Okay, I want to preface this by saying that I don't think that I'm some know-it-all photography guru. I just know what I know and hope that you find either a) interesting or b) informative :-) I've chosen just a sampling of the questions that I got. A lot of them were similar (great minds think alike!) What made you decide to become a photographer? Ooookay, let's go ahead and start with my least favorite question. haha. The short answer? I didn't. I never had a moment where I went, "Gosh, I am going to be a professional photographer!" I didn't even consider becoming a photographer when I was a child or teenager (I thought it was one of those abstract careers, like a painter, where you never saw success until you were dead or if you were the most amazing DaVinci of your craft). I simply had camera and photo envy. I got my first DSLR on December 26th, 2007. I remember the day because it was the day after Christmas (Christmas money, whoo hoo!) and the day before I found out I was pregnant with Reid. Prior to that, I had a $90 point and shoot that was the bane of my existence. It was slow. It was grainy. It constantly produced blurry, out of focus photos. I just wanted something that WORKED. I knew a wonderful commercial/real estate/architectural photographer by the name of John Christy who said that anyone interested in taking better photos would benefit by purchasing a Canon Rebel XTi. He said it by name. Guess what I bought? What can I say? I didn't feel like doing the research! It took me about a year, but I became fascinated with REALLY learning how to use it outside of manual mode. I wanted the beautiful, creamy backgrounds, the crisp, perfect focus and the vibrant, real colors. Auto mode couldn't do that for me. So I read. And I read and I read and I read. I am self taught, which is actually not 100% the truth because I had great people along the way giving me tips and answering my silly questions. Finally, I got decent enough that friends started asking me to take their photos. And then, I was offered money to take photos! Then, I found an amazing group of photographers online who basically told me that I sucked, so I learned some more and am definitely still learning every time I pick up my camera or get behind the computer. Now, I feel confident enough in my abilities to shoot just about anything and it is helping to support my family. I love everything about it. I love it when people ask me to do their photos. I love walking away from a session thinking, "Wow, that was work?" I love being my own boss. I love having a flexible, interesting schedule. I love being a part of magical, once in a lifetime moments. I love falling in love with other people's images, and I love that I am doing something that was totally unexpected.
Okay, you're bored now, I get it. I'll move on to a more cut and dry question/answer!
What kind of camera and lens do you use? My main camera is a Canon 5D. It is full frame (meaning it does not have a crop sensor) and handles higher ISO's (meaning that I get more light and grain when I shoot in dark situations) than my first camera, the Canon Rebel XTi. I also have a Canon 20D as a back-up. Another great camera. I shoot most portrait sessions with the 50mm f/1.4. The 1.4 number essentially allows me to get that creamy, blurry background that I love. It's a great lens. I also have a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 that is a good all around lens. It's good for portraits but it's also versatile enough to use for weddings. When I take my camera out for personal use, this is the lens that I usually bring. Last but not least, my FAVORITE lens is the 70-200mm 2.8L IS. This is my "wedding/paparazzi" lens. It's the big daddy weighing in at 4lbs and stretching almost a foot long. I think I literally start to swoon when I talk about this lens, so I will end it here.
There are a couple dozen more questions that I got that I want to answer, but this is already much longer than I expected, so I will save them for next week! Thank you again for everyone who sent in questions. I had a blast reading them and my fingers just flew along the keyboard as I was answering them. Never be afraid to ask me questions!