Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The One with all kinds of Light

As I shared in my last post, I recently fulfilled a long time dream of capturing lightning in a photo.  While I got a few that were decent enough to make me happy, this one is truly my favorite.
14.0 sec | f/4.5 | ISO 100 | Nikon D800 | 50 mm f/1.8

There are so many reasons why I love this photo.  One of which is the fact that usually photographs are fleeting moments, but this was a long moment.  Fourteen seconds to be exact.  But it took me even longer to get to those fourteen seconds.  After finding the perfect vantage point on my way home to grab my camera, it took me about ten minutes to settle on the lens and the settings I ended up using for this photo.  

First, I had to decide between two different lens options.  Did I want to be close to the lightning and attach my zoom lens, or get more of a landscape of the storm with my 50 mm lens?  I decided to go with the 50 mm which I can now confirm was the correct decision.  I then automatically set my camera to Bulb for the shutter speed.  But I was at a loss for exactly what settings to use after that.  I played around with the ISO and aperture while snapping shots to finally decide on 100 for the ISO because I wanted to leave the shutter open for a while but also capture a good amount of light from the lightning and then 4.5 for the aperture because I wanted the lightning to be the only thing in focus.  

Then I finally reached those fourteen seconds.  Seconds are not usually considered to be a long time.  But considering that the "smile and look at the camera" photos we are all accustomed to are taken in a fraction of a second, fourteen seconds seemed like a whole minute.  

This is also a favorite photo of mine because I was in my car and listening to an audio book which is undoubtedly one of my happy places, even though I was parked in front of a random house.  I'm sure that seems like a strange vantage point, but to me taking a photo that means something to me in a random place makes that specific place special to me and only me.  I'll always remember taking this picture: where, when, why, and how.  And it will always only be that special to me.

I wish I had the ability to go through this process each and every time I wanted to take a picture.  Unfortunately, I am unable to carry my DSLR around with me all the time since the camera body alone is over two pounds, and then there's the battery grip, lenses, an external light, and other accessories.  This predicament is when most people resort to taking pictures on their phones.  

Because I am a bit of a penny pincher, I have a phone that often draws attention from people in all the wrong ways.  "Why don't you have an iPhone?" "What even is this thing?" "How do you turn this thing on?" "Let's take the picture on my iPhone instead..."  While I do wish my phone had a much better camera, iPhone cameras don't impress me enough to be worth the money.  I would rather spend my money on a small camera that packed a larger punch than any phone could.  

Normally, when I want a good picture badly enough, that I means I lug around my heavy DSLR for an entire day. This is why, as a part of the #VantagePoint project, I am so looking forward to the release of an amazing new compact camera from Light Co.  I have been wondering when someone would create a more compact version of a DSLR for years now.  If you have not yet checked out the Light L16, I urge you to do so for the simple reason of seeing how amazingly technology can move forward when great minds work together. 

Here's to innovation, photography, and all kinds of Light!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The One without Thunder

If there is one thing that I have always wanted to capture as a photographer, it is a lightning storm at the beach.  Somehow I am never lucky enough to have a lightning storm greet the ocean before me eyes.  However, Falls Lake can also be pretty.  The other night, Raleigh had the rarity of being able to watch an amazing lightning storm from afar without any of the thunder or rain.  I was in awe.  As I was driving home and noticed the lightning storm in the distance, I knew exactly what I had to do: get home ASAP while also scouting locations, grab my camera, and get back to the best viewing spot, all while praying to God that the lightning would continue.  Well it did, and I was super excited.  I really get excited any time that I get to use the "bulb" setting on my camera.  I toyed with a few different settings on my camera and posted up outside of some unfortunate people's home and started shooting and watching the amazing lighting masterpiece that had taken over a small portion of the Raleigh night sky.  About ten minutes later, a cop pulled up to ask what I was doing parked in front of the house and slightly in the middle of the street.  I explained, and he told me I was "the eighteenth person" he had spoken to who was taking photos of the lightning storm.  He was kind and told me that he hoped I got some great ones, and then he let me be.  Well thank you kind sir, because I did get some cool pictures.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The One with All the Tutus

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a newborn photoshoot before my Justin Bieber experience.  Mallory is one of those babies that is just beautiful, which is actually kind of funny because she looks almost exactly like her older brother Colton did when I got to take his newborn pictures.  I guess Jamie and Garrett just make beautiful babies (someone's gotta do it).  This lovely couple had inquired about a photoshoot about a month prior to Mallory's due date.  However, the sweet babe took her time which coincidentally put her two week birthday almost on the exact day of the Justin Bieber concert.  Turns out God and Mallory's timing was better than ours, and I would already be in Greensboro for the perfect day to do a photoshoot.  Unfortunately, Mallory was a bit cranky because she couldn't get a ticket to the Bieber concert.  We were all a little bit worried that we would not be able to get many good pictures, and so we threw around ideas of maybe doing another shoot as we all worked together to keep Mallory as happy as possible.  I'll let you be the judge, but I would say that we got some pretty good gems even if Mallory wasn't really into it.
One thing that I really loved about this shoot was that you can tell Mallory is already so loved not only by her immediate family but also by family friends and extended family as well.  Pretty much every item in these pictures is from someone who loves the Shavers and wanted to dote on new baby Mallory, the basket of tutus even came from Garrett's sisters' from when they danced growing up.

Mallory's First Selfie

Think Think Think

ermehgersh a pink boa!
Blue Steel

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The One When My Mama Don't Like You

Justin Bieber.
You probably already have some judgments that have popped into your mind just from reading this one dude's name, and I can't blame you.  
Had it not been for his recent "finding Jesus" actions, last week never would have happened, but God works in mysterious ways, am I right? 
I must admit, I have always been a low key Belieber.  I have all of his music in my iTunes and Spotify, and I always have.  This is mostly due to the fact that Usher "discovered" him, and I have liked Usher for way too long to not be intrigued by someone who Usher thinks is talented.  
However, I still would not have beliebed ;) that I would end up at a Bieber concert. Ever. 
But when my sister asked me to go with her (so that her dream could come true), I agreed to hunt the Ellen pre-sale with her.  Unfortunately we were not able to get two tickets together, so we opted for single seats and automatically both got great lower level seats.  We hoped that we would be able to upgrade on the day of the event in order to get seats together.
About eight months later, the day finally came for Lydia's dream to come true.  The day ended up working out perfectly for me to be able to schedule a Greensboro newborn shoot (more on that in a future post).  I had a photoshoot in Raleigh that morning, then we left for Greensboro in the afternoon, Lydia assisted with my newborn shoot, and we had a couple of hours to kill before the concert.  I asked my wonderful clients if they had any dinner suggestions, and they immediately suggested Hops "the best burgers in America" they said.  We were immediately on board to judge the burgers ourselves.  We were sat in a section that was filled with females who were obviously there for the same reason we were: Justin.  We could tell from the makeup caked faces, a chaperoning adult at each table, and you know the conversations that contained comments like, "ohemgee like Justin is so hot and like he is the only guy who can bleach his hair and still be just like so hot." (I was like omg like excuse me like have you ever like heard of Eminem or NSYNC? #90sKidForever)
After finding out that not only are the burgers delicious, but the fries (french and sweet potato) and beverages are amazing as well, we were stuffed to say the least.  We then decided to head towards the Coliseum, thinking we would probably be fairly early, but that just meant extra time for a merch search, right? Wrong.  Every mom or dad who was dropping off his or her daughter and her friends had decided to arrive with plenty of extra time as well.  The processes of traffic, parking, getting into the arena, and merch searching involved a lot of weaving through crowds and way too much physical contact with people who I do not know, oh and a lot of avoiding screaming and crying females.  yikes.  Well all I needed was a long island iced tea to cure THAT headache, and then the show began!
If I could explain it for you in detail, I would.  But I cannot.  It was awesome.  You should go if you get the chance.  I suppose I can forgive the 90s styled lip syncing since it was due to backflips on trampolines and because there was that one acoustic on a couch.  Luckily, we were able to smash into the area of one of the seats in order to be together for the majority of the concert which was great.  
So now that I have sufficiently bored you with the details of an abnormally great Wednesday, here are some pretty quick snaps of my beautiful sister to suffice the little bit of Bieber fever inside of all of us.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The One with the Sprinkles

I recently learned a new unwritten code among mothers: baby showers are only for the first child.  I had no idea that this was the norm.  I assumed every baby got a baby shower because every baby deserves to celebrated, although it does make sense to not buy a stroller for parents every time they have a new baby.  To combat this unwritten rule, people have recently started a new type of baby celebration: a sprinkle.  Get it? because you sprinkle them with presents instead of showering them.  I think it's pretty clever and cute.  What could be more cute than a party named a sprinkle? J playing with sprinkles of course.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The One with Gabrina's Engagement

The beach is such a magical place.  If I don't see the beach at least once a year, I will go crazy without the heavenly calming it has on my soul.  It is one of the only places that is beautiful in any type of weather, even crazy storms.  And now, both of my brothers have proposed to their loves on the beach.  The magic of the beach also translates to photography.  People are at ease at the beach, and one can be sure that the background will be flawless.  For this fifteen minute photo session, the beach really gave me it's all.  Even lighting, very few onlookers, an empty lifeguard stand, and Gabe didn't complain one time after we started, he even fish gaped to perfection! I think he may have actually enjoyed it, but I know he would never admit that.  The love of Gabrina (Gabe+Sabrina) truly shows through these photos in a way that they don't usually show people.  If you know them, be prepared to see them as you have never seen them before: super adorable and lovey dovey.