Cuba in 3 Cameras

I was in Cuba for a week. Sure, I spent most of my time relaxing on the beach/by the pool, which was SOOOO NEEDED; did you know I haven’t really taken a vacation or trip since I graduated even from my undergrad four years ago? So this was an undergrad + master’s travel present to myself, and I’d never been to an all inclusive before. It goes against my sensitivities and desire to explore and see new places, to meet real people and eat real food and witness life and understand I am just a tiny part of it. BUT……. endless drinks and swimming in the ocean and seeing thousands of tiny fish circling around me are pretty hard to beat.

While there we did actually leave the resort a few times, and upon discussion afterward we realized that it was both of our favorite parts. So next trip we know will be a good old fashioned backpacking adventure trip. Any ideas where we’ve been discussing? 🙂

ANYWAY. I brought three cameras on this trip because I always overdo it, and I thought it’d be fun to share my faves from each kind of camera and what I liked about each/traveling with each. Okay, onwards! Oh yea, I also had my phone and took photos with that too, but I mostly tried to use it mainly as a timekeeping device and utilize my other tools! I am a big fan of phone photos but I wanted to push myself a bit this trip (we have gotten so lazy and used to taking all our photos on our phones!).

35 MM FILM: NIKON D2000
DIGITAL SLR: CANON 70D
INSTANT CAMERA: FUJI INSTAX SQUARE SQ 6
THOUGHTS

35 MM FILM

I have been using my dad’s old camera for many years, usually as a side camera and for fun explorations and to better learn manual and composition in-camera. The magic of going to get my photos printed has never worn off and I still get a thrill everytime I see them for the first time. This particular instance I was so pleasantly surprised with the results. My grain is a little high for my liking, and I think that was me playing around a lot with exposure compensation due to the brightness of the beach and the sun. However, I really love how the town ones turned out especially (and of course of my handsome dude!). I am re-obsessed with film again and went and bought more fun film, like Kodak Portra 400, so I’m excited to go take more! Now I know to always take this camera with me on my travels and I’d love to try out different ones and lenses! 

DIGITAL CANON 70D

I am currently saving up for a new digital camera (fingers crossed I should have it in the next couple months!! #businessinvestment) but this is still a great little camera that has done me well, and will be a great second camera for weddings, events, etc. I didn’t use it much on this trip because I felt film calling to me more in the nostalgic feelings of Cuba, and I kept the 50 MM lens on it so there isn’t a lot of variety. However, I loved using it to capture portraits of Sean and small things like the trees and the fruit. I should have used it more, especially on the beach, but it was definitely the least used this time. NEXT TIME!

INSTANT CAMERA

Sean got me this for Christmas and it has quickly become a love of mine. As someone who is obsessed with film and getting it printed, there is nothing more thrilling than getting the photo back IMMEDIATELY. Of course, I screwed up a few photos on this trip because of weird lighting/specks on my camera, but I absolutely love having memories instantly and writing little notes on them. There are now instant photos dotting our apartment, in the kitchen and living room hehehe. I love seeing them! They look great. I love everything about them, and my faves were again the ones we took in town–look how cool they are!! Either way, I think film wins this round, but the point is that it’s so fun to explore and test and play around! In photography you’re always learning and I couldn’t be more grateful. 😀

Interested in seeing more photos from trips of mine? Check out last summer’s trip to Algonquin here


Tips for Photographing Love

It’s Valentine’s Day! I totally didn’t plan to time this post to this day, but what do you know, it worked. I was going for a whole ~love~ theme this month, but I do want to stress that I love LOTS OF KIND OF LOVE. Not just couple love but friend love, family love, pet love, LOVE in its many thousands form is kind of a great thing. Sure, we can complain about it and all the pain it brings and our duties and the struggles that sometimes loving a person/people entails, but think of all the GREAT things! Smiling, laughing, feeling close to someone, sharing your life woes, writing stories together, taking photos together, going on adventures and making memories with loved ones. Love is actually pretty great once you open yourself up to it. 

This post I share my top FIVE tips I use when photographing love. Sure, I’m still a newbie in the wedding game field and yes, getting my degree changed up my plans a bit, but I still believe in and have a ton of fun photographing love in its many forms. So I’m gonna stop blabbing and here we go!

TIP 1 – make them laugh 

I’m pretty sure the only people who find me funny are me and my sister. However, ever since I was a kid I loved making people laugh and I try to use these traits to the benefit of photos! It is easily the best part of being a photographer. Make jokes, be weird, move in strange angles that make people laugh, lie in the dirt or snow or whatever you have to do to get people to smile and laugh. It’s been said to me that I can make people feel pretty comfortable early on and I think it’s because I try to get people laughing and joking right away. I mean I think I’m hilarrrrrious but I won’t be offended if you don’t. One thing I don’t use are those online prompts, cause they are kind of weird and awkward and make people feel weird and awkward. I do love making people run and dance though because sooner or later someone feels ridiculous and laughs and it’s my fave.

Golden Birch Photography
TIP 2 – let people be themselves! aka don’t pose a lot

Our job as photographers, at least for me, is not to make the day look the way we want it to. Our job is to capture life as it happens, those smiles and laughs and gentle touches. Those are great moments, and the more comfortable you are as the photographer and people are around you, the more likely you will start to see these real moments. I don’t want people to feel like they’re getting their photo taken; I want them to feel like I’m not even there. Then you get those great genuine moments and feelings and I cry when I see those! 

TIP 3 – let a couple make out

This is literally my fave way to start out a couple’s shoot. If you’re shy around photographers or embarrassed or worried (most everyone I’ve ever photographed is!!) don’t worry. My first trick is to ask you to make out pretty early on. The couple will probably laugh and be like omg why and then try it and laugh throughout it and then a) you get great photos of joy and b) IT IS PRETTY IMPOSSIBLE TO FEEL AWKWARD ANYMORE AFTER YOU’VE MADE OUT IN FRONT OF SOMEONE A LOT (this is a proven scientific fact). See below photo series where a makeout resulted in crazy laughter and I love it.

TIP 4 – let them have some quiet moments

People get tired. Photoshoots can be exhausting! So sometimes the best way to capture love–familial, wedding, friends, anything–is to take a step back, find a quiet corner away from the noise and the busy-ness and the insanity, and just let your subjects breathe and have a moment. Kids, adults, anybody, usually a break is needed at some point. Just take a breath and wait for the right moments to snap some shots.

TIP 5 – go on an adventure

THIS IS MY FAVE THING TO DO. I love going on adventures. Let’s go skating! Let’s go hiking! Let me take photos of you dancing in a river or eating pizza or playing board games or walking in a neighborhood we’ve never been before! Adventures mean doing something different. It’s a new memory for the subjects and a great way to get some casual and real photographs. I don’t wanna just stand in front of one tree for an engagement shoot. Let’s explore an old barn hayloft instead! Guys, trust me, adventures are the best. And I love going on them on or off a shoot, so it’s just a sweet sweet bonus when people I photograph are up for it too! 😀 

Well those are my top 5 tips that I tend to use in almost every photoshoot! I hope they help someone out there. To end my first post on luuuurve in its many forms, here are two of my best friends back in Vancouver in 2017. Cause I super love them. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!


Top