Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mamarazzi Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids | Review & Giveaway

Last year the hubs spoiled me with a Nikon DSLR for my birthday; over the past year I've promised myself time and time again that I would learn how to really use my camera, to stop using the auto mode on this incredible piece of machinery.  You may recall that although I have no formal photography training, I did spend many hours working in a photo lab.  I've also read photography tutorial after tutorial online and considered taking a photography course, however thus far had only managed to move from auto to priority settings, slowly trying to understand each mode independently.

This year for my birthday, which was last week, I finally started shooting in manual mode and bought myself a shiny new Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens (dubbed the 'nifty fifty' by Stacy Wasmuth) while outlet shopping on the Oregon Coast.  Both of these fabulous facts can be attributed, at least partially, to a new book I received for review; Mamarazzi: Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids by Stacy Wasmuth.

So what exactly is the Mamarazzi?  I'm a member and I bet you are too.

Mamarazzi [mah-muh-raht-tsee] (noun, plural): Mothers who doggedly pursue opportunities to take, share and display photographs of their children.
I admit that when I first received Mamarazzi I immediately started flipping through the pages, reading snippets of information that seemed interesting or relevant to me.  I started with the technical information in 'Chapter 6: Camera Crew' and was amazed at the comfortable yet informative tone of the chapter and was even more surprised to find that after reading the chapter I found myself eager to try out what I had learned.  The best part, when I actually went out and starting shooting in manual mode, I was happy with the results.  Happy enough in fact, to invest in a much wanted new lens.  Here's a sampling of said photos, including some of my sister (whose not a child, but was happy to let me practice photographing her) what do you think?

beachtime baby boy
water fountainsnacktime
a moment in Seaside
After gaining a better technical understanding in Chapter 6 of Mamarazzi, I started reading the book cover to cover.  The book is full of useful tips and techniques, including suggestions to replace cheesy pictures with genuine ones, regardless whether you are shooting infants, toddlers or preteens.  The book is infused with beautiful imagery, each complete with the settings used for the shot, which I found infinitely useful in my quest to understand manual shooting.

When I read Mamarazzi I feel like I'm having a private photography lesson from a friend who also happens to be a photographer.  I'm confident that whether you have little to no photography knowledge or if you've read books and taken lessons, Mamarazzi will be able to teach you something new about photographing kids.  The icing on the cake?  You don't need a DSLR to benefit from this book, Stacy Wasmuth has written this book so that point-and-shoot cameras can learn something too.

So, are you dying to get your hands on your own copy of Mamarazzi?  We are giving away three copies here on the Momma Stuff Blog, so make sure you comment to enter and spread the news on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for additional entries.  Don't forget to check out Stacy Wasmuth's work on her website

Contest now closed, congrats to our winners
#52 - Donna
#31 - Sara
#8  - Katie