If you are looking for the perfect photographer's Mother's Day gift, then you are in the right place, as we have just launched our Mother's Day competition on Instagram in conjunction with @lifewellcaptured
To win the stylish leather camera bag of your choice you need to:
1. Post a photo of 'Motherhood' to your Instagram page using the tag #lwc_motherhood This photo must be a new post as it must show up in the tag feed after the competition announcement post by @lifewellcaptured.
2. Mention that you are trying to win a @lilahsnow camera bag, and make sure you tag us in your photo caption (not the comments!)
3. Follow both @lifewellcaptured and @lilahsnow
The competition begins after the theme announcement image is posted on @lifewellcaptured on Monday April 10, 2017 (AEST) and will run in 3 weekly heats with finalists from each week then being put forward for the final vote by @lifewellcaptured followers from May 1st, 2017
You can enter as many times as you like as long as your entry contains the correct tags on new posts and you are following both pages.
The competition is open worldwide and includes express post shipping within Australia. If the winner is from outside Australia, they will need to pay shipping costs (approx $40 AUD to the USA).
If you just can't wait until Mother's Day to get you new camera bag, then you can save 15% off any bag until the competition ends using the discount code:
So what are you waiting for?
Start getting your entries ready, and get a head start by choosing your bag now!
When I set the theme for #lifewellcaptured in June as 'the details' I had a mental image of close-ups and macros and I loved all of those little pieces of life that flashed up in my instagram feed. It wasn't until I saw this photo by @jolizie though, that I realised that capturing the details of someones life can be so much more.
This is the caption that was posted with this image:
'My dad has owned a farm in WI for 50 some years, and today was likely my last visit to it as he's sold the property. We took one last drive around the back woods, walked the hidden path down to the Apple river, and stopped by the Star Prairie barber for one last hair cut there. I thought I was being strong, but as I looked back at the pictures from today I broke down. So many memories there. I feel like I've come to the end of a book that I don't want to end. ."
When I looked back at the image, and saw the look on her Dad's face, and thought about the story it told, I realised that capturing the details of a life didn't have to be done close-up. When I tried to explain the photo to my husband, I got all choked up with tears, and that was when I knew I had found a strong contender for the winning image this month. I love that in a time of immense change for both herself and her Dad, Jo has managed to take the time to capture details of his present life.
I am so motivated by images of everyday life that have meaning to the photographer as well as the subject. Keep your camera with you, and those moments will present themselves. Keep your camera with you, and the practice will improve your skills to a point where your memories are preserved in a way that does them justice. This is the reason I design camera bags, and the motivation behind the #lifewellcaptured tag which encourages you to go out there and capture your life in your way. You actually win every time you capture one more memory.
Jo's image has won her her choice of Lilah Snow Camera Bag this month, but if you want to play along in July, you can check out the new theme here.
Please also take the time to visit @jolizie on her Instagram page by clicking on the image above - it will take you straight to the image so you can let her know that you loved it too!
It is NOT easy to narrow 1500 images down to 1 - it is really not!
Above are a few of our other favourites, and if you click on them it will take you directly to the original image on Instagram.
@rikki_ is the Queen of details. If you do not follow her already, then you must check her out! She is able to capture amazing macros of water droplets on leaves and spiderwebs, and she has an amazing off-the-wall take on the prompts for the Fat Mum Slim Photo-a-day challenge (which you should also check out if you are not already doing it!). I love her mind, her creativity and her macros.
@karenelizabeth_photograhy took that amazing photo of her kids out catching fireflies against the sunset glow. To me, a firefly is up there with hummingbirds and fairies. They all have a mystical quality that defies belief, especially to those of us in Australia (although the tooth fairy DOES visit here!) So to capture that silhouette perfectly, with the hand reaching out for that glow, is a perfect childhood fantasy on the screen.
@triciapphotography has an image full of gorgeous details. Of course the roses are lovely, but when you team that with the beautiful hair and stunning lashes of her pretty little girl, you really have a beautiful capture. The black and white also works so well to focus on those details.
@annaymayer made me laugh with 'Mr Frog,' as her kids so imaginatively named him! In Southern Queensland, we have cane toads, which are horrible things and not for holding, but this guy in his green glory is very photogenic! The freezing of that splash of water across him really does makes the shot.
@belldesigned got right behind the theme this month,, and really spent a lot of time taking macro shots of her surroundings. I love the colour of this seed pod and I love how macro allows you to really slow down and appreciate the details in everyday life that would otherwise pass you by.
@danikamillsphotography caught this stunning light above the head of her daughters heart shaped bun. Her caption was: 'Sometimes the most ordinary moments are there just to remind us that beauty truly is all around us. I love finding unexpected hearts, I love unexpected light, I love when they find each other 😍❤️ I literally turned around to see her standing there, like a secret message just for me. Love is here.' My heart melted just a little!
So as you can see, the competition is fierce and the decision is hard!
I truly believe though, that everyone who specifically went out to take a photo for this month's competition has won. Every photo taught you about your camera, about lighting and about your subject. Every image you have saved is a memory now preserved.
So get out there, and live a life well captured!
If it's hard to recognise your Mum unless she has a camera in front of her face, then she will love something from this list of Mother's Day ideas for photographer Mums!
1. Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom.
Because Mum should be in the photos too! This tripod is small enough to keep in the camera bag for shots which include the photographer, and is also useful for long exposure or night-time shots. The ball head means that the tripod will support the weight of a DSLR up to 3kg, although there is an even larger option which can support up to 5kg of weight! The design means that the tripod can either stand or wrap around an object for the best position.
You can buy this here for $88 AUD
2. Pimp My Mac Fr
How about a fun sticker decal for Mum's laptop? There are many different options on Etsy so you will definitely find one to suit your Mum's style! This cute polaroid camera decal only costs about $10.50 AUD and can be found here.
3. Lilah Snow 'Zoe' Camera Bag.
The best way to get Mum to keep taking those gorgeous photos is by making it easy for her to keep her camera with her. The Zoe camera bag is genuine leather and has a customisable padded interior so she can carry her camera, spare lenses and personal items.
You can use the code MUMSDAY to save $50 off any Lilah Snow Camera Bag until May 8th, 2016 which makes the Zoe only $269 AUD delivered via Express Post within Australia.
You can shop for camera bags here.
4. Expedition Vintage Camera Bookends.
For the photographer Mum who already has everything, how about these cute retro camera bookends? These would be great for holding up photo albums perhaps. One reviewer on Amazon even said that there was a secret compartment in the base where she hid lollies from her kids. Show me a Mum who wouldn't like that!
These quality bookends cost about $65 from Amazon.
5. A 'Nifty Fifty'
A new lens is likely to be at the top of Mum's list because, well, you can never have too many! If your Mum is still using the lens that came with the camera, you should open her eyes to the joy of prime lenses and you can start with something as inexpensive as a 'nifty fifty'. A 50mm lens, even at this entry level can give the lovely blurry bokeh in the background that everyone dreams of when they first buy their DSLR. Having a fixed focus forces you to move yourself and your perspective, rather than just zoom the lens, and this increases your creativity.
Of course, if your budget allows, there are limitless options for lenses, but you can get a nifty fifty for both Canon and Nikon for around $150 AUD.
What is on your photography wish list? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to see what you are currently wishing for (and I can add it to my wish list too!)
My children were born around the same time as the invention of the iPhone and in a very short space of time I went from carrying a proper camera, to snapping photos with my phone. Without knowing it at the time, this would gradually end up motivating me to create my own line of stylish leather camera bags. It wasn't until I decided to back up my phone photos to the computer that I got to see the image quality in all its grainy, noisy 'glory', and that was when I knew I had made a mistake in relying on the phone camera to document those first few years of my children's lives.
I had a perfectly good DSLR camera at home which would have taken amazing photos, but the phone was in my bag, so that was what I reached for.
Fast forward 5 years, and now my handbag is my camera bag and my camera comes with me, and that is what I reach for.
Now I capture my life in full resolution.
I really want you to be able to do this too, and so this April I will be giving away a Lilah Snow Camera Bag on Instagram using the tag #lifewellcaptured.
The theme this month is 'Family'.
The conditions of entry are:
+ You must be following Lilah Snow on Instagram
+ Tag your image with both #lifewellcaptured and #lilahsnow (and make sure your account isn't set to private or I may not be able to see it!) Using these tags may mean that I share your image, with credit to you, on my social media.
+ Tag only new images. Only those which show up in the #lifewellcaptured feed after the theme announcement image will be considered for this month.
+ The winner may choose whichever camera bag they like and the prize includes postage within Australia. The competition is open worldwide, but if the winner is from outside Australia, they will be responsible for shipping costs.
+ This is a competition of skill, chance plays no part in determining the winner. The winner will be chosen by myself (@lilahsnow) and @ace_space_ and our decision is final.
+ This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.
The theme of Family is open to interpretation, from your best friends to your pets, to sharing great images of your kids or partner, but I encourage you to make the effort to get out your 'real' camera if you don't already.
Capture your life, in your way, but capture it well.
Share your Instagram account in the comments section below and I will make sure to check you out.
I can't wait to see your images!
The number of people I follow on Instagram is really starting to expand and I am now getting a lot more variety in my feed which is great for inspiration. These are a few accounts that I have especially enjoyed this month. I would love to hear a few of your favourites too, so leave me a comment at the end and I will definitely check them out.
Someone I have been following for a while is Fiona aka @thedizzylimits. She has a pretty, bright feed full of macros, with a small dose of small children thrown in! One of the other things that I love about Fiona is that she's just so friendly, and it's nice to have a bit of 'social' in your social media!
Light, bright and beautiful - you can find her here.
If your four legged friend is also your favourite photography subject, you might like to check out @madeleine_imogen. Madeleine is a pet photographer based in Tasmania, Australia, and she certainly brings out the cuteness and personality in these little guys. They say to never work with animals or children, so I suppose that makes photographers in general some of the most rebellious (crazy?) people out there! I love the dog with his head cocked to the side on the top left!
You can find her on Instagram here.
A year or so ago I spent a bit of time on Google+ (is anyone still there?) and I discovered a landscape photographer called William Patino (@william_patino). At the time, William was taking amazing photos of his local area of Woolongong, Australia, in between working as a tradesman. This year however, he gave that up to work as a photographer full time, and he also now runs his own photography workshops, often in gorgeous overseas locations.
He first picked up a camera in 2012.
Check him out on Instagram here, or his website.
Last Sunday night I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across a page from Finland. The colours in the top of the feed were mainly browns and greens, with a mixture of landscapes and animals. There is something so foreign to me about the landscapes with Nordic snow and the forests and it's just so fascinating to look at. There are also some lovely captures of the Northern Lights which I have always dreamed of seeing, and look at that amazing image of that bird eating out of the hand!
When I looked to the top of the feed, I was astounded to see that there were only 430 followers!
Malin (@maailmalin) can be found here on Instagram.
You have to check out this feed, that follower count is way too low for the quality of the photos!
Instagram is such a great place to draw inspiration and connect with artists of similar (and completely different) aesthetics. Leave a comment to let me know who else I should be following.
You can follow me here.
Recently on Facebook I have been sharing one of my favourite Instagram accounts every week. Here is a wrap-up of my favourites for August (and a couple of extras!)
I hope you find someone who inspires you too.
Berlin based foodstylist and photographer, Nora Eisermann & Laura Muthesius are on Instagram under the name of @_foodstories_ Their food styling is always earthy, with dark tones and beautiful woods. Every time one of their images pops up of my feed, my eye gets drawn to it. With over 300k Instagram followers, I'm certainly not the only one to discover them, but it you haven't seen them yet, they are worth a look!
Laura and Nora also have a food blog which manages to combine gluten free and vegetarian recipes for 'foodies and cake lovers'! They do all of that AND make it look beautiful! Check them out on Facebook, or online.
One of my favourite Instagram accounts is @many_makers . I LOVE the mood of this account! The colours in the feed are mainly dark tones with gorgeous greens and dusty pinks. Posting images from Wellington in NZ, you can almost feel the cool, moody weather and I find it such a lovely contrast to the typical white minimal look that abounds on Instagram.
Make sure you check out the full feed to see how the colours flow from one row of photos to the next - I promise you'll love it too!
You can find Natasha on Instagram @thesnowqueensgarden . I especially love her beautiful flowers (which come from her garden!), the lovely soft colours in her images, and her sense of style. Make sure you pop over and check out her page. She also makes some gorgeous hand-stitched dolls!
Awesome beauty is how I describe @kara_sonata. Her feed is just amazing. Seriously! I can't even put into words how much I love it, so you just have to check this one out for yourself!
@rikki_ has been the inspiration for more than one photographer (ok...I count as one, and I'm sure I'm not the only one) to get out with a water bottle and traumatise spiders by spraying their webs! I'm often amazed by the way she captures water droplets on grass and spiderwebs as well as other gorgeous macro subjects. I seriously do not know how she does it, because my attempt was an epic fail, although I may have succeeded in scaring a spider....
Doesn't she make you want to get out your macro lens?
For a bit of a creative challenge I dabble in the Fat Mum Slim photo-a-day challenge. I was doing it daily until it started to stress me out, which I figured was a bit counter-productive!
One of the people that I started to look forward to seeing was Michelle (@msmeowd) because she would do every prompt in M&M's...seriously!
Here are her photos for the prompts Car, Clouds, Fake and Logo. The funny thing is that as I was scanning her feed for shots to include here, the ice-cream one caught my eye. It turns out that her take on 'Fake' was based on an image she had seen of cupcakes made to look like Ice-creams. This was actually MY photo of my son's kindy cupcakes for his birthday. It's funny how things work out sometimes!
I would love you hear who your favourite Instagrammers are.
Leave me a comment below!
We've all been wowed by the lovely depth of field (DOF) in photos - in fact a lot of you probably bought a DSLR for that very reason, am I right? So how come your photos don't quite look like you want them to? How come the dreamy blur always ends up on the wrong part of the shot? How can you get great depth of field in your shots?
There are 3 basic concepts that you have to understand to master the depth of field.
I know you've heard about Aperture and DOF before - that's the reason why you have an 'A' setting on your camera, right? When first using a DSLR it's so tempting to open that aperture as wide as it goes (choose the smallest number) and hope for dreamy background blur.
Let me show you a little diagram about how the aperture controls the range of blur in an image:
The key here, is understanding that there is a certain amount of light which is close enough to the 'true point' of focus that it will still be perceived as clear (these rays fall between the green lines in the diagram). A small aperture means that a greater proportion of the light's rays are close to the true point of focus and therefore a greater proportion of the image's depth appears clear. A larger aperture, however, will mean that a larger proportion of the light's rays are further from the true point of focus. This results in a greater proportion of the image's depth appearing blurry.
The thing to remember with aperture is that you don't always want to open it up as wide as you can go, but you can use it to control the amount of blur and the amount of focus you have in your image.
2. The point of focus.
So, now that you understand the distance over which an aperture will focus, you can appreciate how important it is to focus correctly in the first place. The point of focus is so important when composing your image, and should be something that you are aware of, and alter accordingly, every single shot.
One way to do this is to set your camera on a central auto-focus point. Place that point over the part of the image that you want in focus, half press your shutter, re-compose the shot, and then fully press the shutter.
This will work for images where the depth of focus is quite large, however with a wide aperture, even small movements of the camera can be your undoing. In these cases, it is better to manually set the focus point in your camera to lie over the point in your image that you need to be clear. It takes some practice for this to become second nature, but I assure you it's worth it!
If you are leaving your camera on automatic focus point selection, it is very difficult to get well composed, well focused images. You need to take control.
Bonus tip: With portraits, always focus on the persons eye which is closest to you.
3. The focal length/distance from the subject.
If you have played around with prime lenses (lenses with a fixed focal length and no zoom capability), you may have noticed how the depth of field seems to vary from one focal length to the next. The reason for this is more to do with the distance you are forced to stand from the subject with different lenses rather than the focal lens itself.
A shorter focal length (eg a 35mm lens) will give you a wide field of view due to lower magnification. This means that you will fit a lot into your shot, and if you wanted to take a photo of a person standing in a field you would be able to keep a lot of the shot in focus from a fairly close distance.
If you then set up the same shot with a 200mm telephoto lens, you would need to move much further away to have a composition which matched the original 35mm shot. The range of focus, or depth of field, decreases as the magnification of a lens increases. As a result, the telephoto lens will have a much smaller range of the shot in focus than the 35mm, and will give you that creamy background blur which makes a foreground subject stand out. Conversely, the short focal length lens will allow great clarity throughout the depth of the shot.
If you have been frustrated with the results of your attempts to create the perfect depth of field in your shots, I hope this has given you some pointers to focus on with your next images.
Allow your aperture and lens choice to work together to control your depth of focus, and remember to focus purposefully!
One of the best things about photography at the moment is that there are so many avenues open to being inspired by the work of others. Instagram provides a constant feed or gorgeous images, delivered straight to your palm wherever you are. There are countless blogs and online photography tutorials with information on how to improve your skills. At the end of the day though, practice is still the best way to improve your own skills.
As a bit of fun, we are starting a weekly photography challenge called 'Shoot, Share, Inspire'. The aim of this challenge is to encourage you to try new techniques with different subjects, to have a place to share your photos, as well as to inspire others and be inspired!
The first week's challenge is 'Jump', and you are welcome to interpret the prompt however you like. You can either share your image to our Facebook page or comment below the weekly challenge post here. Another way to get involved is to tag your photos on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #lilahsnowssi.
I can't wait to see what you come up with!
When I started my first 'real' job out of university, I bought myself a beautiful silk scarf. I remember wearing it to feel a little more grown up, hoping that people would take me seriously in my new role. Looking back at photos, I looked a little bit like an air-hostess, but at the time it made me feel more confident!
I have moved houses, cities, states and countries many times over the years and each move brings with it a more ruthless cull of unwanted things, but for some reason this scarf has never quite made it into the charity bin.
Pinterest and Etsy are alive with beautiful silk scarf camera straps and this week I decided to give my scarf a new lease on life, and make it into a camera strap of my own.
If you can use a sewing machine, you can do it too.
Here is what you will need:
A silk scarf (or other material)
A piece of leather
Leather specific sewing needles for your sewing machine
2 x D rings
2 x latches/buckles or split rings
I bought everything on the list from Spotlight.
MAKING A CAMERA STRAP - STEP 1.
Cut your leather to shape. I had bought a rectangular strip which was just the right size to cut in half and then use a piece for each end. I used a paper template to design the shape that suited the width of my scarf, the piece of leather and my D ring.
Measure the length of your desired strap. To do this, I measured the strap that was currently on my camera which was 110cm.
Measure the length of your folded leather piece with the both the D ring and clasp (or split ring) attached. In my case this was 11cm.
As you will have 2 leather ends you can work out the length of your scarf the following way:
(Desired strap length) - 2 x (Leather and buckle length) = (Scarf length)
In my case this was:
110cm - (2 x 11cm) = 88cm
I then ADDED 10cm to allow for scarf inside the leather strap, so I needed my scarf to be 98cm (I should also add that I am 6 foot tall, so yours may be quite a bit shorter than this!)
Cut the scarf to the calculated length. I folded mine in half and cut equal amounts from each end to maintain the symmetry of the print. I was a little bit nervous to cut up this piece of my history after storing it for so long and there were definitely a few deeps breaths and crossed fingers as I hoped I had calculated the length correctly.
Set up the sewing machine with the leather needle and upholstery thread. This was the first time I had sewed leather and I was a bit worried that it would be difficult, but the leather needles have a little chisel shaped point on the end which hammers through the leather as it sews. I highly recommend buying these needles as well as the upholstery thread, which is much stronger than regular thread. Your camera is going to be on the end of this strap, so the extra few dollars now are definitely worth it!
Check that the strap and attachments combine for the correct length.
With the D ring fed through the middle of the leather piece, bunch one end of the cut scarf neatly between the two sides of the leather.
First sew closed the end closest to the scarf so that it will be held in place firmly for the rest of the sewing. Sew around the perimeter of the leather, bearing in mind that the thickness of the D ring in the fold will limit how close the foot can get to that end of the leather.
After I had sewed around the perimeter, I lifted the foot, cut the thread, then started on a bottom corner to sew diagonally across the leather. I then ran a second line of stitching across the top edge and completed the cross to the opposite corner. This cross cross adds the extra strength to the attachment and ensures that the scarf is safely gripped from all angles.
Repeat for the other end, double checking the strap length before sewing in case your seam allowance wasn't accurate.
And there you have it, a DIY silk scarf camera strap! I would love to hear from you if you try making one, or if you have any other camera straps ideas that you have made yourself.
Perhaps you can make one for Mum in time for Mother's Day, or splash out and get her a new camera bag!
Emma Anderson. Creating, learning, growing and taking photos of it all!
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