Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe Tuesday- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mmmmm, today is Recipe Tuesday and I decided to share our favorite cookie recipe- Pumpkin chocolate chip!!! The recipe is on the post below. But I wanted to also add that you don't always have to use canned, store bought pumpkin. In the fall when pumpkins are in season, I will cook up an entire pumpkin and use fresh pumpkin for the cookies. If you have never cooked your own pumpkin, its easy to do. Thoroughly wash the pumpkin really good and then prick it with a fork. Then place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven at 350ยบ for 30-45 minutes. When it is soft and collapsed a little, it is done. Take it out and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes. Then peel off the out side skin and clean out the inside seeds. Chop the pumpkin flesh into cubes and puree it in a blender. Then put it in a container and refrigerate up to a week. I also will freeze some of it for future use in soups, bread, cookies and pumpkin rolls. YUM!!!

Recipe Tuesday-Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies {East Idaho Family Photographer}

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kentucky!!! {East Idaho Photographer}

My daughter and I have throughly enjoyed our visit to Kentucky. We will be sad to leave and head back home to snow and cold. I have a feeling it won't be long before we visit again. :)

I just wanted to share a few of my favorite images that I took one day when we went to visit a horse racing ranch. This ranch trains hundreds of horses to compete in horses races all around the country. We got to get up close and personal with them. The scenery out there was gorgeous and of course I was a camera-happy fool. I just can't help myself. :)

My daughter LOVED being able to talk and cuddle with a lot of the horses in the barn.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tricks & Tips Thursday! White Balance... {Eastern Idaho Wedding Photographer}

Tips and Tricks Thursday

Are you ready to start focusing on the steps to do manual mode in your camera? Today we will discuss white balance- why is it important and how you control your white balance in the camera...

Chapter 2: Manual Mode Settings
Part A: White Balance

White balance is critical in helping your photos to be the "right" color. When you set your camera to auto white balance, your camera is "guessing" what the color range is. Hopefully after todays tips you will understand and know how to set your white balance correctly to achieve the best color possible. 

Proper camera white balance has to take into account the "color temperature" of the light source you are shooting in. Our eyes are pretty good at judging what is white under different light sources but digital camera's often have difficulty with auto white balance and sometime will create unsightly blue, orange, yellow, red or green casts. Understanding digital white balance can help you avoid  color casts and help you to achieve better photos in different lighting situations. 

So for those of you who have been avoiding White Balance – let me introduce you to it. I promise to keep it as simple as possible.

Adjusting White Balance
Different digital cameras have different ways of adjusting white balance so you’ll need to get out your camera’s manual out to work out the specifics of how to make changes. Many digital cameras have automatic and semi-automatic modes to help you make the adjustments.

Preset White Balance Settings
Here are some of the basic White Balance settings you’ll find on cameras:
  • Auto – this is where the camera makes a best guess. You’ll find it works in many situations but it’s worth getting out of it for trickier lighting.
  • Tungsten – this mode is usually symbolized with a little bulb and is for shooting indoors, especially under tungsten (incandescent) lighting (such as bulb lighting). It generally cools down the colors in photos.
  • Fluorescent – this compensates for the ‘cool’ light of fluorescent light and will warm up your shots.
  • Daylight/Sunny – not all cameras have this setting because it sets things as fairly ‘normal’ white balance settings.
  • Cloudy – this setting generally warms things up a touch more than ‘daylight’ mode.
  • Flash – the flash of a camera can be quite a cool light so in Flash WB mode you’ll find it warms up your shots a touch.
  • Shade – the light in shade is generally cooler (bluer) than shooting in direct sunlight so this mode will warm things up a little.

Manual White Balance Adjustments
In most cases you can get a pretty accurate result using the above preset white balance modes – but some digital cameras (most DSLRs and higher end point and shoots) allow for manual white balance adjustments also.
The way this is used varies a little between models but in essence what you do is to tell your camera what white looks like in a shot so that it has something as a reference point for deciding how other colors should look. You can do this by buying yourself a white (or grey) card which is specifically designed for this task – or you can find some other appropriately colored object around you to do the job.
If you are unsure how to custom white balance on your camera check out your owner manual. When I custom white balance on my DSLR I set it to custom WB (white balance), then I take a picture of my grey card (I use an Expo disc) and then I go into my camera menu and click on  "Custom WB". My camera will then allow me to select the image I just took with the grey card (an image that is completely grey). And then I am all set to go. Now  my camera KNOWS what the color spectrum is and my colors will be more accurate out of camera. 

Challenge for the week: 
Take a picture of an object using all the Preset White Balance settings. Then custom white balance with your camera if it allows you to. Then look at all of them on the computer side by side and see the difference in your color casts. As you take images this week, try to remember to change your white balance according to the lighting your in. 

Post to our Facebook Page your results!!! We'd love to see them! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recipe Tuesday- Chai Tea Mix

This week I am sharing my favorite beverage I like to relax with at the end of the day. If you love cinnamon,  ginger and cloves you'll LOVE this recipe. I have even made batches to give away to friends and family. Everyone I have made it for, loves it!!! Grab a good book and make your self a cup today! 

Recipe Tuesday- Chai Tea Mix {East Idaho Family Photographer}

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine's Mini Sessions!!! {East Idaho Family Photographer}

Call today for an appointment time on the 4th of February!!! This is for EVERYONE!!! Even couples, grandparents, teenagers, kids, babies, etc...

Tips and Tricks Thursday! Manual mode {East Idaho photographer}

Tip and Tricks Thursday

Did you work on playing with your aperture (f stops) and shutter speeds last week? I hope you were able to see the difference the f stops make in your depth of field and how important shutter speeds can be, especially in regard to "action" shots. If you didn't have a chance to play with it too much, try some more this week. I believe that if you can understand how the "S" (shutter priority) and "A" (aperture priority) modes work then getting into manual modes will be a little easier. When I first started learning how to shoot a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera I played a lot in the "S" and "A" modes and then went into manual mode and plugged in similar settings and then adjusted it to my liking. 

Chapter 1: Learning your camera
Part C: Manual Mode

Manual mode is THE ONLY WAY to have total control of your camera. You tell it EVERYTHING. Once you learn to manual control your camera you will NEVER go back to Auto. I love having the control of telling my camera what I see. 

Because manual control encompasses so many different options I am going to just briefly explain what you can control in this mode and then I will go more into depth on each setting over the next 5 weeks. 

In manual mode you control: 

White Balance: 
This determines the color that your camera "sees". Your camera can be set to Auto white balance or custom white balance. By adjusting the white balance in your camera you are giving your camera a white colour for reference.

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. ISO is the method of adjusting the camera’s sensor to make it more sensitive to light. Higher ISO means higher sensitivity to light. Also the higher the ISO,  the greater the noise of the camera will be making your image grainy.  So to keep the noise at bay, you can take a few pictures at different ISO settings and check the resulting noise that you can bear to have.

Shutter Speeds and Aperture:
We will go more into depth on how  the shutter speed and aperture go hand in hand with ISO. 

Focal Points:
Focal points are so important on controlling where your focus is. You tell the camera what you want it to focus on, whether it be in the right corner, left bottom, etc. I love being able to adjust my focal points to get the specific area sharp tack.

If your camera will display a histogram after shooting an image, then you need to take advantage of this feature. By looking at the histogram of an image you can tell if the image was properly exposed or not. I will go into more details in one lesson on reading a histogram to make sure your image isn't under or over exposed.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recipe Tuesday!!! Lemon Pepper Salmon

If you like fish, this recipe is a must! You can use the ingredients on any kind of fish. I have cooked it this way with salmon, trout, cod, and more. Making it this way makes the fish tender and moist. My FAVORITE!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tips & Tricks Thursday! Semi-Auto mode {East Idaho Wedding Photographer}

Tips & Tricks Thursday

So how did you do on your challenge from last week? Did you play around with the different auto modes and experiment with what they could do? I hope it helped you to understand each icon on your dial a little better. 

Today we will be addressing the other side of the dial- the semi-automatic mode. Now- some of your point and shoot cameras will  allow you to do semi-automatic mode, but some will not. You will need to double check to see what your particular camera can do. If it isn't on a dial, it may be in your settings.

So are you ready for today's lesson? Well, here we go! 

Lesson 1: Learning your camera
Part B: Semi-Automatic

Today I am going to explain three semi-auto functions.
1. Program Mode (P)
2. Shutter Priority Mode (S)
3. Aperture Priority Mode (A)

I will also post samples of effective use of these modes and ineffective use. The images I am sharing were taken last fall on a cruise I took with my Mom at one of our ports- St. Maartan. My Mom and I had the privilege of having a street vendor make us a basket from palm tree leaves. 

1. Program Mode:
Some digital cameras have a priority mode in addition to the auto mode. In cameras that have both, Program mode is similar to Auto, but gives you a little more control over some additional features including flash, white balance, ISO, etc. Check your digital camera’s manual for how the Program mode differs from Automatic in your particular model. In fully Auto mode you can not adjust for white balance and ISO (don't worry if you don't know what ISO means. We will address this in future posts. But it basically means the sensitivity of the image sensor in your camera.) but in Program mode you can. Program mode is just a basic small step up from Auto and can be helpful if your lighting is low because you can raise the ISO higher in low light situations. It is also helpful in this mode to be able to tell your camera what the white balance is instead of your camera attempting to figure it out on its own. 

2. Shutter Priority Mode:
In Shutter Priority mode you will set the shutter speed and the camera will choose the other settings for aperture, ISO, white balance, etc. Being able to set your own shutter speed is useful especially when taking action photos. The more you want to "freeze" the image the higher the shutter speed needs to be. It is also fun to set the shutter speed lower to capture flowing water or a large scenic view. When I am doing a family session I keep my shutter usually around 125. This enables me to hand hold my camera and still not get blurry images if someone moves just a little. If I have a lot of wiggly kids I will even bump it higher. One of the disadvantages of this mode is that the camera will try to set your ISO and aperture for  you and if the lighting situation isn't good you will struggle with getting properly exposed images. 

Here is an example of not enough shutter speed. The image is blurry because the shutter didn't close fast enough to "freeze" the motion. He was spinning these palm leaves so fast that I should have upped the shutter speed. But in this case I wanted the motion blur to show how fast he was spinning it. So depending on what you are going for in your image, you may want to "freeze" the motion or allow the motion to "blur". And both can be achieved by playing with your shutter speeds. 

This image was taken at the same shutter speed but his hands weren't moving as fast in this image and so there wasn't as much blurring. 

3. Aperture Priority Mode:
This mode is really a semi-automatic (or semi-manual) mode where you choose the aperture (often referred to as a "f stop") and then your camera chooses the other settings (shutter speed, white balance, ISO etc). Aperture priority mode is useful when you’re looking to control the depth of field in a shot. Choosing a larger number aperture means the aperture (or the opening in your camera when shooting) is smaller and lets less light in. This means you’ll have a larger depth of field (more of the scene will be in focus) but that your camera will choose a slower shutter speed. Small numbers means the opposite. This takes a little to get used to but once you do, it makes taking images fun. Especially if you are in a situation where there is a lot of "extra" stuff going on in the background. If you use a small number, the focus will be on the subject and all the background chaos will be blurred. 

I chose to show this image for two reasons: 
One- the shutter speed was fast enough to "freeze" the motion of his hands and 
two- check out the great depth of field. This was achieved because the aperture was low enough to focus on the subject only which then blurred out the background. 

Here is the finished basket! Here again the f stop was f4 and because of the small aperture the depth of field is awesome! 

One last image- 
This is a great example of when you want a higher f-stop and a higher shutter speed. If the f-stop would have been small the whole image would not have been in focus.
So always remember- MORE image in focus- higher the f stop and smaller area in focus the smaller the f-stop.

I hope you learned a lot from todays Tips &Tricks. Next week we will get more into manual settings and how they all work together. 
See you next week!!! 

Challenge for the week:
Get out your camera and play with the "S" and "A" modes. Try different scenarios. Do some with movement and do some where you work on your depth of field. 

Make sure to post any images to my Facebook page! I'd love to see what you come up with! 


Darling baby "L" {East Idaho Falls Baby Photographer}

This little cutie came into the studio last week with her sisters to get her photo taken. She was so adorable. We couldn't get her to give very many smiles but she was so sweet. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recipe Tuesday! YUM!!! {East Idaho Family Photographer}

Its "Recipe Tuesday" again!!! And today we have an amazing appetizer to share! One of our favorites.

Mozzarella Sticks!!!

And if you have as cute of an assistant as I did to help you make yours, you can't go wrong! This is my adorable son. Isn't he cute? He helped to do everything except dip the cheese in the egg. That part was disgusting according to him. :)

Recipe Tuesday!!! Easy Mozzarella Sticks! {East Idaho Family Photographer}

Serve warm with pizza sauce or ranch dip!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sneak peek for our Valentine's promo! {East Idaho Children Photographer}

We are gearing up for our Valentine's mini sessions!

Yesterday we played in the studio with our Valentine Model. It was so much fun! I can't wait to take photo's of all your kids for valentine's! Keep checking the Blog. We will have all the information up by the end of the week! If you want to have some fun images of your little ones to give to Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Friends, and even for them to give out at school (let them give out a unique Valentine card this year), then you won't want to miss our special! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tips & Tricks Thursday- Get better photos out of your camera {East Idaho Family Photographer}

Do you have a camera and get frustrated that your pictures don't turn out like you'd like?

 Well guess what?...

This year I have decided to do a "Tips & Tricks Thursday" every week to help you learn your camera better. These tips can be applied with any camera, but especially ones that you are able to change settings manually.  If you have a specific item you want to learn about feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a comment on this Blog and I will make sure to include what you want to learn in one of the "Tips & Tricks" lessons.  I will be teaching you how aperture (or often referred to as "f-stops"), shutter speed, ISO, white balance and focal points all work together to create better images. The most important thing for you is to take what I teach and go try it and "play" with your camera until you get it down. I also would love to have you post your images on my Facebook page where I can give you additional advice on how to make the image better or answer any questions. Please post your images to:

These lessons are for beginners, amateurs and even those who know their camera really well. You never know what you might learn that you didn't know before!

Lesson 1: Learning your camera
Part A: Auto Settings

One of the most important parts to getting an amazing image is knowing how to work your camera. When you leave your camera in "auto" mode you are allowing your camera to "guess" at everything- the lighting, the shutter speeds, the focal points, the white balance, etc. That is why, when shooting in auto, you get some images that turn out great and others turn out horrible. If you want more consistent images you need to learn how to "tell your camera" what you "see".  Every camera, whether it is a point and shoot or a dslr, allows you to change settings so that your camera can "see" correctly. Today we will address the different "auto" settings and explain how they work. Next week we will address semi-automatic modes and the third week we will start into the manual mode. 

Every camera has setting options, whether it is in your menu or on a dial. This is an image of a typical dial. 

Everything to the right of the image is "auto" settings and everything to the left is semi-auto and manual. So lets talk about the settings on the right. 

The first setting (highlighted in green) is Auto mode. 
 By selecting this setting you are allowing the camera to make best use of the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus and the flash. SO basically you are allowing the camera to "guess" what type of shot you want. This can result in a hit-or-miss image. Sometimes the camera may "guess" right on, but more often than not the camera screws up and your image is not what you were wanting. 

The second setting is Portrait mode.
The camera will adjust itself to a large aperture (or f-stop, usually a small number) so that the background remains out of focus and your subject is the focus. You can get beautiful portrait shots when you stand close to or zoom in on the subject before taking the shot. Your camera is still "guessing" but it tends to give you an image where the subject is more center of attention. 

The third setting is Landscape mode.
This is great if you want to cover a large area in the shot, mainly landscape images. In this mode, the camera selects a small aperture (f-stop, usually a large number) in order to capture a large scene that is all in focus. It is best to use a tripod if possible to make sure the photo is not shaken or blurred, especially if the lighting is low. 

The fourth setting is the Macro mode.
This mode works best when you want to move in closer and take shots of flowers, insects or tiny objects. Focusing is harder in macro mode as the depth of field is very narrow at short distances. This mode does tend to have a smaller shutter speed so a tripod may be useful in order to not blur the image.

The fifth setting is the Sports mode.
In some of the cameras, this mode is also known as ‘action mode’ as capturing sports mostly means taking pictures when the subject is in action or is moving. The shutter speed is fast on this mode which allows for the camera to "freeze" the subject while in action. 

The sixth and seventh settings are the Night modes.
Your camera uses a longer shutter speed (meaning the shutter stays open longer) in order to capture details of the scene when light is low. A flash is usually used in this mode to allow more light on your subject. While it is better to use flash in the dark, taking pictures without the flash also brings out good shots and makes for  interesting images. A tripod is highly recommended for this type of image. When the shutter stays open longer any movement on your part will blur the image resulting in a poorly focused image. The mode with the body and star allows your camera to light up the subject with a  flash and focuses on the subject. 
So now that I've explained all the "auto" modes my challenge to you is to go try them all for what they are specifically suppose to do. Try an action shot on a moving subject. Try a night shot using a tripod. Try portrait shot and see how it blurs the background (referred to as depth of field). Just go play with all the different auto modes and get familiar with them more. Post your images on my Facebook page! I'd love to see what you capture. Now go have fun! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recipe Tuesday! Orange French Toast... YUM!!!! {East Idaho Family Photographer}

We would love to hear what you think of this recipe. Feel free to leave a comment! :) 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!!! {East Idaho Family, Wedding, Newborn, Senior Photographer}

I hope everyone had an AMAZING New Year! I know at my house we did! We enjoyed family time doing fondue, fireworks, movies, and just hanging with the family. I am so excited for the new year. 2012 is going to be AWESOME! 

At Kimberly Smith Photography we are delighted to announce our new specials and events for 2012! Make sure to add yourself to our Business Facebook page  if you haven't already. 

We will be running a lot of contests and specials exclusively on our Facebook page throughout the year.  We will also be having monthly specials and some months we will be doing special mini sessions one day only. If you want to keep up to date on what we are doing, send us an e-mail to be added to our e-mail newsletter that we will be sending out every month. 

To be added, e-mail Kim at kim@kimberlysmithphotography.com 

The special for January is: 
HALF off Boudoir and Glamour sessions! 
PLUS an additional 10% off of all orders. 
All calendars are 25% off

Mark February 4th down on your calendars. We will be doing 
from 11-4 at our studio in Idaho Falls, Idaho. 
The cost is $25 ($12.50 if you have a V.I.P. card) and you receive 1 5x7 gift print
Other packages are available including unique classroom Valentine's cards for the kids to give out to their friends.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking for an assistant... {East Idaho Family Photographer}

We are looking for a part-time book keeper/assistant starting asap.

Duties will include: 

  • Entering receipts, orders, vendor information, etc into Quick Books once a week, preferably Mondays ( a little knowledge of Quick Books would be helpful but not required) 

  • Send out e-mails and mailers for upcoming mini sessions and specials for newborn, senior, family sessions, etc at our studio in Idaho Falls, Id. 

  • Do follow-up phone calls for sessions and orders

  • Help once a month with our mini sessions
We are looking for someone who is personable, happy and self-motivated. The hours will be  minimal for the first couple months depending on the work load. Hours will increase as summer approaches. 

If you are interested or know someone who may be interested, please have them contact:

 Kim Smith at 208-680-9372.

Thank you! We are excited to add another person to our studio!