• hello + welcome to the bethadilly blog

    thanks for stopping by my lifestyle blog, i'm happy you're here! my name is beth and i am the owner + photographer of bethadilly photography. i am a momma to one + passionate picture taker. i have a guilty obsession with reality tv + live for my weekend starbucks dates with the husband. i am an instagram addict + lover of long walks through the aisles of target. i believe in the power of positivity.

    i am also the creator of the trending daily photo project called >>the bethadilly challenge<< that encourages you to photograph your everyday, by taking one photo every single day for an entire year.

    i am a momprenuer. i love to inspire moms, whether it's with how to photograph their everyday + ordinary adventures or sharing my favorite momma products. and that's what my lifestyle blog is all about. sharing my lifestyle tips to inspire you to be the photographer and momma you want to be.

    be sure you subscribe to my lifestyle blog so you don't miss out on my exclusive photography + momma inspiration! goodbye!

over time, photographers develop good habits when they pick up their camera.  by either learning how to shoot in manual mode or by learning how to achieve good focus, photographers are continuing to build their skill with each and every photo they take.  but sometimes, being successful with photography is more about what you do before you take the picture.  i have made a habit out of doing a few things before i actually snap the photo that has made me a better photographer.  the next time you pick up your camera, try and remember these 4 things to do before you take a picture.

getting ready to head somewhere with your camera?  here are 10 things to pack in your camera bag.

4 Things To Do Before You Take A Picture

4 Things To Do Before You Take A Picture | Bethadilly Photography

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography.

1.  Turn Off Any Artificial Light

if the situation allows you to, turn off any artificial light before you take a picture.  natural light is so much better and creates a more natural photo.  sometimes you will be in a situation where you can’t control the light, whether you are on an outing to a museum or if you are photographing at night.  for those times, artificial light is your only option.  but for the times when you can use natural light, be sure to turn off any other lights.  even if you are taking photos in a bedroom, turning off the lights in the hallway or adjacent rooms is very important as artificial light seems to trickle into any image and cast unnatural colors onto your photo.

2.  Check Your ISO

this is more for avoiding a mistake than anything else.  have you ever taken a wonderful picture in broad daylight that you are absolutely in love with, only to realize your ISO was set to 3200?  ugh!  don’t get me wrong, high ISO’s are just fine…just not necessary for broad daylight.  for me, i am always grabbing my camera real quick to photograph a moment and not realizing that my ISO was still set from the last time i took a picture.  making a habit out of checking your ISO before you take a picture will help you avoid photographing moments with an ISO that isn’t appropriate for the lighting situation.

3.  Think About Your Composition

before actually taking the photo with your camera, think about what composition will be best.  is a center composition best or should you try enforcing the rule of thirds?  are there leading lines available?  is there any opportunity to create depth?  are their any distractions that will be within the frame and, therefore, compete with your subject?  thinking through your composition will help you look for inspiration in your surroundings so you can take a really successful picture.

how are you doing with composition?  here are 8 photography compositions you should be using.

4.  Decide What Aperture Tells Your Story the Best

your aperture is what is going to tell your story.  should your entire photo be in focus or do you want to have some blur in the background and foreground?  do you need your background to be in focus to tell your story or would it be better to keep the focus on your subject?  you can control these things by choosing the best aperture for the story you are trying to tell.  using higher apertures like f/8 will ensure that your entire photo is in focus, while lower apertures like f/2.8 will allow you to place your focus on your subject and blur anything that isn’t in that focal plane.

there are a lot of things to do before you take a picture, but i find that these 4 are what i do on a regular basis.  by knowing the things to do before you take a picture, you are making the most out of the photograph and your experience.

be sure to join my exclusive email list to receive my latest photography tips and tutorials.  it’s free!

need some photography tips + inspiration?  check out what posts are trending below!

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

Photographing Love: 5 Ways To Portray Emotion

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For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session

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How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings

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photographing is such a powerful thing because it can portray so much emotion, without words or sound.  with one photograph we can make someone feel happy, angry, scared, sad, joyful…the list is endless.  as photographers we create emotion through our photographs.  of all the emotions that a photograph can hold, love is one that is always so rich.  the art of photographing love is both simple and complex.  it’s simple to think of what love means to us, but sometimes showing that in a photograph is difficult.  as you think about photographing love, think about how you can portray emotion.  here are 5 ways i portray emotion, to get you started.

don’t forget the power of depth as you are photographing and keep the importance of creating depth in photographs in mind.

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography.

1.  Think of Your Honest Moments

when i think about love, i think about honesty.  there is nothing more honest than love.  when i think about some of the most honest moments i have with my daughter, it’s during the time when it is just me and her.  no cell phones, no distractions.  at least once a day, we cuddle up together nose to nose and just lay there.  she babbles and i kiss her cheeks.  i talk and sing to her, she lovingly pulls my hair and grabs my nose.  those moments are honest and all about love.  when you think about photographing love, make a list of your honest moments and use that as your inspiration.  focus on photographing moments, not portraits.

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

2.  Love Is In The Details

sometimes it isn’t the subjects, but the details of a photograph that contain the most love.  in the photo above, i love how she is holding onto my hand.  it’s a simple gesture but it holds so much emotion.  as you pick up your camera with the goal of photographing love, don’t forget the little details.  love doesn’t have to mean photographing faces, it can be in the simple gestures that the emotion is most powerful.

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

3.  Focus on Reactions

how someone reacts to something is so honest and true.  reactions happen in a split second, so you have to be ready to photograph it.  whether someone is reacting to a whispered secret, a kiss on the cheek, or the sound of baby laughter as they tickle their little one, be sure focus on how the person is reacting just as much as you are focusing on what they are reacting to.  photographing love is easy when you give prompts such as “kiss your child” or “whisper in your wife’s ear.”  but remember, it’s not the prompt you want to photograph, but the reaction is creates.

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

4.  Love Doesn’t Have To Be A Person, It Can Be An Action

photographing love doesn’t have to mean photographing a person, it can be an act of love.  think of the ways in which you show love to another person.  it could mean writing a handwritten note, sending flowers, packing a lunch, or bringing one a cup of coffee in bed.  photographing love can mean tickling baby toes as you feed your little one or making someone their favorite cookies.  remember that photographing love doesn’t necessarily mean your photograph has to contain a human subject, it can contain an action or a gesture that shows love.  gestures of love can change over time, so be sure to take the opportunity to photograph what loves means to you today.  while 5 years ago love looks like a bouquet of flowers from my hubby, today it looks like getting up early with the baby so i can sleep or making me dinner after a long day.  we all view love differently and it beautifully changes with life.

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

5.  Encourage Interaction And Touch

photographing love comes naturally when your subjects touch in some way.  whether it is a husband wrapping his arm around his wife, siblings holding hands, or a baby reaching up to hold her mamas face, there is so much love held in that touch.  gently prompt your subjects to interact with one another in a way that includes touch like holding hands, giving eskimo kisses, or cuddling close.  close interactions encourage honest emotion and relaxation.

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

the photos in this post were achieved using : nikon d750sigma art 24mm f/1.4 lenstripod and a wireless remote.

photographing love can be done in a variety of ways, with a variety of subjects.  again, it’s important to note that photographing love doesn’t have to include a person, but an act of love.  as you go about your everyday, look for things that symbolize love.  look for ways that you or others show love.  keep note of these gestures, big or small, and make plans to photograph those moments that you really want to cherish.

be sure to join my exclusive email list to receive my latest photography tips and tutorials.  it’s free!

need some photography tips + inspiration?  check out what posts are trending below!

4 Things To Do Before You Take A Picture

over time, photographers develop good habits when they pick up their camera.  by either learning how to shoot in manualView full post »

5 Signs You

5 Signs You’re Photographing For Others and Not Yourself

at one point or another, every photographer goes through a spell where they are uninspired with their photography.View full post »

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above | Bethadilly Photography

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above

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The Bethadilly 52 Week 3 - My Style | Bethadilly Photography

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For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session | Bethadilly Photography

For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session

here’s the thing.  and i mean this in a polite way.  yoga pants and messy hair just don’t cut it as aView full post »

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How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings

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at one point or another, every photographer goes through a spell where they are uninspired with their photography.  sometimes it can be because you are simply uninspired, but other times it can be because we are photographing for others instead of for ourselves.  when we photograph for others, our goal is to satisfy someone else instead of ourselves.  whether it is a photography client who hired us for our services, or a wider audience, sometimes the pressure to photograph for others ruins our passion for photography.  here are 5 signs you’re photographing for others and not yourself.

it’s time for you to put you and your photography first.  check out what 10 photography resolutions you should be making.

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography!

5 Signs You’re Photographing For Others and Not Yourself

5 Signs You

1.  You Photograph For “Likes”

if you only pick up your camera to take a photo because “it will get a lot of likes” on social media, you are photographing for others instead of for yourself.  while taking relatable photos is not always a bad thing, be sure that the photo you are taking is still representing you as a photographer and what you want to be known for.  photographing for others will quickly burn you out, leaving you only taking pictures to gain a reaction instead of taking pictures because you truly want to.

2.  You Photograph Because You Are Asked To, Not Want To

one thing people don’t understand about photographers is that…we don’t always want to photograph.  just because we like to take pictures, doesn’t mean we want to do it all of the time.  we like to pick up our camera when we are inspired or when something catches our eye, but not necessarily when others ask us to.  if you feel like you are photographing only because people ask you to, you may be photographing more for others and not for yourself.

3.  You Change Your Photography Style To Please Others

if you feel like you take on photography styles just to please a client or to keep up with what’s trending, you are photographing for others and not for yourself.  this can be one of the worst things you can do for your photography because it will not only lead you to become burnt out with your photography, but you will also have a portfolio full of images that don’t relate to one another.  in turn, you will keep getting hired to take pictures you don’t want to take because you are showing others that you are embracing any photography style.

having a photography style that truly represents you and your passion for photography is one of the most important and successful things you can do for both your photography and for yourself.  if you need help finding and developing your own unique photography style, be sure to check out the styled photographer: a guide to finding your unique photography style.

4.  You Photograph Only To Get Paid

while getting paid for your photography is definitely a perk, it’s important that you remain passionate about photography.  if you feel like you only pick up your camera to get a paycheck and don’t enjoy the actual act of photographing, you may be photographing for others and not for yourself.  photographers who are in business should still maintain a passion for photography.  if you aren’t feeling passionate about your photography business, it may be time to determine if the type of photography you are offering is what you are truly passionate about.  it’s always okay to change it up, especially if it is to enhance your passion.

5.  You Photograph To Reduce Your Guilt

as parents, we feel a sense of guilt when we don’t photograph each and every milestone our children accomplishes.  if you feel like you are picking up your camera only because “you’ll regret it if you don’t,” you may not be photographing purely for yourself.  find a way to make photographing your children fun!  maybe this means picking and choosing what milestones you really want to photograph and finding other ways to remember the others.  write down ways that photographing your children can be fun and get creative with your photos.  think about what photos will truly make you happy and take them.

photographing for others is not always a bad thing, but if we find that we are photographing for others most of the time, we are putting ourselves and our passion for photography on the back burner.  this only leads us to become burnt out and resentful towards our photography.  by taking the time to determine what type of photography we truly love and politely say no to the rest, we are investing in ourselves and our passion.  and photographers who are passionate take much better pictures than photographers who pick up their cameras for the wrong reason.

be sure to join my exclusive email list to receive my latest photography tips and tutorials.  it’s free!

need some photography tips + inspiration?  check out what posts are trending below!

4 Things To Do Before You Take A Picture

over time, photographers develop good habits when they pick up their camera.  by either learning how to shoot in manualView full post »

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

Photographing Love: 5 Ways To Portray Emotion

photographing is such a powerful thing because it can portray so much emotion, without words or sound.  with oneView full post »

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above | Bethadilly Photography

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above

one of my most favorite ways to photograph is from above.  i think it offers a really fun perspective and can make forView full post »

The Bethadilly 52 Week 3 - My Style | Bethadilly Photography

The Bethadilly 52 Week 3 – My Style

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For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session | Bethadilly Photography

For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session

here’s the thing.  and i mean this in a polite way.  yoga pants and messy hair just don’t cut it as aView full post »

How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings | Bethadilly Photography

How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings

when i first started accepting newborn clients, i found myself intimidated when they told me they had other children inView full post »

4 Tricks To Catch Up On Editing If You

4 Tricks To Catch Up On Editing If You’re Really Behind

so, it happened.  you are behind on editing and it seems like the possibility of catching up is far fetched.  most ofView full post »

How To Design A Room That Will Photograph Well | Bethadilly Photography

How To Design a Room That Will Photograph Well

when i saw that positive pregnancy test, my first reaction was obviously personal excitement and joy and…relief!View full post »

Picking Paint Colors For Better White Balance | Bethadilly Photography

Picking Paint Colors For Better White Balance

when we bought our current home, i was so excited to paint.  and not for the reasons you think.  it really had nothingView full post »

one of my most favorite ways to photograph is from above.  i think it offers a really fun perspective and can make for some really interesting photographs.  i also really like the reaction i get when i share my images that i have photographed from above.  most people ask, “how did you doooooo that!?”  because i like to photograph from above a lot, i have developed quite a few tricks for being successful at it.  the next time you want to offer a new perspective, keep these 5 tricks for photographing from above in mind.

need a new photography project?  check out what 5 photography projects every photographer should do.

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above | Bethadilly Photography

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography.

before anything else, it’s important that you keep safety your first priority when photographing from above.  always, always, always wear a camera strap when photographing from above.  never attempt taking a photograph from a high angle without wearing a camera strap.

1.  Use A Wide Angle Lens

wide angle lenses are the easiest way to get a photograph from above because you don’t have to get higher off of the ground to get the photo.  because a wide angle lens allows you to get more of the setting within the frame and is good for working in tight spaces, it allows you to photograph from above without stepping on a stool.  i photograph from above with my sigma art 24mm f/1.4 frequently, with my feet flat on the ground.

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above | Bethadilly Photography

2.  Use A Tilt Screen

one of my favorite things about the nikon d750 is the tilt screen on the back of the camera.  it allows you to tilt the screen forward and monitor your composition in LIVE view while you are pointing your camera down.  it allows me to hold my camera away from my body and photograph facing down, while the tilt screen allows me to see my photo.  this works really great when i want to photograph a baby lying in a crib.  it’s one of my favorite tricks for photographing from above.

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above | Bethadilly Photography

3.  Use A Step Stool

if you don’t have a tilt screen on your camera or a wide angle lens, one of the easiest tricks for photographing from above is using a simple step stool.  i like to carry a step stool with me to sessions for moments when i want to photograph from above with my 50mm lens.  its a quick and easy way to get a little height when i need it and works every time!  plus, you can move it around to achieve height in any situation, wherever you are.

4.  Look For Opportunities To Get Height

for those moments when you don’t have a step stool, look for natural areas in your surroundings that will give you height.  some areas around my house that offer me quick height are stairways, chairs, ottomans, etc.  again, be sure what you are stepping on will keep you safe before getting up high with your gear.

5.  Use The iPhone Front Facing Camera

there are going to be times when you really want to be the subject of the photo, but you don’t want to have a DSLR over the top of your head.  not to mention, it’s so heavy to lift!  for those times, i love using my iPhone and switching the camera to front facing (selfie style) so i can see my composition on the screen as i take the photo from above.  for the car photo at the top of this post, i raised and wedged my iPhone into the sunroof of my car and snapped the photo.  (anything for a photo, right?)

photographing from above is so much fun and really offers a unique perspective.  when done correctly, you will not only offer a fun perspective, but you will also be able to show surrounding elements within the photo that help to tell your story.  by using these trick for photographing from above, you are bound to be more successful with your photos the next time to see an opportunity to photograph this way.

be sure to join my exclusive email list to receive my latest photography tips and tutorials.  it’s free!

need some photography tips + inspiration?  check out what posts are trending below!

4 Things To Do Before You Take A Picture

over time, photographers develop good habits when they pick up their camera.  by either learning how to shoot in manualView full post »

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

Photographing Love: 5 Ways To Portray Emotion

photographing is such a powerful thing because it can portray so much emotion, without words or sound.  with oneView full post »

5 Signs You

5 Signs You’re Photographing For Others and Not Yourself

at one point or another, every photographer goes through a spell where they are uninspired with their photography.View full post »

The Bethadilly 52 Week 3 - My Style | Bethadilly Photography

The Bethadilly 52 Week 3 – My Style

week 3 of the bethadilly 52 has us looking at our photography style.  for many this can be a struggle and, to beView full post »

For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session | Bethadilly Photography

For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session

here’s the thing.  and i mean this in a polite way.  yoga pants and messy hair just don’t cut it as aView full post »

How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings | Bethadilly Photography

How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings

when i first started accepting newborn clients, i found myself intimidated when they told me they had other children inView full post »

4 Tricks To Catch Up On Editing If You

4 Tricks To Catch Up On Editing If You’re Really Behind

so, it happened.  you are behind on editing and it seems like the possibility of catching up is far fetched.  most ofView full post »

How To Design A Room That Will Photograph Well | Bethadilly Photography

How To Design a Room That Will Photograph Well

when i saw that positive pregnancy test, my first reaction was obviously personal excitement and joy and…relief!View full post »

Picking Paint Colors For Better White Balance | Bethadilly Photography

Picking Paint Colors For Better White Balance

when we bought our current home, i was so excited to paint.  and not for the reasons you think.  it really had nothingView full post »

week 3 of the bethadilly 52 has us looking at our photography style.  for many this can be a struggle and, to be honest, it took me years to really define and perfect my photography style.  if i am being really honest, i am still perfecting it and making small changes for the better as i try to represent myself through my photography in the most accurate way.  when i think about my photography style during week 3, i think about being organic, honest, natural and simple through my images.  every time i pick up my camera to photograph an object or human subject, i keep my photography style in mind.  and having a new baby has really helped my images become effortlessly honest and has helped me focus more on the moment than perfecting the scene, something that has helped my photography style evolve into becoming more honest and organic.

to join in on the bethadilly 52, where we take one photo a week using the hashtag #thebethadilly52 on instagram, check out the prompt list.

this post contains affiliate links.  thank you in advance for supporting bethadilly photography.

The Bethadilly 52 Week 3 – My Style

The Bethadilly 52 Week 3 - My Style | Bethadilly Photography

this photo was achieved using : nikon d750sigma art 24mm f/1.4 lens.

my settings were : ISO 400 | f/2.8 | 1/125ss

 . . .

to learn more about photography styles, be sure to read when you can say you’ve found your photography style.

be sure to join my exclusive email list to receive my latest photography tips and tutorials.  it’s free!

need some photography tips + inspiration?  check out what posts are trending below!

4 Things To Do Before You Take A Picture

over time, photographers develop good habits when they pick up their camera.  by either learning how to shoot in manualView full post »

Photographing Love : 5 Ways To Portray Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

Photographing Love: 5 Ways To Portray Emotion

photographing is such a powerful thing because it can portray so much emotion, without words or sound.  with oneView full post »

5 Signs You

5 Signs You’re Photographing For Others and Not Yourself

at one point or another, every photographer goes through a spell where they are uninspired with their photography.View full post »

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above | Bethadilly Photography

5 Tricks For Photographing From Above

one of my most favorite ways to photograph is from above.  i think it offers a really fun perspective and can make forView full post »

For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session | Bethadilly Photography

For Photographers : How To Dress For A Photo Session

here’s the thing.  and i mean this in a polite way.  yoga pants and messy hair just don’t cut it as aView full post »

How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings | Bethadilly Photography

How To Photograph Newborn Sessions With Older Siblings

when i first started accepting newborn clients, i found myself intimidated when they told me they had other children inView full post »

4 Tricks To Catch Up On Editing If You

4 Tricks To Catch Up On Editing If You’re Really Behind

so, it happened.  you are behind on editing and it seems like the possibility of catching up is far fetched.  most ofView full post »

How To Design A Room That Will Photograph Well | Bethadilly Photography

How To Design a Room That Will Photograph Well

when i saw that positive pregnancy test, my first reaction was obviously personal excitement and joy and…relief!View full post »

Picking Paint Colors For Better White Balance | Bethadilly Photography

Picking Paint Colors For Better White Balance

when we bought our current home, i was so excited to paint.  and not for the reasons you think.  it really had nothingView full post »

j o i n   t o d a y