Q&A | Answers

Quite a few questions came in last week! Mostly photography related (nobody asked anything about my cat... hmmm :-). Sooo... here we go!

Do you have any tips for posing couples?
I'm sure there could be a whole class taught on this, but here are a few guidelines I use:
- Keep the man posed in a more upright position, and pose the woman with bent limbs. I'll often have the guy stand directly facing me with feet planted, and have the girl with one knee bent/relaxed, at an angle. I usually have at least one of the guy's hands in his pocket unless he's hugging her.
- Mix it up with standard poses and a more life-style approach (walking, etc.). Gives them a chance to relax and also adds diversity to the collection of final images!
- Often the best images come in between actual poses, when they are just being themselves. I try to talk a lot during sessions to keep things relaxed and invariably I say something dumb, or trip over something and that sparks laughter. Always shoot through laughter!!

How far do you travel to photograph weddings?
Right now I only travel for personal friends/acquaintances. But you're always welcome to ask if I'll make an exception. Shooting a wedding in France would be pretty tempting. ;-)

I'm curious now... what do you order at Dairy Queen?
A chocolate chip Blizzard made with cone dip. I've tried lots of other things but I keep coming back to that! Why mess with a good thing?

What lenses are your favorite and why?
Oooh, tough one. I'm fond of all the lenses I use for their different purposes, so it does depend on what I am shooting. But my 50mm 1.2L is the lens that stays on my camera the most. It's a great focal length for candids, portraits, pictures of my cat... very nearly anything. I also adore the 85mm 1.2L for portraits, though I don't own that one yet. The 100mm 2.8L macro is amazing for anything close up and also makes for beautiful intimate closeup portraits. In other words, I kinda love them all. ;-) I am not a big fan of super wide angles, so my favorite lenses are longer focal lengths.

How does this whole lens distortion thing work?
This is partly why I don't care for wide angles. The wider the angle of your lens, the more you will see distortion around the edges. Think of it like a glass globe. The wider the lens, the more of the globe you are using, and if you look at the edges, things will begin to look a bit stretched out of proportion. (Does this answer your question, Moriah? Or were you hoping for something more in-depth?).

How do you decide what lens to buy next? Do you ever rent a lens to try it first before purchasing?
I try to think of where I have a "hole" in my current gear. I used to just have a 50mm, and I decided to buy the 100mm because I could use it both for a different look for portraits, and for macro. I already have local, inexpensive rental access to a 30mm, which was the other one I was debating between, so I decided against that. Then, yes, I rented it (the 100mm) to make sure it really was the one I wanted to get. I absolutely rent the lens before buying.

How did you get started in photography?
I picked up my mom's DSLR and started taking pictures of flowers and was hooked. I expanded to shooting food for fun, but never thought I'd be a portrait - much less wedding - photographer. Until I tried it. :-)

What is your favorite thing to photograph - engagements, families or weddings?
Probably engagements and anniversaries. I love having two people who are in love and the interaction between them, in a relaxed setting. Weddings and high school seniors run a close second, though!

Could you post some of your very first photos and talk about what you did to improve?
Oh, yikes. Haha. This could be humbling. :-) Eva, this is not an avoidance of your question - I am just going to save it and do a separate post about it!

What are your top lighting tips that you have learned along your photography journey?
The best thing you can do is to learn how to deal with difficult light (i.e. harsh sunlight). I used to run like a scared rabbit away from bright sun, but shooting a lot of weddings over the last years has made me get over that, when there's often no choice but to be shooting portraits at 2pm! Positioning your subject with their back to the light source is usually my favorite way to do it if it is bright midday sunshine, and expose for the skin. When it's sunset and glowy, I love backlight then too, but it is also pretty when the sun is a little off to the side.

Thanks to the inquisitive readers who provided fodder for today's post! Be on the lookout for that "then & now" post... *nervous laugh* ;-)

P.S. Last chance to snag some fun photography stuff before I put it on ebay next week!

Blogging Better | Q&A

Good morning all! I've been thinking about the blog lately, and how I have not been very consistent - my posts are irregular and tend to come in big spurts with long intervals of nothing in between, depending on my flow of work at the moment and how busy life is. I would like to try to be more regular with blogging, and attempt (a little scared to say it), at least for a trial period, consistently putting up 2 posts a week.

I will probably be doing some more posts geared toward photographers, as well as some more personal snippets instead of exclusively using the blog as a portfolio.

My current plan is to put up new work on Mondays, and a miscellaneous post of some sort on Fridays. Previews will either be in with Friday posts or just whenever (do you all even like previews? Should I keep doing them?). So... to kick off "break out of just posting work" - I'm opening it up for questions! If you have a question about photography, weddings, my cat, or what I order at Dairy Queen, drop it in the comments below and I will do my best to answer it next Friday! :-)

I'll leave you with a sneak peek of Aaron & Megan's anniversary session! I was starting to think we had exhausted our location options when we stumbled on this little vine covered old building. More coming soon!