i bet you read that title and thought i was nuts to go on vacation without my camera.  but really, i might be on to something here.  when heading on our first family vacation with our daughter in january, my husband encouraged me to leave my camera at home.  this was partly because he knew i was in need of a truly relaxing vacation and also because it can sometimes be stressful to worry about expensive gear while vacationing.  (how to pack it just right, where to put it when you don’t want to bring in on an outing, how to keep it safe by the pool, and not to even mention the danger of sand near a dslr).  and to be real, the thought of vacationing without my camera didn’t come natural to me.  i was instantly in disagreement about leaving my camera behind but, after really thinking about it, i felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

do you want to try vacationing without your camera?  see how hiring a photographer while on vacation is definitely worth the expense.

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How I Found Freedom in Vacationing Without My Camera

How I Found Freedom in Vacationing Without My Camera | Bethadilly Photography

i do realize that vacations are one of the biggest opportunities for photographs and, as a photographer, i always feel compelled to document our travels in pictures.  while i always vacation with my dslr, this vacation was just different.  it was our first getaway as a brand new family, and i was ready for a true break.  for me, a true break involves putting my camera down.  of course, i took my iphone and did pull it out from time to time to document certain moments of our trip. it’s only natural to want to photograph our memories, but the feeling of not having to was pure freedom.

instead of worrying about what lens to use or what angle would be best, i found that i was simple in the images i took, reacted on first instinct when i was presented with an inspiring photo opportunity, and then enjoyed my trip.  because i decided to not take my nikon on our beach trip, i instead brought some fun lens attachments for my iPhone that proved to be a fun way to get interesting images without bringing along a dslr.  this little aukey lens set comes with a macro, wide angle and fish eye lens attachments and i felt that the variety helped me still have fun with taking photos, but they are all small enough to fit in my pocket.

How I Found Freedom in Vacationing Without My Camera | Bethadilly Photography

image taken with the wide angle lens.

How I Found Freedom in Vacationing Without My Camera | Bethadilly Photography

image taken with the fish eye lens.

How I Found Freedom in Vacationing Without My Camera | Bethadilly Photography

image taken with the macro lens.

the decision of vacationing without my camera was a blessing.  i was able to get some great photos with my phone, using the lens attachments, while enjoying myself and not feeling the pressure to create stunning imagery.  it was the best of both worlds.  i walked away with images that document the time and the unique surroundings where we vacationed, while truly having a memory of being relaxed and present.  in the end, i won’t say that i will always do this, as photography truly is my passion.  but vacationing without my camera showed me that not everything is about pictures.  and it showed me that, while i love photographing, i love stepping away from my camera from time to time to relax.  if you ever want to try vacationing without your camera, i would definitely recommend it.  it’s a beautiful feeling to truly feel carefree.

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when my husband and i took our daughter on her very first vacation this year to cabo san lucas, mexico, we were more than ready to both have some down time and to create some lasting memories with our family.  whenever i get ready to travel, i get a little anxious.  more specifically, i get a little overwhelmed with the idea of taking good pictures to document our travels and deciding how much or how little to bring with me, in terms of camera gear.  for this vacation, my husband encouraged me to pack light.  and when i mean light, i mean leave the camera at home.  i had been working non-stop with photographing clients and he knew that bringing my camera would just add to the pressure of taking pictures, and that’s not a vacation.  leaving my camera at home would encourage me to truly relax.  at first, i thought he was nuts.  and after leaving my camera at home, i thought i would regret it the moment i got on the plane.  but i didn’t, it as freeing.  and out of this freedom came another great idea…hiring a photographer on vacation.  win win.  great pictures so i won’t have regret, but ultimate relaxation on my part.  if you are thinking of truly giving yourself a break from the camera and enjoying yourself on vacation, here are 5 reasons why hiring a photographer on vacation is the best idea there is.

do you enjoy photographing your family and your everyday?  be sure to check out my ebook the everyday photograph for inspiration.

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Hiring A Photographer On Vacation : 5 Reasons You Should Do It

Hiring A Photographer On Vacation : 5 Reasons You Should Do It | Bethadilly Photography

photo credit: photos in this post were taken by a resort photographer at sunset beach resort in cabo san lucas, mexico

1.  You Can Leave Your Camera At Home

listen, you may think i am absolutely nuts for leaving my camera at home when going on vacation but hear me out.  for me, my camera equals work.  i associate my camera with work.  sure it is fun too, but when my camera is in my hand, i mean business.  i stress easily with taking really great photos, to the point where i can ruin the fun in it for myself.  it’s my flaw, whatever.  i am working on it.  leaving my camera at home meant leaving work and the stress and pressure of taking photos behind.  also, it allowed me to enjoy vacation while putting my family first.  i wasn’t worried about where my gear was and if it was safe.  i mean, lets be real. my camera and lenses are expensive and not something i want to be babysitting when i should be relaxing

i am in no way saying that i never take my camera when vacationing, this is probably the first time in ten years that i vacationed camera-less.  some of my favorite images i have were taken on vacations.  but sometimes, less is more and good for the soul and it’s just time to truly vacation.   obviously, i took photos with my iPhone during this trip but that was fun for me because it was an easy going, put it in your pocket, camera.

2.  You Get To Be In The Photos, Too

one of the best things about hiring a photographer on vacation is that, you aren’t the photographer!  you get to actually be in the pictures too.  sure, you could set up your camera and jump in the frame from time to time.  but, that’s work and possibility bringing extra equipment to pull it off.  i really wanted to be in the photos too to document our first family vacation together and, if for only that reason alone, hiring a photographer made it worth the price.  plus, i look relaxed in these photos instead of looking a little stressed because i am taking the pictures too.

Hiring A Photographer On Vacation : 5 Reasons You Should Do It | Bethadilly Photography

3.  You Can Document A Special Place

hiring a photographer at home is amazing and totally necessary, but wouldn’t it be even more fun if the setting of your session was someplace completely different from your day to day life?  you spent all this money on the travel tickets, the hotel, the outfits, so why not bring home really good memories in photographs.  not only do i love the moments captured within these images, but i love the fact that they remind me of a special place we went.

Hiring A Photographer On Vacation : 5 Reasons You Should Do It | Bethadilly Photography

4.  The Pressure Is Off

there is absolutely no pressure on you to take pictures, the pressure is off.  you are handing the torch to someone else and allowing them to worry about getting good images for you.  hiring a photographer on vacation is well worth it if only to remove that pressure of picture taking from you.  seriously, you should try it. there is so much relief involved when you can just be, do and see.

Hiring A Photographer On Vacation : 5 Reasons You Should Do It | Bethadilly Photography

5.  It’s A Cherished Souvenir

if the expense of hiring a photographer on vacation is making you hesitate, think of it as a souvenir.  my husband knows that photos mean everything to me and he also knows that i hate buying stuff on vacation.  it’s just going to end up at goodwill in a month and i am not a trinkets type of person.  for me, photos are my souvenir.  when considering hiring a photographer on vacation, think about how much better photos of your experience there are than things.  sure, i understand that other people like shopping for physical items on vacation, to each their own, but if the investment has you worried maybe place photos into your souvenir budget and spend accordingly.

believe it or not, when we left for vacation, i didn’t even think to hire a photographer…we did in on a whim.  i learned about the resort photographer once we actually arrived on vacation, making the fact that i left my camera at home even easier.  (also, thank gosh i am in the habit of packing color coordinating outfits for my family, it made deciding what to wear on a moment’s notice effortless.)  when wondering if it is worth it to have your photos taken while vacationing, think of the benefits to you. not only do you have memories in photographs that you are in too, but you are allowing yourself to truly enjoy yourself and your vacation. if taking pictures non stop is what you love to do, by all means go for it.  but for me, it’s nice to separate the pressure of picture taking from quality family time.

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the idea of placing a watermark on your images is a personal choice.  some photographers don’t do it, while others do.  it is really up to the photographer and if they want to or not.  for me, i am faithful about watermarking my images.  for the most obvious reason, i have had images stolen in the past and that just irks me.  placing a watermark on my image doesn’t keep it totally safe, but it does offer a slight deterrent.  if you are on the fence about watermarking your images and aren’t sure if you should or shouldn’t, for the sake of full disclosure, here are 3 reasons why i watermark my images each and every time.

i love inspiring photographers to photograph their everyday and take better images.  be sure to check out my ebook the everyday photograph!

Watermarking Your Images : 3 Reasons I Faithfully Do It

Watermarking Your Images : 3 Reasons I Faithfully Do It | Bethadilly Photography

first of, there is no right or wrong answer here.  watermarking your images is a personal choice.  if you want to do it, do it.  if not, don’t.  every photographer has a different stance on watermarking, and choose whatever works best for you.  for me, i love watermarking and you may be surprised why.

1.  A Little Protection

like i said, i have had images stolen in the past.  it sucks.  but i believe in karma, so that is on the other person, right?  i like to place a watermark on my images as a way to add a little extra protection to my images.  yes, i know that someone could simply edit out my my watermark if they truly were passionate about stealing.  but again, that is on them and their conscience and if that how someone wants to spend their time, that’s between them and their live choices.  and again, karma.

2.  Instant Branding

watermarking your images is a wonderful way to have instant branding.  on social media outlets like instagram, it is popular for photography forums to share images from other photographers in their own feed.  when you have a watermark on your image, you are instantly allowing your brand to be represented, no matter what feed you are featured on.  i also given all my clients watermarked files of their session images for social media posting because, should they forget to mention the awesome photographer who took them, the watermark tells all their friends who they worked with and then…my email starts dinging with session requests.  it’s as easy as a watermark!

Watermarking Your Images : 3 Reasons I Faithfully Do It | Bethadilly Photography

3.  Creates Balance

one of the main reasons why i love watermarking my images is because it can create fun balance in an image.  a thoughtful watermark placement can add to an image, instead of being a distraction.  i am always thoughtful when deciding where to place my watermark to make sure it adds to the image and creates a visual balance.

whether watermarking your images is a choice you make or don’t make, that’s totally up to you.  i personally do and have done it for awhile now and i love that it adds a little piece of mind, offers instant branding and creates a visual balance in my images.

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for week 11 of The Bethadilly 52, our focus lies on emotion.  something that there is a lot of at my house, these days.  we are full of happy emotion lately, as our little girl learns to crawl fast, clap her hands, and respond to simple spoken requests.  then, after she goes to bed we find ourselves flipping through pictures of her on our phone, wondering how she has grown so much.  typical parents, i know.  with this week’s focus on emotion, i wanted to put an emphasis on my daughter and the emotion of motherhood.  we just got our first snowfall of the season (it’s march!) yesterday, meaning there was a lot of white outdoors that was reflecting brightly indoors.  i took advantage of this natural bright reflection to capture a portrait of my daughter and i near the window and really loved the results.  i love the happy connection between the subjects and the emotion that is both contained within the image and created in the viewer.

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.

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The Bethadilly 52 Week 11 – Emotion

The Bethadilly 52 Week 11 - Emotion | Bethadilly Photography

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

my settings were : ISO 400 | f/2.8 | 1/500ss

 . . .

to learn more about how to create emotion in your images, be sure to read 4 eye-catching ways to create emotion in photographs.

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when i was first starting out photographing lifestyle newborn sessions, i was always worried about bringing enough gear.  in fact, i was so worried that i just started bringing anything and everything i owned…just in case i were to need it.  and time after time, i only used the same two lenses.  after years of photographing lifestyle newborn sessions, i feel like i know my dream lenses and pack only those.  in addition to lenses, i also bring a few other items with me to ensure that i can photograph a session successfully.  here a little peak at my game changing photography gear for lifestyle newborn sessions.

need help getting your clients more comfortable?  check out creating client comfort during lifestyle newborn sessions.

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Gamechanging Photography Gear For Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

Gamechanging Photography Gear For Lifestyle Newborn Sessions | Bethadilly Photography

everything that i bring with me fits in my camera bag.  i think this is important to note because i don’t want to arrive at my clients home with arms full of gear and bags, it can seem a little overwhelming to the client who just brought a new baby home.  and let’s be real, their home is already swimming with the reality of new baby items everywhere.  i am not telling you not to bring things that are big that you actually will use, but maybe be mindful of looking like you are moving in.

Gamechanging Photography Gear For Lifestyle Newborn Sessions | Bethadilly Photography

A Wide Angle Lens

when it comes to game changing photography gear for lifestyle newborn sessions, my favorite lens and most used lens during my lifestyle newborn sessions is my sigma 24mm f/1.4 art lens.  this lens not only takes super crisp photos, but it also works really well in small spaces.  because i photograph my lifestyle newborn sessions sight unseen, i love that this lens offers me the peace of mind that i can work in small spaces, should that be what i show up to find.  also, being that the goal of lifestyle photography is to document families in their homes, a wide angle lens is a must in getting my subjects, and well as their surroundings, all comfortably within the frame.

Gamechanging Photography Gear For Lifestyle Newborn Sessions | Bethadilly Photography

A Backup Camera Body

my primary camera is the nikon d750 but i bring a second camera body, my nikon d610, for two reasons.  the first reasons is obvious, in case something happens to my primary camera, i have a backup.  the second reason i bring a backup camera to my sessions is so i can place another lens on it and shoot simultaneously with two lenses.  i love having my sigma 24mm f/1.4 art on my nikon d750 and my sigma 50mm f/1.4 art on my nikon d610 so i don’t waste time switching lenses out.  i like to use all my time actually photographing, especially to take advantage of a new baby’s good mood.

Gamechanging Photography Gear For Lifestyle Newborn Sessions | Bethadilly Photography

A Portrait Lens

the second and final lens i bring with me is my sigma 50mm f/1.4 art lens, a portrait lens.  i primarily use this lens when i am taking individual portraits of the baby or want to capture details such as their hair, toes, hands, face, etc.  i love that this lens allows the baby to be the focus, allowing me to lower the aperture to create a soft blur around the baby for a beautiful portrait.

Gamechanging Photography Gear For Lifestyle Newborn Sessions | Bethadilly Photography

Monopod

i put a monopod in my camera bag, just in case i should need to steady my camera during a session.  i only bring this out around 5% of the time during newborn sessions, it is just a backup option should i arrive at a home that is super dark and i need more support to steady my camera to get the photo in low light.  it’s one of those things that i barely use, but can save a session if needed so i make sure to pack it.

after years of photographing newborns, i finally feel that i am carrying my dream photography gear for lifestyle newborn sessions.  of course, the photographer is the brains behind the creativity and success of the session, but having the right gear helps to be successful with that vision.  by bringing only two lenses, a backup camera and a monopod, i feel that i am more than prepared to photograph and feel even more confident because of the gear i am using.

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