Treasure Chest Thursday: Personalized Bear

Growing up with an unusual name like Devon, I rarely found my name on anything mass marketed. As a youngster, it really bothered me. All my girl friends would have cool personalize things, but not me. Looking back, I realized that it wasn’t really personalized if every Jennifer had a backpack with that name on it. They’d all be copycats. As a family historian, I realize that having a fairly unique name might be a blessing for future generations. When they talk about Grandma Devon, they’ll all know who they’re talking about. Not so for Grandma Pheobe or Grandma Elizabeth.

In any case, I wanted to show you how playing with your settings and the angles of your lighting can achieve a professional look with amateur skills. Remember, all professional photographers were once amateurs.

Here you can see a personalized name bear that I hung in my bedroom throughout high school and part of college. (Can you believe a ‘hip’ university student would have such a childish thing on their wall? Well, when this is the only personalized thing I’ve ever had, you bet!)

Photographing Memorabilia
Personalized Memento
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/5, exp 1/4 sec, ISO 200
Focal length: 12 mm ; Spot metering

This first photograph is nice. I like it and could use it with the story I just shared and my family members will be tickled to see what I finally had with my name on it. However, I wanted a more white out background. So, I lowered the ISO value, dropped by f-stop value, and zoomed in a little closer. All of this was done in the AV mode on my camera (not ready to go fully manual yet).

Photograph High School Memoriabilia
Personalized Memento
Canon PowerShot SX110 IS
f/3.5, exp 1/10 sec, ISO 100
Focal length: 14 mm ; Spot metering

Wow, what a difference. Now, I’ll admit I took numerous shots before this one was what I was after, but that’s all apart of learning. And, my family members won’t have to see all the rejects. Only the keepers. So have fun remembering the things you wished for as a child and finally got. Photograph by playing around with the settings on your camera. And you’ll have quite a few keepers. Good luck!

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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