Friday Five • Epiphanie Camera Bag

My Epiphanie Belle bag came last Friday and let me just say it is everything I could have wanted in a camera bag. It’s super comfortable on my shoulders, holds everything I could possibly want to lug around with me, and is very well crafted! I am still using my old bag, which was rigged from a Target purse and insert. I keep my older Rebel body in there along with a few other Canon lenses that I rarely use. The Belle bag could absolutely fit two bodies no problem, so when I am out on a serious shoot and want a backup, I could easily bring both. Here are some pictures. Please excuse the interior shot. My Rebel is on loan to a friend so I had to use the 7D beast to take the picture and have no way of showing you what it looks like with the camera actually inside!

It came so nicely packaged!

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Friday Five • Gear: Canon 100mm Macro Lens

A lot of the photographer blogs that I read include “What’s In My Bag?” types of posts, so I thought I might share something I recently added to my collection of gear. The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM. I love, love, love this lens. I spent a lot of time debating whether to purchase this or the L version, which is nearly twice as expensive. However, after spending a lot of time researching, reading customer reviews, and stalking photos on flickr, I decided that this one was the right choice for me.

I never thought I would be “into” macro photography, but was I wrong. It is so much fun! The first thing I had to force myself to do was stop shooting so wide open. Smaller apertures (bigger numbers) is the way to go to achieve the most detail in those up-close shots. And…gulp…even using an external flash can push some good images to be great. The thing I like about this lens is that it also makes an excellent portrait lens. In fact, it’s almost too good. It picks up every single detail to the sharpest extent that a little skin softening in Lightroom is almost always in order. Here are five nonportrait images taken with this lens. Definitely a learning curve with this piece of equipment, but I am loving it all the same!

I hope that by the time next Friday rolls around, I’ll be able to do another gear post featuring my new camera bag! Be sure to check back then (if not sooner!).

Two-Year-Old Twins Family Portrait Session

Last Sunday morning I got to spend some time with the Adamcyzk family. What a great bunch! Their twin boys had just turned 2 years old, and they wanted a session to commemorate the event. These two adorable boys do not stop moving! By the time the session was over, I had practically broken a sweat chasing them all over the yard and house. But it was all good; I had an awesome time.

Absolutely stunning mother…

How cool are these Radio Flyer tricycles? Awesome idea to bring them out from the garage and take some pictures of the boys playing around.

Those blue eyes just do me in.

Love the red sweater with the red bike! And those sweet little red lips! What a cutie.

One of my favorite photos ever. Just love how this one turned out.

Thank you, Adamcyzk family, for letting me spend the morning with you! You have a beautiful family and a lovely home. Great time!

Yasmin & Jeff • Engagement Session

I graduated from college with Yasmin, and it scares me to think that was already nearly 5 years ago! In the 4 years that we went to university together, I never was able to meet her fiance, Jeff, because he was deployed in the military at that time. I always admired Yasmin’s strength to work hard and earn a degree with the worry of her loved one being so far away resting on her shoulders. When she asked me to do her wedding (and engagement) photos last year, I was thrilled! It looks us months to finally get a date set, but we did it! At the Willows, which unfortunately were not as in bloom as we had hoped. However, I just love these pictures. They are such a fun and funny couple, always joking and laughing. I can’t wait for their wedding!

How beautiful is she? Oh my goodness…

I wished that I had my new 100mm macro lens for this shoot, but it hadn’t arrived yet. My 50mm managed to pull it off with a bit of cropping.

So the next few shots include a couple that are not my typical editing style, but I thought the vintagey coloring seemed to work. What do you think?

Jeff is a great guy, so I’m sure he won’t mind that I am ending this post with this shot. It cracks me up and I just love how it shows the connection these two amazing people have.

 

Chicago

After Jenny’s 30th birthday party, I had to catch an early flight to Chicago for my real job. This was my first visit to this awesome city: it was so clean, the people were friendly, the architecture was amazing! Of course I didn’t bring my camera. Big mistake! I’ll be back in June for another meeting so I’ll be sure to lug the beast around. Here are two cell phone snaps until then…

We ate breakfast a couple of mornings at Yolk. Neither day could we finish our meals, but they were delicious!

Surprise 30th Birthday Party!

For months, several of my best friend’s closest friends and I have been planning her 30th birthday party. It was so much fun but so gosh darn hard! She definitely knew something was up but once we arrived at the party, she told me she could have never dreamed it would have been such a big event. 80 of her closest friends and family members (yes, 80 of her closest–this girl has a lot of love in her life) showed up to surprise Jenny as she turned 30. We chose a Mardi Gras theme because Jenny has always had a thing for New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and the like, and we arranged for the guests contribute to a plane ticket fund to ship Jenny off to Italy. I am so happy that we could pull it off. Here are some shots from the night.

The guest of honor arrives and her mother adorns her with a jester crown, boa, and scepter all in the Mardi Gras style.

One of the tough things about lugging around a monster of a camera like the 7D is getting other people to take pictures for you! It’s so rare these days that I show up in any shots. It’s even more difficult when I’m shooting with a 50mm prime lens and people try to zoom! However, this one turned out pretty cute. So happy with it!

We danced the night away to the music of my fiance’s band, which was so awesome of him and all of his band mates to do. In between sets, we blasted classic 80’s and favorite 90’s music of the birthday girl. So much fun!

The band! Please excuse the corners on these photos . . . Edited for Jenny; I didn’t want to go back and edit them for the blog. That’s bad, right? Ah…

Me and the birthday girl. Love her!

Guests left with favors, which I put together. Resin-filled bottle caps to remember the date and a spicy Cajun seasoning and recipe card. So cute! So hot!