Tricia Lewis: Blog en-us (C) Tricia Lewis [email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Thu, 09 Sep 2021 11:14:00 GMT Thu, 09 Sep 2021 11:14:00 GMT Tricia Lewis: Blog 120 86 Focus!


How many times have you thought you had the perfect photo then get it uploaded to your computer or just look at it on your phone and see it is out of focus? 

So many people tell me they struggle with focus on their photos.  I must admit, it is one of the hardest things to get right.  With our phones, the technology available now really helps.  But it can only do so much and often that image is going to turn out blurry.

To fix it you must understand the reason.  Here are some of the most common reasons photos turn out blurry or out of focus (oof):

  1. Camera shake / shaky hands.  It is almost impossible to hold perfectly still.  The best fix for this is to use a tripod if possible.  If you don’t have a tripod handy, brace your arms on something sturdy.  Hold your elbows in and hold the camera or phone close to your body. The further out your arms are, the shakier your arms become. 

  2. Focal point is off.  For DSLR cameras, you can choose where your focal point is.  Sometimes your point is off when you do the half press on the shutter button.  You can fix this by learning about something called back button focus which takes the focus action to a different button than the shutter.  For our phone cameras, make sure you are touching the subject that you want in focus on the screen.  By tapping on the screen, you are telling it what you want in focus instead of letting it guess.  Our phones are smart, but they can’t read our minds… yet.

  3. Not enough light.  I always say that light is the most important part of taking a good photo.  In the case of focusing, you need enough light on the subject for the camera to focus.  The way it works, is by using the contrast between light and dark to create that crisp line.  This process is a little more complicated than I can put here.  But our cameras see light in black, white, and gray.  This is how our exposure works as well.  The fix... change your settings to have a proper exposure.  That includes increasing your ISO, widening your aperture, slowing down your shutter (not too much, see number 4.)  Or adding a light source.

  4. Shutter speed is too low.  Depending on your subject and your lens you want to keep your shutter speed at 1/200 or faster.  The rule is double your focal length.  For a 50mm lens you should be good with 1/100 but if dealing with kids or pets you don’t want to go below 1/200 sine then cannot sit still.  If your lens is a 200mm you don’t want your shutter slower than 1/400.  This refers to the speed that your shutter opens and closes.  The fast shutter is what will “freeze” action.  This also lets less light in because it is faster.  The slower it is the more light but will show movement.  It is all about finding a balance, knowing how to expose, and knowing what your priority is.  For our phone cameras, most of them you don’t get to choose the shutter speed unless you have an app that will let you choose your settings. 

The takeaway is that to fix your blurry photos, you need to know the cause!  By understanding the process of taking a photo you can better find the balance needed for each scenario.  There is no magic number or magic settings.  Every lighting situation is different. 


[email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Thu, 09 Sep 2021 11:14:15 GMT
Putting yourself in Holiday photos      “Mommy, you’re so pretty!”  My first reaction to hearing those words coming out of my 5-year old’s mouth was to laugh and roll my eyes.  Then I looked at his sweet smiling face and saw he was serious.  We were looking at pictures we recently took. It was kind of a nightmare session and things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to.  I hated how I looked, but know the importance of having those pictures and memories.  I told him thank you and asked which pictures he liked best.  “I love the ones where we are hugging and kissing.”  Me too buddy! 



This exchange was a great example of why having your picture taken is so important.  I had someone say to me once, “I don’t need any pictures of myself, I’m not that vain”.  Taking your pictures are not for you, they are for your loved ones!  Besides, even if you wanted it for you… SO WHAT if someone thinks your vain.  I say GOOD for you! Too many people, myself included, miss out on those memories and regret it later.  Too many people are caught up in what other people will think of them.  Myself included. This is something that I am trying hard to get better about.  Every time I flinch about having my picture taken, I try to remind myself that this is what my family wants. 

So please do me a favor this holiday season.  Get in the picture.  Take as many pictures of your loved ones and with your loved ones.  These times and these memories are important.  So many times, I wish I could go back and get a picture that I missed out on.   

To me, the best Holiday pictures aren’t the ones posed in front of the Christmas tree.  I love the real moments. Pictures of loved ones opening a much-anticipated gift or a gag gift. A shot of the family laughing or joking around.  Get creative with your shots and set something up to look through a tree branch or decoration.  Reflections of faces in ornaments or lights reflecting off a face.  There are so many ways you can jazz up your traditional holiday photos.   Hugs, get lots and lots of hugs and kisses.  I have a very old picture of myself as a young child with my grandma.  We are embraced in a hug with the cheesiest smiles on both our faces, but it is my favorite!  You see the love!  My grandma died when I was about 15.  All I have are those pictures and those memories.  I never regret this picture of me hugging her.  I don’t regret any of the pictures of me hugging and kissing my son. 

Most importantly, learn how to use that timer…  make sure you are in some of the photos too.  Set up your phone or camera and sit down at the table with your family.  Sit around the tree amongst the wrapping paper and set your camera on the floor.  The posed family photos are nice too, but make sure you are in them and get creative. I guarantee you will love it and have lasting memories. 




[email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Photography Confidence Family Portraits Holiday Photos Momtographer Self Esteem Women Mon, 19 Nov 2018 12:24:05 GMT
From a kids POV: 'Why kids don't want their picture taken' You have planned for weeks, found the perfect outfit, the perfect location, the perfect photographer.
You tell your spouse and kids how important these photos are for you, so you talk and threaten and
bribe. You arrive at your session and your kids are acting out, not posing well, running wild and crazy.
You think the session is ruined and you go home worrying and stressed that you won’t have any great
photos to hang on your walls. What went wrong?!
Or, you are trying to take the perfect picture of your kids posing but they just won’t cooperate. You get
so frustrated and think to yourself, I just want one good picture!
I sat down with an expert on kids, my 5-year-old son. Who can answer questions about kids better than
a kid?! Here is what he had to say about kids and photo sessions.


The Interview

T: Why don’t kids like to get their picture taken?
L: They want to play and have fun

T: How do you think we can get kids to take pictures?
L: Let them play and don’t yell at them for doing it wrong. I like to have my picture taken because you
don’t yell at me.

T: I like to take pictures of kids playing, do you think kids will be more excited about pictures if they
knew that?
L: That’s what I said…

T: What about clothing?
L: We like to look good too. I have my own style, we all have our own style. Let kids dress themselves
and we will want our pictures taken.

T: What if we wanted you kids to wear an outfit that we like and will match everyone else?
L: Um. Maybe ask them nicely?

T: What do you think I should do if a kid is acting out and being uncooperative at a session? Do you
know what that means? Uncooperative?
L: Yes, (long pause) it means not doing what you want. If a kid is being bad its because they are bored or
not happy. No kid wants to be bad. We want you to be happy with us but its hard to listen when we get

T: Ok, so how should I get a kid to act better?
L: Let them play


As you can see, he had some great answers! One of my favorite things to do during family sessions are
to let kids play and be themselves and capture that. Kids do get bored easily and nobody likes to have
their picture taken. Nobody likes to be told what to do all the time. We adults need to remember that

Kids are designed to be active and play. They learn through playing so that drive is there. As a
photographer, I find that letting them do their thing will create the best real moments. And that is what
we want to capture and preserve after all. Our kids grow up fast enough, let them play. When they are
teenagers and ‘too cool’ to play, you will have these moments and memories to look back on.
So even though they may not be posing or cooperating the way you’d like, capturing your child’s
personality is always the perfect picture.

[email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Children photography" Momtographer Photography "Kids Portraits" "Kids Photo" Family Portraits Fri, 28 Sep 2018 12:40:39 GMT
Why you should invest in Fall Family Photos             Leading up to Fall I want to cover a few topics that everyone asks regarding their fall portrait sessions.  Up first: 

  1. Why should I get Fall portraits? 

Why not?!Fall is our busiest time of year.Here in Michigan we are blessed with gorgeous colors everywhere once the weather turns cold.Even the weeds are beautiful.The clothes are comfortable, the sun is warm in color and produces beautiful light and beautiful sunsets.The colors are beautiful.The neutrals and warm tones of fall go with everything and create some of the most beautiful portraits!

* Fall is also a great time to get that family photo for your holiday cards.If you do it in the fall you will have them ready to send out instead of waiting until the last minute. You know we all have the best intentions to send them and time slips away.Get them done in the fall and you have one thing checked off your list already!Feels great doesn’t it!! Not to mention the weather is still comfortable yet close enough to the holidays to have an updated photo to show off your beautiful family!Not to mention you have the option to give great photo gifts for grandparents and other family members!Personalized gifts are the best!!

School has started back up so most family vacation are put on hold.We are all spending more time at home or having family visit us.Especially as the holidays approach we will be having more guests.What a great time to get your family photos hanging on your walls updated!Because you DO have your family photos hanging on your wall, right?!Nothing says happy family creating memories like having your beautiful images hanging on your walls. The earthy and neutral tones of fall with go with almost any décor and will look fabulous hanging on your walls or on your desk.

You are creating and capturing memories with each portrait session.Our kids are growing up fast and we need to take every opportunity to freeze this moment in time.Nobody has ever told me, I regret getting pictures of my family.To me, our sessions aren’t just taking pictures. I try to get to know your family and tell your story with each session.As your kids grow they change and we want to remember each stage.This is more than just having something to post on social media (while I still encourage the sharing… )it is about being able to look back and remember.

* You never know when it is your last chance. I hate to bring this up but life happens and tragedies happen.It is unfortunate things happen and our loved ones pass unexpectedly.I don’t want you to regret putting it off and not having that chance.

Fall portraits are some of the easiest ones to coordinate outfits. So many of the fall colors go well together and there are so many more options.Not to mention accessories!Scarves, hats, jewelry, boots etc.Have fun with it!If you need help, I am always available to offer suggestions or help you pick between two options. When clients book with me I will give a welcome guide that has suggestions on clothing and options.

In closing, I hope that I convinced you of the importance of Fall Family portraits!  Coming Up Next:  Help with what to wear!  


[email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Fall Fall Family Photos Fall Portraits Family Photography Portraits Tue, 11 Sep 2018 13:43:55 GMT
How to take share-worthy firework and sparkler photos  



Every year my social media feeds are filled with people sharing their firework and sparkler photos.  The majority of them are blurry, cut off or focused on the wrong thing. Now, I know these are meant to be fun, but with a few tips you can have great firework photos too!  Yes, even using your smartphone!

Now, I want to start out saying, be prepared for a lot of bad photos.  Fireworks and sparklers are very hard to shoot and even professionals can’t get every single one right.  Do not worry, just have fun and take lots of photos. (In this digital age, there is a thing called the delete button!!  Delete the ones that are not Pinterest-worthy and enjoy your holiday!!)


*  Slow it down   First thing, I recommend getting a slow shutter app or if your camera has a fireworks mode, use that. To get good shots you need to slow down your shutter speed.  This means it will take 2-3 seconds to take a photo.  This will also give the sparkler holder time to write words or draw patterns!  If you aren’t sure what your particular phone / camera can do, look it up.  Preparation is key!  (I have a “pro” camera app that I downloaded for my phone that gives me the option to change settings and has a “fireworks” mode)

*  Use a Tripod   Now, when the shutter is slow it is imperative that your camera is steady.  Use a tripod / camera mount or something to make sure that camera doesn’t move!  Otherwise, your photos will be blurry!

Turn off the flash   You want your sparklers or fireworks to be the only light source otherwise the will be too bright or your camera will focus on the surroundings and not the fireworks.  If you want to get creative and try to have a person in front of the fireworks or see the face of the person holding the sparklers, have a flashlight handy and flash it on them while your camera is taking the photo.  (Most shutter speeds for fireworks will be about 3 – 4 seconds so just a quick light on their faces should be fine.)  I personally don’t do this because the timing has to be perfect for it to work right and I want to enjoy it, not stress about getting the perfect shot.  But, if you want to practice and get creative.. this is a fun trick to try!

*  Don’t Zoom   Believe it or not you actually lose quality in your photos when you zoom. 


Also to note, watch out for other light sources that may interfere with your photos.  Street lights, yard lights, even white buildings will reflect light.  You want the fireworks / sparklers to be your only light source.  And watch out for other objects in the frame that your camera may focus on like buildings or the back of someone’s head that is sitting in front of you…  Go out, have fun, make memories and have great photos!  If you use these tips and post your images online, tag me on Facebook : Tricia Lewis Photography or Instagram tricialewisphotography_



[email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Thu, 28 Jun 2018 13:22:57 GMT
What about your privacy?! “I want professional pictures, but I don’t want them shared online and shown to people I don’t know.”  OR “I want to protect my child and I don’t post many pictures of them online, do you have to share if I book a session with you?” ALSO “Why don’t you post all of your sessions on your Facebook page”?  I get asked this question a lot.  Privacy.  It is something that many people want to have or don’t have thanks to social media. In this day and age, we are all a little paranoid of the wrong people finding images of our children and using them for awful purposes.   I have many clients that simply don’t want them shared to protect their privacy or they only want to share them on their personal pages since they know what their privacy settings are.  As much as I love to share the images I create and try to use them to promote myself, I have an obligation to my clients.  I will discuss this with you ahead of time and will NOT post any pictures to social media if you do not want them posted.   The exception is if you sign up as a model for a promotion I am working on in exchange for free / discounted images.  This will ALWAYS be covered with you ahead of time though. 

If your pictures are shared on my social media pages, I will not put the child’s name or share any personal information.  I may use a first initial or keep it generic.  You may share and or comment any information you want.  I just want to make sure all my clients know that I won’t give out any personal information. 

[email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:47:17 GMT
Welcome 2016 It's a new year and I have big plans for 2016!  First, thank you to anyone who is reading this!  I am just starting my photography journey and I would love for you to come along!!  2015 is when I really learned how much I love photography.  Not just any photography but capturing memories.  My son will be 3 in April and I can't believe where the time has gone.  I wanted to have more pictures to remember everything about his toddler years.   I "borrowed" my husbands camera to start documenting more of our sons childhood.  I was hooked.  I loved it, the editing, being creative and making beautiful images.  I have been practicing, learning, taking classes and doing everything I can to grow as a photographer.  I have devoted a lot of time and energy on learning.  My friends began letting me photograph their families for them and even paid for the images!  Wow.. I love doing this!  I have always had an interest in photography but mainly design.  I work at a local television station and my experience is in video production, video editing and graphic design.  I still love graphic design but I am really hooked on photography.  The more I learn, the more eager I become to be a better photographer.

I am a mom and have a full time job so I cannot devote as much time to this as I would like.  My family is my world and thankfully are supportive of this.  I am starting this "business" as a part time / freelance gig.  Maybe someday it will be more but for now I am just looking forward to what 2016 has in store for Tricia Lewis Photography. 

[email protected] (Tricia Lewis) Fri, 01 Jan 2016 13:32:31 GMT