Maggie understands how to talk photography–which can get confusing when it comes to the technical side–in a way that is easily understandable even to a beginner. As a slow embracer of the manual settings on DSLR cameras myself, I know that the resulting photos even from a fancy DSLR in auto mode doesn’t give you much better results than a point and shoot. That’s why I deeply appreciate that half of the book is spent getting you familiar with the technical side of photography. I’m a long time manual convert, and I still picked up a few things I didn’t know in these sections! Jake, who is a manual pro, was very impressed with the way that this information was explained, because he’s taught our friends about manual mode and it can be very hard to get the information to click. (Get it? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
I think you’ll especially love the explanations of when to use which settings. You can read all about the different photography terms, but it can be difficult to translate that knowledge into practice. Maggie brings these terms into real shooting scenarios and even includes a bit of common trouble spots to help you learn to get comfortable with your camera. Honestly, even if you never photograph kids, I think the ebook is worth it just for the technical explanations. If you want an introduction to shooting in manual, go for it. The composition techniques are universal as well!
The second half of the book focuses on techniques, and though learning the technical stuff will probably make the hugest difference in the quality of your photography, this is the fun part. EVERYTHING we would have included in our favorite tips for composing good photographs and for getting the best photos of kids was included in here. I wish I had this book in 2009, because I had to learn all of this stuff the hard way!
My favorite part in this section was a how-to on capturing catch-lights (those wonderful eye sparkles). This is something that is seriously missing from my photography (or only sneaks in by accident), so I’m excited to practice this technique until I get it down! Jake thought that the best part in the second half was all about how to capture mood. A lot of photographing people is getting them to feel comfortable and natural, and there are some great tricks for getting those priceless expressions from kids! (Hint: it is not “say cheese!”) There are also a ton of great industry tricks to get those squirmy, willful subjects to cooperate. We loved that Maggie broke these tips down into things that will work better for older kids and which will work for younger kids. Some of these things we’d tried before (and they work!), but we also learned a few new things to add to our bag of tricks.
All in all, we feel that this is a wonderful ebook that can drastically help you to improve your photos! Make sure to take a look to see some example pages and read what others are saying about it.