How to get amazing baby photos with your new SLR - What Mode is What?

So, you’ve bought yourself an SLR. You’ve unpacked it, looked at the size of the manual and how many buttons there are, freaked out, put it on Auto and figured that’s better than nothing?

Well stop right there!

Putting in just a few hours and a little bit of practice can make a HUGE difference to the images you will get from your camera.

This series of blogs will give you a brief introduction to the most important aspects of your camera. Once you have mastered these, your manual won’t seem so scary anymore and you can take your learning to the next level.

I’ve split this series into 6 different sections:

  1. Shooting Modes

  2. ISO

  3. Shutter Speed

  4. Aperture

  5. Focus Points

  6. White Balance

As I am a Canon user, the images will be of Canon controls but I will describe the NIKON alternative whenever I can.


The spinny dial on the top of your camera with all of the different letters - this controls how much the camera works out for you, and how much is left to you. 

For now you only have have to worry about are M, AV & TV on a Canon or M, A & S on a Nikon

I know this is a tricky one to start with, as you don’t necessarily completely understand the differences between Aperture and Shutter Speed yet, but read through the other blogs in this series and it will soon become clear.

Auto - In Auto, everything is decided by your camera.

If any of you are saying YAY, stop it!  Auto is not the aim!!

Yes your camera is clever but not as clever as you will be once you have finished this blog.

You can't control where it focuses, you’ll get blurry moving images at night and no dreamy soft backgrounds in the middle of the day.

AV (A on NIKON) - You control the aperture (how much is in focus) and the ISO (sensor sensitivity) - the camera works out the shutter speed.   This is a great setting if there's a lot of light.  If it's dark the camera will ssllooww down the shutter speed and everything will be super blurry. Not so great for dark hospitals or houses but great for outside photos. 

You can learn more about Aperture Here.

TV (S on NIKON) - You control the shutter speed and the ISO (sensor sensitivity) - the camera works out the aperture (how much is in focus.  If you're somewhere dark the camera will lower the aperture number as low as it can meaning less will be in focus.  This is fine if you want soft backgrounds but isn’t great if you have lots of people standing together.

You can learn more about Shutter Speed Here

M - The Aim - The long game! You control it all! The Shutter Speed, the Aperture, the ISO and much more. I know it seems daunting now but work your way through these blogs and you’ll have it sussed in no time.

Need more Help?


If you have any questions at all about anything in this or any other blog in this series, just ask below or send me an email and I’ll do my best to explain things further.



Becki Williams Photography is based in Hemel Hempstead and specialises in Newborn & Baby photography.
If you have any questions or would like to book a Photo Shoot, please