In any sport you must practice. In any gifting you must practice. If your a dancer, or a singer, or a athlete- you play and rehearse and practice so that you can get better- well for my gifting, I don’t think its any different. There is so much to learn in photography and so many people want to learn it quick. I get messages all the time with people inquiring about lenses, camera bodies and editing programs- some (not all messages, but some) thinking that if they buy these things they will magically be where only hard work can put you. Trust me I know, because there was a time when I knew that if I had the most expensive camera body, or the quickest, sharpest lenses, or the best editing programs that I could be one of the best. Thankfully I am married to a man who says no and our budgets didn’t at that time allow for it, because it made me work for it. Work for the best shots with a kit lens, a 35 and a D90. Learn light and how it falls and learn how to edit on my own. I spent money doing a mentorship, taking a course at a community college for six weeks- but I still had to burn the midnight oil and mess up and learn on my own. Isaiah and I took to reading books, educational blogs and going to trainings- we spent 30k on learning last year and still have so far to go, so if your looking for the easy way out- there is no easy way when you have a passion and want to be good… the only easy way is to walk it out and keep shooting. Just for the record, I started shooting manually from the start in October 2009, however it wasn’t until last fall- September 2010 that I really understood and knew how to use my camera (inside and out). It really takes so much time… so be encouraged and keep going after it.
When Isaiah and I are looking to try new things, practice techniques- we usually beg friends to come out and let us. Marieke was no different, except that she was willing and excited! We had a Saturday off in April and wanted to practice lighting- shooting in harsh light, shooting with off camera flash and shooting at sunset. I am a natural light shooter- but I don’t want to default to that just because I don’t understand how to use speed lights and strobes. I want to be able to perform in all lighting situations, with or without lighting and feel confident in our work- so that is our focus this year- to learn how to do that.
Marieke is so fun to shoot because she brings glamour and confidence just standing still. She is one of those girls that your camera loves. She could sneeze and you’d want to capture it because it would be the most elegant sneeze you ever saw. It was her second or third weekend in town and she agreed to galavant all over Tacoma while Isaiah and I practiced, and studied and learned and she is absolutely stunning!!
We started out at 1:00 shooting during the hottest time of the day (for the sun) and it was a sunny day with sparing clouds……
Right around 3p the clouds came in and it started to sprinkle- we decided to try some off camera. I am sure we could have done a few more interesting shots- but it was really our first time experimenting. I love the drama you get with OCF. It changes the dynamic the entire location. Where the above portraits above are a little softer and light, below makes for a little more drama, attitude and fun/harsh light.
As we got closer to sunset- he headed to a Orchard west of Tacoma- the light had changed quite a bit to this beautiful sunny, yummy sweet spot light. This is my favorite part of the day to shoot- the golden tones that are cast are absolutely amazing and they bathe everything just right. These pictures are some of my favorite of Marieke- they make me feel like I am looking at a old MGM actress. I can’t wait to experiment with her again, but this time with purpose.
Marieke- thank you so much for giving up your whole afternoon for learning. You are absolutely stunning! Thanks for letting me play dress up and your patience waiting on these images! Hopefully you enjoy them as much as we do!