Friday 5

1. I saw on your Facebook you rented a lens. Do you do this often? Where do you rent from?

I typically shoot with my own lenses for portrait sessions, but for weddings it is important to have versatility and a good zoom lens. For the wedding I shot this weekend I rented the go-to wedding lens, a Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8. I went with Lens Pro to Go, and I have been SUPER pleased.

2. Who takes your family photos?

I have never been shot by a professional portrait photographer outside of the places at the mall! I think part of the reason is that I am a perfectionist and when I take the pictures myself - whether it is through self-timer or recruiting a family member to do it - I can process them into my style and what I'm looking for. I haven't found any photographers locally that I'd be willing to give up the control for yet! 

3. Is it hard to do wedding photography with your stomach condition?

Yes - and no. My condition, microscopic colitis, has varying degrees of severity that I cannot always control. I initially stayed away from wedding photography due to the pressure of it being a one-time-deal that can't be rescheduled should I become ill, but I don't want my condition to hold me back. I take every precaution I can to curb any symptoms and prevent any from coming on. Sometimes it starts days in advance if I have a big event like a wedding to shoot. So far, *knock on wood* it hasn't held me back. 

4.  I love photography myself and even majored in it at college for a short time. I want to get a more professional camera, just to have and take cute shot of my kiddos, what kind of camera do you use? Can you make a recommendation?

For most of the sessions you see on my blog, I am using a Nikon D80 SLR camera with a 50mm 1.8 lens ($120!) I recently upgraded to a Nikon D7000 - I upgraded for better ISO control, newer technology and speed. There are entry level SLRs like the new D3100 that is an excellent camera for the price.

A great SLR body is a great start, but great glass (lens) can really make or break a picture. The 50mm 1.8 is a big staple in a photographers bag and is so inexpensive. When just getting started it was all I could afford and I haven't looked back.

However, for just shooting around the house and kids, any kit lens that comes with your camera will get the job done until you get more familiar with your camera and different lenses. Just the upgrade from a point and shoot to an SLR will make a HUGE difference in your photos.

5. Do you have any tips for a start-up business owner?

Just starting out in the photography business I did a lot of free sessions to build my portfolio. I asked friends that were already married if I could shoot "engagements". It was a win-win. I was able to build my portfolio, gain practice and they received a disc of images for their time. Once I did a few free sessions, I started doing sessions free but clients were asked to buy prints from me in exchange for an otherwise free session. Once I got enough experience and had a substantial portfolio, I began going "legit" and charging for both my time and talent.  

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