Photography Tip The Rule of Thirds

If you haven’t heard of this tip you’re in for a treat. I think the first time I heard about the rule of thirds EVERY photo for the next two weeks utilized it. The rule of thirds is a simple concept, and just what you think it is by the name of it.  If you were ever to take a photography class, this would be one of the very first things you ever learn. Like all rules though, sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Rule of Thirds


To best explain the rule of thirds take a look at the GIF image above. Which reminds me… we’re so excited for our gif booth coming up soon! Anyhow, the rule of thirds signifies where you would want to place the subject matter of your photo as indicated by the red dots above. In theory, placing your subjects where these dots are balances out your photo enabling the viewer to interact with it in a more natural way. You may think that people would tend to gravitate to what is dead in the middle of your photo, but you would be wrong. Studies show that peoples eyes tend to gravitate to any one of these points.

Using the rule of thirds might come naturally to some, but for others you may have to practice just a bit. People tend to want to take a photo of their subject directly in the middle of the frame. While there is nothing wrong with doing so, it may just get to be a bit boring and we do not want boring do we?

Lastly, if you happen to be editing your photos later, keep the rule of thirds in mind. A lot of tools now a days (I use lightroom) allow you to edit your photos with a grid. I would suggest you play around with some old photos if you want to take a stab at it right now. Heck, you can even just pick up your camera where you are at and snap a few to test it out.

Like I said though, sometimes rules were meant to be broken. There is no hard rule saying YOU HAVE TO or you SHOULD do it this way. The best thing you can do is experiment and see what you come up with


Photo Booth Love!

My daughter is having her first birthday in just a couple months. I can’t believe my baby girl is turning one already! If you are a parent then you know just how big a one year old birthday tends to be. Being our second child we somehow feel the need to go even bigger and better than the first. This time mom is taking a break and we actually hired a photographer. Granted, I know the photographer through mutual acquaintances, but still… Being a photographer I always feel the need to be the one taking the photos, but not this time.

first birthday cake

Not only did we get a photographer, but we hired a photo booth! We saw the most beautiful photo booth while in Los Angeles that I’ve ever seen. We came across the photo booth at Jason’s (my husband) company holiday party last year. What’s weird is that we couldn’t for the life of us remember the name of the company, but low and behold we stumbled across their logo googling around and found them! I thought about setting up a photo booth myself at the party, but I think I will leave that to the experts. They have the most beautiful promo video and website too. Check them out at their website Splendid Studio.

We also hired a face painter, a taco man, and of course we can’t forget the bounce house. This is going to be one big crazy party. I think our guest count is already up to 200 people. I am pretty excited and nervous at the same time. This is definitely a lot of work and planning I did not anticipate doing so late in the game. We have just about everything booked and ready to go. It is all just a matter of organizing the party and making it come together on the day of.

Speaking of the photo booth, we have them also doing animated GIFs which are so cool. An animated GIF is essentially a series of photos stitched together to make a little move or animation. It’s not quite a movie, but I guess thats why they call it an “animated” GIF. I tried to play around myself with making one using this tutorial but I could not get it quite right. I am sure if I keep trying I can perfect it, but we will leave that for another day and another time. Furthermore, this actually gives me an idea for a future topic. I have been seeing a lot of time lapse videos these days. I would love to go more in depth about how to create one, and trust me, they are not hard at all. You do not really need any special equipment and you could even create one with your cell phone if you wanted. There might be some software involved, but there are free resources that you can find just by googling for them.

Anyhow, just thought I would share the news and excitement! I needed a break from work and all the planning anyway. I can’t wait to see all of our friends and family. Everyone is definitely in for a ton of fun.

Some advanced photography tips

So, I was browsing youtube and came across this great video. These include not only some basic tips and tricks but some semi advanced ones as well. Hopefully you will be able to pickup some tips to try after mastering the basics. Remember, having a strong foundation and knowledge base before attempting all the other tricks is key.

Some of the things he touches base on I have already explained, BUT there are some other helpful tips and tricks that I probably was not planning on covering. If I stumble upon any other great videos I’ll definitely share them.


Photography Tip Perspective

In part 1 of our tips we spoke about light and in part 2 of our tips we spoke about exposure! While both were somewhat related, they also had their differences that would help anyone out there getting started. The third tip I want to bring to you about photography is the tip of perspective. Perspective can definitely take on different meanings, but we want to kind of focus on perspective as a “point of view.”

pug point of view photography tips

Most grown adults see the entire world from almost the same perspective of five to six feet off the ground. Do you see how this can be problematic in the sense that all photos would look exactly the same? If you take a photo from this angle it would essentially just look… boring. Not to say that you should never take a photo from this angle, but definitely try and think a little outside of the box. Maybe think of the perspective of how your subject sees the world. In the above example, the perspective of the pug is vastly different than our own. Even on his hind legs I don’t think he would see the world from 5ft high! This would go also apply to taking photos of your children. Try to get down to their eye level and snap a photo. Furthermore, it’s not all about just being eye level. You should experiment with different positions. Try to get lower, higher, above, and even below your subject. Try to zoom in or zoom out and get a different perspective with varying background information to tell a story.

The beauty about photography these days is that you have endless freedom to experiment. You don’t have to worry about developing your film and waiting for the results anymore. You do not even have to worry about the cost of developing tons and tons of film. Ok, well… if you like myself still shoot film then maybe. Try standing in a park or another public place and experiment. Always try to think up new ways to see what’s around you.  If you keep experimenting you’ll eventually stumble upon a great photo or even find a particular style that YOU like. The beauty about art and photography is that there is no right or wrong way. The point of these photography tips is just to give you a baseline on things to think about and implement. The more you shoot the better you get at it. There is no magic perspective, there is no right or wrong perspective. The only thing that matters is what you think. If you like how your photos are turning out then keep continuing what you are doing, and if you do not like how your photos are turning out then change it. Always try to think up new ways to see what is around you and you just might realize all the opportunities you may have missed before standing and taking photos from the same height every single time! Hope this tip opened your eyes up to some opportunities so get out there and snap a bunch!

Photography Tip Exposure

Part 1 of my Photography Tips we spoke about light.

In my second series of tips I want to focus on another aspect I deem the MOST important. You said the last one was the most important remember? Ya, let’s hold on a bit before we break out into judgment. I said you may or may agree/disagree on my last tip being the most important. I also said that the last tip and this tip would be related. This week I want to talk to you about exposure.

Have you ever walked into a dark room after being outdoors on a super sunny day? Or maybe the opposite, have you ever been in a super sunny room and walked into a super dark room? You know that feeling when you step from dark into light and you are temporarily blinded waiting for your eyes to adjust? Your camera essentially needs to do the same thing. Your camera is not as magical as you think it may be… although they are magical (sorry, I contradict myself a lot sometimes) Being able to control this range of darkness and light in your photo is a powerful tool in a changing the character of your photo from one shot to the next.

I am going to assume for a moment that most of you are shooting PROBABLY in automatic mode. The following tip will be the best way to account for light or dark situations and get the right amount of light for every photo. The easiest way to accomplish this is with your camera exposure compensation button, which if you look on your camera is indicated with a +/- symbol. If you don’t see the button you MAY see a dial on your camera, but with the same symbol. While your camera is in automatic mode, to keep it short, it will try to figure out how bright or dark a scene is. Cameras are awfully smart these days, but sometimes it is just plain hard to account for everything. Ever wonder why you take a photo of a person or persons and they come out super dark, but the scene around them is perfectly fine?

Basically, if you have a scene that is way too bright then you want to slide that button or dial toward the negative side. If you are trying to accomplish the opposite and want to brighten up a dark scene you want to slide that over to the positive side (or plus side) The best way to really get the hang of this is to get out there with your camera and play around with it until you get the hang of what you are doing. This is what I mean by the last tip and this tip would be related, because it is. We’ll definitely get into some more advanced stuff later with capturing light. You will be able to do cool things like capture motion or take night shots. Have you ever wondered why your photos may come out blurry the darker it gets? I know you know what I am talking about, but you will have to stay tuned.

long exposure photography tip

Photography Tip Light

While I might think it’s common knowledge I know there are others who may not. This is why I wanted to start these little photography tips and tricks to help others out there. I was once fiddling around with a camera before there was all these internet resources were around. I wish I had it as easy back then! For all you seasoned photographers this one will be pretty basic so you may want to either skip it or feel free to have a refresher.

The very first thing you want to know about photography is that LIGHT means everything! We can literally trace the meaning of photography to its basic origin. The word photography is a combination of the Greek root words “photo” and “graphia.” Photo means light and graphia simply means to draw or paint. In the most literal of sense this means that we are drawing with light. I won’t lie when I say this literally blew my mind and a lightbulb appeared over my head, my AHA moment.

photography tips lightbulb

You’ll hear a lot of photographers speak of “the golden hour.” This is like the holy grail of light for MANY photographers. In fact, many of you may have experienced this and just never really knew WHY your photos just looked so beautiful. I still remember when I learned of this and for a month straight I made it a point to get up early during the morning golden hour and be outside in the late afternoon for the second golden hour.

The golden hour is simply the hour right around dawn and right before sunset. It’s named this for the beautiful golden color the sun often takes on at these times of day. There is even this little handy website that can tell you when golden hour is anywhere in the world.

The golden hour is also important because it tends to create really wonderful shadows. While at noon shadows tend to be nonexistent because the sun is directly above you, at sunrise/sunset the sun is low. This low angle naturally creates shadows that interplay between bright and dark areas which creates contrast, and it tends to drastically improve the look of your shots. Carve out some time during the golden hour and you’ll instantly see just how quickly the changing light will improve your photos.

Just take a look at the photo below. This is late afternoon and the light isn’t SO bright, nor is it too dark. In fact, the light here is just perfect in my opinion. The golden hour created a nice mood and feel to the photo that you just can not replicate during other times of the day.

golden hour photography tip

Some may disagree with me, but I am sure a lot of you will agree that light is the most important aspect to photography. The golden hour was just a bonus to help get my point across. However, talking about light does spin into what I think my next topic will be. Perhaps you will think I should have touched on that one first, but I really think light MAKES a photo.

Welcome Back!

You discovered it!

Its been a REALLY long month. However, I am finally returning to having a regular web presence. For those of you that have no idea exactly what has been going on, let me fill you in. My old site was hacked, but we’re here now so let’s forget about it. We’re back up and running and ready to bring you some great fine art photography from my travels, wedding photography from my work, other miscellaneous tidbits, AND hopefully the sharing of others works. I am so sad that the site has been down for a bit and the existing community has been lost to other places around the internet. Hopefully, I can provide some value or at least some visuals that make people want to stop back in and lounge here for awhile =)

Here we are, still trying to get the last little details with the brand-new website. Sadly, there aren’t a lot of posts on here yet, but I will be working extremely hard to get at least some of the work that was previously posted along with other photos from recent travels, walks of life, and work. I have TONS of photos and information to share so stay tuned!

I’ve also included some extra sections and hopefully can get some more views. I would love to have this site become a community for people to share their own work as well as for me to share mine. If you or anyone you know would like to write a post or even submit images to share feel free to drop me a note on the contact page. I would love to have other fellow photographers whether hobbyists or professional to share the love and their images! Besides… art was meant to be shared and not kept all to yourself!

share your story sariah finn photography

Take pleasure in enjoying this brand-new site grow! I look forward to hearing from you and also hopefully sharing some of your stories. I’m going to do my best to post as often as I can, but it’s always hard juggling a household and multi tasking. Sometimes we can get so tied up in the day to day life with our families, our jobs, our pets! Which reminds me, our family welcomed a new addition not too long ago. We adopted ourselves a little french bulldog with one eye. We think she has always been like this since she deals with it very well. She is such a joy with our kids and gets along with our other dog three times her size.

That about sums it up for my little welcome back talk. I hope everyone finds some value in my posts, tips, tricks, articles… whatever happens to cross my mind these days. I look forward to meeting some of you, virtually at least! Like I said, I’ll be posting as much as time permits me to post. This is a little bit of my side project and free time so it serves as a great de-stressor.  Until next time, we will catch you on the flip side.