TWiP Family 014: Sarah Wilkerson on Capturing the Moment

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This week, we hear from Sarah Wilkerson on capturing the moment. Sarah is a mother to four kids and the CEO of Clickin Moms.

Sarah-WilkersonSarah became interested in photography at the same time many of us do: when her first child was born. For Sarah, the reason for taking photos was not only to remember moments as her son was growing. Her husband was deployed to Iraq just ten days after her son was born. Sarah took photos of everyday life with her new baby to show her husband their son’s growth while he was deployed.

When Sarah’s son got a little older and started moving, her point and shoot wasn’t able to keep up with the action. She tried a DSLR and was hooked. A few years after catching the photography bug, she found the online community, Clickin Moms.

Sarah was thrilled to find the Clickin Moms community. “Women who want to talk about aperture and shutter speed all day long? Sign me up!”

At the time Sarah discovered Clickin Moms, it was about one thousand members.The community has since grown to 16,000 members. It aims to educate, inspire and connect photographers. Clickin Moms has forums, classes and a beautiful bi-monthly magazine, Click.

This year, Sarah released a stunning book for photographers, Capture the Moment. The book includes photos from Clickin Moms members, information and assignments for beginners to expert photographers.

I love these images of Sarah at work.

In this interview with Sarah Wilkerson, we talk about going from the auto modes on our cameras to manual.

Sarah says, “You are actually smarter than your camera. We are seeing the scene and know what our vision is. Our camera doesn’t.”

But sometimes, it’s better to hand it over to your camera when the camera can move faster. When your subject is moving in and out of changing light, it’s good to let your camera make quick exposure decisions. Sarah likes using manual focus in a quiet, still situation. But, otherwise, the camera is faster than her fingers.

I loved talking to Sarah about the balance between being a photographer and a participant. Sarah has a wonderful suggestion for birthday parties. First, get the photos you need. (The kid, the cake, the candles…) Then, put your camera down and experience the moment. If a moment calls to you after that, pick up your camera again after you have experienced the moment.

We have a great conversation about why Clickin Mom’s started the Clickin Moms Pro (CMPro) program. There’s a great guide for applicants that we talk about in the show. It’s a great resource.

Sarah’s Simple Tip for Parents

Step back. Start by shooting unaware. It becomes an extra challenge when you ask your subject to participate. You don’t need that when you are starting out. Look for opportunities and shoot from the sidelines.

Sarah’s Camera

Nikon D810 and her favorite lenses 24-70 f2.8 and 45mm tilt shift.

Connect with Sarah: Website, Clickin Moms, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

On October 8- 10, Sarah will be at Click Away in San Antonio, Texas. I’ll be there too along with a few of there great photographers I’ve talked to on the show: Jesh DeRox and Jenny Solar.

Would you like to win a year long membership to Clickin Moms or a year of Click Magazine? Of course you do! Leave a comment. Tell me whether you hold the cake or the camera on your kid’s birthday. Leave your comment before September 8th to be entered.

For 25% off a year membership to Clickin Moms use coupon code TWIP25.

Do you have a question for this family photography podcast? Is there a topic you’d love to hear about? A photographer you’d love to hear on TWiP Family? Email me: jenny@twip.pro

Next week it’s my conversation with the amazing Rick Sammon. He’s written over thirty books about photography and is the co-host of the Digital Photo Experience podcast. And, he’s a dad who knows about the challenges and rewards of photographing family.

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