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


My Three Goals for 2019

Welcome to 2019! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (or… my newsletter??) you may have noticed that I’ve been focusing on a new year and what that means creatively for me. It’s not goals of numbers or bookings. My goals this year are solely creative, educational, and all about what I love to do: take photos. This little blog post will summarize my three big dreams for 2019 and what that means (for me and you!).

PS: I usually keep these to myself in a notebook that never sees the light of day. However, by making my goals public, I’m hoping it’ll make me a bit more accountable. Will you guys help me stick to it and follow through?! I hope so haha, I’m sometimes kind of hopeless on my own. Aside from these I have so many other goals this year so I gotta stay focused!

 

1. attend a workshop

I would looove to be able to attend a photography workshop this year, one of those ones where you all camp and drink and sit around a fire and take photos and have a wonderful time and experience. There are so many amazing people in this industry that it can be really intimidating sometimes. I wonder… why bother? But then another part of me thinks “but you can learn so much!!”. So I’ve got a few ideas of some I’d like to attend, but of course that requires $$$ and when you’ve got student debt it puts a halt on your creative pursuits sometimes. Alas!

Any recommendations from my fellow photographers out there? What are some workshops you liked? Who are some photographers that you really admire?

 

2. learn

Well that seems vague, you’re thinking. “Learn”? You can say you did that no matter what! No no. I have some specific things I want to learn.

a) Lightroom classes! I can get my way through Lightroom, and understand how it works, but I’d loooove to be so familiar and comfortable with it that I could run it with my eyes closed. I’m mostly going to do this through online tutorials (cause I’m cheap) but can anyone recommend any good Lightroom classes/teachers that are FREEE and online? 🙂

b) Another thing I want to learn is a bit bigger: different mediums! I want to stretch my creativity! Different formats! Different cameras! Different lenses! Darkrooms again! I want to push what my own idea of photography is, what creativity is, what a story is in an image (you’ll notice all the photos in this blog post are from my latest film scans… and I always remember how much I LOVE film when I get them back!!). So I’m hoping to play around with a lot of different cameras this year, OR at least… learn about them! Because that’s good too when you can’t afford crazy gear.

3. photographers without borders school

This is something I’ve been obsessed with for over a year but requires lots of planning and prep work and I have been really bad at it. Photographers Without Borders is an amazing organization that chooses documentary photographers and sends them abroad to shoot for NGOs across the globe. You submit your portfolio, get feedback, pass a system of approvals, and then you can apply to photograph certain jobs, help them send their message out there, and you get more potfolio photos out of it. Of course I’ve been letting my freelance documentary stuff go and it is NECESSARY that this year I build it up, so I can a) get a bigger portfolio and b) take amazing photos for an NGO someday!

Before I can get there I think I would need to attend one of their “schools”, where you pay (of course!) to go on a trip and take photos with them, see what they look for, etc etc. That OR I just need to build up my portfolio and apply without the school. What do you guys think? Should I apply anyway and see what happens?

 

And there you have it! Not small goals by any means but ones that are really important to me that I’ve been ruminating on the last year or so, but you know–as I always say–master’s degree came first. But I’m done now, so yay! I can try! Do you guys think I can do it? Haha… I firmly believe that by continuing to follow my interests and dreams in this field, I can become a better photographer for my weddings and clients too! I really do believe in the ability of a photographer to be adaptable and that all skills come in handy for cross photographing.

Anyway, leave your ideas, suggestions, or affirmations (I need them!) in the comments, and let’s goooOOO 2019! Maybe in June I’ll do a check in on these and see how they’re going….


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