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How To Edit Your Favorite Photos

A guest post from Jessie Martin

Editing your photos can make a seemingly mediocre picture really come to life. It can be the most satisfying part of taking pictures, but it can also be the most frustrating. Editing definitely takes a little bit of practice, but because of the impact that editing can have on a photo, it’s something worth investing a little time.

However, before you start trying to edit your photos, you should take some time to learn how to take a good photo. If you don’t have a basic understanding of how to use your phone or your DSLR or you don’t understand how to use light, editing will be a nightmare.

Editing is used to ENHANCE a photo, not fix it. No amount of editing can truly ‘fix’ a photo if it’s too dark, too bright, out of focus etc. 

 

I would recommend going back to the beginning of this series & taking my free photography course for mamas if you want to learn some of the basics:

 

Below are some examples of both unedited phone photos and DSLR photos, followed by the edited versions:


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In this post I am going to cover editing using your phone and free editing apps. However, if you have a DSLR or you really want to up your editing game, I highly recommend Lightroom for your computer.

Free Tools for Editing

My favorite free tools for editing on my phone are the VSCO app, Lightroom app, and Snapseed app. Each of these have their own strengths and weaknesses + they all have a few different features that aren’t offered by the rest. I almost always find that I use at least two of the apps in combination to edit my photos.

 

VSCO:

VSCO is the simplest of all the editing apps. The free version comes with several ‘presets’ or ‘filters,’ which are basically just pre-made edits that you can apply to your photos with one tap. You can apply the filter and call it good, or you can edit the photo further. Most photos are going to need a little more editing than what a filter is going to provide though, so I suggest editing every photo further. The better you are at taking pictures, the less editing your pictures will need.

 

Lightroom:

The free Lightroom app is a really great tool. It has a feature where you can adjust each color within your photo individually, which is a game changer.

 

Snapseed:

Snapseed has a 'Heal' function which both free versions of VSCO and Lightroom lack. It allows you to clone out blemishes or unwanted parts of your image.

 

Editing Tips:

When it comes to editing your photos, it’s important to remember that the goal is to enhance the image and make it look as natural and life-like as possible. Try to have a light hand while making adjustments.

When I go to edit my photos, the very first thing I do, regardless of which app I’m in, is adjust the brightness (aka exposure) of the image. I typically need to increase the brightness.

 

In the example below, increasing the brightness made a huge difference & really made the image pop:

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The next thing I focus on is the ‘temperature’ or ‘white balance.’ Sometimes when you take a picture, the image will look a little too blue or a little too orange. To fix this, you need to adjust the temperature. The goal is to adjust the temperature just enough to make the image looks as natural as possible (or fit your personal taste).

 

In the examples below, the first image is too blue, but the second image is too warm. To fix this I adjusted the temperature in the third image to be more neutral:

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From here, I assess my photo and try to see what else it might need.

Many times I need to straighten my photos or crop them to be more visually pleasing. I always take a look at the skin tones of the people within the photo and make sure they look natural. If they look too orange or too washed out, I use the Lightroom app to adjust the orange and yellow colors in my image (if you’d like to watch a tutorial on this, I have a Lightroom app tutorial saved to my highlights on Instagram

At this point in the editing process, I assess the photo and decide if it needs anything else or if any part of the photo needs additional enhancements.

To simplify and recap, these are the steps I suggest taking with each photo:

  1. Assess the brightness of the image. Is it too dark or too bright? Edit accordingly.
  2. Assess the temperature of the image. Is it too blue or too orange? Edit accordingly.
  3. Is the photo straight? Does it need to be cropped?
  4. Assess the skin tones within the image. Are they too orange or too washed out? Edit accordingly.
  5. Make whatever additional adjustments you think the photo needs and/or add your personal touch/style to the image. For example, some people like to fade their images and add grain to create a film look etc. 

 

Suggestions + Tools to Simplify the learning process

Editing can feel overwhelming, but I promise that if you set aside a few minutes to play around with each app, it won’t seem so daunting.

Start with VSCO. Download the app and pull a practice photo into it. Play around with all of the settings and sliders. After you have an understanding of VSCO, move to Lightroom, then Snapseed.

To help you learn what all of the buttons and sliders do within each app, I’ve created a free cheat sheet that explains all of the functions and what they do to your photos. You can download it HERE

I taught myself how to edit by both trial and error and watching youtube videos! I think it’s really helpful to watch other people edit. Youtube is a great place - just type in something like, “VSCO editing tutorials.” If you like the way I edit my photos or you want to learn more, I frequently do video editing tutorials in my Instagram stories. I have several saved in my highlights.

 

Thank you!

I have appreciated so much the opportunity Allie has given me to share my heart and love of photography with you, her sweet audience. I know you all are a loyal bunch and love her to pieces and I’ve been honored to hang out with you this month during the photography series. I hope you know that I am an open book and am always happy to answer questions and chat further. You can email me any time at hellojessiemartin@gmail.com or come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin).

 

My heart truly is for you, mama. Although I love sharing my passion for photography, I believe it is so much more than a hobby or creative outlet. Taking pictures of our families can be something we make into a burden or a mundane task with little meaning, but it can be so much more! These pictures can be an exclamation of thankfulness and gratitude, a reminder of all of the blessings we have. We as mamas have the privilege of documenting our families’ stories and I truly believe this endeavour has worth and value.

 

If you’re hoping to up your photography game, I’ve created a FREE 5 day course just for you, mama! You can enroll for free today!

 

Mom-Tog in Five

Five Days to Better Mom Photography, Even if You Don't Have a Fancy Camera


I don't care if you have a crazy expensive camera or a hand-me-down smart phone - you have everything you need to create pictures you're proud of & tell your family's story.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Powered By ConvertKit

    *This post may contain affiliate links.*


    Picture1.png

    Hi, I’m Jessie!
    I am a wife + mama and self-taught photographer. Im passionate about empowering fellow moms to to see how incredible their everyday is and to take beautiful pictures of their kids (regardless of what camera they use). I teach moms how to apply the same techniques I use as a professional photographer to their own personal photography. 

    - Jessie

    jessiemartin.co

    I love new friends! Come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin)!

     

     

     

     

    How To Take Better Smartphone Photos

    A guest post from Jessie Martin

    It’s easy to get discouraged if you feel that you don’t have the best camera to take your pictures. Maybe you have an old iPhone or a hand-me down camera and you feel like it’s holding you back. If you are feeling like this, I have some encouragement for you:

    YOU are the one in control of the pictures that your camera takes. You are the conductor and the creator.

    Even the best camera in the world can’t take a good picture if you don’t know how to use it. Your camera or smartphone is just a tool. If you don’t know how to use that tool correctly, it won’t matter how expensive or up to date it is, your photos won’t turn out the way you hope.

    When Allie and I first met, she shared with me that she takes almost all of her pictures with her iPhone. Her and Brian own really great equipment for their business, but she prefers her iPhone over any of the fancy cameras. She also shared that the photos she has hanging on her walls are primarily ones she’s taken with her smartphone.

    GUYS. That says so much about smartphone cameras. Allie has access to a fancy camera and she knows how to use it, yet she prefers and chooses the simplicity of her iPhone.

    I’ve spent a lot of time trying to master my smartphone camera even though I love my DSLR. I don’t always have my fancy camera with me, so I want to be fluent with both of my cameras in order to take pictures of my son whenever and wherever.

    I’ve got 10 tips to help you take better pictures with your smartphone:


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    1. Turn off the flash

    Lighting will make or break your pictures - especially if you’re using a smartphone. If you take pictures with artificial light, like lamps or ceiling lights, it will cause an unnatural yellow/orange tint. Use natural light as often as you can to avoid the yellow discoloration. Take advantage of windows and doors. By using natural light you alleviate the need for flash and can turn it off.

    Although I always advocate for natural lighting, I truly believe, “moments always win.” Don’t skip taking a photo just because natural light isn’t available. Just keep it in mind and use it when you can.

     

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    2. Use two hands for stabilization

    Using two hands will help stabilize your phone and decrease blur in your photos. It’s helpful to alleviate as much blur on your end as you can, because if your kiddo is anything like mine, they definitely won’t be holding still for you.

     

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    3. Use the volume buttons to release the shutter

    When your camera app is open on your phone, the volume buttons can be used to release the camera’s shutter and take the photo. This can reduce blur and allows you to stabilize your phone better. If you have an iPhone with the apple earbuds (they’re called EarPods), you can use those volume buttons to release the shutter as well.

     

     

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    4. Tap the screen to hold and lock focus on your subject

    Tap the area you want to focus on and hold down. This will lock the camera’s focus on your subject and your image will be more clear. You may need to do it a few times if you’re subject is a fast-moving toddler.

     

     

     

     

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    5. Tap the area you want to expose for

    Before you take the picture, tap the area on your screen you want to make brighter.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    6. Use the exposure meter to brighten or darken your image

    When you tap and hold on the area of focus (as described in #5) a little sun icon will appear. You can drag your finger up or down on the screen to increase or decrease the brightness and then snap the photo.

     

     

     

     

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    7. Set HDR to Auto

    The HDR setting is a feature that takes multiple shots and then combines them into one final high quality image. This is great for a stationary object, but if your subject is a wiggly kid, the image will be blurry. Set your phone to HDR auto so it will turn on and off at the appropriate times.

     

     

     

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    8. Don’t use the ‘selfie’ camera

    The selfie camera on your smartphone is actually a lower quality lens than the outward facing lens. Always use the outward facing lens on the back of your phone to take pictures. This will help your pictures have sharper focus and be more clear.

     

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    9. Consider taking burst shots of moving subjects

    When photographing a moving subject, hold down the shutter button (or volume button) for a few seconds. This will take burst shots (multiple pictures in a row at a really fast pace) and increase your chances of getting an in-focus photo. Another option is to tap the shutter button as quickly as you can over and over again. This will capture several pictures and increase the chances of capturing a non-blurry one. Go in afterwards and delete the duplicates from your phone.

     

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    10. Don’t Zoom

    When you zoom, you lose photo quality and your image will not be as clear. Instead, try taking a few steps closer to your subject.

    All of these tips have really helped improve my smartphone photography and I hope you learned something new and feel more confident when you pull out your phone for pictures!

     

     

     

    If you’re hoping to up your photography game, I’ve created a FREE 5 day course just for you, mama! You can enroll for free today!

    Mom-Tog in Five

    Five Days to Better Mom Photography, Even if You Don't Have a Fancy Camera


    I don't care if you have a crazy expensive camera or a hand-me-down smart phone - you have everything you need to create pictures you're proud of & tell your family's story.

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Powered By ConvertKit

       

      *This post may contain affiliate links.*


      Picture1.png

      Hi, I’m Jessie!
      I am a wife + mama and self-taught photographer. Im passionate about empowering fellow moms to to see how incredible their everyday is and to take beautiful pictures of their kids (regardless of what camera they use). I teach moms how to apply the same techniques I use as a professional photographer to their own personal photography. 

      - Jessie

      jessiemartin.co

      I love new friends! Come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin)!

       

       

       

       

      10 Reasons Your Photos Aren't Turning Out The Way You Want Them To

      A guest post from Jessie Martin

      Pictures provide us with a way to revisit a single moment in time and relive it over and over again. They allow us to remember the small details that we never want to forget and provide us with the opportunity to document our children’s childhood. They give us physical reminders of who we are, where we’ve come from, and what’s important.

      Unfortunately, taking pictures can actually be super challenging and discouraging when our photos aren’t turning out the way we envision.

      I remember a few years back scrolling instagram and wondering how in the world all of these non-photographer mamas were creating such amazing pictures with only their smartphones.

      I realized pretty quickly that those mamas had been very intentional and had invested some time to learn HOW to take better photos.

      Good pictures aren’t just going to happen. Even the most expensive camera isn’t going to magically take great pictures. I believe if you’re willing to be intentional and put in a little bit of time, you can learn to take incredible photos of your family and make photography a natural part of your everyday life.

      Below are 10 reasons why your photos may not be turning out the way you hope and how to improve in those areas:


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      1. You aren’t seeing the magic in your everyday

      Sometimes, when we’re knee deep in diapers and sleep deprivation, we can lose sight of how incredible these days actually are. We can’t help but put our heads down and push through – constantly looking towards the next season, thinking it will be easier and better. Taking pictures can do something to you, though. It can cause you to dig deep. To slow down. It can cause you to see.

      Let photography help you slow down. Let it help you see the magic of your everyday. Think of the things your kids do that make your heart burst. Think of the everyday family routines you never want to end. These things are the magic of your everyday. The little details. The seemingly ordinary moments that make up your days and eventually your years.

      If you want to know how and why I see the magic in my everyday, you can read my ‘Why,’ from week one. 

      Pick a day and make a list of all the things you are thankful for. Don’t just include broad things like “family.” Get specific. What things throughout your day are you really truly thankful for that maybe tend to go unnoticed? These are the things that you should be taking pictures of.

       

      2. You’re letting the thought of taking pictures overwhelm you, and in turn, you aren’t taking any

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      Taking pictures doesn’t have to be some huge unrealistic time commitment. Photography can be incorporated throughout your day in a natural, unburdened way with a few simple habits.

      1. Keep your phone memory uncluttered so that you always have enough storage to take pictures when the time comes. Back up your photos often and then delete them off your phone. Google Photos is an amazing tool – It offers a ton of free storage and after you use it once, you can set it to automatically back up your photos for you. Allie actually did an interview in my photo course for moms where she shared that Google Photos is her go-to as well!

      2. Keep your phone (or your camera) somewhere nearby and easily accessible. This will probably already be your habit if your phone is your main camera, but keeping it close, or in a central location, will alleviate missing photo opportunities. I keep my camera hanging by the door with a clean memory card and a fully charged battery at all times so that I can quickly grab it if I notice a photo opportunity.

      3. Start picking 2-3 things each week that you want to document about your family. An example may be that you really want to take a picture of the way your baby looks when they’re asleep. When a good opportunity arises during the week, take the picture. That’s it. That was like 2.5 seconds of being intentional, planning a photo, and taking the picture.

       

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      3. You don’t know how to use your phone or your camera to its full potential

      The basic difference between a phone camera and a DSLR camera is the amount of control you have over the settings.

      A smartphone camera gives you less control over the settings but significantly simplifies the  process. Most smartphones have pretty incredible built-in settings and features that make the photo capabilities rival that of many DSLRs. The trick is knowing how to use the camera you have to its full potential.

      There is a saying among photographers –

      The camera doesn’t make the photographer, the photographer makes the photographer.

      You could have the most expensive camera on the market, but if you don’t know how to use it or how to use the light around you, your pictures will be awful. On the flip side, if you understand basic photography techniques, you can make beautiful images with just your phone camera.

      I had the chance to talk to Allie about the photos she has displayed in her home. She shared that all but ONE of the photos she has hanging in her home are iPhone pictures! She and Brian own a fancy camera, but her go-to is her smartphone because it’s simple and she’s taken the time to learn how to use it.

      Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you don’t have a $3000 camera. Change your mindset. Be intentional and learn how to use the camera you do have. Become an expert at taking pictures with the gear you have available to you and I promise you’ll be ecstatic with your photos.

       

      4. You aren’t being creative with the way you take your photos

      ‘Composition,’ is the way you arrange your photo. It’s being intentional and thoughtful with the way you take your picture and where your subject is in the frame. Composition isn’t just for professional photographers - it’s an easy way for anyone to take better photos.

      Easy Composition Tricks

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      Always make sure your photos are straight. Pick a vertical or horizontal line within the image and use it as a guide. It’s much easier to do this before you take the picture, but if you forget, you can always correct this when you edit.

      Think of ways to make your photos more creative. Get closer or further away from your subject. Take pictures at your subjects eye level. Take pictures from above or below. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and take pictures from various angles and heights.

       

      5. You don’t understand light or how to use it

      Lighting is one of the most important elements of taking a great picture. It can make or break your photos, so it’s important to understand it.

      There are different types of light depending on the time of day. The most well-known is during the evening when the sun is just starting to go down. This is called “Golden Hour,” because the sun is casting a golden glow onto everything. This is one of the prettiest types of lighting.

      The easiest type of lighting to use as a beginner, and especially if you’re using your smartphone, is “even” light. Get out of the sunlight and take your photo in the shade where the light falls evenly across your subject. This alleviates having to worry about angles or the sun causing weird shadows on your subject.

      Once you feel like you’ve mastered the easy light, move on to more challenging lighting situations.

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      My Number One Lighting Hack:

      Artificial light casts a yellow glow onto everything and causes photos to look unnatural. One of the easiest ways to transform your photos is to turn off all of the artificial lights and open the curtains to let natural light in.

       

      6. You aren’t editing your photos

      The ability to edit your photos gives you so much creative freedom. A good edit can transform a photo and bring out so much life to an otherwise uninteresting picture. Editing is a skill. It takes a while to get a good eye for it. Practice makes perfect!

      My favorite editing apps are VSCO, Lightroom, and Snapseed. Go download one or all of these and play around with them. If you’re new to editing apps, start with VSCO and play around with the free filters and adjustments.

      Everyone edits differently, but I personally try to edit as true to life as possible.

      My goal as I edit is to enhance the photo, but to do so honestly.

      If you ever need editing help, I frequently do editing tutorials over on Instagram! I also created an editing cheat sheet that explains all of the actions in VSCO and Lightroom and what they do to your photo. You can get it for free HERE.

       

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      7. You aren’t in any of your pictures

      I am a big promoter of getting into pictures with your kids.

      I know how easy it is to feel self-conscious in photos. I know it’s much easier to hide behind the camera and be the one taking the pictures.

      Don’t let insecurities get in the way of taking pictures with your kids.

      Because of Allie and her heart for encouraging self-care for us mamas, I took the time to invest in myself in a few simple areas and it has helped my confidence SO much. I took her advice and invested a little bit of time and money into a wardrobe that I love. I also took some time to learn how to do my makeup and created a five minute makeup routine for myself. Those two things alone have boosted my confidence SO much. When I am dressed and ready for the day, I feel confident and am so much more willing to jump into pictures with my son.  

       

      The more confident you feel, the more likely you’ll be willing to get in front of the camera.

      Because we don’t always have someone else to take pictures for us, there are a few simple things you can do to take those pictures yourself. I suggest investing in an inexpensive tripod and shutter remote. These two tools simplify the process SO much and make it possible to get into pictures with your kids whenever you want!

      Smartphone Shutter Remote + Tripod

      DSLR Shutter Remote (Canon + Nikon)

      DSLR Tripod

       

      8. You haven’t developed a consistent photography style

      Have you ever been scrolling Instagram, seen a photo, and without looking at the name you know exactly who took the picture? This is because this person has developed their own personal photography ‘style.’

      Allie is a great example of someone who has a consistent photography style. Anytime her photos pop up on my instagram feed I know they’re hers before I ever see her name. Her instagram stories are also a great example because they always have a similar look and feel to them.

      Start a Pinterest board with photos, colors, and tones that stand out to you. Take note of the way you decorate your home or the colors you choose to wear. These things can tell you a lot about your ‘style’ and will help you develop an honest photography style that is true to who you are. You can see my Inspiration board HERE as an example.

      It takes time to develop your own style and there is a lot of trial and error. Don’t be discouraged if you try something for a few weeks and then decide you don’t really care for it anymore. You’ll find yourself continually tweaking and improving upon your style. You’ll continue to get better and feel more confident in your ability to create.

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      9. You focus too much on posing or staging your photos which leads to frustrated kiddos

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      Every kid is going to be different and their age needs to be considered. My biggest tip for taking pictures of your kids is to make it as easy going and simple as possible. Letting your kids just be themselves will allow you to capture their true personalities. If you let them be, you will be able to capture so many of their different emotions and their true personalities.

      Because my camera is always easily accessible, if I see something picture worthy or the lighting is really beautiful, I can grab it real quick and snap a few pictures.

      Try to limit yourself to just a few minutes and then put your phone or camera away.

      For babies, I don’t recommend trying to pose them in any specific way. Try placing a few toys in a spot that is getting good light. Let your baby do their own thing with their toys and take pictures while they play. When I do this with my son, I usually walk away with several pictures that I LOVE. While he plays I’ll occasionally make him giggle by singing a funny song or making a silly noise. For the majority of the time though, I try to just leave him alone and take pictures as he plays.

      A common issue with little kids is getting them to hold still long enough to get an in-focus picture. Try putting them in something that contains them a little more, like their highchair or the bathtub. One of my favorite places is our kitchen sink! I have taken some of my favorite photos while my son is playing during a sink bath.

      For older kids, you can make a game out of taking pictures. Another great trick is to let them do something that is usually against the rules, like jumping on the bed. When you do ask them to pose or do something specific, just be quick and don’t make them take pictures with you for too long.

       

      10. You don’t know when to put the camera down

      When my son was born, I was terrified that I was going to miss an opportunity to capture a moment with him. He was growing so quickly and changing everyday. I was terrified that I was going to miss something or forget something. I read this quote by Ann Voskamp and I have been so thankful for these words, because I think it has saved me so much mom-guilt.

      “All the moments a mother never captured on film – isn’t perhaps a failing, but a relaxing into fully being in that moment. They say that you can tell as much about a life by the photographs that weren’t taken as those that were. There doesn’t have to be fear of missing. Moments don’t need to be captured as much as they need to be enjoyed. There’s ridiculous freedom and glory in courage like this.”

      Be encouraged mama. Pick up your camera and capture your babies.

      Be intentional and practice taking good photos so that the time you do use your camera is worthwhile. Spend the rest of your time living in the moments with your family.

      Don’t ever be afraid to put your camera down and just plain love on your babies. You won’t ever regret being fully immersed in moments with them.

       

      If you’re hoping to up your photography game, I’ve created a FREE 5 day course just for you, mama! You can enroll for free today!

      Mom-Tog in Five

      Five Days to Better Mom Photography, Even if You Don't Have a Fancy Camera


      I don't care if you have a crazy expensive camera or a hand-me-down smart phone - you have everything you need to create pictures you're proud of & tell your family's story.

        We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

        Powered By ConvertKit

         

        *This post may contain affiliate links.*


        Picture1.png

        Hi, I’m Jessie!
        I am a wife + mama and self-taught photographer. Im passionate about empowering fellow moms to to see how incredible their everyday is and to take beautiful pictures of their kids (regardless of what camera they use). I teach moms how to apply the same techniques I use as a professional photographer to their own personal photography. 

        - Jessie

        jessiemartin.co

        I love new friends! Come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin)!

         

         

         

         

        How Losing Our Baby Changed My Life, My Motherhood, and My Lens

        A guest post from Jessie Martin

        I sat there alone, sobbing, in a disgusting park bathroom. I held my camera on my knees because there was nowhere clean to set it down.

        I hated my camera a little. It didn’t matter if it got ruined now anyways. I was having a miscarriage, what was the point? It seemed pretty stupid, actually.

        There weren’t going to be any announcement pictures or ‘bump-dates’ to document. No birth pictures or newborn photographs to take.

        Eventually, I had to get up, do my best to clean up, and walk outside. I explained to the teenage girl waiting for me that I was going to need to reschedule our photography session.

        I called my husband and he came to drive me home. I crawled in the car, threw my camera in the back, and we went home to finish miscarrying and grieving in private.

        But really, a miscarriage isn’t finished when the bleeding stops. It isn’t finished when what would have been week 20 comes and goes and there’s no gender reveal. And it doesn’t end on your due date when there’s no baby to bring home from the hospital.

        Miscarriage is devastating and it feels like it will never end.

        Like many women, one of the main reasons I bought my camera was because my husband and I had decided to start trying for a baby. I wanted to get good so I could document my pregnancy and take pictures of our future kid.

        After our loss we experienced month after month of negative pregnancy tests.

        I felt angry and creatively unfulfilled, but I had a lot of unexpected extra time on my hands, so I decided to keep practicing.

        I ate up anything I could about photography. I kept taking pictures of whatever or whoever would give me the chance.

        I knew one day I would have a baby of my own and I wasn’t going to miss or take one freaking detail for granted.

        We don’t always get a straightforward answer as to why bad things happen or why we have to go through certain trials. But one thing I do know is that there are always glimmers of hope, grace, and growth in every hardship.

        My takeaway from our miscarriage and fertility issues, among other things like my brother’s childhood cancer and my job as a nurse,  is that I want to live an intentional life & take nothing for granted.

        I want to strive to be thankful every single day and enjoy all of the little things, because really, they’re the big things.


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        Around the time of our miscarriage, we made the decision to boldly live our lives and follow our dreams.

        We saved every penny we could and eventually sold everything we owned, packed into a rental minivan and moved 1000 miles away. We bought some land and spent the entire summer of 2016 building our home ourselves.

         
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        On April 30th, 2017, two years after our loss, I took my first picture of our brand new rainbow baby.

        My heart exploded and my eyes filled with tears. Every picture I had ever taken was in preparation for this.

        For him.


         

        This is what that creative part of my heart was made for.

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        I didn’t hire anyone to come take newborn pictures. I took them myself. And I love them – they’re beautiful.

        Every day since my son was born I’ve taken pictures of him and of our family and I cherish every single one.

        They’re good, too. They aren’t blurry, grainy pictures. Whether I use my phone camera or my expensive DSLR camera, they’re images I’m proud of.

        As I write this, I’m gearing up for our precious baby number 2 and I’ve started my own business where I help moms learn to document their days and tell their families’ stories.

        http://jessiemartin.co/portraits-of-us-course/

         

         

         

         

        How Photography Can Impact Your Motherhood

        Because I thought I may never get to have babies, I am so much more in tune to the everyday magic that is motherhood + childhood. Because I don’t know what God’s plan is or how many kids we’ll be able to have in the future, I soak up every second of every minute of every day I have with our son.

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        Photography is a way that we as moms can intentionally look at our everyday lives and say “I see you. I see these blessings, I see these days and these moments, and I am thankful for them, even the hard ones.”

        Because of our story, I know what pictures I want to take. I know how important the details are and how precious this time is. I have the utmost appreciation for the mundane because it’s all I’ve ever wanted. Our everyday is my dream life.

         

        The act of taking a picture causes us to slow down, to see and take the time to truly be grateful. It keeps our priorities straight and gives us perspective on what’s important.

        My heart is for you to have images of your everyday that you take yourself, with whatever camera you have available to you, whether it’s an old iPhone or an expensive DSLR camera.

         

        I want you to see the beauty in your everyday, to live with intention and purpose.

        I want to empower you take images that you are in love with, that have value, and that tell your family’s story.

        No one else is going to take these pictures for you. No one else knows what little details you cherish most or which moments are most precious to you.

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        When I first bought my camera, I had no idea what I was doing. I spent hours googling and YouTubing how to take a good picture. I taught myself everything I could and I continue to learn and seek out how to be better at taking pictures. I had no idea when I started that anyone can learn to take a good picture, even if they don’t have a fancy camera. All of the same techniques apply.

        If you love taking pictures of your kids but you don’t know how to take quality pictures or how tell a story with your images, I want to help!

        I’ve created a free photography course just for moms to help you get started!

        I want the time you spend behind the camera to be worthwhile and produce great images and stories so you can spend the rest of your time living in the moment with your family.

        Mom-Tog in Five

        Five Days to Better Mom Photography, Even if You Don't Have a Fancy Camera


        I don't care if you have a crazy expensive camera or a hand-me-down smart phone - you have everything you need to create pictures you're proud of & tell your family's story.

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          Hi, I’m Jessie!
          I am a wife + mama and self-taught photographer. Im passionate about empowering fellow moms to to see how incredible their everyday is and to take beautiful pictures of their kids (regardless of what camera they use). I teach moms how to apply the same techniques I use as a professional photographer to their own personal photography. 

          - Jessie

          jessiemartin.co

          I love new friends! Come say hi over on Instagram (@hellojessiemartin)!