Why Auto Mode Isn't Getting Better Photos Of Your Kids


So you’ve purchased a lovely new camera, but all you’ve been able to do so far with it is shoot in AUTO mode.  The only problem is, your photos just don’t look that great.  The truth is, if you only ever use your DSLR in the automatic mode you may as well have just stuck with your iPhone, because you’re really missing out on all your DSLR has to offer. Sure, you may luck out and get a good photo from time to time, but more often than not you’re going to get just OK images that lack any real pizazz.

The following are the most common complaints I hear from mamas shooting in AUTO mode.

My photos are blurry

When you use your camera on AUTO mode, you're relying on an algorithm inside of the camera to determine what you want in your photo. The problem is that the algorithm had no idea what you want from your photo. It's just trying to make a decent exposure based on the sensors it has built in.

When it comes to blurry photos, your camera didn't know that your subject was a kid who never sits still - it just knew it needed to let more light on, so it used a slower shutter speed. If you were in control of your camera, you would know your subject is a crazy running kiddo and you would prioritize your shutter speed to keep your photo from being blurry.

All the professional photos have beautiful, blurry backgrounds.  Mine don’t :(

Again with the camera's AUTO algorithm assuming what you want. It's just assuming that you want everything in the frame in focus, so it's using a much higher aperture than you would want if you were in charge of your camera. By choosing your own aperture, or f-stop number, you get to determine how blurry your background will be.

The wrong thing is in focus all the time

When you shoot in auto mode the camera gets to decide what is the most important thing to focus on in each image - often whatever is closest to the lens.  The problem is that whatever is closest to the lens isn’t necessarily the subject.  And it’s pretty hard to tell a story with your photos when your intended subject isn’t in focus.

One of the major advantages of shooting in manual is that you get to choose where you focus - opening up a whole new world of creativity with your shots.

My flash keeps popping up when I don’t want it to!

You’re at the beach or out in the middle of the yard and the sun is blaring - how could you possibly need a flash right now!? Well, when your camera is in auto mode, it may think that you need ‘fill light’ to properly light your subject.  Not necessary.  

Or it’s your kiddos birthday and there’s a cake full of candles right in front of his face.  You want to capture the excitement on his face and the flickering candles, but that pesky flash pops up and ruins the moment!  So not necessary!

When you know how to expose for your subject, you don’t have to worry about your flash popping up and getting washed out, flashy images. You’ll know how to properly expose for each situation without letting that obnoxious flash ruin things.

If you’re sick of feeling the same way about the photos you take in AUTO mode, then it’s time you take over your camera settings.  Let’s learn to capture life the way you see it - not the way some random algorithm on your camera sees it.  It's only when you abandon AUTO and take FULL control over your camera that you will get consistently good images that look the way you want them to.

So how do you go from all the AUTO functions on your camera to images that you can be proud of? What if all of the above solutions sound like jibberish to you? That is just the reason why I created the Full Circle Photo School.  It’s an online, self-paced course designed for busy mom's, just like you, to learn everything they need to take their DSLRs from AUTO to manual mode.  No more dark, blurry, flashy images for you - just beautiful photos of your kids, exactly the way you envisioned them!