I’ve been getting many e-mails lately asking specific questions on my gear and or shooting techniques. Keep them coming, I am so flattered that you find my work inspiring. I shouldn’t admit this, but it was a very short time ago that I was just starting out in this business and their are a few people who gave so freely of themselves with both their time and knowledge that to be able to give some of that back now makes me feel great! So I got an e-mail comment on my blog from a Mom who is starting out and I thought rather than answer her individually I would do it here in case it might help someone else too. Here we go:
I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I am starting out in the business (I’ve been doing photography as a passion for many years), and when I find someone’s work who really knocks my socks off, I like to pick their brain, if that’s okay with you.. What kind of camera are you using for these incredible shots? Aperture? ISO? Shutter speed? I have a Canon EOS SLR (not digital), and a Fuji S700 Digital. Which would you suggest? Can I get this incredible intense color with a Fuji digital?
Thank you so much for your time~please know that you are helping a mommy of two get started contributing to the family income… thanks again!
and my response:
Hi Marilyn,Thanks for the huge compliment on my work! I think you seem to have the most necessary ingredient for this line of work and that is a passion for it. I believe my passion for people and for preserving memories is my biggest asset. I personally shoot with a canon 5D, but really believe that any decent camera with decent lenses will produce great results. Some of the vibrant colors you see are because of lighting choices I make based on trial and error experience, and some of it is post production in photoshop. I adore high apertures (low f stop numbers) best when shooting individuals, but for groups I loose focus on the other family members too quickly (unless of course that is my intent). I use fast shutter speeds when shooting kids because they just move to fast and all I’m left with is a blur. For ISO I prefer to keep this low if possible, but that is one area my camera does excel in, the 5D can handle higher ISO with little noise. In terms of your 2 camera choices that’s tough (I don’t know either camera well) I believe you have more control using your film camera of settings etc.. but I do love the flexibility of digital as far as post processing etc…I think the one thing that has helped me the most and it has taken me a long time to really get a handle on (and I still have a long way to go) is understanding how light effects things. Where the light is coming from in relation to the subject and what to do to make it better, what the quality of light is and how I can best take advantage of it. I learned from reading everything I could get my hands on, lots of on- line photo forums and tons of trial and error with my own family and friends. What you did today is also key, when you see something you like go out on a limb and ask I have found most photographers actually enjoy sharing their knowledge with others who share this passion.Ok, that was fun so I think I will make this a weekly thing and pick one of the e-mails a week to answer right here in my blog!