About Mom-to-Mom

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Hello. Welcome to Mom-to-Mom, a series of photo exhibits that feature non-technical tips and artistic inspiration from image-making moms. The exhibits, which focus on a new theme each month, are designed to encourage other moms like you to experiment with your cameras, lenses, and accessories to hone your own photographic skills.

There’s a reason why Mom often doesn’t appear in the family photo album: She’s usually the one taking the pictures. Participants on Tamron’s Mom-to-Mom panel share their own personal approaches and tips to the craft by photographing a family-centered “assignment” with select Tamron lenses.

We encourage you to contribute your own photography comments and concepts. “We designed the Mom-to-Mom exhibits to serve as a fun, interactive venue where moms brainstorm with and glean ideas from other mom photographers to boost their confidence when creating their own family memories,” says Tamron Chief Marketing Officer Stacie Errera.

The inaugural exhibit for November 2011 features the photographers’ favorite way to get their kids to smile. Upcoming themes scheduled through the end of 2012 include holiday card photos, youth sports, multi-generational portraits, and special event photography such as birthdays and back-to-school imagery.

Meet the Moms

For Hollie Danklefsen of Idaho Falls, Idaho — a stay-at-home mom to a 3-year-old, 1-year-old, and newborn — connecting with other mothers through the Tamron Mom-to-Mom Project is simply an extension of what she already does through her own Real Moms Real Views website. "My site was created as a place where moms could come to chat, find out about Real Mom Recommended products, and learn how to do things themselves in our DIY section," she explains. "I absolutely love photographing my kids and capturing every moment so I can save it forever. However, I could never find the right resources online to help me with it. I love that moms can follow the Tamron Mom-to-Mom project and get the knowledge and help they need to photograph their own children and hobbies." For the Tamron project, Danklefsen is using the Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD all-in-one zoom lens. "I'm already loving the lens — I use it to photograph my kids and their events, both up close and from far away," she says. "I can't wait to test it out even more!"

Janet Ambrosio from Northport, New York, enjoys shooting nature and landscape photography, but it’s her 10-year-old and 13-year-old children who are most often the subjects in front of the stay-at-home mom’s viewfinder. “The Mom-to-Mom Project is important because every mom has her own photographic style that other moms can learn from,” she says. “For example, if you want to take action shots of your kids playing sports, it helps to know what settings other moms use in those situations. What if there’s bad lighting in the gym and your pictures are coming out yellow? What’s the best way to shoot indoors at your kid’s evening concert when you can’t use a flash? I didn’t know how to do any of that until another mom photographer offered me suggestions.” Ambrosio is using the Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD lens for the Mom-to-Mom Project. “I love that I don’t have to change lenses with the 18-270 — I can take telephoto and distance shots all with the same lens,” she says.

Jeanne Todd, a school psychologist from Yardley, Pennsylvania, who recently finished her doctorate, has a preschool-age daughter who keeps her on her toes. “I love the idea of the Mom-to-Mom Project because it allows me to be creative but with parameters and direction,” she explains. “Because the tips, photos, and ideas are from other moms, it makes photography more accessible to moms who are intimidated by photography and DSLRs. Hopefully through these exhibits, moms who come to the site will realize they can have fun with photography and get great pictures of their families.” The Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II VC lens is Todd’s primary lens for the Mom-to-Mom Project. “It’s always exciting to get a new lens to play with,” she says. “I love the F/2.8 maximum aperture of this lens, which allows me to achieve a really shallow depth-of-field in my photos.”

Liz Huston, a professional photographer (photomonium.net) from Venice, California, likes to zoom in to capture every detail when photographing her 10-year-old daughter. “If she has friends over, for instance, I tend to take close-up shots of what their hands are working on if they’re coloring or cutting, or drawing,” she explains. “I also prefer a more photojournalistic style, like photographing my daughter laughing while looking away from the camera. My daughter still hides from me when I have the camera out, so I’ve had to get pretty creative to work around that challenge!” Huston is tapping into two Tamron lenses for the Mom-to-Mom Project: the SP 90mm F/2.8 Di macro/portrait lens and the Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD lens. “Because my daughter likes to run away from me, the 70-300 helps me capture her from a greater distance,” she says. “The 90mm macro, on the other hand, makes her more willing to participate: I tell her that I’m just photographing her hands or the doll she’s dressing up, and she’s on board. That’s what makes this project so exciting — what’s more precious than pictures of your kids growing up?”

Lynda Berkery, also from Northport, New York, recently transitioned from the film world to her digital SLR, which she uses to capture her three children (two school-aged kids and one still at home) in action. “I try to get the kids just doing regular kid stuff, like participating in their sporting events — but I pose them often, too, to sharpen my portrait skills,” she says. “The Tamron project is a great way for moms to see what other moms come up with when they’re taking pictures. That’s what helps me personally: to see what someone else’s eye is, or how she got a shot from a little closer or a little further away than I would have initially attempted.” Berkery is using the Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD lens for the Mom-to-Mom Project. “I’ve really enjoyed using the 70-300, especially at my 4-year-old’s soccer games,” she says. “The lens focuses so well and zooms in amazingly close from the sidelines.”

Stacie Errera, Tamron USA's Chief Marketing Officer, lives in Eaton's Neck, New York. Errera balances her busy work schedule with being a mom to her 10-year-old daughter, conceptualizing scrapbooking projects, and using her experience in the photo industry and behind the lens to instruct other moms on how to use their DSLRs. Errera's Chasing Picture Perfection blog allows her to indulge her "inner teacher," offering insider resources and hands-on photography tips to photo novices on everything from picture composition and camera settings to lighting and color solutions. For the Mom-to-Mom Project, Errera is using a variety of Tamron lenses.

Stephanie Elie is the epitome of a busy mom. The San Fernando Valley photo enthusiast juggles a full-time job, takes care of her 6-year-old daughter and nearly 4-year-old son, and manages various entrepreneurial ventures, including BizzieLiving.com, an online space that helps people streamline their daily routines. As a Mom-to-Mom panel member, Elie is looking forward to her new role assisting moms with their camera skills. “I take my camera everywhere,” Elie says. “In fact, I’ve pretty much had a camera nearby all of my life: My dad was a photographer, and I took photography classes in college. I started out with a regular SLR, then started shooting with a digital SLR when my son was born.” Elie, who will be using her Tamron 17-50mm lens for the Mom-to-Mom Project, as well as her Tamron 28-75mm and 60mm macro lenses, understands the challenges of transitioning to a DSLR — and wants other moms to know they can handle that challenge. “I think there are a lot of moms out there like me who are trying to take great pictures of their kids,” she says. “I started using my own SLR because I couldn’t get what I wanted from my point-and-shoot. I think it’s important for moms to learn how to use their cameras and capture all of those candid shots of their children’s everyday lives.”

Please sign our guestbook to share your tips and tricks with other moms. And share a link to any of the exhibits on Facebook so that your friends can get photo tips, too. Have a photo tip question that might make a good exhibit? Send your question to errera@tamron.com and we'll review it.

Thanks for visiting.

Hollie, Janet, Jeanne, Liz, Lynda, Stacie & Stephanie


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