Category Archives: Blog
I had an awesome time photographing Keith for his senior portraits this summer. Such an easy going and friendly guy. We began our session at his family farm in Oldham County ,then explored historic downtown LaGrange, where the railroad tracks go through the middle of town, and ended our session at his high school football field.
I apologize in advance for the length of this post. Clients, feel free to skip this one…
First, I want to give you all a little back story. I’ve been shooting for a little more than 2 years digitally. I started with a Canon Rebel T1i. Why? Because when I went into the store and held it vs a Nikon D3000 it just felt BETTER in my hands. The controls seemed more intuitive to me. The Nikon felt bulky. I’ve talked with many photographers and this feeling can go either way. Many people say Nikon feels better in there hands. Really, to each their own.
After shooting with my T1i for about a year, I started to feel limited. Mostly by the ISO range. I eventually upgraded to the Canon 5DMarkII. This is where things started to go a little sour for me with Canon. I had some pretty significant focus issues. For 6 months I tried chalking it up to user error and me just needing to get used to shooting with a full frame camera. I finally sent it off to Canon after 6 months of torture to see if it was ME or if there was something wrong with the camera. I was beyond happy to get my camera back a week later with a report that basically said it wasn’t me. It said the adjustment of the AF assembly was incorrect causing inaccurate auto focus and electrical adjustments were carried out (which I swear is their go-to response one someone sends in their gear… I’ve gotten that response before.) BUT, then I read that the adjustment of the imaging sensor assembly was incorrect causing the focus to operate improperly. Now, that was something new. While my camera was performing much better after repair, those 6 months had really left a bitter taste in my mouth for Canon.
The month I got it fixed I talked with some other photographers and was pushed into the direction of Nikon because of the awesome focusing system they have. It’s been in my mind since May that I should switch to Nikon. Of course, I didn’t want to do it during the spring/summer busy season, so once fall came and I had a little more time between sessions, I thought more and more about it. And once the Nikon D700 was discontinued, I started looking for a used one. I found an amazing deal on one, with a low shutter count, from a local camera store. I snatched that bad boy up! I was so excited to jump ship and move to Nikon for the more accurate auto focusing system. This is where I tormented myself for three weeks.
I shot with the Nikon. I shot with the Canon. I took some real life test shots (not the shooting a ruler/focus test kind) to see how the focusing systems perform in real life shooting my kids. At the end of the day, I’d pull up my pics in Lightroom and pixel peep. (Which is looking at the image at 100% zoom). Pixel peeping is bad… very, very bad. I did this for almost three weeks… at night I would think to myself… you know, the Canon isn’t that bad, I should return the Nikon. By morning, I’d be back on the Nikon boat. This decision is all I thought about for THREE WEEKS. I kept worrying that if I returned the Nikon, I would always be wistful of the focusing system.
I won’t show any examples from my “testing” of the cameras here as they weren’t true apples to apples shots, I didn’t have the same focal length for both cameras, so I did what I could with what I had to help ME decide. I will say that Nikon did outperform Canon with the focusing system. In my sample of shots, Canon was about 66.7% accurate while Nikon was more like 85% accurate. Of course, there is always user error, DOF, or a wiggly subject to take into consideration. The Nikon also appeared to expose brighter than Canon. I used both so much that my fingers started to get confused on where the buttons were on my Canon that I’ve used for almost a year and could change settings with one hand tied behind my back. Oh, that’s another thing I didn’t like about Nikon. I couldn’t change the ISO setting with one hand. I had to push and hold a button on the left side and turn a dial on the right. Annoying. With Canon, I push a button with my right hand and then turn the dial and push again to set. Something little, but majorly annoying for me with Nikon.
After so much torment, I started a pro/con list. Taking everything that mattered to me into consideration, ergonomics, auto focusing, lens cost for comparable lenses, warranty and customer service… I sat on it for a few more days and finally said, if it’s this difficult of a decision, it’s not one I need to make right now. So, off the Nikon went, back to the camera store (apparently a guy had been calling desperately looking for a D700, so happy day for him!), and a new Canon lens went into my bag. I was really hoping to either LOVE the Nikon or HATE it from the get go. I felt neither extreme love nor hate for it though, it is a really nice camera. But, so is mine.
I do worry about my Canon going soft again… but right now, I feel like it’d be so much of a hassle to make the jump. I could be happy with either of these awesome cameras. So, why put myself through the stress of selling and buying all new gear? I didn’t love my camera when I first got it, or for most of my first year with it. But, after testing it head to head with Nikon, I started to fall in love with it for the first time and really grew an appreciation for the camera that gave me so much trouble at first.
I wish Canon would use the better focusing system, with more cross-type focal points, (something they have in the 5DMarkIII) in some of the lower models. I don’t think the upcoming 6D has it, which is a real shame.. I guess this is their way of making us all lust for the 5DMarkIII… or even some of us to jump ship to Nikon. I really think they need to consider adding a better focusing system to more models or they will continue to lose customers. I’m staying…. for now. But, Canon will be treading on thin ice with me. I know that I’d be happy with a Nikon if worse comes to worse and I feel the need to switch again. For now, my gear is performing well enough for me to stick with it. As sung in “As long as you love me” by Justin Bieber Big Sean…
But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side,
It’s green where you water it
So I know we got issues baby true true true
But I’d rather work on this with you
Than to go ahead and start with someone new
As long as you love me
So, I’m going to try and love my camera more…. (And yes, I totally related a love song to camera gear.)
And, since no post is complete without pictures… I will add in some of my favs from the past few weeks of playing around:
I’ve been putting together the wardrobe for MY families fall portraits this year! Thought I’d share with you all.
At first, I started picking things that were more “fall”ish color wise, brown, magenta, orange, etc. But, I looked around my house and I have lighter colors, so I wanted to coordinate a little with my house. Might sound odd, but the portraits will look great with my decor all year long!
I started with my sons outfit. I found the shirt for him in his closet that had some nice colors in it, so I knew I could pull from it for the rest of us. I just bought him new jeans for school, so his entire outfit was already in the closet. My husband was an easy one to knock out too, just needed to get him a new shirt, and he looks great in blue. Bam. Done. Oh, and he’s a Khakis guy and I don’t want him to complain the entire session about wearing jeans. Easy Peasy.
My daughter has a cute little jean skirt already, and brown leggings which would help tie into my sons outfit. She was actually the hardest to find something for. All the shirts were “graphic” shirts or more deep “fall” colors which didn’t work with what I was going for. Then, I found the cute little sweater vest at Old Navy, looked for a yellow long sleeve tee. Done.
Lastly, me. I always recommend to wear what you feel comfortable in. For me, that’s skinny jeans, tall boots, and an open front cardigan. I actually found the yellow scarf online at Old Navy before I went looking for the rest. I thought it’d be the perfect accessory to tie it all in. Especially since I don’t really wear jewelry. I only have a grey cardigan, so I knew I’d need to get a new one! Aw, shucks. So, I scoured the internet and found one at Kohls that I liked and worked color wise. I’ll just put a little brown tank under it and I’m done too!
So, all in all. With what we already owned, and the things I needed to buy to put it all together… we ended up at about $80 for the entire family. Not too shabby, huh? Best of all, they are all pieces we can use throughout the season, not just for portraits.
Sean and Lauren have a surprise!! They’re having a….. BABY! At the time of our session, this cute couple didn’t know the gender of the baby, and they found at when HE was born! He’s such a cute little man too.
The session took place in a very meaningful location. The home where Sean grew up. They actually had their Engagement portraits taken here too! I had such a great time talking with them and capturing the love between them! Congratulations you two!!
This summer my best friend came up for a visit from Florida. She’s pregnant with her second… and so is her sister!! I’m so happy to have been able to capture this time for both of these gorgeous mommas!!
I had a maternity session this spring with such a natural beauty. It always amazes me how our bodies can create and grow a human. It was such a pleasure capturing this special time her life.
I had a styled engagement session this spring at a small airport! Here are some of my favorite images!
As my daughters second birthday is fast approaching, I have been getting the itch to chop off my hair. You see, when I became pregnant with her, I made the decision to grow out my hair to donate. Then, a few months after I had made this decision, someone very special to me was diagnosed with breast cancer and through chemo, lost her hair. (Let’s call her “Ms. F”.) The knowledge of what she was going through only strengthened my drive to grow my hair out long enough to donate. Any time I wavered, I thought of her. This strong, energetic, beautiful woman that had to deal with such…. bologna. If she can go through that, I can grow my hair long.
It took me almost 3 years reach my goal. (Yes, 3 years… and whew, boy do I dislike having long hair.) I finally decided today was the day and I donated 8inches to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. My good friend Chasity honored me with cutting my hair, which means more to me than I can even describe. She also cut Ms. F’s hair very short when it started falling out due to chemo. I’m so happy to be able to donate to this wonderful cause. BUT, it takes six to eight ponytails to make a wig. So, if you’ve been debating on donating, or had never even thought about it, I urge you to do it!! It’s such a small “sacrifice” to help someone going through an unimaginable time. If you decide to donate, be sure to check with the salon you go to. Some, like the Great Clips my friend works at, will do your haircut for free when you donate to Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
I love you Ms. F. I couldn’t survive without you.
The adorable A. family brought me to their family farm for their portrait session. I couldn’t have been happier to photograph them in a place that means so much to their family. The mom had grown up on this farm and they are surrounded by their family… just a short walk down the gravel road in the wagon.
After their family portraits, we had a little cake smash in front of an old barn to commemorate little L’s first birthday! He’s a handsome little man. And baby feet… oh how I love baby feet.
I’ve photographed this little girl three times now, once for her newborn portraits, then when her adoption was official around 6 months, and now at a year! She’s such a beautiful child with the most loving parents! I’m so blessed to be able to photograph them. I can’t wait to show you all more of this cuteness!