My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer, model, and former journalist who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. This is where I share my life daily, as a creative professional.
My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I enjoy traveling, home improvement projects, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.
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This is applicable to all smart phone users, not just iPhone. I was asked by a girlfriend how I backed up images taken on my iPhone, this inspired a blog post. I don’t put much emphasis on my iPhone photos but after I looked through my files I noticed so many of my dog Paris who is like a baby to me, so I would highly suggest having a way to keep your images saved somewhere if your iPhone were to get stolen, lost, or dropped in water with the inability to be retrieved.
Note: I know there are various methods, iCloud being one of them, but I love my Dropbox and this is my method. If you have another method I would LOVE to hear it in the comments to help others.
When you open up the App on your phone, wherever you save it, you may see images from your phone already uploading – in my case anyway.
If that isn’t the case, go to your camera settings.
Make sure “camera upload” is turned on.
Turn off “use cellular data” unless you want it instantly to upload after each photo – which would use up your data quickly.
On the Dropbox App it’s pretty much exactly what you’d see if you logged into your account on the site.
Your photos will be under “Camera Uploads” (Purple folder).
You can go back as far as you want with the images you have. Mine go back to 2012!
When you access the files folder and the correct folder, it will look like this:
If you download the installation for your desktop, you’ll see this pop up occasionally (if you are home).
This means files are being added.
This is what it looks like if you see the icon and you can see what is being uploaded from your phone. I would occasionally open the App on my phone to make sure images are being pushed through. I’m not sure if that’s necessary, I don’t think it is because my images just seem to be uploaded.
On your computer
You can then access your “camera uploads” folder which is synced by going to your finder or windows explorer and computer home screen to see the “Dropbox” file.
Or, you can go to the Dropbox.com site and log into your account and see them there and download it.
On your smartphone
To restate what I said earlier, simply open up your Dropbox App on your phone and click your files. All images will be in your Camera Uploads folder.
And just like that, all 6,000 smart phone images on my phone have been uploaded! Even the bad ones…
What’s your method of saving images to your computer or cloud?
Continuing with requested photography posts, I’m onto camera settings. I started my photography hobby with the Canon Rebel XSi, jumped into the 5D Mark II, and upgraded two years ago to the Canon 5D Mark III which has been rocking my world. While the 5D Mark II certainly changed my photography game from hobbyist to pro, I never truly loved the Mark II with its focal issues. The Mark III is superior in every way.
To broaden this post, I’ll talk about a few things that can relate to you no matter what camera you use, while also touching upon my personal favorites and settings using the Mark III. Right now there are some amazing deals and packages if you want to upgrade to the Mark III, this one is my favorite, and it’s about $1,000 cheaper than what I paid for the body alone when it first came out.
How to update firmware on your camera:
Why should you update your firmware?
New features (sometimes) or bug fixes. This is the same as if you were running your iPhone or Mac on old software. When I updated the firmware I didn’t notice any of my custom settings change.
Here’s a screenshot of my custom controls.
This is on the 5D Mark III so some features may not be available. My favorite features are the silent shooting mode and the two cards.
I also do back button focus setting to ensure my shots are locked in focus – this is absolutely important and I cannot imagine not controlling my focus. In fact, because I know how to use my camera and settings well, I know that when I review a shot and it’s not in focus, something is off.
I had that occur while on assignment and it ended up being my lens which went so bad that it ended up needing to be sent to Canon for repairs (no explanation, I assume it was due to travel pressures). You should know your skills and equipment so well that simply by previewing it you know it’s not user error, it’s equipment error.
I hope that helps explain firmware and why I have the settings I do. Do you have any favorite settings or new features you love with your camera model?
I find that explaining how to pose couples can depend on a lot of variables.
Things I consider:
Each client is different – some bring props, others revolve a session around an event, like a State Fair, and some just want peace and quiet in a field. A photographer cannot shoot the same in each environment, because each client is unique which makes sessions incredibly fun, or for some, stressful if not given enough scenarios to practice.
First, let me say that it’s so much easier than you think – just read your client.
Their choice of location says it all.
Say, the state fair, or the couple says they want to look like they are fishing, playing ball, flying a kite, you pretty much have it easy – you document the fun. Find the location, and find ways to capture moments.
I loved MJ and Jon’s session at the State Fair – it revolved around activities and little posing. The posing was minimal, I just gave instructions that included, kiss, and look at each other.
Find a creative, natural way for your couples touch – and it doesn’t have to always be by their hands or lips.
Sitting can be creative, and also romantic. Yes, we don’t sit on stairs like that, but isn’t it just lovely to see something a bit more dramatic?
Yes you pose them into these romantic moments. The eyes down, kiss her temple is always sweet. I tend to drop my voice and be a little quieter in my tone. Sometimes we can be overly excited or high energy that it can rile up our clients – which is great for children or the laughing shots, but when you want your image to be quite, start with yourself. The quietness will follow.
Circle noses or what I call, “sharing space” is sweet too – this is a close up in a classic car for this maternity session.
For locations that can stand alone, the couple concentrates on the character of their location – so your job is to plop them in, and look as if you just captured them in their natural setting. Like a walk through Prescott (if the wardrobe allows). They can hold hands, walk or look at each other.
Posing is just the first thing about getting a good shot – the other part is where you are standing.
The traditional wedding shot, hands around waist, or hug, whichever is your jam, but what about…
…then walking around behind them and taking this shot? Or, you have them quickly turn around and face the other way?
If you don’t give me photography post ideas, I’m just going to make them up and hope you like them – this is a hint to leave a comment with post ideas on what you want me to chat about.
There are so many ways to get the right kind of white balance, and for the most part Auto White Balance (AWB) has been fine for me. I tend to adjust my color temperature in Lightroom to get it right.
I had stopped in the offices of PHOENIX magazine to say hello to my friends, check in on my photo assignments (really to see the layout) and chatted about Kelvin temperature balance. This came up from a shot I took that I wasn’t crazy about but did manage to make it work, then showed some examples of other assignments that had been done using Kelvin – due to crazy light scenarios.
I just wanted to show you the difference. AWB is on the left, and Kelvin on the right – now this is SOOC, straight out of camera. I think you will always have to adjust just a wee bit in post but at least you can not have a freak out moment in case the lighting is really off.
I felt like I should challenge myself to use the Kelvin scale this month with my photos!
To me it’s just a trial and error depending on how the lighting situation but on the 5D Mark III it’s very easy to adjust so I’m going to keep at it this month to practice using it so I can use it if there’s an emergency lighting situation.
There’s one more thing I want to talk about that I love having in my back pocket during the reception – a cheap little video light.
I have my assistant Amy hold it at an angle and I just grab a few shots. We walk around to all the details with it and I open my aperture up wide.
That wraps up my off camera reception lighting series! If you have any questions please ask.
I’d love to hear if there’s anything else you’d want me to cover – to make Wednesday posts more beneficial to you.
Off Camera Flash Post Series
We are continuing the off camera set up I use during wedding receptions. In this post I’m going to mention some extra pieces of equipment that will help with making your off camera flash images look better.
Your diffuser should always be positioned like a whale tale – instructions come with your diffuser
The items in this post are must-haves for every wedding photographer.
Off Camera Flash Post Series
It’s been nine years of running my graphic design/branding boutique, Silver Spoon Studio and also being a photographer for the past five years – I’ve really learned so much along the way. Mistakes were plentiful as much as the successes. Turning a passion into a full-time while on my own, meant I was really putting myself to the test.
I mention the last sentence because I think it’s frightening for a single gal to do something on her own with no backup plan other than her college degree, experienced resume and whatever is in savings or stock accounts but I say it because I want to empower you. If you wonder if you need to have a safety net in order to pursue dreams – probably better yes, but I wouldn’t put dreams on hold for that. Just save enough money and build up your dream while you have a steady 9 to 5 job. I used my shoe money to invest in lenses and equipment.
So many things I’ve learned that I wanted to pass along to you if you are boss lady.
Knowing what position you are in and realizing sometimes you can go back between the two, will allow you can make wiser decisions with your time and talents. It will also help you keep the right perspective so you can also avoid entrepreneurial burn out. And always be kind to everyone, even if you are discouraged, even if you find yourself not at the level you want to be yet, the more you are around the energy the more it should propel you, learn all you can from one another and share – this world can be a lonely place without encouraging friends who know the ups and downs of being a small business owner.
Hi there! I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I'm a creative professional, wife - and follower of Christ.
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