What's in My Bag | For Photographers

I'm often asked what equipment I shoot with, so I thought it was about time I just did a blog post with the contents of my camera bag! There really isn't all that much - I keep it simple! These are only my main lenses that I shoot with on a normal basis and that I actually own. If anyone is interested sometime I can do another post with everything (actual camera gear and otherwise) that I take with me to a wedding. For now, here's my bare-bones setup which is what I own and what I use for portrait sessions:

Canon 50mm 1.2L. This is my go-to lens that stays on the camera about 85% of the time. It's a fabulous portrait lens and all around useful focal length for candid, or very nearly any, shots. I used to have the 1.8, and just this past year upgraded to the 1.2 and it's dreamy. :-)

And in case you're wondering, I do put protective UV filters on my lenses. I don't want to risk scratching my expensive glass!

My other lens is the 100mm 2.8L macro. Also the stuff dreams are made of. :-) I love my 50mm so much that this one doesn't come out as often for portrait sessions, but it is a beautiful portrait lens, as well as being completely amazing when it comes to ring shots or any kind of detail shots at a wedding or an engagement session.

As you know from a few posts ago, I just upgraded to the 5D Mark III! This is my main camera (obviously) and I looove it!

I do still have my 60D which I have as backup, and my second shooters use it occasionally.

My camera bag is a Kelly Moore B-Hobo bag. (It's actually not technically mine, it was originally my mom's, and I sort of adopted it. Shhh!). I like the slim profile and that it fits everything I need for a portrait session.

On a wedding day, I have more to lug and I have to lug it for a longer length of time. So I will usually pack all my stuff in a rolling suitcase, and then I have a Shootsac that holds just the lenses I'm using and essentials (water, phone, schedule, etc.). I like to use this whenever I can, because it's so light and barely there. It's only downside is that the camera doesn't go in there (but then that's the only way it's so slim!).

I hope you enjoyed this peek inside my bag (a thrill a minute, I'm sure! ;-). Thanks for stopping by!

My Editing Process | For Photographers

I was asked by a blog reader if I would mind posting about how I edit my pictures. I guess this post is proof that, no, I don't mind. :-) Many people are reluctant to share their "secrets," but the fact is all the information you can ever want is pretty much out there if you look for it. Nobody is completely original in their process, and if you can be a help, then why not share a little?

Learning editing was definitely a process of trial and error for me. I started out with Adobe Photoshop Elements and like most beginning photographers, got sucked into the world of ACTIONS! Ooooh, so many fun actions. :-) I did have the advantage of having been looking at good photographers' work before I really started getting into it myself, so I avoided making too many glaring mistakes that are common. I did my share of playing with vintage actions, but eventually came to the realization that while I occasionally liked them on some photos, and some photographers do it very well, that was not my style. I finally found something that I liked pretty consistently.

Then I bought Adobe Lightroom. I wasn't sure if I'd like it, because it was definitely an adjustment from Photoshop. Once I discovered the Sync function, though, I was sold. :-) I took some photos I had edited in Photoshop, and attempted to recreate the look in Lightroom to figure out what on earth all those sliders did.

That brings us to today, where I have reached a point of consistently editing with the same look across my work. I don't use presets in Lightroom because though I have the same style, conditions vary from shoot to shoot and no preset is going to fit that perfectly. Instead I edit a photo from the set and sync it with all the other photos that match. Here are some before and afters - I shoot in RAW so the SOOC images are very dull and flat and need a little boosting.

My typical basic edit involves bringing up the exposure a little if necessary (I am still working on achieving the right exposure in camera - it tends to look brighter on my camera's display than when I get it on to my computer, so I need to work on over-exposing even more than I think I need to!). Then I will boost the contrast, bring down the highlights if there are important white areas being blown out, add a little fill light, darken the blacks a tad and the shadows a tad, and sharpen.

I gravitate toward warmer images so I usually will warm up the white balance, though not always. It's all dependent on the circumstance. I will reduce noise on dark indoor shots if necessary. That really is about all I do! Bright, clean, and natural is my goal!

I hope this little peek into my editing workflow has been helpful! And I like hearing what you all want to be reading about here on the blog, so if you have a suggestion, just let me know. :-)