Huzzah! It’s Friday! I am loving short four day work weeks, which means that the weekend rolls around faster which means more snuggle time with Husby Clinty on the couch! More than anything else in the world, I love snuggle time–mostly because we have a ginormous pillow for a couch. Well not literally, but it’s one of those couches that have big big cushions on the arms, back, everywhere – any which way you decide to lay is like pillow heaven to your bod. No joke.
We found it advertised in the paper one weekend, and I forced Clinton to go see it with me. “We don’t need a couch, Chris,” he said. To which I stomped my feet and (maturely) replied: “I am 27 years old. I don’t want to sit on an oompa loompa couch any longer!” (It was a sad, sad two-seater with NO pillow heavens any which way.) So we showed up at this lovely home across town, and there she was. A choir of angels sang “hallelujah” in my head. “It’s RED… Really? Are you really gonna make me buy this?” Clinton was clearly not in the same mind frame as me. But alas, my powers of negotiation worked its little magic and $200 later, the couch was ours.
That was about 18 months ago. I am still in love with the couch and it’s quirky redness. We affectionately call it “Uluru” and I doubt we’ll ever get rid of it. I guess when something is that comfy and heavenly, it’s hard to overlook… which brings me to this week’s Q&A Part 2 (I know, how ridiculously long-winded was that story??!). Since my first “Tips and Tricks” post was such a hit (thanks so much for the encouragement, dear friends!), I thought I’d follow up with another installment: this time, about the top three things that make me most comfortable at my shoots. Some are things I’ve purchased, and some are things I’ve learned. Together they all help me be the most comfy and therefore the most GAME photographer when I rock up to a session. Hopefully they help you too! :)
1. My lenses: without fail, I always pack my three favourite lenses to every session, and I absolutely use all three during a shoot. I use the 35mm 1.4L, 50mm 1.2L and the 85mm 1.2L (Canon). They produce such consistently sharp images, I can’t shoot a session without all three. I’m just too dependent on them! For example, when I want to photograph beautiful family portraits backlit with a touch of goldeny sun, I stand far far away and pull out my 85 and shoot wide wide wide. It produces the most gorgeous bokeh and brilliant colours… and paired with my 5D Mark II, I’m in photography heaven. Individual portraits are shot with my trusty 50: the lens when I want pretty colours and fast focusing. But my most favouritest lens of all is my 35 baby. He’s my go-to candid lens, which I use for all the up-close, in-the-air, from-the-side, shooting-with-my-eyes-shut shots. ‘Nuff said. :)
2. My clothes: I shoot kids and families, so my number one priority is comfort. Comfort and looking pretty hot. Just kidding. Hotness is the last thing on my list! Wearing colourful, approachable, friendly and non-threatening clothes is one of the most important things I’ve learned from my friend and one of my favourite child photographers, Barb Uil (of Jinky Art). You’re not there to impress mom and dad with your fashion skillz, and you’re certainly not there to look like you just got back from a funeral (in all black — as much as I would love to dress in black all the live long day). The bottom line is, you’re there to MAKE THE KIDS HAPPY AND SMILEY. Right? Right. So, I pretend I’m a clown and pick the most colourful things from my wardrobe. And then I pair them with the most patterned things from my wardrobe. And together, I look like a walking rainbow kicked out of Clown School for being too colourful. But you know what? That’s totally fine by me as long as little Billy sees me as a walking rainbow and smiles. And little Susie thinks I look like her best friend (who also wears mismatched clothes) and agrees to run around and play with me. Best of all, I’m comfortable in my flip flops, colourful tights, and a teddy bear shirt, and more than happy to roll around on the grass to get those money shots. Never underestimate the power of comfy shoes + clothes for a shoot. Never.
3. My questionnaire: all of my families who book with me fill out a questionnaire before our session. It’s my way of getting to know them before our shoot together, and it’s the best thing I can do to prepare for a shoot. I ask about their family: what they do together for fun, what makes them AWESOME, etc. etc. So when I show up to a shoot, I always feel like I know them already. I automatically know who’s who; which sister is the charming one; which brother makes everyone laugh; the special stories about the siblings. And because my clients know me already through my blog and facebook and twitter (let’s face it: people need to try really hard NOT to know anything about me because, well… I’m a social networking addict), it’s like we are already friends to begin with! Bam! Comfort city.
There. See? It doesn’t take much to make me comfortable. Just a few thousand dollar lenses, clown clothes and an online form. Oh! And a couch called Uluru. Clinton got it sooooo easy marrying me!! :) Happy Friday everyone! I shall leave you with a few shots from our recent bushwalking adventure (to be blogged shortly, I promise Jo Jo!).