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All in the details

Hello, I am Brandi.

Published creative photographer at Soul Shine Photography specializing in outdoor photography.

I am a wife, stay at home momma to two wild little ones & business owner by day, adventurer by night! We live in southeastern Wisconsin. Between photographing weddings & families you can find me outside exploring with my kiddos, reading, rocking out to my favorite musicians, or planning my next vacation. Photography is more than my creative outlet, it is me. It grounds me and forces me to be in the moment, something that tends to slip past us too often. Though I've always had an interest in photography, my real journey began when my children were born. Watching them and trying to savor every last detail, I picked up my camera and opened the door to what I'm sure will be my life long endeavor of learning, creating, and growing. Fast forward 5 years (3 as a professional) and I've been published 3 times, became a 5 figure entrepreneur by year 2 & I'm starting my own e-course to help others get started on this amazing creative journey.

My favorite thing about photography, is being able to capture all those little details. Those everyday moments that seem to pass by us all to quickly. Those little faces made by our 2 year old but in a blink of an eye they’re 6 and don’t make them anymore. That’s why I love capturing it all. So I can remember that exact moment every time I look back at that picture, so I feel I never really lose the moment. And how I do that is with details!

Details are the most important part of any image you are capturing. They tell a story and put others in the moment with us.

There are many ways to capture details in a scene. Up close, feet, hair in the wind, eyes, dramatic clouds, eye lashes, reflection, documentary, etc. When capturing details, there are things that come into play such as; lighting, the scenery/setting, composition and camera settings.

If you are anything like me you see the potential before there is even a true picture. Whether that is because the scene is breathtaking, the sunlight is on point, your child's outfit is to cute not to photograph, the dramatic clouds or the breeze in your child's hair. You know something good is going to come out of it so you set up shop. Depending on what detail you are trying to capture is going to determine what to do next. If you are wanting to capture your child's eye, well they are going to have to be still. Most of my detailed shots and my most favorite captures are those that are candid.

For example, my kiddos and I were outside and they wanted to play some music, well the clouds were just stunning so we went down to our pond and they happily played away. It turned out to be one of my favorite captures yet. Knowing your surroundings/certain locations helps tremendously when it comes to capturing an amazing scenery!

Depth of field plays a huge role in the details captured. Whether you want a bokeh background or every detail of the entire scenery captured. All depends on your F-stop. The lower the f-stop the more blurred background you will have. The higher the number the sharper the background. The image below I really wanted my subject (my son) to pop along with the leaves surrounding his eye. So I put my f-stop down to 2.8 and really made sure my focus was on point so I achieved the look I was going for. Focusing is going to play a HUGE role in the shots you want to be up close and detailed on. Especially when using a small f-stop because when your f-stop is lower your depth of field is too, meaning if my focus wasn't on point in this image then I could have had just the leaves in focus and not his eye which would have made this photo a waste in my opinion. Focusing is everything in detailed shots! Another way to ensure your focus is where you want it to be is to manual focus.

Shutter speed, don't forget to increase your shutter speed properly when working with the candid images. When working with kids in general, they do not stay still for long so you want to ensure you actually capture the moment. When using a shallow depth of field a little movement can throw off the focus a great deal so making sure your shutter speed is at least 250-400 is a great way to ensure you capture that detail.

Find all things interesting and get creative!! Practice, practice, practice!!

See a pretty leaf think of a way to photograph it. See some cool clouds, go on an adventure to a favorite location. (I have plenty in my back pocket at all times) Just bored, go outside with your camera and just wait for a moment to come along or create some magic. Already having a plan in your head for certain locations is going to be very beneficial to you if you have a vision in your head you want to execute. So if you can tell its going to be a awesome sunset you know exactly where you want to go and when!!

Also, making sure that all your other settings are right for the specific lighting and setting is very important when getting a sharp in focus detailed shot.

Take test shots before the moment even happens that way when it does happen you are prepared. If it's not you very well could completely miss the shot because even if you technically get the shot and think oh I can fix the lighting in post editing; which you totally can but depending on the detail and close up it could make your image not as sharp and or too grainy.

Don't be afraid to adjust settings in post editing!! Up that clarity, contrast & use the dehaze slider!!!

If you want to make your photo even more crisp and don't feel the bokeh in the background is quite enough; then put an added blur on just the background to pop your subject!


1. Up shutter speed 250-400

2. Low f-stop=blurred background, high f-stop=sharp background

3. Manual focus

4. Practice, practice, practice!

5. Post editing; up clarity, contrast & dehaze slider

6. Add a blur to the background to pop your subject

7. Know your location

8. Be prepared

I hope this article helped you in answering any questions you had.

Head over to my IG or FB page to see more of my work! :)

Thanks so much for reading!!!!


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