I would love to be your photographer. I've been both in front of and behind a camera since before I can remember. Capturing genuine smiles and creating photos that will be passed down for generations is my passion. I love when my clients see their photos for the first time and truly see their beauty and light come through the images. I can't wait to hear from you and to create and capture those photos you've been dreaming of.


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Photography, Portraits, Tips and Tricks

June 29, 2019

Take Better Vacation Photos!

Fort Mackinac in panoramic with bright blue skies and green grass.

Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island – one of our long time family vacation destinations!

Do you have a fancy camera that you take along with you on your vacations? Do you have dreams of capturing all the sights and smiles of the people you love in the gorgeous locations? Here are a few basic things to keep in mind when you have that camera in hand to make you feel a little more confident about the photos you’re taking!

1. Take your camera with you! Have you ever packed up all that you thought you needed for your day trip, realized how heavy it was then just either forgot about your fancy camera or decided it was too much weight? The first step to capturing fantastic vacation photos is to make sure you bring your fantastic camera with you!

Two photos of Christy Malene, owner of Open Box photography at the beach and by birch trees.
2. When you’re taking photos of people in their amazing surroundings, make sure you think about where the sun is and the shadows it’s creating. Especially when you have your camera in auto mode (or the little green box). The goal is to have even lighting across everyone’s faces – this often means finding some shade, or positioning yourself so the sun is behind your subject and maybe even behind a building or a tree. Your subject will be thanking you later for capturing them in the best light!

Two photos stacked, Top: Christy and her son in a waterfall. Bottom: Calm lake waters with bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds reflecting in the water.
3. Location, location, location. Look for the interesting and different things that you’re seeing in your travels that you don’t see every day. These are great opportunities to capture a few shots, then set down your camera and enjoy the view yourself!

Two photos of a cute little boy at sunset. First one with the Mackinaw Bridge in focus, second photo with the little boy smiling.
4. Sunrise & Sunset. Have you heard of the golden hour? It’s the time right around sunrise and sunset when the sky reflects that golden glow the sun gives off when it reaches the horizon. If you want to grab a few portraits with incredible light, grab your family and friends right around the golden hour and you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Two photos at twilight. First of some rocks at the edge of lake Huron, the second of the Mackinaw bridge lit up for night time.
5. Your timer. Most cameras (and even cell phones!) have this wonderful feature called a self timer. Use it! Grab at least one photo with everyone in the shot. If you didn’t bring a tripod, look for a rock or a wall, or even use a car with a bag of marshmallows under the camera to keep it level. And don’t forget to hand off your camera throughout the vacation to those with you so that you have photos of you on your amazing travels as well!

Large family photo taken with a self timer.

Here’s a photo of my family taken with a remote so that we could all be in the photo!

So go out and explore, and bring your camera along! Share your experiences and print those treasured vacations for those you love, those memories will come flooding back every time you look at those photos.