How to:: Photography Tips From Katie Evens {Giveaway}

{giveaway is now closed}

When it comes to taking great pictures there are so many things that you need to make sure are in order…the ISO, shutter speed, aperture, lighting, camera settings…I could go on and on! Does it ever feel daunting? Does the thought of trying to master your DSLR camera overwhelm you at times?

That is exactly why Katie Evens decided to write a simple and easy to understand photography ebook, The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer. Taking great pictures and figuring out your camera doesn’t have to be so intimidating.

We get tons of photography questions from our readers and we don’t always have them time to answer them.  So when Katie asked us to read her book and do a giveaway we jumped at the chance.  Katie explains what her book is all about:

This book is geared toward the person who owns a digtal slr camera but doesn’t quite know how to take the fantastic pictures they desire. I know of many people who own a dslr camera but are so frustrated with not knowing exactly what to do and how to produce awesome pictures. I knew if they just understood some key and basic information they would be able to use that to finally get the most out of their cameras. In the book I start out teaching (in simple, easy to understand terms) what exposure, aperture and shutter speed is all about, how they relate and why they are so important to understand. I talk about camera and lenses and why I use what I use. I discuss camera settings, lighting, composition and I even walk through my whole editing process. I’ve included tons of pictures that will help the reader follow along very easily. Overall it’s a great resource for anyone who just wants to learn how to take better pictures…whether that is for their blog, their family and kids, or their business.

Since my book has come out I have had many opportunities to hear from aspiring photographers about the things they are really struggling with in regards to photography. It ranges everywhere from knowing how to take their cameras off auto, to knowing how to get sharp images. Probably the number one thing people are struggling with is lighting. They want to know how to manipulate the light so they can achieve those breath-taking pictures. What I’m so excited to share with people is that every single concern that people have expressed is found in my book!
To give you a little peek in the book I want to share a little tip on how to achieve that “sparkle” in a subjects eyes. First, when looking for a place to take pictures try to look for open shade. When I say open shade I mean look for a place to put your subject that is shaded without splotches of sun peeking through. You especially don’t want to have sun splotches on your subject’s face. Once you have found your open shade, position your subject just on the edge of the shade to get the best lighting. See examples below:

View pulled back to show the open shade.

Notice the nice even lighting on her face.
{50mm, f2.8, 1/500th,400 ISO} 










As a rule I always try to position my subject toward the light source. This can be the sun or even a wall reflecting the sun. By doing this you get the eyes to sparkle. This is called creating a catch light in their eyes. Often the subject’s eyes will look lifeless and drab if they’re not facing a light source. See examples below:













Subject is not facing the light source causing her eyes to look dull and lifeless.

Subject is now facing the sun creating catch lights in her eyes
{50mm, f2.8, 1/500th,400 ISO}

Now for the giveaway…

Katie is giving away 3 copies of her ebook right here on the Crafting Chicks blog! All you have to do is be a public follower of The Crafting Chicks and leave a comment on this post including your e-mail address. The contest will close on May 30 at midnight MDT.
And there’s even more!
You get $2 off Katie’s ebook by using the discount code: CHICKS. The discount will be available for 2 weeks.


So head on over to The Key to Taking Pictures website to order your ebook!

Katie’s Photography Blog

Or visit Kaite on Facebook.

Good Luck!!



  1. April Bean says

    I follow you with Google Reader. And on FB! This looks like a valuable tool to have. Thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    Sounds like a very interesting book. I love photography, so I’d like to learn more of the nuts and bolts of taking good pictures. Thanks. I am a follower.

    ladydpiano-lessons (at) yahoo (dot) com

  3. Jenny Riddle says

    Oh my goodness! I got a DSLR right after Christmas and would LOVE to get some help with it! This book would be amazing! jennyruth414 [at] gmail [dot] com

  4. says

    I follow Crafting Chicks on GFC. This book looks great, much longer than a few of the others I’ve seen so I’m sure it’s chock-full of useful information!

  5. Char says

    I would love to be able to take better pictures of my kids. This would be perfect for me. Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. says

    Oh I so need this book for my new crafting blog I’m starting soon! and of course for great kiddo shots. Gotta have great pics!

  7. says

    Great tips! I’m a public follower and would LOVE to win this! I’m a beginning photographer and would really put her tips to good use. Thank you! :-)

  8. says

    I follow you with Google Reader! I just got an SLR a few weeks ago before my second child was born! I would love this book to learn how to take better pictures!

  9. Bethany Kingma says

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! I’m dying to learn more about using an SLR the proper way. :)


  10. says

    Winning this book would be so great! I’ve had my Canon Rebel digital for years now, but I’m too busy to really read the manual. I need it to be easy and understandable.

  11. Jessica Pearson says

    I would love this book. I have two little boys and I would love to take great pictures of their childhood. I am a follower on Facebook. jaceandjessica(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. Brittney says

    I’m a follower, I love your stuff, some of the ideas like the three tiered stand I”m putting into action! I would love to get this e-book! I love taking photos and can sometimes get some good ones! I would love some help! Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. Eryn says

    Wow!! What a great giveaway this would be to win….she described all my issues with my DSL camera LOL!!

  14. Jill Walter says

    We bought a dslr for Christmas and I would love to learn to do more with it and to take it off auto. I would love to learn how to take better portrait type pics and have them look like the examples above. Sounds like a good book for a beginner like me.
    P.s. I am a follower.

  15. Jill Walter says

    We bought a dslr for Christmas and I would love to learn to do more with it and to take it off auto. I would love to learn how to take better portrait type pics and have them look like the examples above. Sounds like a good book for a beginner like me.
    P.s. I am a follower and my email is

  16. Debbie says

    What an AWESOME book…!!! I so need it..I am having the WORST time with lighting and I have to take pictures for my product I sell!!

  17. Rochelle says

    Oooh I could use this for my new SLR!! I know there is so much to learn and I have a LONG way to go!!

  18. Angie says

    I would love to improve my camera skills. Taking pics of the kids can be difficult when they’re full of energy so any tips are greatly appreciated! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  19. says

    I would love to get my hands on this book! I’m always trying to get better pictures for my blog and to find something better than a studio photographer that I can afford! Thanks for the free tip by the way. I think I’m going to try it out today!

  20. Sara says

    Wow, that book looks like a great resource! I’m crossing my fingers that I’m one of the LUCKY winners! :)

  21. Lindsey says

    What a great book! I’ve been wanting to improve my photography skills and didn’t know where to start. And summer is when I am most inspired to take pictures. I hope you pick ME!

  22. Janet says

    I would love to win this book. MY husband and I bought a dslr camera and have been struggling with how to take the best pictures with it. this would be great!!

  23. Kristen says

    I follow through google reader. What a great giveway! The books look awesome! Definitely need help with my picture taking!


  24. Jennifer Bacon says

    I’m a followerer via email, my google reader adn FB – I don’t want to miss anything! I really need this book! Pick me!

  25. Christy Lawrence says

    Oh WOW….I would soooo enjoy this. I have had my DSLR for almost a year and I seriously (and sadly) don’t know how to use it beyond the Auto setting. All those terms are so intimidating that I haven’t tried to learn more. Thanks for the opportunity to win her book !! (Oh, and I LOVE reading/following your blog). :)

  26. says

    I just got a new Canon for my husband and I’s trip to Europe. We took some amazing pictures but I know if I knew more about the camera, I could have gotten better ones. I have also been thinking about taking a beginners photography class. This book would be perfect to start off with. Thanks for the giveaway. I love following your blog!

  27. Deborah Bishop says

    I am a follower of your blog. I actually received a Cannon Rebel for Mother’s day and now need to learn the best way to use it. This book would be a great help!!

  28. Janie Kennedy says

    Would love this! I got a new camera this past Christmas and was just saying that I need to learn more about it and taking pictures! I follow you on google reader and on facebook. I love this giveaway!

  29. Karen says

    My sweet husband gave me the new D7000 camera last November for our 15th anniversary… nice right!
    I’m feeling horrible, everywhere we go…every picture I take….always with the old point & shoot camera. I would love to learn how to use that DSLR….maybe this ebook is just what I need.



  31. Sara K says

    I’m not sure how to become a “public follower”, but I do get your feed through my Google reader. At any rate, I’d love the chance to learn more about photography!

  32. Lacey says

    I could SO use this book, I have three young kids and the pictures I try to take of them are no where near as good as they could be.


  33. Lora Hastreiter says

    I recently purchased a DSLR to take pictures of my young children because we simply can’t afford the price of professional photographer. I am always searching for information on how to use my camera and take better pictures. I would benefit so much from this book and would really really appreciate a copy (and so would my kids:) ! THANK YOU! !

  34. Katie says

    I would absolutely love this book! I’m always looking for tips to help take better picture of my little boys and think this would be very helpful. I’m a follower on facebook. Thanks!


  35. Shayna says

    WOW!!! What a great giveaway. I’m a follower and I would LOVE to win.
    shaylouk at hotmail dot com

  36. says

    I subscribe via, GFC, FB and email.
    I would love to win this book! I have been trying to learn to use my camera better and take classes but need more guidance. Katie’s portraits are amazing as are her tips. Just looking over some of them, helped me see things in a different light- speaking of light and lightsources. Thanks for such a great giveaway.

  37. says

    My husband and I really need this. I’m a makeup artist and I’m putting my portfolio together. That sounds like such an awesome ebook.

  38. Alyson says

    I would LOVE to learn how to take better pictures! We have a nice camera and I am so intimidated by it that I always use the auto feature – terrible I know! It would be so great to take professional looking pictures of my cute family!

  39. Becky S. says

    Looks like a great book! I always wondered how to get my kids eyes to ‘pop’. Now if the sun ever comes out again in ORegon, I will go try!

  40. Shawnee H says

    What a great resource! I’d love to win it! Thanks for giving us the chance! Shawnee(dot)haws(at)gmail(dot)com

  41. Mary Lou Koldewyn says

    I am new to this site and I am loving it. I am a true lover of crafts and learning to take better pictures is something I am in desperate need of, so please pick me.

  42. Cherie says

    Oh my goodness, I NEED this book, lol! I take the worst pictures! No matter what I’ve tried, they’re still terrible. Which makes it so hard to be happy with my scrapbooking…

  43. says

    I just got a new camera yesterday for my birthday, this would be a great asset to go with that!

    sweetwatercloth at gmail dot com

  44. Jennifer says

    Oh, what an awesome prize. I would love to win this. I have 6 kids and still can’t take a good picture of them. Sad!

  45. Alis in Wnderlnd says

    I am a follower on Google reader and on FB. I am not quite comfortable leaving my email in spybot format, so I will write it out. wnderlnd @ gmail dot com. Hope you understand.

  46. Alisa Dutson says

    I would love to learn how to improve my photography skills. I just invested in an dslr camera and have no idea how to use it!

  47. Ana says

    I would LOVE to read this book! I take pictures of my sweet girls on a daily basis with my Nikon. Sadly, I use it in auto mode but I’d love to learn to take better pictures.

  48. Michelle says

    This looks like a great book for a beginner like me. I would love to learn to use my camera to take great pics of my grandchildren.

  49. says

    I have really started to try and take my Nikon off Auto, and learning more about Aperture and Shutter speeds. I really hope I win this book, she seems amazing with her tips and advice!

    Pamela @

  50. Kathy McDonald says

    Just got a new camera for my birthday in March and need help to figure it out! My daughter has a real talent with photography and is already taking senior pictures without much training! This book would help me learn and her to get even better!!!

  51. Toppari says

    I received a DSLR for Christmas but have had little time to learn the ins and outs. I know your book would be a great help before trying to catch some great vacation photos!

  52. nicole bogart says

    Wow! What a fantastic giveaway. Just found your site and love it already. Have started going through the archives from the begining and have found tons of great ideas to do with the kids i nanny. Thank you!

  53. Carol S. says

    This book looks like the perfect remedy for my scrapbooks and for projects for my home! I need all the help I can get. Thanks for the chance to win!

  54. says

    It would make my year if I got this book. I just got a new camera and would love how to learn to use it better! I have two young boys and love taking photos of them! I would love this book!!!!!! Thanks for the great give away!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *