Angelica Grace Designs Blog

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


OK...I have been literally bombarded recently with questions regarding my camera, what kind of photography software I use, how I watermark my photos, accessories I prefer, etc. Therefore, I thought I'd start a new "Thursday Thirteen" topic that gives you my "favs" in the photography world as well as answers some of the questions you've all been asking me. Consider this a little Q&A of sorts. First up, I'll start off by showing you some of my all time favorite items when it comes to photography, cameras, transporting my gear, and so on. If you aren't into photography and cameras, just bare with this post today. :)First item on my "fav" list is this cool gadget that looks like something out of a space alien movie. This is called a "Joby SLR Gorillapod." Basically this handy tool allows you to go anywhere and get down and dirty with your camera. I cannot tell you how many times I've needed a shot that I couldn't get because of my tripod not being condusive to the elements or the environment I was shooting in. This Gorillapod is the answer to all of those problems. The Gorillapod SLR features sturdy prehensile legs that help you get a steady shot in virtually any environment. Its compact size means it can go anywhere and everywhere, and the quick-release plate makes setup a snap. Whether you're shooting time-lapse photos with your SLR or capturing videos with your camcorder, the Gorillapod SLR is the perfect companion to your next great adventure. Gorillapod also offers a SLR-Zoom model for those bigger/heavier lenses. To purchase the gorillapod products, visit this link:

Next up, these handy little pocket guides for parents or anyone else bound and determined to use the manual mode on their camera rather than the boring ol' "auto" mode. These pocket guides were created by one of my all time favorite photographers. Her name is Carey Schumacher and she is an award winning photographer out in San Diego, CA. I am already trying to figure out a way to attend one of her one on one classes should we go to San Diego over Christmas this year-as Brent has mentioned wanting to do on several occasions now. These pocket guides she created are made specifically for busy parents who aren't thinking about photography every minute of every day and need help remembering which settings are best for different situations. There are tips for Indoors, Outdoors, and Action shots, with clear, simple instructions for setting your camera (Nikon & Canon) quickly. This handy guide fits right in your camera bag. I keep several copies of them in my bag - one for me - and some to share as well. You can purchase these pocket guides here:
A couple of books that I have found extremely helpful along the way regarding photography are these below....
The first one is the Digital SLR book for dummies. It helps anyone and everyone. I have referred back to this book on many occasions and will continue to do so in the future. You can find this book at any bookstore near you or online at places like Here is the link to take you there:
The next book that I've found to be really helpful when searching for my creativity when it comes to shooting portraits is this one...."Learning to see creatively." Here is the link for it...
I've found this edition to be very helpful in challenging my comfort zone when it comes to shooting pictures. My next favorite thing is this camera bag from Jill-E designs. I cannot reitterate to you how much I love this bag. It is so much better than those same old camera bags that just look like a "camera bag." Jill-E designs has taken the hassle of toting all of our camera supplies and added a fashionable approach to a stunning bag that doesn't resemble a typical "camera bag." I love that! To purchase one of her bags, click here:

Next, let me talk to you about the shoot sac. (mine is the black and white design in these photos below) The shoot sac was invented by professional photographer, Jessica Claire. She is another photographer that I admire tremendously. The shootsac is NOT meant to replace your "normal" camera bag. The shootsac, instead, is meant to be used on location. It is a bag that you can hang around your neck and use to store lenses, camera supplies, etc. in while on a specific shoot. Quickly realizing that traditional camera bags were not only a ball and chain to her creativity but also a serious drain on her fashion sense...Jessica went straight to the closet. Grabbing a favorite handbag (a Prada no less) she loaded up her gear and created a situation that was workable but far from ideal. Having no protection for her lenses was definitely a drawback and replacing lenses each season was costly, but having what she needed to capture the world the instant it unfolded was critical to her style, her business and ultimately her success. Shootsac is therefore a labor of love that Jessica Claire is excited to share with you and your lenses. Being able to comfortably and safely carry the tools you need, without looking like a camera geek is going to change the way you shoot and the way you see the world. The cool thing about the shootsac is that you can purchase different covers for the bag that can allow you to change up your look from time to time. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Can I get an "Amen??" To purchase a shootsac, click here: Now, how many of you are like me and absolutely dispise the the typical camera straps that come with cameras? You know that ones that read NIKON or CANON in really big bold print down the strap??? They stick out like a sore thumb and drive me nuts. Again, it all goes back to that yearning for a little bit of fashion when shooting. I've found a great way to cover up the camera straps and would love to help you do the same with yours. Feel free to contact me should you have a need for a funky new camera strap cover. for the Thursday Thirteen or the Q&A part of this post. Here are some of the questions I receive on a regular basis when it comes to photography. I am by no means even close to being a professional photographer. However, these are some of the things that just "work for me."

Q.) What type of camera do you shoot with?
A.) I use a Nikon D40X as my camera body
Q.) What type of lenses to you use?
A.) I typically switch back & forth between my Nikon 18-55 and my Nikon 55-200
Q.) Do you ever use a self timer or remote control for certain camera shots (self portraits, etc.)A.) Yes, I use a Nikon ML-L3 remote control specifically for my camera type.

Q.) How did you learn your photography skills?
A.) Most of my skills have been self taught. I grew up with a camera in my face all of the time and eventually began carrying one in my own hands at a very young age. (as a teenager) I've taken classes in the past at local colleges and plan to take more in the future. You can never be too knowledgeable in the photography world. Professional photography is constantly changing. Anyone who is serious about shooting needs to keep challenging themselves and stay constantly informed on what is new in the industry.

Q.) What editing/software program do you use for your shots?
A.) I use a Nikon program for some of my editing. For more detailed editing, I use Paint Shop Pro or my Photoshop lightbox program. They all have different features and each of them have different pros and cons to the other.
Q.) How do you watermark your photos with your business name/logo?
A.) This too is a process that is done while editing is taking place. I typicall use my paint shop pro X software to mark my photographs.

Q.) Do you prefer indoor or outdoor shots?
A.) Oh I am such an outdoor girl. I am easily aggitated when shooting indoors. I love natural light and what it does for a photograph.

Q.) Do you think that expensive camera equipment is a must when delving into the world of photography?
A.) Absolutely not. Do I love my camera? Yes! However, it wasn't near as pricey as some of the cameras out there on the market today. I heard a quote one time that has always stuck with me. It is this: "The photographer takes the picture-not the camera!"
Q.) Do you still own a point and shoot camera even though you mainly shoot with a digital SLR?A.) Yes, I'll always keep a little P&S around for those moments that are candid and informal.

Q.) What is your favorite color when it comes to portraits? (black & white, sepia, or true out of straight out of the camera color?)
A.) I am a lover of sepia toned photographs. I find a true richness to vintage anything. Sepia gives me that "vintage" feel that I've always loved whether in fabrics, photographs, etc.

Q.) Color pictures I take indoors without a flash have a yellowish tint. How can I prevent this? A.) Incandescent light bulbs produce light that is much more yellow than the daylight and flash for which most color film is designed. An 80A blue filter on the camera lens will correct the problem and produce much better pictures.
Q.) What can I do to get rid of shadows when I take flash pictures of people?
A.) Move your subjects farther from the background----5 to 10 feet away if possible. When shooting vertical shots, tilt your camera so the flash is above the lens, not below it.
Q.) If you could give me one piece of advice and one piece there any one piece of advice that I MUST take with me when I'm shooting in the future?
A) Yes, get U-N-C-O-M-F-O-R-T-A-B-L-E! This photo below taken by one of my other all time favorite professional photographers, David Jay, depects exactly what I'm talking about. Don't be afraid to stop traffic or gather a crowd when taking photos. The more daring you are - I can almost guarantee the more "fantastic" the end result of that shot will be. This top photo shows the photograph David Jay took and the one below it shows David and the position he had to get into in order to capture that incredible shot.

In the grand scheme of things, just have fun with photography. It is an awesome hobby, job, passion, etc. to have. Truth be told, no picture taken is ever a "bad" picture. Each shot you take holds some sort of memory or stops some moment in time. That in itself is priceless!

Happy shooting! Angie


Anonymous Carey said...

Hi Angie!
I'm glad you like your Pocket Guide!
AND, I have the SAME Jill-e bag, too! Don't you just love it!?
I just finished adding it to the "gear" section of because I love it so much!

Great blog! Keep those fun posts coming!


2/21/2008 12:56 AM  
Anonymous Shannon P. (Texas) said...

You are SO sweet! When are you opening the photography studio? ;)

2/21/2008 11:46 AM  
Blogger Stacey Moore said...

great info. thanks for sharing!!

2/21/2008 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angie~ Thanks so much for all the great tips on photography. Since having kids, I have taken up photography as a hobby. Just invested in the Canon Rebel xti, digital and love it, but am still leraning how to work it and all of its features. I will definately keep reading Thursday 13!!!

~ Tosha

3/04/2008 8:02 PM  

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