Photography Tip

Great post from MBL writer, Lauren.  She took the pictures of me that are now all over the blog, she is super talented, don’t let her fool you. -Steph ;)

I am not sure how many times I probably preface most of my photography  tips with this next statement, but I want everybody to know: I am so far from a professional and I am still learning and growing.

I have, however, learned quite a few tips along the way that I wish somebody had spelled out for me in simple terms. It really would have saved me some time.

You can see my number one photography tip here. But the tip I want to share with all you lovelies here is more of a technical tip in regards to the many, many, many settings on your DSLR camera.

If you are taking pictures of your kids, really that is how my relationship with photography began, and you are not comfortable shooting in manual mode (I wasn’t either for a long while), or you are in a hurry to snag that shot of your adorable little one picking his nose… USE THE AV mode on your camera. I shoot Canon so that is what it is on a Canon, on a Nikon I believe it is A.


 Dirty mountain house baby feet, I love any and all kinds of baby feet!

AV mode stands for aperture mode, this is what controls your depth of field. So when you are shooting your little bitties, obviously you want the focus to be your little one not the pile of toys laying behind them. In this mode you can control your aperture and the camera will decide the rest for you.

In order to achieve that blurred background with the baby in focus you want to keep you aperture on a low number, I tend to keep my aperture around 1.8-2.8 depending on the lens. Although you do not always want to shoot in a super low aperture as it can get tricky to keep your subject in focus, but if you know you have a shot at a somewhat docile subject it is a great time to try and get that effect. It can get a little confusing when you learn why it is that way, and if you are really curious let me know I can elaborate. But if you are like most mamas out there, you want to know how to get it done efficiently and AV mode is for you.

You can even play around and blur your subject and focus on an object using this AV mode.

 It seems my signature food shots have a child or husband behind it, and I love it that way.

Another perk to AV mode is your flash will not automatically fire. FLASH IS NOT GOOD in most cases. It just isn’t, but sometimes it is necessary when there is no natural light and it is too dark to see anything but in most cases a flash does not help your image in anyway.

That little green box (automatic) can get pretty comfortable for you and it can be scary to step away from it, but it is so worth it.

Hope this little tip inspired at least one person out there to try AV mode, and stop shooting in automatic all the time.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Lauren! You can find me blogging over at Simply Inspired Mama, a blog about all things Mama and home. And my struggles to get my kid to eat, play nice, all the while trying to get a gorgeous picture, and make a curtain.


  1. Once I hit Aperture mode I never went back. It’s my favourite. Now too figure out all the other buttons……….

  2. Yes! Turn off that flash. It’s awful. Always.

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