Monday, May 17, 2010

Chalk Talk with Katrina Kennedy & Giveaway

Goodness, two days in a row I get to announce new things! First was the Big Summer Fun announcement, and now I get to introduce a new feature called "Chalk Talk" where I interview various bloggers. (Drumroll.....) And my first interviewee is.....

Katrina Kennedy!

Katrina is a wonderful photographer, and since I hope to take lots of pictures of our Big Summer Fun, I thought Katrina would be the perfect person to ask for some summer photo tips. Katrina has also offered one blog reader a free pass to her newest online photo class! So don't miss the details at the end of this post. :)

1. Do I need a fancy camera in order to get good pictures?
Knowing how to use the camera you have and how to see great light are more important than a fancy camera! Being there, in the moment, connecting with your subject and capturing the memory is what matter most for me.

2. What types of photos should I think of taking to document our summer fun?
Grab the little moments, the everyday moments, the tiny bits and details. I love bare summer time toes, the colors of beach towels, and dripping popsicles. Events may be what we think of first, but all of the little things make up summer for me. Ask your kids what their favorite things about summer are and make sure you get those shots. Think of including yourself in photos too, so that your family remembers what you look like! I think it is important to put the camera down as well. Get into the fun of the summer with your kids!

3. Many activities seem to take place during the "full sun" hours. What can I do to make sure I get good pictures?
Avoid over exposure of your photos and your body, by finding shade!

Full sun can seem like a great idea for photos, but can cast big ugly dark shadows over eyes or leave people squinting. Look for the open shade of trees, awnings and play structures to grab your photos. Open shade near pools work really well. Have your subject near the edge of the open area with the light reflecting evenly back on their faces.

During the summer, you can also use your body as a bit of a sun shade! Cast your shadow over your subject and shoot. It is the one time having a wider shadow can be a welcome thing!

4. Do you have any tips for organizing all these summer photos that I'm taking?
Organizing...ahhh. My best advice is to upload your photos to your computer on a regular basis, don't keep them on your card. Whatever system you are using, delete as you import and flag those you love, those you want to scrap, and those you want to have printed. I use Lightroom so that I can give them keywords, star ratings, and flag for printing. Be diligent about it, summer activities mean more photos and potentially more headache if you don't keep up!

Consider too, slowing down your photography some. Be more deliberate in when you choose to click.

5. What is your favorite camera equipment?
This is like asking someone which child is their favorite! I love everything I use for a specific reason.

I shoot with a Canon 30D, which is my favorite of course.

In the summer I love my wide angle lens (17-40mm). I want the big picture more than other times during the year, my wide angle lens lets me grab that.

6. What is your favorite photo that you took, why and what settings?
Two photos come to mind instantly.

The first photo is of my son, playing at the river last summer. We were there right before sunset, he was in absolute heaven. I saw the photo before I took it, which always delights me. I exposed for the sky next to him to create the silhouetted look. I shot this at 20mm, ISO 100, f/ 5.0, and a shutter speed of 1/500. I keep my shutter speed fast when photographing moving kids!

My second photo, is of a bike rider you may recognize. The Tour of California came through my town last year. In a time trial, each rider made a 3 mile loop around downtown.  I had one opportunity to capture him as he passed. The crowd grew as his turn neared.  A cloud came over us and then you could hear the cheers. Everyone knew Lance was on his way. I put the camera to my eye. Held my breath and fired off multiple shots as I moved the camera with his movement for a panning shot. I was beyond pleased with the results. Lance was photographed at 40mm, ISO 200, f/5.0, shutter speed of 1/100.

It was merely a coincidence that both photos were taken with the same aperture.

7. What's your favorite recipe?
I'm vegan and live in a vegetarian house, so our recipes are simple and veggie based. We grow much of what we eat in our backyard garden, so recipes change as the season changes. My current favorite is to slice mushrooms, toss them in the wok to sweat out some of their moisture. Toss in some garlic. Stir for a bit. Add in asparagus. Stir for a bit more. Grill or lightly pan fry tofu at the same time. Mix it all together and dinner is served! I sometimes dress it up with a little rice or noodles. For recipe inspiration I spend a lot of time at and
As I mentioned above, Katrina has graciously offered one free pass to her new class Your Life: Captured Through the Lens. It starts May 26 and runs through June 30. The class includes weekly written lessons and videos, live chat/office hours, and access to a private forum and gallery where you can ask for help and share your progress.

Giveaway Rules: Starts 5/17 - Ends 5/21. The winner will be announced on Sat. 5/22
1. Leave a comment about your favorite summer-time memory as a kid.
My name is  Katrina Kennedy and I take my camera everywhere. Literally. I cannot imagine a day when I don't capture the colors, the textures, and the details that make up my life. For the past fifteen years I've been an employee development trainer. Combining my training experience with my passion for photography, opened an exciting world of life documentation. When my son was born five years ago, I searched for someone to help me take my photography to the next level. It was such a difficult search that once I improved my skills, I vowed to help other people improve their skills. Through teaching photography classes, both in person and online, writing tutorials, and my ebook Get Me Off of Auto, I've helped hundreds of people document their most important events and their everyday moments.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger hopeyanna said...

I love your photo tips. I got "a fancy" new DSLR and am desperately trying to stay away from the manual mode. I know I need to play with it more and more.

I think the best kid summer memory for me was playing outside with neighborhood friends until dark...and later...catching fireflies...staying out and up past my regular bedtime.

May 17, 2010 at 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Rebekah {honey and cheese} said...

I'd love to attend Katrina's workshop :)

Choosing a favorite summer memory is hard! One that comes to mind is late-night bonfires in the back yard, visiting with families from church and our homeschool group, the night lit up from the light of the fire and a million stars shining brightly without a street or city light for miles.

May 17, 2010 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Caroline Alexander said...

I'm currently working through "Get Me Off Auto". I've learned so much! My favorite summer memory is going with my older cousins to their father's house in the country, Turlock, CA. We'd stay up late playing hide-n-seek outside... light fire crackers... swim in the creek... catch crawfish... eat Popsicles...just good ole fashioned fun.

May 17, 2010 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger a boy a girl and a pug said...

I would love to win!! My favorite childhood summer memory has to be our family trips back up to our home state of kansas visiting friends & family. Thanks so much for entering me.

May 18, 2010 at 2:01 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

I would love to win! My husband and I are into photography, but my skills are definitely not up to par with his. This would be a great time for me to catch up.

My favorite summer memory was probably all of the days we'd swim, then play on the street with all the neighborhood kids and end up in my parents garage eating the popsicle of our choice from my parents deep freezer (coined 'the freezer of goodness).

kristilynngibson (at) gmail (dot) com

May 18, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Randall and Rachel Beita said...

I loved your tips. This class looks very neat and helpful. My favorite summer memory is picking fresh veggies from the garden with my family and preparing them for winter. Also long days of playing barefoot outside.

May 18, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Holly@aiminghigh said...

Summertime memory? Well, two of my sons were born in the summer. Not going to choose which was the better memory. :>)

I'm just commenting so I can have a chance to win the photography class. I know NOTHING when it comes to taking a picture. I need this class. :>)

May 18, 2010 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger c said...

As a small child growing up in KS, my parents first brought our family to CO when I was 6. I knew then that was where I always wanted to be and if we ever missed a year, I was so disappointed. We hiked, rode horses, picnicked... wonderful family time together. Took us 47 yrs. to finally move to my favorite childhood memory.

May 18, 2010 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What an awesome prize! I have already devoured "Get Me Off Auto" and keep it close by my side for reference. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to attend this class!

I have so many fond memories of summertime as a child, but perhaps the one that always brings a smile to my face is that of block parties.

Growing up in New York, block parties were when the "block" was closed down to all traffic and everyone on the block would invite friends and family over for a party in the street! It was amazing! Everyone would set up tables in the driveway or on the front lawn and bbq out front. The block would hire a DJ, rent a bouncy house, hold watermelon eating, limbo and dance contests. Children would be able to play up and down the street all day without worrying about a car interrupting their play! Throughout the summer you would hear music wafting through the neighborhood and know that some lucky kids were having a block party that day!

Good times...

May 18, 2010 at 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Parnell said...

One of my favorite summertime memories is playing outside for hours with my friends. Looks like a great class, thanks for the chance!

May 18, 2010 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Vigdis said...

I so would like to win a pass :) - have had my DSLR for four years, but can't seem to get off my auto.

One of my favorite summer memories was no school and spending time with friends. A favorite memories here is the times my mom filled our 7 seat car full of kids - that is more than 7 since everything was allowed then :) - and we went for rides with her - each kid get to say - go to right or left here, go up that road, stop and turn. We had such great fun and the rides felt like we did forever and to far away places (although as an adult I know it only took 15-20 minutes to get to those far away places)

May 18, 2010 at 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I'm a first time visitor, but you are definitely now on my blogroll. I have loved reading your entries. Hope it's ok for me to enter.

My favorite summer memory is having my mom home with us. She is a school teacher, so when we were on summer vacation, so was she. She frequently took us on little trips to the public swimming pool, always had popsicles ready for us to cool off with (I grew up in Southeast Texas), and was always ready to laugh at us at things that probably made her roll her eyes on the inside.

May 19, 2010 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I would love to get off "auto" on my SLR! Anyway... we fav memory is playing kick the can in my parents court!!! Aghhh to be young again!

May 19, 2010 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Swimming at the neighborhood pool and then coming home to take a nap!

May 19, 2010 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger lauriewe said...

Oh my favorite summer memory - staying up late and playing with shadows in the yard light- least favorite- even though you didn't ask- lying in bed on a hot night without fan or AC and hearing a mosquito and having to hide under the covers to get away from the buzzing!

May 19, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger Rachael Boer said...

Great giveaway!
Favorite summertime memory - bible camp with my sisters and church friends. It meant campfires, singing, crafts, boating, bible stories, and bad food. So fun!
raeviola at hotmail dot com

May 20, 2010 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger very married said...


going to the water parks with my mom and dad - i got crazy sunburned but was a fabulous time there!

May 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Giggly Girls said...

My favorite summer memory is rolling down the Sleeping Bear sand dunes on a family camping trip.

prncsstefy @ yahoo dot com

May 20, 2010 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favourite memory has to be playing with the other kids on my street as late as we possibly could! Sometimes we were lucky and got to play hide and seek after dark :)

May 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Imperatrix said...

My favorite summer memory: Playing "Lost on a Deserted Isle: Barbie version" with my sister. Our barbies would weave blankets out of grass stems, eat baby powder and water mush out of walnut shells, and build forts under the HUGE azalea bushes out front. We'd play this for days on end = outside, outside, outside!

May 20, 2010 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Apest said...

Mine: When I was about the age of 8 my family used to go to Courmayeur (italy) in summer, staying at a rented house just for the season. As me and my little brother were very keen to go around and explore while our mom wanted to be quietly playing in the yard, we were allowed just one time per month to pack some food and walk up the little river that was near the house to picnic. Now I can remember that it was only 30 metres away from home but at that age it seemed to us as something like the Goonies adventure and we were expecting the day of the picnic as the most important :)

May 20, 2010 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I grew up in Long Beach, WA, the longest driving beach in the world. My favorite summer memory was riding my horse on the beach every day as a kid. My horse would dance and prance as we neared the hard sand as she knew that she would be racing with the wind down the beach with me riding bareback.

May 20, 2010 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Gaye said...

Thanks for the chance!

My favorite summer memory is having picnics and swimming in the river near our home. Unfortunately, in the recent years, the water level in the river has gone to nil during the summer.

May 21, 2010 at 2:09 AM  

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home