How to Take Your Best Photos Yet + Achieve that Light and Bright Aesthetic

with Mary Craven





If you’ve ever wondered how I capture those light and bright photos on Instagram – well, we are here to deliver those answers to you.

Yes, I’m talking with the one and only Mary Craven – the mastermind photographer behind all of those photos you see online and in my store.

Mary Craven and I have been working together for years, and she made me feel so comfortable from day 1. She gets my aesthetic and my vibe and I am forever grateful that I found her when I did.

In this episode, we are diving into all things photography. And yes, we are of course covering iPhone photography as well – so you can get those memorable moments on your phone – just the way you want them.

Mary Craven and I are chatting:

  • What she learned from her 365 days of photography
  • How to set up the best lightning for your pictures!
  • How best to pose yourself in a group photo – gosh it can be so hard can’t it?!
  • The best camera to start with if you’re just beginning – and
  • The #1 question to ask your wedding photographer before hiring them
PRO TIP: Make sure you have something to do with your hands in your photos – make sure it’s on someone or something! Whether your children or husband – it tells a big story!

Whether you’re just starting out with your iPhone and want that light and bright look for your Instagram feed, or a veteran photographer with an A-list roster, you’ll find a little something in this episode just for you.

So sit back, relax, and know that you’ll be able to nail your next photoshoot or capture a memorable moment with your family after this episode. Here is my friend, Mary Craven.

– FAQ – 
When you’re setting up a photo, are there some tips and tricks to lining it up symmetry?
 As far as symmetry, it is nice to line it up as much as you can in your camera, whether it’s your phone or your DSLR, you can do some straightening and some adjustment in geometry and Lightroom, which is helpful – but it doesn’t always work. So lining it up better in your camera is always the best option.
 It’s really important to me to have straight lines, to me, that is kind of the difference between a good photo and a great photo.
But as far as shooting your house or anything like that outside on your phone, you just want to make sure you’re in the shade and that your subjects are in the shade so that the lighting is also equivalent between the two of you.
Natural vs Overhead Light?
No overhead light! Turn off all your lights and lamps and open all of your blinds! Natural light is the way to go to avoid the yellow cast on your skin.
What time of day is best for shooting?

If you’re shooting indoors and it’s a super sunny day, anytime between like 11 and 2 is great, just because you’re going to find a side of the house that’s going to work and get that kind of cool light in there.

I love really dramatic, funky light coming through windows and then placing a subject in that, or right next to it to kind of add a proof of life. It’s not just a stagnant kind of still photo of no light. I love window panes coming through and then a little girl twirling in it. I mean, that’s like a fun moment of real life.

How do I pose in a group photo?
I always say stand at an angle – never stand kind of straight on because what you want to do with your body is create lines. Wrap arms around waist, definitely stand to the side, figure out lines with your arms or with your legs, bend your knees. Pop your shoulder up a little to make your arms look longer.
If posing with spouse, grab his hand or put on his shoulder. If you’re by yourself, walk to and away from the photographer. Grab your hair, put your hand on your thigh, put it in your pocket. Find a place for it.
This woman is buying her son a camera. What should she look into? What’s like a beginning camera suggestion – Would you say?
I recommend either picking Canon or Nikon. You can also do some of the mirrorless cameras that are much more low profile. The issue with some of those is that you can’t interchange the lens, the one it has actually works great.
Fellow photographer asking, what lens do you use?
50 millimeters my baby. With Canon, 1.2 is worth every penny. I also love the  Sigma art 35 and Nikon 1.4. A super versatile one is the 24 to 70 is great as well – it comes in Canon and Nikon and Sigma.
My daughter’s getting married, what are the best questions to ask a potential photographer?
First thing- ask if they will have a second shooter! It’s important for big moments – like getting the bride’s and groom’s reaction the first time they see each other walking down the aisle!  You need two shooters for that!
Also check out their portfolio and their style. Is it stale and stagnant? It’s not just editing – it’s also capturing the day.
Take the time to find a photographer that is organized, good with people, and is a storyteller!
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June 14, 2021

62. How to Take Your Best Photos Yet + Achieve that Light and Bright Aesthetic


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