Merry Christmas (almost 2 weeks late)!

December is always a blur.  I’m kind of a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas.  Actually, it’s not so much that I’m a procrastinator.  It’s that I am always so busy with work and stretched so thin that I have to usually wait until right before Christmas to get everything done.  And I always take my own kids Christmas pictures on Christmas Eve.  Which would explain why I never, ever send out Christmas cards.

But, this year December was a blur for a whole other reason.  I had to have surgery at the beginning of the month and I wasn’t sure how bad the recovery would be (spoiler alert: it was bad) so I got all of my shopping done and all of the Christmas activities with the kids done before the first week of December was even over.  It was great, except that I couldn’t remember what I bought the kids (other people did all of my wrapping too) so I was convinced that I ruined Christmas for everybody (spoiler alert: I didn’t).

I was so proud of myself for getting the kids Christmas pictures done so early.  And then I didn’t even post them.  So, better late than never, right?  Merry Christmas :)

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 2.8, 1/500, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/500, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/160, ISO 125

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F 2.8, 1/160, ISO 125

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F 4.0, 1/200, ISO 320

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F 3.2, 1/160, ISO 320

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F 3.2, 1/6400, 320

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F 3.2, 1/6400, 320

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F 3.2, 1/250, 1000

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F 3.2, 1/400, 1000

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Kids Take Over Instagram

B has recently begun to show an interest in social media.  He’s 6.  He loves texting and if I take a picture of him he asks if I’m going to post it on Facebook.  Which is funny because I rarely post things to Facebook.  In Kindergarten they even created their own mock Facebook pages.

Obviously social media isn’t going anywhere.  It’s here to stay.  And I don’t think kids are ever too young to start educating them on how to safely use social media.  Brayden also loves photography so I started thinking of a way to mesh these two lessons together and thats where #kidstakeoverinstagram was born.  I told him I’d let him take over my Instagram account one day a month.  A little social media / photography lesson all in one.  The first Saturday of every month I’d love to encourage moms to let their kids post on their accounts, which will foster a great discussion on the dos and don’ts of the internet as well as sharing our passion of photography with them.

Will you join me?  Saturday, January 3rd will be our first Kids Take Over Instagram.  Simply let your kids take pictures and post them on your Instagram account with the hashtag #kidstakeoverinstagram.  Brayden will be taking over my account and I’ll be giving some tips for your kids along the way.

Can’t wait to see what your kids come up with!


A Million Questions

I love that Brayden loves to read.  It’s like the neurons in his brain have started firing rapidly since he really started reading this year.  He reads everything.  Street sign, store names, my cars navigation system, brochures, my text messages.  Anything he sees he reads.  The problem is, the kid won’t stop asking questions about whatever he is reading.  I thought we were past that stage.  Nope.  It’s come back with a vengeance.  And the questions are harder.  So much harder.  Like, I have to Google the answer hard.  What did parents do before Google?  How did they survive???

*** Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2

F 1.8, 1/125, ISO 1600 (both pictures)

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Canon 5D Mark II, 28mm 1.8

F 1.8, 1/125, ISO 1600 (both pictures)

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Mom*tog UNediting Guide

I’ve spent over 8 years and thousands of hours working in Photoshop and perfecting my editing my technique.  And now I’m proud to introduce Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide.

Much like the UNmanual simplifies the complex and technical language of shooting in Manual with your DSLR camera, the UNediting Guide breaks down the endless capabilities of Photoshop into what Mom*togs really need to know.  Through a series of video tutorials accompanied by written descriptions, Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide takes you through my editing process from start to finish.  I begin with the basics of how I organize my photos, and then move onto other aspects of editing such as retouching images, conversion to black and white, sharpening, and much more.  By guiding you through the parts of Photoshop that are most applicable to photographers, Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide will give you the confidence you need to turn those great images you captured after reading the UNmanual into amazing, canvas-worthy pictures on your wall.

Mom*tog’s UNediting Guide can be purchased a la carte for only $149 but because I believe that you need a good out of camera image to create a great picture with editing, I am offering the UNmanual2 and the UNediting Guide as a bundle for only $249.  If you have not studied the original UNmanual or UNmanual2, or if you do not have a strong foundation for shooting with your DSLR, I do not recommend purchasing the UNediting Guide a la carte.

The UNediting Guide will guide you through any version of Photoshop.  I currently use Photoshop CS6 to process my images and Adobe Bridge to view and organize my images.

To purchase the UNediting Guide for $149 please click here!

For a limited time purchase the UNmanual and UNediting bundle for $249.  Click here!

If you purchased the UNmanual between 11/29 – 12/4 and are interested in purchasing the UNediting Guide, I will honor the bundle price.  Please email me at and I will send you an invoice.

*** Due to the instant access of this product there will be no refunds issued.  The UNediting Guide is not for professional photographers who have their own workshops, online courses, or photography guides.  None of the information in the UNediting Guide may be used or replicated without written consent from Drew Bittel.  The UNediting Guide is for the exclusive use of the purchaser and is not to be shared or used by multiple users.  All materials in the UNediting Guide is copyrighted under DrewB Photography, LLC.  

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From Retouching course.




From Salvaging an Image course




From Let’s Edit + Making Grass Greener course



From Black and White course



Merry and Bright – Part II

Yesterday I did a guest post on Mpix with a tutorial on how to take photos by your Christmas tree.  I had a couple of naysayers that said the only reason I was able to get the images was because of my equipment.  Yes, I am a professional photographer and I am lucky to have great equipment.  But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get great images with other camera bodies and lenses.

I dug out my very first DSLR camera.  A Canon Rebel XT… from 2005!  I bought that bad boy from Circuit City for 0% APR and it took me a full year to pay off.  I shot with that camera professionally for almost a year before I could afford to upgrade to the 20d.  I loved that little camera.

So to put those naysayers to rest I retook a couple of images with the 9 year old Rebel XT and my 28 1.8 lens, which is a $500 lens versus a $1500 lens.  I would have used a 50 1.8 lens, but I don’t have one.

Clearly there are differences between the pictures I posted yesterday and these images.  For one, they do have a lot of noise.  A better camera body can handle a higher ISO without getting as much digital grain.  And they aren’t quite as bright because I wasn’t able to stop down to F 1.2.  But, I don’t think they are horrible.  Especially for a camera body that is 9 years old and has seen better days.  And I don’t think that if you can’t afford the Canon 5D Mark II and a 50 1.2 lens that it should stop you from taking good pictures.  The thing is, you should be able to take great pictures with any camera if you understand your camera and lighting.  Of course a better camera and better glass are going to make things easier for you, but you don’t need it as long as you have a good understanding of how to shoot on manual.

F 1.8 , 1/100, ISO 1600

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F 1.8 , 1/100, ISO 1600

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I saw that I was getting a lot of noise so I lowered my ISO to 800 for this picture.  The Rebel has much less choices for your ISO than more expensive camera bodies do.  That’s one thing you will want to think about when choosing your camera body.

F 1.8 , 1/50, ISO 800

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Need help learning how to shoot on manual?  Check out the UNmanual2.