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Beginner Photography: Slice of Life

Happy 2017! I’ve been sick for all of it, plus a few days so far, so I didn’t go out shooting this week. But I have plenty of photos to choose from for this topic. “Slice of life” might be my favorite subject matter for photography. I’ve always preferred shooting people and especially candids. I like capturing a brief, fleeting moment in time; an expression, a movement, an interaction. Posed portraits just don’t give you that, they are people’s attempts at looking their best, at being still. 

I’m not sure there’s a way to teach this topic, really. Besides using whatever camera settings are appropriate for your setting, the only thing to do is to observe and wait. I covered street photography here, which gives you some tips on how to shoot unobtrusively. For all candid photography, I use live view mode, and flip out the screen on my E-M10 so that people can’t tell when I’m shooting. If you’re shooting strangers, they tend to think you’re not shooting them, but something else in the scene. If you’re taking photos before and after they appear in frame, they’ll assume they aren’t the subject. If you’re shooting your friends and family, or at an event, just shoot excessively. At first people will be stiff, knowing they’re being photographed, but they’ll loosen up once they get used to you there.

Here are some of my favorite “slice of life” shots from the past year:


Shot on my Samsung smartphone, so the settings were automatic. 1/390th, f/1.9, ISO 40.

I love her expression and body language, her gaze bringing you to his, which leads you down. You even get some context of where we are by the pamphlet he’s holding.


Shot with the Olympus E-M10 at 1/400th, f/11, ISO 200. Not sure what I was thinking for the settings on this one, my shutter speed and f/stop were higher than necessary.

My first time shooting California surfers in the wild.


Shot with the E-M10 at 1/250th, f/3.5 at ISO 200. 

This feels like a perfect childhood moment to me. The expressions of anticipation, the motion of the boy in front. The car in the background is unfortunate, but that’s city living for you.


Shot with the E-M10 at 1/250th, f/4.5 at ISO 200. 

I shot with the sun behind her, with a shutter speed to freeze her but get the motion of her hand and the water.


Shot with the 5D Mark III and a 24-70 f/2.8 at 1/60th, f/4 and ISO 1250.

I love the joy and energy in this shot. The bride seeing her friend’s crazy dance, the groom shaking hands.


Do these shots work for you? It’s hard to objectively look at your own photos sometimes, especially if they’re of people you know and love.

Do you enjoy shooting candids? What do you do to capture a specific moment? Join us for the live show this Thursday to see more “slice of life” shots.

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How to Capture Street Portraits: In Their Face and In Their Space


Photographic genres seem to change all the time, and what was once called one thing is now called something else. This may be splitting hairs and I may be full of crap, but I think there’s a difference between capturing a portrait on the streets and photographing a street scene with people. I would call the first example a “street portrait” and the second example “street photography.”

Continue reading How to Capture Street Portraits: In Their Face and In Their Space

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Up Close and Personal: Street Photography Tips

I discovered my love for photography much later than most photographers I know. It took some time to figure out my favorite subjects. Once I realized that I enjoyed taking candid shots of people, I knew that I had found my niche. Every chance I get, I can be found on the streets of NYC and beyond – whether in Chinatown, Coney Island or Brighton Beach, or shooting events such as the Mermaid Parade, Feast of San Gennaro, protest marches, and other cultural events.

Here are some questions I am frequently asked:

Continue reading Up Close and Personal: Street Photography Tips

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Live Show Recap: Street Photography

Hey all! Here begins a new blog segment where I discuss the live show and any interesting or noteworthy segments that appear in it. Last week our show was on street photography and we got a ton of great submissions from you fine folks, so thanks for that. We’re always encouraged by the talent of our viewers (and we hope that some of it is due to our tutelage!) So, like every live show subject, the topic needs to be defined. Street photography is candid, most often including a person or people, that serves as a slice-of-life of the area. So there’s that.

First off, Chelsea detailed how I hate gear questions. Not only because I don’t understand half of them, but because Tony and Chelsea have put SO MUCH time into creating a whole book about gear plus some obscene amount of free videos on their YouTube page. If they’ve answered it already, do your research! If they haven’t, it’s because they probably haven’t used the gear in question yet. I’m a woman of efficiency, I don’t like to see time or effort wasted on something that’s been answered before 🙂 Chelsea and Tony are far more patient than I am.

We had a poll question, but didn’t set up a poll, so if you’d like to let us know in the comments below, who is the worst person to go shooting with? Chelsea hates the copycat, Tony hates shooting with a gear head. Kyle hates shooting with his mother, who always wants to be in the photo.

They showed us the new Apple iPad Pro & Pencil, which seems like something way too expensive to lose within a week of owning.

Then there was Socality Barbie, the best new way to mock hipsters and Instagram at the same time! Check it out though, it’s pretty funny.

Chelsea and Tony were drinking Pimm’s and ginger ale, while I was drinking a nice summer shandy by Leinenkugel.

Chelsea suggests a mirrorless for street photography since you can be more discreet with a small camera, and using a 50mm. Tony seconds using a mirrorless with a silent shutter and the viewfinder set to black and white, as well as a 35mm.

If you don’t want to hear our tangents, we start reviewing photos at minute 13:38! One of our top pics from the show is at 19:11 and another at 21:53.

We mention “Ron the critic” at minute 27:30, and if you don’t know the reference, please watch this video (we’re sorry):

Then we go on to look at portfolios at 29:49

PhotoNews starts back up at 35:35 talking about megapixels, (which is gorgeous) and leads us to discuss “flat-earthers,”and new Zeiss lenses.

Tony upsets nerds the world over starting at minute 42 and gets progressively (regressively?) worse a minute later when he talks crap on Star Wars.

Viewing a portfolio at 46:40, Chelsea says “my gym had that AstroTurf but a kid peed on it” and no one bats an eye.

Back to photo reviews at 54:39, another favorite shot at 56:14. and a lot more in the speed round!

On to me for some viewer questions, a few more photos, and then Tony tells a hilarious story about (not) getting a shoe shine (1:22:56).

And that’s a show! Join us this Thursday at 5pm New York time for our live show and submit your architecture photo once the show goes live!