Fake Macro Tutorial

I pride myself on finding cheap ghetto ways to pull things off. So when I was searching for a macro lens and could only find ones that would put me into serious debt, I was on a search for an alternative method on taking fun close up shots. And I found it. I considered sharing this discovery, but downplayed the importance of sharing, as I assumed everyone else in the world must know this already. Then I recalled something I think about often… this comic from XKCD

Okay, you might not have cared about that. But anyway, for those of you 10,000/day within the human race who have not heard of this method, I shall break the not-so-secret secret down into steps… as you will notice, it is insanely easy.

 1.Have a DSLR camera.

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2. Take lens off

3. Pretend you are someone that is camera illiterate

[perhaps your great grand-mother... the one who might do this...]

While channeling the confused great-grandma, put your lens on… the wrong way…

4. That’s it! Have fun!

You’re not going to be able to lock it into place unless you buy a special adaptor and what-not, so just hold it in place and have fun!

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Below you will see the difference between using lens the “right” way and the “wrong” way.

SAME LENS:

The “right” way

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The “wrong” way
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SPECIAL TIPS

  • Depth of focus is intense with your lens this way! There is only a minute little span of a half a millimeter or so that will be in focus, so you may look slightly odd and you and your camera move back and forth trying to find the sweet spot.
  • Don’t drink caffeine before handling camera in this way. Camera becomes extremely vibration sensitive due to the thin line of focus, so shaky hands will ruin your fun.
  • Contents appear close than they actually are. I’ve tried photographing spiders, but was way too scared. I have to have a friend with me because every five seconds I freak out thinking I am touching the spider, and the extra support assures me I am no where near the spider.
  • Autofocus will not work with lens flipped in this way! You focus by moving camera closer and further from subject.
  • Lock your focusing ring AND zoom if you can. You want everything to be as steady as humanly possible and don’t want to accidentally have your lens creep out.
  • This works best with zoom lenses. I’ve tried it with my primes and it’s cool, but not as macro as I like.

Here are some more examples of some more “fake macros”

Sister's Eyebrow Hairs

Sister’s Eyebrow Hairs

Iris and Little Red Veins of Craziness

Iris and Little Red Veins of Craziness

Eye Lashes

Eye Lashes

My Sister's Eye Ball [taken with PRIME LENS backwards - notice it's less "macro-esque" than the others]

My Sister’s Eye Ball [taken with PRIME LENS backwards - notice it's less "macro-esque" than the others]

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

Luna Moth Caterpillar's Claws

Luna Moth Caterpillar’s Claws

Luna Moth Caterpillar holding on for dear life.

Luna Moth Caterpillar holding on for dear life.

Luna Moth Caterpillar's Feetsies

Luna Moth Caterpillar’s Feetsies

Luna Moth Caterpillar's Hair Wisps

Luna Moth Caterpillar Stubble

Luna Moth Caterpillar Butt

Luna Moth Caterpillar Butt

Bushy Eyebrows which in real life is not so bushy

Bushy Eyebrows which in real life is not so bushy

Cool Eye Puddles

Cool Eye Puddles

Sister Lips

Sister Lips

This shows how little actually is in the focus range with this method.

This shows how little actually is in the focus range with this method.

I love the lines coming out of my sister's pupil

I love the lines coming out of my sister’s pupil

Studio Inspiration!

So, while I was working on setting up my own in-home studio, I was on a mad hunt to find pictures of any and all other home studios in the universe. That’s right… the universe. I’ve had many other photographers ask studio-esque questions, so to save YOU GUYS the time it took ME to explore the universe for different examples of in-home studios, here is a compilation for you! Keep in mind these are not all my studio…

I love this idea and set up for multiple backgrounds/themes. Would definitely save time!

Natural light on one side and soft box on the other. Simple and doable (if you have this room!)

This is 100% on my favorites list! Looks like they are on box springs – great for small shoots (meaning of small people)

Hats and props hung on IKEA Pressa Octopus Clothes Drying Racks! Very handy… I loved finding ideas for how to organize my stuff, not only setting up lights

You can find the above clothes drying racks/prop organizer on Amazon for about $13. Click photo to go to Amazon and see :)

Another photographers method of hanging and organizing backdrops. I like the way these are so easy to see each design, instead of rolled up. Clever!

I’m aware this has nothing to do with photography… but saw this and thought it would be a good way to hang a pvc pipe and clip backdrops to them

I loved hanging the little hats and things on a little clothes line. I do that in my studio too – and change it up for each themed shoot so I have all the pettiskirts that will match in one place and not shoved in my closet, so parents can see and choose what they like!

I like the photographer’s simple pole and what looks like shower curtain rings to hang fabric. Could prob use actual shower curtains as backdrops, as long as they are nice and classy and not shiny ghetto shower curtains covered in mildew and hair…

This is how I hang my vinyl drops. I use painters tape and a heavy crown moulding so it easy sits up on its own and I don’t have to worry about it falling over. I also just realized I have the same floor as this, but much bigger. Same click and lock type from home depot though :)

 

I got this type of flooring (I think) from home depot. Definitely not suggested for PORTABLE studios, but if you plan to do your shoots in home, this works out nicely. Click photo to go to home depot store and see prices and such!

Here’s a crappy cell phone pic of the first steps of me putting my floor together!

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I’ve never actually used paper like this for a shoot, but I have the same backdrop stand, and it looks like this works with the paper.

Light boxes that I use too – simple set up here!

 

Helpful newborn shoot guide

 

See! You can use ANY space as a studio!

 

And here are some of MY organization ideas and studio set up!

I got my Canopy brand rotating shoe rack from Walmart for with 16 or 20 dollars, but the only one I could find online was at Bed Bath and Beyond… click on photo for the link to the store. Definitely worth it, this thing is so freakinhandy for storing hats and having them all easily accessible!!

 

 

 

This is similar to the one I bought, except in the wonderful world of walmart it was only $10 – on Amazon it’s more like 30, but maybe because mine didn’t have a little light attached… which I don’t need anyway. Click photo to look at it in the Amazon store.

And last but not least here is a yucky cell phone pull-back photo of a little piece of my studio set up!

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And a photo taken with this exact set up…

Size Guide [and my favorite girls]

Alright here is yet another set of wall displays/size guides for you to use to visualize the size of your prints… or to show clients nice ways to organize and print the photos you have taken for them!

Here’s an example of how I used the template! In the photo is my beyond beautiful and glorious niece and sister – my favorite girls [incase you were wondering]!

Click photo to download zip file.

Zip file includes 3 pdf files and a brief description on how to use it. This is probably best used in ps or pse.

You can also click HERE to download the zip file.

Let me know if you have any questions or if these were helpful!

Love and Printables

I just finished up some adorably sweet Valentine’s Day mini sessions yesterday with 15 beautiful children and it was just so much fun! We had a cupid set up as well as a cupcake/candy shop theme! Here’s a little sneak peak of Jada and Caleb being adorable siblings!

So in the spirit of love, I thought I’d share some LOVE themed inspiration and printables for you :) I have these hanging up in my studio and just wanted to share :) Feel free to save these displays to your computer and use as you wish!

Cake Smash & Storybook Session Ideas!

Alright, here is a little cutie I just did a cake smash birthday session with! (and a little preview for you before they are all done, Jessica!)

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I have been brainstorming ideas for Birthday Sessions AND the Storybook Session I hold:

and wanted to make a list of some possible themes… so…

THEMES

  • Royalty
  • A Disney Princess
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Under the Sea
  • Up in the Air (clouds, planes, hot air balloons, etc)
  • Circus
  • Athlete
  • Superhero
  • Fairytale Character (anything from Little Red Riding Hood to Goldilocks or Robin Hood)
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Curious George
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Music
  • Zoo
  • Sailor/Pirate/etc.
  • Beach
  • Candy Shop

The possibilities are seriously endless! But how awesome would it be if your child could have a storybook, poster, or short slideshow film of THEMSELVES as the fun character they love, instead of just the strangers who play that character in a random movie?

So… anyone have any other ideas for themes??

Sizing Guide Templates

Here are some VERY handy templates to help clients visualize what their photos will look like when displayed on their walls (in place of that boring 20×30 painting of grapes). A lot of times I hear people saying they want to blow up a photo to an 8×10… when in reality, and 8×10 is teeny weeny when displayed on a wall… so here’s an approximated reality check.

Zipped file includes 5 psds for you to customize with your own photos and logo to present to clients – or use for your own purposes.

Click here to get your free download.

Lace Crown Tutorial

Alright – tutorial time!! This post is going to be about one of the cutest, most fun, and extremely necessary things… CROWNS. There are several types of crowns I make, but for THIS tutorial we’ll be talking about those cute little lace crowns you may have seen floating around the internet world. Here’s a few of what I am talking about:

Things you’ll need:

  • fabric lace
  • modge podge
  • metallic paint (or whatever color you want to make your finished crown)
  • any embellishments for final crown
  • wax paper
  • scissors
  • ruler/measuring tape

 

 

STEP 1

Buy lacey fabric ribbon!

I got mine from my local fabric store, Joann’s, it was quite awhile ago so I don’t remember the exact price, but I know it was fairly cheap, less than $10 for enough to make 4 or 5 crowns, depending on size.

STEP 1.5

Buy modge podge (other types of glue or fabric stiffener would probably work, but I’ve never tried… feel free to try and let me know)! Also get some good metallic paint… not spray paint… or kiddie paint. Get the kind of paint that smells dangerous for your lungs… that’s the good stuff and will really keep a shimmer instead of just a gray tint.

STEP 1.75

Call home to see if you have wax paper… if not, stop at a store and buy some.

STEP 2

Go home… and on your way, ponder who you are making the crown for.

STEP 3

1a

By now you hopefully figured out who you are making the crown for. If the person or child is nearby, measure their head… if not, google how big their head might be according to their age… or just wing it if you live life on the edge. Cut out your fabric lace to the desired size, and add anywhere from .5–1.5 inches for overlapping.

Your hands will get gross in the next step, so also prepare some wax paper.


STEP 4

2

Fill a bowl with modge podge! This is the fun part :) Take all the lace you have cut so far and throw it in the mixing bowl. You kinda have to eye how much modge podge based how many crowns you’ve got. Mix, mix, mix! You will have to use your hands here (this part will be fun to do with some kids)… because you’ll want to specifically rub the modge podge into the fabric so that it totally is immersed into the soul of the crown! If it just covers the surface, it will be flimsy and not very royalty-like.

STEP 5

Once you have sufficiently baptized your fabric lace with modge podge, take it out and carefully use your fingers remove excess glue. If you skip this step, the precious little holes in the fabric lace will be filled with modge podge, and when it dries, and after it’s painted, will look not as cool as it could.

STEP 6

3

Lay out on wax paper. I honestly don’t remember how long it took to dry… but I know it was a while (48 hours perhaps). Don’t plan on using it for a few days.

 

Periodically (every half hour, or maybe every hour) carefully lift and turn over your crowns to prevent the holes from being filled in with glue.

STEP 7

When it is finally dry, whip out your metallic paint and paint away! Use as nice of a paint brush as you can. Any cheap ones will leave the bristles in your crown and look awkward. This step will take long, once again, as you may want to do several coats of paint, depending on your style, and can only do one side of the crown at a time.

STEP 8

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 7.54.52 PM

When once again dry, now you can glue it into the shape of a crown. Try your best to overlap the patterns so it’s a seamless as possible. I use hot glue to glue the ends together because I have no patience to sit there and hold the crown together until it dries…

 

STEP 9

Now you can add any embellishments, or none at all! You can add any cute or fancy ribbon around it, adorned with a precious flower, tulle, or pearls, and you are good to go.

STEP 10

Find the person you made it for, crown them, show them to a mirror… and enjoy :)