How to take a Day in the Life on Instagram

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

For any photographer, be it a hobbyist or pro running a business, a Day in the Life project can help you grow tremendously.

To document your day, or a child’s day is an important slice of history as well.

When its the last time you charted a day from start to finish? If you never have, hopefully you will find some inspiration to do so now.

Recently, I charted my own day via Instagram. It was a lot easier than suing my dslr but still challenging enough that when it was done,and that final shot was taken, I went to bed completely exhausted and fulfilled knowing I had created my own time capsule to reflect on in the years to come.

Here are some tips on how to make your Day in the Life come to life!

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How to Take a Great Holiday Card Photo Outdoors

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

Holiday card photos can be fun for the entire family. Forget about the forced, posed family photo and instead, seize the opportunity to take family photos during outdoor adventures.

Head right outside your home or to a local park. The key for shooting outdoors is to film during the most flattering light. Golden hour never disappoints as the sun drops in the sky and casts a beautiful, warm glow. The golden hour in photography is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during when the daylight is softer than full sunlight.

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How to Take a Great Holiday Card Photo at Home

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

Every year, we put enormous stress on ourselves to get the ‘perfect’ holiday greeting. What usually happens is as follows: dress the children up, kids don’t cooperate, we end up screaming, and it’s far from having a holly jolly ANYTHING.

Here are some tips to help ease into this year’s holiday greeting. Home is, after all, where the heart is.

I’m a true believer in snapping your holiday card photo or your client’s holiday card photo at home. But instead of all piling up in front of the tree here are a few other spots that can make your holiday card photo more of your own:

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Trying New Photography Techniques

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /
© Jennifer Tonetti Spellman 2014

Whether you are a full-time/part-time photographer running a business or a photo enthusiast/hobbyist, there comes a time during the year where we all experience downtime.

Personally, I take off the month of December each year to recover from Fall shooting madness, regroup on my business and plan for the year ahead.

It’s also this time I do one of my most treasured things: embrace the downtime for new photography techniques.

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How to not be Annoying when Taking Family Photos

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

One of the hardest things about being a photographer with children is this incessant need to film them. Itʼs like the itch that can never fully be scratched.

I will admit, I’ve overdone it at times. I’ve let the desire to get the shot overtake me, make me angry if I didn’t get it, and just basically ruin the very moment I was trying to capture.

This side of me came out big-time when I was doing my 365 in 2013. I drove the whole house crazy – including our dog – to make sure I got the shot of the day. But that all changed this year when I decided to put down the camera, and realized that I was potentially hurting relationships in my home with my daughter and even husband {though he isnʼt the main focus of the images}.

Allow me to share with you some ways on how to keep snapping, but lessen the irritating factor when taking pictures of your family.

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How to Capture Natural Smiles in your Photos

By Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman /

I think out of all the questions I receive from the photography community, the ‘Jenn, how do you get those natural smiles from children’ one pops up the most.

My philosophy when filming children is quite simple:

1. To capture natural smiles you have to genuinely make children laugh and show them the way to fun.
2. Children are just smaller versions of ‘us.’ So treat them with the respect they deserve, don’t patronize or talk down to them and they will reward you by letting you in.
3. Keep it moving to capture natural smiles. Attention spans will wane quickly.

Let’s dig a bit deeper…

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