To introduce my ‘why’ I thought i’d share a little about myself.
I have always valued beautiful photography, but for one reason or another, I really only started to find it as my ‘happy place’ after having baby Benji! My destresser had always been team sports, or spending time in a peaceful place, with God and a coffee. So it was nice to add to my tool bag of ‘self care’. In my profession, I spend my time dealing with very said situations, so I LOVE that when I have my camera, I get to fill the frame with beauty, which is in the eye of the beholder right! 🙂 How can I go wrong!?
Well… not knowing how to use Manual Mode…I was limited…
I had been photographing for children’s clothing and decor brands for a little while prior to signing up to the advanced course with CLG. I was using a mix of my husbands old Canon 300D and my iPhone. Tim (my husband) had a pretty good kit as he has done some photography and knew how to use manual. He attempted to teach me, and I did learn alot from him, and after some time, I suppose I was starting to feel frustrated with my limits and wanted to grow. I wanted to learn how to edit, about lens’, lighting, the ‘rules’ and to be more creative. I was seeing so many beautiful photographs of every day moments captured by other photographers on instagram and it inspired me.
Concepts such as using light creatively and ‘leading lines’ were foreign concepts to me.
It was then, when Benji was maybe 6 months old, I decided I’d join the CLG advanced course.
I loved that I was learning – Mum to Mum. The video’s were easy to understand and the resources too (I still refer to them sometimes!). Can I just say though, the best part, is the continued community. Having women I now call friends that I can turn to for advice and support has made it invaluable. We’re waiting for Lou to organise a ‘CLG Conference’ 😉
The Course sounded expensive when I first joined. But I knew I wanted to grow my skills. I would honestly say that it is worth every cent and more. It’s invaluable if you want to take quality images. I am still benefiting from it to this day. I think I ask a question in the CLG Facebook groups most weeks haha…
You can never stop learning! I wonder when I will feel like I know something? Well, I can answer that! I am learning, slowly, to compare ONLY to what I was yesterday and simply draw INSPIRATION from other photographers. When you compare to where you were, you see growth, improvement! Comparing my work to that of far more experienced photographers makes me want to quit! Haha… Surely I’m not alone? It’s like ‘Will I ever take a photo like that?’. But… is that the point? Is it a competition?
I draw inspiration from the wonderful photographers that I know both locally and not so locally! I follow some phenomenal photographers on Instagram and I LOVE seeing their work! I think it’s a beautiful thing to celebrate such an eye for beauty in each other. It is NOT a competition to me, it’s a skill, an artform, a common ground. When I see beautiful images on social media, I ‘like’ them, I leave an encouraging comment, my comments may not always be noticed but I think it’s nice to appreciate beautiful work and I would encourage anybody to do the same!
Lastly, I thought I’d share with you what I’m shooting with now! I recently upgraded to the Canon 5d Mark IV and its AMAZING!! I’m not an overly technical person but you can absolutely tell the difference in quality from my other body, the 5d Mark III. I do take both bodies with me to Weddings but end up just swapping lens’ on my new camera because it’s just so much better!
But, a little tip, you can have the best camera body available, but it will only be as good as the lens in front of it. You are far better off with an old body and a good quality lens.
I’m pretty happy with my collection of lens’. I started with a nifty fifty 1.8 which I still really like, its a great portrait lens and very cheap (around AUD$150).
I then got a Canon 35mm 1.4 which is the domb digity. A great all rounder and the lower f stop is really great for indoor photography. I will generally use this lens for fresh48 photography or indoor lifestyle shoots.
My most used lens is the Canon 24-70mm 2.8. At 70mm you get that beautiful background blur that is beautiful with portraits. At 24mm you have a great wide angle so that is really great for tight spaces.
The most amazing lens ever (in my humble opinion) that I’m SO proud to own, is the 70-200mm 2.8. At 200mm you get the most beautiful background blur and the images this lens produces are so perfectly sharp and creamy. If this lens ever dies i’ll be redrawing on the mortgage to replace it… I’m sure my husband will be totally fine with that! hehe…(I may or may not be joking, winky emoji face).
I also have a Canon 24-105mm. This is also a great wide angle lens but I havn’t been using it as much because its a 4 f stop. I take it along to Weddings and its great for bigger groups of people.
None of my lens’ I have purchased brand new (except the nifty fifty) and every cent I have earned in my business thus far has gone back into getting good quality equipment. Quality gear is VERY expensive (I think I have spent around $15 000 in the last 6 months getting gear I love). I have wonderful photographer friends that I have purchased lens’ off and I have done my research before purchasing from ebay.
If you’re looking at purchasing a lens’ second hand – make sure you do your research. A few things to think about;
Ask the seller if there is any damage, is the seller the original owner and do they have original packaging? Inspect the lens yourself if you can, does the lens’ have any scratches or marks on it? Check what the lens comes with – does it have a lens hood? Also, make sure, if you’re purchasing online, that you are covered with fraud protection (eBay has this). Once you know more about the lens, you are far more equipped to negotiate the price respectfully.
Once you’ve got a good all rounder lens, get out there! Practice on anybody who’ll let you (maybe stick to family and/or friends and maybe don’t ask strangers to start with haha).
I focus on my own improvement and I love encouraging others to flourish in their own unique ways. The photos I take now, are FAR better than what I used to take and that in itself is satisfying! Photography brings me joy, and so, I will keep taking all the photos, until doing so no longer brings me joy! (Yeh right! Never going to happen!)