Cameras and Lenses

Today, on the blog, I am so excited to be sharing some information for photographers about my three favorite lenses to photograph my clients (and other subjects) with!

When  I first began photography, I had a Canon Rebel T3i DSLR with a 17-55mm kit zoom lens. Y’all….this was not the greatest combination. But, of course….I thought I was pretty cool when I was first starting out! 🙂

I have since upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark III, with a Mark II as my back-up camera! I also have four trusty lenses that I shoot everything with, and I always bring these babies with me on the wedding day and to engagement sessions!

I love each of these lenses for different reasons, but if you notice, I don’t have zooms on my list of favorites! I am a prime lens girl, all the way! Don’t get me wrong, the 70-200mm 2.8L IS USM lens is a DREEEEAM, and I do have plans to one day add that to my camera bag! But, I love my primes because of the bokeh they produce; I can shoot super wide open, and they just are not as heavy!

The 50mm is super versatile, and I can shoot couples, bridal parties, details, ceremonies, receptions, dancing shots, families, and more with this lens! I can do nearly every single thing that I would need to do with it!

The 85mm is probably at the top of my list, and I also have plans to upgrade this one to 85mm 1.2L USM, but for now my 1.8 treats me just fine! I love this lens because of the bokeh and compression that comes along with the lens. I can photograph my clients closely…without being really close to them! Does that make sense?! I love to use this lens for engagement sessions as well because I can step back and just let my couple love on each other, flirt, and have fun without being in their face. Who loves to have a big hunk of camera in their face while kissing and whispering sweet nothin’s in each other’s ears? I’ll answer that for you…not a lot! Hahaha!

The 100mm is a great lens and versatile as well because not only can I use it to photograph gorgeous details, but I’ve also used it for portraits! Like the 85mm, this lens offers amazing bokeh and compression, and I can be super far away from my subject but still photograph them closely and fill up the frame! My favorite detail to photograph with the 100mm is always the ring! During engagement and anniversary sessions, as well as on the wedding day, I always make sure to have this lens with me so that I can capture that gorgeous bling!

I see a lot of posts online or in workshop settings where people are wondering what type of lens to get next, and the answer completely depends on what you’re shooting, your personal style, your budget, if you have a crop or full-frame body, and your needs! Some lenses are best for families, some lenses are a must for weddings…but at the end of the day, the only way to truly know is to try them out (you can rent from places like LensRentals.com and BorrowLenses.com) for yourself and just see what feels right! I hated that very first zoom lens I had! I added the 50mm 1.8 lens to my kit almost immediately after that and from that point on, I knew I was a prime girl! I knew I would always be a Nifty Fifty girl, and I can’t tell you how in love I am with the 50mm now! I pretty much consider that thing my third child! HAHA!

Stay tuned for more educational posts for photographers! I hope y’all have an amazing day!



Photography or Marketing

The portrait photography business is interesting in today’s world. In comparison, 20 years ago, you were a custom photographer, an artist, and you produced one of a kind EXPENSIVE images. There were very few of you, so your customers were coming to you for a special treat. This was when custom photography was truly a luxury. All other portrait needs were met by candid snapshots and chain studios (for the most part).

Nowadays, because everyone is a photographer and photography is now a commodity, there is a different element going on. Many new photographers are coming in, and they want to be *big*… they want to have clients seeking them out. This is good – some of these new photographers are amazing artists.


But there is a key to success that must be considered.


Marketing.


I will be honest, I am not a marketer. I’m an artist and I feel that as an artist, my work will speak for itself. If the public wants my work, they will contract me. I have that luxury at this point in my life to not be “hungry” for work. I’m pursuing another career – I’m an accountant by day as I finish my degrees – hoping to eventually become an actuary. This allows me leverage to keep going as I go… I make the art that I’m paid to make when I’m contracted to make it. I like being in that position. That’s just to disclaimer my personal situation.

However, prior to getting myself into this position, I would have had to…..
Market.


I never marketed. I never needed to. Up until the past few years, there was never a need… it became a need for everyone when the market became oversaturated.


I’ve watched many photographers immediately lower their price when they aren’t getting enough clients when what they really should focus on is…
Marketing.


My advice? Before you lower your prices, do a true marketing campaign. This will require spending money and time (think at least 20 hours per week), marketing. Be honest with yourself, are you REALLY marketing or are you just putting your pictures on social media and hoping for the best? DO NOT focus on buying new gear. I read an interesting article about the cameras used by photography competition winners and found that most are using full frame cameras that are a few years old. If you have a 24-70mm lens and a decent camera, spend your time on marketing.


Have you ever noticed some of the photography rockstars have work that is “meh…”? It’s because they are not artists, they are incredible marketers.

The ones who are truly making bank are the artists who are also brilliant marketers.


I’ve seen a famous photographer's work in person at one of my clients’ houses. The images were nice, but they didn’t knock my socks off. They were pretty pictures framed and displayed beautifully – great decorative focal pieces. However, any decent photographer (yes, even you too, newbies – never put yourself beneath anyone – you need to place value on your talented selves!!!) can take great pictures of gorgeous natural settings (nature? It’s a no-brainer – God – or whatever you believe – did the difficult work, you are just recording it), and combine loads of these images together to create a stunning gallery presentation that can wow the average person. I can’t say his technique blows my mind, but his marketing skills do.


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