Wednesday, November 19, 2014

fall photography

I apologize if these posts are annoying. Skip right on past if they are. But here are the last three photo sessions I did in October. I decided I was ready for a lens upgrade. I got some advice from a few photographer friends on what my first upgrade should be and I found a used one on Craigslist that I could afford. (A 50mm 1.4, if you speak the lingo.) I was kind of on the fence about it still when I showed up to a family session and discovered my lens was busted. I remembered Bennett carrying my camera in the case and dropping it (yeah...not a smart move, letting my accident-prone seven year old go anywhere near the thing.) I hadn't even thought to look at it. I figured it was fine inside the case.
We were about 10 or 15 minutes away at a park and I just felt sick and started panicking when I realized it wasn't focusing correctly. But they happened to have a DSLR in their car (Phew! Crisis averted.) and so I did my best on theirs. It still felt like a disaster. Theirs was a Nikon instead of a Canon and I just couldn't figure out all the settings. It felt like I was reading a foreign language. So I just shot everything in Auto and did the best I could. Their baby wasn't in a photogenic mood either, so there was a lot of frustration all around. (Also. One year olds? Officially THE most difficult age to shoot.) We still got a few cute shots though. These were the best of the bunch.

We scheduled a reshoot after I got my new lens so we could get some good ones for her one year pictures. I was so incredibly happy with how they turned out. And sweet baby girl was in a much better mood. We shot for at least an hour and she did great. 
This next one was one of the first shoots I went to with my new lens. I thought it was going great but realized so many of the shots weren't in focus when I got back home and saw them big on the computer. It was extremely frustrating and I still don't know why it was happening. But thankfully they were still usable. So much trial and error in this process that leads to panic and mild heart attacks and cold sweats. Starting something new like this and jumping in with both feet is equally exhilarating when it goes well and humiliating when it doesn't and I have to admit to so many mistakes along the way. 
I've known this next family for 17 years! Heather was my very first friend who showed me the ropes and let me hang out with her and her friends when we moved to Iowa and I started school here in 11th grade. It was all awkward new friendships and wearing masks and building walls for self protection and preservation back then. Now we have a beautiful, authentic friendship with raw, open hearts that build up and encourage. Barely a trace of who we once were.  
They were all playful in front of the camera and it was fun to shoot them. 
 These two pictures are my favorite of the session. That kiss on his cheek!
(I really wish I had Photoshop for things like the hair blowing behind her face. That bugged me. The cloning tool in Lightroom just can't handle details like that. I know there are some professional photographers who just use Lightroom, am I right? What do you do about stuff like that? I wish I had a face and eye brightener too. I use the paint brush a lot to lighten exposure on faces and occasionally add some vibrancy. Anything else I should be doing to enhance faces? I should watch some more Youtube tutorials now that I've been using it for a while. Any tips are always welcome!)
Another one year old in the mix who was ok with being held for exactly 1.4 seconds before she started screaming made it extremely challenging to get a family shot. So we did a lot of walking. ;) I love how this one turned out though.
And the last shoot I did with another long time friend. It's the strangest thing shooting families that don't run away and who smile on command. I usually feel like I'm a circus clown juggling puppies. This was way too easy. (But so fun. I'm not a very good clown or juggler.) 
And one of my Dawson at the park when I was practicing with my lens. I miss those gorgeous leaves and warm sun already. But there are so many great things about this time of year and I'm resolving to look on the sunny side when it comes to the weather (pun intended). I started muttering complaints under my breath the other day and caught myself. Is it possible to make it through a Midwest winter, polar vortex and all, without complaining? I'm not exactly sure it is. But I'm going to give it a shot. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to go all Elsa on you. The cold DOES bother me. A heckuva lot. But there are enough reasons to be blue lately without involving the weather. If I speak the positives, my heart seems to follow suit. So if you hear me uttering expletives regarding my eyeballs freezing in their sockets, kindly redirect me. My heart will thank you later. After it's had a chance to warm up. 

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