. my go-to camera is a contax 645. but i also have a bronica. i started out with a 35mm nikon, which now-a-days isn't even worth $100. my contax? roughly around $2000. my bronica? 1/3 of the price of the contax. if you're wanting to shoot film like i do, there are several options that won't break your bank. in fact, you can get a nice film setup for much less than some digital ones.

the next thing you'll need to consider, after camera, is how you're going to process your images. how are you going to work on them after you take them? even the best scans still need some minor tlc in photoshop. and most digital images require some retouching too. there are really great editing softwares available out there. you can ask your favorite photographers what they use for editing too.

so... step two?:

figure out what photo-editing software you will need

addressing the topic of post-production: i use a combination of adobe lightroom and photoshop. i don't like to spend a ton of time working on photos after i've taken them, but i know that it's important to spend enough time doing so. and having software like the adobe products will give you so much more flexibility than any other programs. something to keep in mind though- the more precise you are with how you take the photo will result in more options to you after you've taken the photo. please don't ever take a crappy photo and throw some "filter" or "effect" on it and think that all of a sudden you're creating something amazing. a poorly exposed, poorly composed, crappy photo will always be one- regardless of the effects you apply in post-production.

finally, what camera do i believe everyone should own?

easy! a quality camera phone! the best ones on the market? in my opinion, iphones have the best cameras. we have something now that was never possible before--a pocket camera with instant sharing capabilities! that's pretty rad if you ask me (and hey, you are asking me since you're here reading my advice!) ;) so get yourself an iphone and an instagram account. download a few editing aps on your phone and start snapping away. the more you take, the more you'll know what you need to really create who you are as a photographer. oh and while you're at it... go ahead and follow me! @caroleebeckham

Monday, April 22, 2013

the kindness project: random acts of kindness

so last week i shared a photo and a project. this project has come to mean a lot to me. i'm going to be sharing one photo from this project every monday and i think it will be a nice way to start out the week.

portra 400, 80mm, f/2

Friday, April 19, 2013

carolee's photo tip of the week: what dslr camera should you buy?

If you follow me on facebook, you'll know that i've been sharing a photo tip on a weekly basis. i spend a lot of time teaching and helping others improve their photo skills. it's something that i love doing. some of you here may not follow on facebook, so i wanted to make sure that you benefited from these tips as well.
here is today's tip:
Carolee's Weekly Tip:

I'm often asked about particular camera brands and models by those interested in making their first initial dSLR camera purchase. The honest truth is that the technology of digital cameras is improving every year and since the camera I use as my primary one is not a digital camera, but a film one- I have to do the same research that you do to figure out what camera will work best for you.

So when I'm asked what camera you should purchase--here's my advice:

On the consumer-grade level Canon and Nikon are quite similar. Deciding between the two is like throwing sixes. You'll be lucky whichever way you go. My best recommendation is to go to a camera store and to hold both cameras in your hand. The controls are all the same, they are just in different places. One brand might feel more intuitive to you than the other. You won't know unless you try them out. The other recommendation that I have is to invest in a quality lens. ESPECIALLY if you're wanting the camera to photograph your kids, family or friends. I'd recommend getting a 50mm f/1.4 It's going to be roughly $400 for that lens alone, but it will make a huge difference in how flexible you'll be with your exposure. It's a must for portraits. There are cheaper 50mm lenses available, but the craftsmanship isn't as nice and the quality of your lenses really matters!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

the kindness project: roseanna

in celebration of my 30th birthday, i decided to do something a little different this year. inspired by my very cool cousin, i sought out 30 different opportunities to do acts of kindness. i actually have only done 17 of the 30 so far, but this commitment to do good things isn't going to end here or at 30 for that matter. it will be something that i continue doing. it brought a lot of love and light to the week of my birth. and i had some really great conversations because of it.

since i relate to everything around me through my camera, it only felt right to take portraits of all those wonderful people who let me do something kind for them.

i've titled this

"The Kindness Project"

there are many stories to tell about the wonderful people whom i served and then photographed.

above i've posted just one of the shots from this project. i photographed this beautiful girl in her apartment. what did i do that was kind for her? i gave her a hug. :) see... when she was little (REALLY little) i would babysit her. this was in alaska. her parents now reside in georgia and when i asked for opportunities of things to do, her sweet mother said "give rose a hug".... so one day i found myself driving to her apartment just for that reason alone.

i took a few other pictures while i was there that day, which i will share at a future date. but for now, here is the first image from:

The Kindness Project

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


what does your personal space say about you?

portra 400, 80mm, f/2

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

everyone has a story

what's yours? what's his?
kodak 400tx, f2, 80mm
portrait taken in helper, utah

Monday, April 1, 2013

happy birthday to my husband dear

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husband, companion, partner, best friend, support. I do what I do because he's on my team. It's not easy keeping a full schedule like I do. Between being a mom to a 20-mo old boy, the teaching at UVU, the photoshoots, the workshops, the editing, the client relations, and all of the things that keep me busy- he's there to fill in and help out. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him!

portra 400, 80mm, f/2.8
shot while on vacation in st george, utah