How to Make Your Camera Work for You in 5 Easy Steps

How to Make Your Camera Work for You in 5 Easy Steps

How to Make Your Camera Work for You in 5 Easy Steps

By NYC wedding photographer Angela Cappetta

1. When to use the automatic settings on your camera

Make Your Camera Work for You. When we learn how to use a camera, we also learn how the manual settings make our pictures look. Sometimes it is the perfect alchemy of colors and tones. Sometimes it isn’t worth it. When you learn how your auto settings look in your ideal shooting scenario then go for it. Have fun and use them, but it won’t always be beautiful that’s when you need to learn how to use it in the manual.


2. What kind of camera should I buy?

Take a good look at my work. You can’t do any of this without high-end pro gear. You not only need the right camera, but you need the professional experience to create a masterpiece. I don’t know what camera you need, but you need to know what kind of creative work you wish to capture before commencing.

However, I strongly suggest you ask a qualified salesperson in a store. Adorama and B&H are two fine examples. They did not pay to be mentioned here, I just shop at both of them a lot. I always see curious amateurs there asking questions to qualified salespeople.

Why am I mentioning this? Because I get a lot of “fan mail”.

Much of it is from people I don’t know writing to me because they think they can do work like mine if they know what gear I use. This is not the case. My work is honed after decades of trial and lots (and lots) of error. Blood, sweat, tears, and airline miles. Torn muscles, broken bones, learning a fourth, then a fifth language. Delivering on the level that I offer my wedding photography and corporate photography clients requires this level of experience and worth ethic.

Pros use the pro gear. We don’t buy amateur equipment. We can’t deliver on quality work that way. So, and I cannot stress this enough, don’t ask a pro shooter like me, what equipment you should buy. You must create your own creative path, from there, you will have a better idea of what kind of camera to use for your personal or professional photography projects.



3. When to use manual settings

When you feel like there’s a nuance or something you need to learn, flip it into manual. Learning all the ins and outs of your camera settings is good for a curious mind.

How to Make Your Camera Work for You

How to Make Your Camera Work for You. A quinceñera, shot with film and a medium format camera by NYC wedding photographer Angela Cappetta.

4. Make your camera work for you: how to frame a picture while you’re shooting

Don’t cut off the feet of your subject, or the middle of an arm. Don’t leave too much space on top of the head. If something doesn’t fit move backward with your legs and feet. As in, walk backwards. If something is too far, then walk toward it. It isn’t rocket science, people. Just use your head. Don’t be lazy. You wouldn’t wash a dish without soap, would you? Just think it through. Basic things like this will make all the difference.

How to Make Your Camera Work for You. Brooklyn micro wedding shot with 6 guest by NYC wedding photographer Angela Cappetta

How to Make Your Camera Work for You. Passersby check out a Brooklyn micro wedding. Shot with film by NYC wedding photographer Angela Cappetta.

5. Backgrounds matter

Make sure the back ground behind your subject is pleasing. Be certain a tree or statue isn’t creating an unwanted “hat” or third “leg” or even the addition of a “tail” to the subject you’re shooting. The viewing audience will thank you.


Photographer focusing a lens in daylight

Photographer Angela Cappetta, on set, focuses a lens. From her appearance on the Oprah network.


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