Story of Today

Pittsburgh Family Photographer | Personal Hour by Hour Challenge | January by Andrea Moffatt

When I first started documentary family photography back in 2014, I relied heavily on my own family to figure out how to make impactful storytelling images (and how to keep it up for whole events- even whole days). I practiced on my family by doing a DITL (Day in the Life) project frequently- back then I subjected us probably monthly. The idea of that project is simple: document your life, from morning to night. And let me tell you, it is HARD work! Hard, as in physically tiring and hard, as in mentally exhausting. 

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Snow and Cookies: Pittsburgh Family Photographer by Andrea Moffatt

Today I was in my glory! It was going to be a baking day, but then miracle of miracles, it snowed! And not just any snow, but the sticky kind that coats every. single. branch. Not to mention, it was the first real snow of the season, and that comes with it's own magic.

In the way a sunny cloudless summer day refreshes some, days like today revive me. And when I'm feeling gratitude, I always reach for my camera. 

Here are some of my favorites from the day:

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How to Shoot Playfully by Andrea Moffatt

When is the last time you took your camera out to play? When was the last time you shot for yourself? Not for your wall. Not for your family's memory book. Not for a client. When I spend some time shooting playfully, I feel like I just had a good belly laugh-- lighter, happier. Kind of the way I think my kids must feel when they play peacefully all morning in their pjs. 

No time, you say? Nothing to shoot, you say? 

Try these 3 tips for playful shooting:

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My Day: Through the Lensbaby by Andrea Moffatt

Yesterday I blogged about how I found my center by freelensing all my photos for the day. I would've kept going, but today we went to the zoo. I've shot there so many times: I needed a challenge, but I wanted my lens securely attached to my camera-- not at the bottom of the lion pit! So I took a huge chance and packed only my Lensbaby with the Sweet 35 optic.

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My Day: Freelensed by Andrea Moffatt

There are a few types of photography that I turn to when I need to find my center and step away from the kids (you know the kinds of moments I mean, right?). In these situations, I like to shoot in a way that requires quiet and concentration and less shutter clicks. Some of my favorite ways to slow down behind the camera are:

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4 Ways to Compose a Clean Frame in Nature by Andrea Moffatt

I think that too often, photographers and non-photographers alike talk about people having a "good eye" instead of attributing their successful images to a strong understanding of composition. Composition is most simply, the arrangement of visual elements in the frame. Composing a frame in a city or in a building can often be a little more straight forward because you have so many lines and shapes with which to work. But stick your subject in the chaos of nature and often it isn't so clear cut. Here are four ways to thoughtfully compose a clean frame in nature. It's ok to go with your gut, but a little planning and purposefulness goes a long way too!

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Greensburg PA Photographer | Winter Macro Photo Walk by Andrea Moffatt

January and February are definitely the hardest months of the year for most of us 365ers. We've passed the glowing lights and warmth of December, but we're not quite to the return of the light in March. It's dark, dark, dark and often dreary with very little hope of pretty snow to cover it all. 

When I'm met with a challenge in my daily shooting, I often get through it by, well- issuing myself a new challenge! 

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Story of Today: First Snow Play of 2016 | Greensburg Photographer by Andrea Moffatt

Finally. We were beginning to think the snow would never visit our little spot on the map. As soon as it began to fall, the kids' noses were plastered to the windows. I held them off as long as I could, but to no avail. I bundled them up till you could only see their squished faces and we out in the 18 degree cold. 

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