Thursday, July 08, 2010

Behind The Lens: Katie Nelson

I first "met" Katie through pages she posted at DesignerDigitals. I love her style, photo first, and often lots of photos on her scrapbook pages! I loved finding out that my classes helped her photography improve as I believe she came to class with lots of talent! She is known around the internet as Katie The Scrapbook Lady. She takes great photos and makes great pages.

Please meet Katie Nelson.

What sparked your interest in photography?
I’ve always loved pictures and I have been a scrapbooker since I was only 14 years old, however, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to taking quality pictures until just a few years ago. It seems like once I became a digital scrapbooker in 2005 and started spending a lot of time in online galleries, I finally realized that there wasn’t any scrapbooking trick or technique that could make up for the lack of a great photo. For me, photos are the “King” of the layout (and journaling is the “Queen” – an important partner and co-ruler). I have probably had a slow evolution as a photographer since I used only a point-and-shoot camera until 2008, but there is a lot to learn!

What camera do you use?
I have used Sony Cybershot point-and-shoot cameras since 2002. I started with a 2 megapixel model (yikes!) and now I use the 12.1 megapixel model. I was too nervous (and too broke – lol!) to add a DSLR camera into my life until March of 2008. My Mom had purchased a Nikon D40 after a lot of research and she let me try hers out. I snapped a few photos on auto and I was immediately hooked! I have to admit that I stayed comfortably in auto mode for about a year, until I started pushing myself to take online classes and experiment with new settings. I still love auto setting in some cases, but I’m finally enjoying almost all the buttons and dials on my camera. There is something so satisfying about seeing a picture and knowing that it looks a certain way because of what you did to achieve that result!

I learned so much from that class and between that and the “Get me off Auto” e-book, I’ve finally become comfortable with moving my camera dial around! I’ve learned from a few other sources before, but what you taught me about Aperture Priority finally made everything click for me. (pun intended – lol!) I was fiddling with the aperture settings before, but I didn’t really understand how to physically set the distance between my primary subject and what was in the background until I took your class. This really helped me since I don’t have the fastest lenses. Learning that I could make up for that by using aperture priority AND moving the subject away from the background, really gave my pictures a great depth of field. What a difference that has made!

What is your favorite lens?
I use the Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor Lens a lot because it is such a versatile lens. I bought a Nikon 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR (Vibration Reduction) Zoom Nikkor lens just a few months ago and I’m really liking that for people photos.

What makes you happiest about your photography?
I’m trying to focus on this aspect because as I’m learning, I find that I’m becoming so critical of my own pictures that it is easy to lose that enjoyment. I know I still have so much to learn! What really makes me happy though is catching something amazing in an image. A snapshot really is just that – a “snap shot” of a fleeting moment in time. I find that I enjoy photos more with each passing day (or year). When I look at a photo, it takes me back to a place or time and I love that feeling. Pictures are very emotional for me.

Seeing all the great examples from you and the other contributing photographers really helped me work on my composition. I had a tendency to center objects in the photo, but you helped “push me to the edge” and use all the space in the photograph instead.  I have noticed a big difference in how much more I like my photos now!

What have you learned from my classes that has helped you the most?
I have your Get Me Off Auto e-book, and I have taken 2 of her classes at Get It Scrapped - "Your Life Captured Through the Lens” and “Your Kids Captured Through the Lens” and I read her blog every day. I’m totally a Katrina fan! I guess what has helped me the most is seeing examples of her work because she always seems to have just the right image to illustrate what she is teaching! I’ve printed out all the handouts from her classes (and the e-book) and I keep them in a binder for easy reference. I frequently browse through the pages for inspiration and I find something new and useful every time.

What photography projects are you working on for 2010?
Of course I’m trying to capture ongoing and everyday life activities, but I’m also focusing on a few areas that I have come to enjoy. I am finding a lot of joy in photographing toys and collections. I especially love Legos

Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog Katrina! What a fun honor this is for me!

Katie Nelson (aka “Katie the Scrapbook Lady”)

You can find me on my blog at
Contributing writer at


If you are interested in Get Me Off of Auto, it is on sale today for Thrifty Thursday at DesignerDigitals! Registration is open for Your Kids: Captured Through The Lens. Class starts on July 20th. A registration discount is available until July 12th.

Have I helped you with a classebook, or tutorial? Would you like to be featured Behind The Lens? Send me an email at katrina at katrinakennedy dot com.

1 comment:

mugsbigsis said...

Oh, It's so nice to meet you Katie! Your photos are gorgeous and I can totally relate to the fun you had in Katrina's classes. I love the chess set photo and the books have such wonderful lighting.
Thanks for sharing another wonderful interview, Katrina.


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