A Craiger Engagement

Everyone, say hello to Jake and Allison:

What can we tell you about Jake and Allison? Well, we’re lucky enough to already be friends with them. They’re super funny, great to hang out with and are perfectly made for each other. It is very rare you come across a couple who is so thoughtful of each other and it’s great to witness it up close. Though most of their converstations are riddled with sarcasm, they’re incredibly in love.

The day started at the Metro. We rode into DC to explore. Jake and Allison were excellent subjects and they were constantly posing. :)

We stopped to eat at Sushi Go Round (and Tapas) and got sake at to keep us warm – it was freezing outside! We also hit up Red Velvet Cupcakes in Chinatown.

After much walking, talking and photo taking we finally hopped back on the metro and headed home.

Thanks so much to Jake and Allison, who made our first engagement shoot so much easier than it could have been! We wish you a long, happy life together and cannot wait for your wedding in March! :)

Posted in Cold Outside!, Mathy Shoots Engaged Couples | 1 Comment

The Dreaded Exposure Triangle

Alright. So I (Kathy) am taking this as an opportunity to learn. Let me tell you, I can point and shoot all day long but when it comes to settings…I’m not the quickest at picking it up. Very often Matt stands over my shoulder explaining what goes where and when. He’s very patient like that. It seems I must learn to conquer…..


This post will be followed by three equally important posts as The Exposure Triangle is made up of three equally important parts:

  • Aperture – The size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken.
  • Shutter Speed – The length of time the shutter stays open.
  • ISO – The camera sensors sensitivity to light.

There really isn’t an “ideal” or “perfect” exposure. That is purely personal taste. But, you can have bad exposure if it’s too bright or too dark. It’s all about learning to balance the three parts. The main lesson to take away from this triangle is that all sides are interconnected. If you increase/decrease the length of one side of the triangle you must equally increase/decrease one or both of the other sides if you want to maintain the same exposure. Make sense? Luckily, I was great at geometry and just having it put into triangle form helped me out. For those of you that still just don’t quite get it, I’ve found a few metaphors to explain the triangle: a garden hose, sun tanning, and a faucet filling a bucket. I’ve chosen to explain my favorite – a window.

Pretend with me that your camera is a window. This window has workable shutters that open and close whenever you want. On the inside of this window is a sheer drape, you know, to look good ‘n stuff.

Aperture (the size of the opening in the lens) is easily represented by the size of the window. If you have a giant ‘ol window, you’ll have a ton of freaking light. If you have a small hopper window, your house will be darker (I’m not sure why anyone would ever want a hopper window, but that’s neither here nor there). Now, relate this to your aperture: big = bright; small = dark.

Shutter Speed (the length of the time the lens stays open) is represented by the length of time you keep those shutters open each day. Leave the shutters open as long as it’s light out and your room will be lighter. If you close the shutters after an hour, your room will be darker. Now, relate this to your shutter speed: the longer it’s open, the brighter your picture will be.

ISO is the tricky one that doesn’t really fit the metaphor. I’ve seen it described as sunglasses and I think that’s just silly. I mean, who wears sunglasses at inside? I prefer to imagine ISO (the sensitivity of the sensor) as a fancy pants drape on the inside of your window. Lets pretend this drape has a few layers that can be adjusted to increase/decrease the light getting through (yeah, it’s all customizable, ’cause you’re rich in this fantasy). When the sun is rising in the morning you’ll want more drape layers covering the window because you have enough sunlight to light the room and don’t want to over-do it. When it’s getting dark out, you will want to pull back all of the drapes in order to allow as much of the available remaining light inside. Relate this to your ISO – In a situation where it’s dark, you’ll want to have a higher ISO to increase the sensitivity to light. In situations where it’s bright out, you can scale the ISO back because you already have an adequate amout of light.

Using this window, we find ourselves with many ways to increase the presence of light in the room. You could make the window bigger, leave the shutters open longer or have a fewer layers of sheer drape covering the window on the inside. On the opposite side, you can just as easily make it darker by making the window smaller, closing the shutters faster or have more layers of sheer drape covering the window to decrease the light.

Did that help? If not, it’s probably because I’m terrible at explaining things. Don’t worry, I made this a 4-parter for a reason.

Venture on to: A Little Thing Called Aperture for more info! :)

Posted in Get Your Learn On!, Need to Know, What is that?! | Leave a comment

A Sunday with the Aveys

Our first bon-a-fide shoot was with a friend’s family to shoot their Christmas pictures. What an experience!

We met up around 1pm at the National Marine Museum in Quantico, VA. Right next to the museum you follow a road up to a chapel. The chapel itself was extremely beautiful, I found myself drawn to the stone slabs stacked to build it. Once inside you will find that the building is mainly glass.

The Aveys were amazing. They were patient while we fixed some kinks and kept their smiles on the whole time.

After shooting various family shots in the chapel we went outside to brave the cold. It didn’t last long and poor little Nathan (the grandson, our friend’s son) was nearly frozen to the core! But what a trooper!

All in all it was an amazing experience and we learned a lot from it. On top of that, we were able to finally pull the band-aid of anxiety about finally starting real shoots. We’re open for business, thank you Aveys.

Posted in Cold Outside!, Family Photo Shoot | Leave a comment

This is the start of something awfully special….

Hi all! :)

Just posting to say hello and let you know that we’re both super excited to find out where this journey into photography will take us. Matt and I are ridiculously in love with taking pictures and we live for giving people tangible items to help them relive their best memories.

We hope to help everyone out – people we shoot, interested friends and those who are just starting in photography and need some pointers.

The best part of the world of photography (as far as we’ve seen) is the comradery between photographers. There isn’t an “initiation” or a bias against you until you’ve proven yourself to other photogs. Everyone supports/helps everyone, which makes learning much easier and much less stressful.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All things Bokeh

 I’m obsessed. Well, I’ve always been obsessed with it, but now my obsession has a name.

Bokeh. Sweet, beautiful bokeh. Pronounced bo-keh (“bo” as in “bone” and “ke” as in “kenneth”), it refers to the character of all the out-of-focus areas within an image which is anything outside the depth of field. Normally bokeh is most noticeable in the background around highlights like reflections or light sources.

Additionally, there are “good” and “bad” types of bokeh. Bad bokeh is when a photo contains points of light in the background that are supposed to be out of focus yet they are harsh edged and look like donuts/little rolled up condoms. Good bokeh is when the points are sharper in the middle and the edges are more blurred making the background more blended. Neutral bokeh is somewhere in between. However, while something may be technically bad bokeh (such as these two pictures above) that does not mean that the bokeh was done wrong or is ugly. It’s really a matter of preference.

Though bokeh can be captured with most any lens – there are some that are better than others in giving you the bokeh-riffic shot you’ve been wanting. I could go into lots of detail here but I’ll leave it up to a professional who went ahead and created his own test on a variety of lenses to see which gave the best bokeh over at RickDenney.com.

Here is where it gets awesome. Bokeh isn’t just to be captured – bokeh is to be controlled. Not only can you work with your camera and/or buy the above mentioned lenses to get the best bokeh possible – you can now buy kits that allows you to use the lenses you already own and affix little lens covers that allow you to control the shape your illuminated points will take. Bokeh Masters Kit contains 20 different shapes and 8 lenses that you can create your own shapes! Now its not just circles – it’s hearts, stars and spaceships?

Finally – a DSLR Bokeh Tutorial that helped me in understanding WTF bokeh really is. Check it out at Robertsdonovan.com.

Mathy is officially buying a kit here in the next few weeks. As soon as we do, pictures will be uploaded of our Bokeh follies!

Posted in Bokeh Beauty, We want!, What is that?! | Leave a comment