My gear // I shoot Nikon :)

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my gear.  It’s always
interesting as a photographer to see what other photographers are using but I
also think it’s important for my clients to know that
when I show up at their wedding to document their day I am
fully prepared for all situations.
As a wedding photographer back ups are a necessity.
I have had a camera fail on a job.
I’ve always had a back up camera but that incident
prompted me to get an identical second camera.   I need to know that I can
grab my second and not miss a beat.

I shoot Nikon 🙂   My current camera is a D700.


I have a wide variety of lenses to get through
every situation.  My most used lenses are my 85 prime
and my 70-200 zoom lens.


My 3rd camera is a Nikon D90.   It’s the back up to my back up 😉
Plus it’s the only camera that actually shoots video so I use
it for that occasionally.   My airmac is my travel computer and I use
it to back up images through out the wedding day.
I have two flashes that I use for receptions.   One usually sits on my camera
and the other one is somewhere off camera.  I use pocketwizards to trigger them.

So that’s what I haul around on any given wedding day.
It’s heavy and I need a massage at the end of the day…lol.


I received a new toy piece of equipment yesterday that I’ve been having fun playing around with.  I’ve been wishing I had a macro lens for a while and the time was right to get one now.   I have some newborn sessions coming up and am excited to get some beautiful close ups of teeny little baby goodness with this lens.

So I played around with my 10 year old scratched up and dirty ring 😉    So my sweet hubs etched in a little phrase for me (It says “forever loving you “).  He also etched in our anniversary which is a   I can’t tell you how many times I have to look inside my ring to see what date I was married.   I confuse the day because my sister was married June 2nd and we were married June 1st and for whatever reason I can never remember which day is mine.   (yeah, my memory is scary bad).

Can you see the flaw in my diamond?   I actually love it because it makes it unique and when I need to send it in for maintenance I always know I’m getting my diamond back.   I love my ring.  Matt painted a house one summer to pay for it so he worked hard for it and that’s special to me.

Who doesn’t love life size lego!?   I’m sure my boys will get a kick out of this. 😉

10 months, 20,000+ pics, 2 cameras later { Part 1 }

I was wanting to do this post at the 6 month mark but here we are at 10 months in the blink of an eye.
It’s always fun to see other photographers post their story and progress.
So here is mine………………

I didn’t grow up with a camera in my hands destined to be a photographer.  Well, I guess I always had one but it wasn’t a passion or anything like that.  As a young mom I always wished I had a better camera to capture my kids.  I never made the purchase though. 

I turned 30 this summer.  My baby was 3.  I was bored.  I began looking for a new hobby and the camera I always wished I had came up again.  I started talking to Matt about it and he understood my need for a new challenge so he was the one actually pushed the buy button on this expensive toy.

This showed up at my door on March 8th 2011:

My very first SLR!!

I opted for the body only and 2 additional lenses instead of the kit lens.  I already knew how I wanted to shoot and knew I wanted a lens with a large apeture to get those beautiful fuzzed out backgrounds and the 50mm (1.8) was mentioned several times during my search for the right lens.  The larger lens is a 70-300 4.5 and because it was such a deal to buy it with the body I couldn’t resist.  I had no idea if I would use this lens much.

I read the 2 inch manual the first day.  I had already been playing around in semi-manual mode on my point and shoot so when this camera came I put it in manual mode because I figured it was learn how to shoot that way now or never.  I knew if I got too used to shooting in auto I may never take the time to learn manual mode.  It was a challenge to be sure! 

I read and read and then read some more.  Most of the information I found was online.  When I got stuck I googled any and everything.  The book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson kept popping up in my online learning so I bought it.

This book taught me how to shoot manual.

I learned how ISO, apeture and the shutter speed all worked together.  This book is more aimed at landscape photography but covers all the basics of exposure.

Of course when I started using this camera I thought it was amazing!  I was so impressed by the pictures it was taking.  Here are a few of my firsts with dates.

March 8, 2011

March 9, 2011

I bundled up this cold March day and went out to see what my new toy was capable of.  Of course I had no idea what I was doing but it was fun trying.  (I ended up over editing every single one of them)

March 9, 2011

I found a sleeping baby to capture 😉

March 9, 2011
And of course my own kids had to endure countless pictures.  I think they zoned out after a bit. 
March 9, 2011

The first shoot I did with Kirsten.  I knew nothing about light at this point.  Later I realized I kind of got lucky by placing her where I did.  This room has the most beautiful light in the entire house and has lots of white surfaces that bounce that light around.

March 10, 2011
March 10, 2011

Ventured outside to get some shots of the kids.  I envisioned these pictures to be much better than they actually turned out. 

As I was learning how to shoot with an SLR I began teaching my self Photoshop also.  I had played around in Photoshop ( for many many years but never actually figured it out.  So I started googling.  And reading.  And experimenting.  I felt like I was in school all over again.  I absolutely LOVED having a new hobby to figure out.  It was very fulfilling for me and I sucked up as much knowledge about photography as I could.  Slowly but steadily Photoshop began making sense.

March 11, 2011

Found some more poor victims children to catch with my camera.

March 12, 2011

At this point I still had no idea how to properly expose a picture.  I was shooting in manual mode but didn’t know what a light meter was or how to read it.  It was basically trial and error with my settings and going off the LCD screen.

March 12, 2011

Discovered the beautiful light in my front porch!

March 15, 2011

Rookie mistake:  Over editing!  

March 22, 2011

March 23, 2011

I was learning steadily but not fast enough.  I wanted to be good and I wanted to be good instantly.  I could envision what I wanted but I just couldn’t produce it yet. 

You can see my beginning editing skills were a little lacking.

March 23, 2011

I started paying more attention to light and figuring out ways to light up the eyes.

March 29, 2011

The more I shot people the more I loved it.  My new hobby was starting to become a little more than that in my mind.

Too be continued…..

Moo and Business cards

I ordered my business cards a while ago and have been meaning to do a blog post about them.  I wanted something fun and a little different so when I heard about Moo (from my sister Jennifer) and the option to include as many different photos as you wanted I knew I had to check it out.  A fitting option for a photographer 😉

I was pleasantly surprised by how thick and sturdy they are.  Not to mention fun and colorful!

If you need business cards you can check MOO out here.  (This is my referral link and I earn points of some kind from it.)  But mostly I did this post because the cards are too cute not to share with everyone 😉 


I bought a new lens.  Somehow the UPS guy keeps dropping stuff off here.

I should have gotten this lens right from the start.  Actually, I should have just gotten all my lenses right from the start.  It seems that after every wedding I order a new one.  I like prime lenses which means that you end up with quite a few of them to cover all your focal lengths.  My shortest focal lenth was a 50mm which is actually about 75mm on my crop sensor camera.

So this 28mm was much needed!  I think I’m going to really like this one.  It will be a great snapshot lens and probably the one that will be on my camera for our upcoming vacation.

I can finally get pull back shots like my (messy) porch:

But…. it is not a great portrait lens…lol.  I think I’ll stick to my 50mm for that.
(Wider lenses tend to have a lot of distortion towards the edges.)