Astrophotography Tips & Tricks!

Photographing stars is definitely something you should try out if you can, it's fun and just plain cool. Really anything night photography related is super fun and I love it! I did a lot of astrophotography this past summer and thought I'd share some things I've learned.

Some of the things you will need:

A tripod! Your tripod is your new best friend, always have it if you're doing long exposure stuff. 

A flashlight! Flashlights are fantastic, they can help you light paint, find something you dropped (Lol...totally have never done that.), and in general super handy to have.

A remote shutter release! This one isn't a must but it definitely helps eliminate blur. 

Basic Guidelines:

Have your aperture as wide as it can go, say F/2.8 or whatever your lowest is.

Have your shutter speed really slow, try a couple seconds and if the photo is too dark go longer!

On your ISO try starting out at 3200 and go from there! Depending on your situation you may need to lower it or bump it up. Keep in mind that the higher you go on ISO the more noise/grain you'll have!

Don't be afraid to try out different settings even if you like what you're currently getting, who knows, you might like it better!

Long exposure is the coolest thing ever!

When you're taking photos at night you're using long exposure, which is where your lens stays open for longer periods of time and in turn it soaks up light from everywhere. In example: the photo below was taken at a shutter speed of 15 seconds (long exposure), the longer I leave the lens open the brighter the photo will be. You really just have to experiment with it, too long of an exposure and your stars will begin to blur and become little dashes! When that happens they call it Star Trails, I've seen some really amazing photos using that technique! I haven't tried it out yet, but I'm hoping to this year.

Light pollution.

Light pollution is huge. Depending on what you're going for you can do all sorts of things with or without it. Ideally you want a place with no light pollution, light pollution meaning light coming from towns, cities, yard lights, the moon, etc. I'm not saying you can't shoot near light pollution, because you can definitely manipulate it to your advantage. It all depends on what you want the end photo to look like.

Why avoid light pollution you ask? Well if you have a lot of light pollution you run the risk that it will wash out your stars. Because your lens is staying open for longer amounts of time it draws in a ton of light from all light sources, the longer it's open the brighter the light source gets, that means if the moon is out and you're on a long exposure more than likely the moon will be blown out and you won't have any stars. Try to shoot when the moon isn't full when doing astrophotography.

The photo below was taken facing a town, creating a glow on the horizon, it turned out great and the light pollution was faint enough that it didn't wash out the stars.

Patience is the name of the game.

Night photography is very time consuming, you have to have patience to get the shot you want. You might have to wait for the milky way to get to that particular spot you need it at, you might have to wait for it to get completely dark out, you'll be waiting on your lens to finish it's exposure, let's face it, you'll be waiting on a ton of things! But when you enjoy doing it, it's not bad at all. The time flies and before you know it, it's time to pack up and go home.

Experiment, experiment, experiment!

I can't stress this enough, experiment all the time! Try out a different ISO setting, try different aperture (the F/number), try different shutter speeds (long exposure), try light painting, try anything. Half the fun is playing with the light and trying out all the different possibilities!

That's all for now! 

Thank you so much for reading! I love night photography and hope you try it out!


Subscribe here to never miss a post!

Dog Photography - Tips and Tricks


I've been photographing dogs for over a year and I thought I'd compile a list of tips and tricks that I've learned!

Treats are a safe bet to get attention.

Always, always, have treats handy. The dog you're photographing may or may not want to pay attention. Having a treat in hand will help get them focused and make it more enjoyable for them, I've never seen a dog not be happy over food, lol. 

You want cute head tilts and focused looks, right?

I can't resist a head tilt, I mean who can???

Squeaker toys work fantastically! If you have a helper make sure they're directly behind you (if that's where you want the dog looking.) when they squeak the toy! Otherwise the dog won't be looking the way you want and you might miss your head tilt. 

Speaking of squeaker toys, one of our favorite Instagram accounts suggested taking out the actual squeaker and putting it in your lips then blow through it! Easy and hands free. I love this method because the dogs don't see it coming and it makes for cute expressions!

We've tried out duck calls too, it worked alright but not as affective!

If you have a helper, have them stand behind you and throw something in the air (treat bags work great!). 

This next one is a last resort. If all else fails make really weird noises with your mouth. I know, it's embarrassing, but it's all worth it when you get a head tilt out of it! So don't be afraid to be goofy. Just a side note, if you're being goofy and having a good time, the subject and whoever else is with you will too. Whistling also works pretty good too!

Put your happy pants on!

I cannot express this enough. Be happy!!! Under no circumstances lose your cool and get impatient, because then it will all go downhill. If you're happy, the dog will be too, and so will their owner. If the dog doesn't know you then set aside a couple minutes to let it relax and feel comfortable around you before you start! If the dog isn't behaving or simply isn't paying attention then take a break, let it run around, play with it, anything! It will help tremendously and it will help you too. Attitudes are contagious, make sure yours is a good one! 

Angles and composition matter!

When photographing dogs always get eye level with them! I even like going way below eye level sometimes and including the grass/sand/snow in the foreground to add depth! Getting eye level or lower (Don't ever go below eye level with people! Just talking about dogs/animals here.) is way more pleasing to look at than if you were standing and taking a picture above them. This is excluding the head shots directly above that shows off the puppy dog eyes of course, then it's fine. 

Helpers? You mean life savers.

You can do it by yourself, sure, but having a helper is going to save you a ton of stress. They are your extra set of hands you wish you had when you're by yourself! They can help position dogs where they need to be, they help brainstorm ideas for last minute shots, they can run and move that twig that is obstructing the view, and most importantly, they can squeak the squeaker for you when you're hands are full, lol! Seriously, they are the best kind of friend because you can both laugh afterwards at the things you have to do for that shot. 


That's all!

These are things I have had and like to use everytime I go shoot.  I hope you find them helpful!