Hi everyone! It’s getting so close to Christmas now isn’t it? It’s definitely time to throw on a festive jumper and dance around to some tunes on Spotify. As a photographer, something I often forget to do is photograph my own family. Part of this is because I want to be in the moment and chat and laugh and experience it all, part of it is because bringing a big camera everywhere can be cumbersome and part of it is just that I forget.
I run a business in family photography – I often instill in my clients the importance of having photos of your loved ones and lovely moments to look back on and how precious family photo sessions are. This often overtakes my own need for family photos, and from now on I want this to change. These are all moments that I want to remember too – I want my family printed on my wall, and it’s completely within my power to do so.
This weekend I was able to travel back to my hometown to see my parents and family, something that I only really manage to do a couple of times a year. It was such a lovely weekend and I’m so happy that I’ve now got the memories AND the photographs too. It was all very festive. We walked around the street fair on Friday night, full of people dressed up as elves, a santas grotto and lots of children singing carols. On Saturday we headed to Gunwharf Quays and there was also a rock choir there getting all Christmassy and festive. It was also my nan’s 80th birthday so I was so happy that I got to be there to celebrate it with her too.
Going forward I want to create my own photobooks of MY family and get some lovely portraits to print on my wall.
As someone who relies on external hard drives for everything, I knew that one day I’d be writing a post like this. At some point, technology fails, and I count myself as super lucky that this is the first time ever I have had a hard drive fail on me. I just plugged it in one day, and along with some very questionable noises coming from it, it never showed up again.
Luckily, I was pretty much prepared for it to happen after hearing about horror stories from a lot of other photographers. All of my work for clients is safe and the only things I lost were a few personal photos and a few random files. I am very lucky, and I’m glad I took the basic measures to get things backed up. HOWEVER, this has given me warning for the future – I think there comes a (usually disastrous) moment in everyone’s life where they see the need to back things up, and this just happens to be mine. If you haven’t taken to back up or protect your files, then please let this little post be a reminder to do that. Share it far and wide to get the message to everyone one there.
1 – Create a ‘Mirror’ hard drive which doubles up your current hard drive.
There are various softwares that can do this for you, or you can always do it manually by copying photos to both whenever you import.
5 – Don’t wipe your memory cards for important jobs
A more expensive way of doing things and not necessary for everyday things – but if you have that Really Important Job™ it might be worth adding the cost of new memory cards that you never delete from or reformat.
6 – Don’t store things directly on your computer if you can help it.
Working off of backed up hard drives and online storage is generally more reliable.
Previously, I was probably utilising 3 of these methods on a consistent basis which is how I was able to get over this pretty unscathed. However, I’m still going to try and go through some data recovery to get back anything that I lost. It’s expensive though, and can be so easily prevented.
The run up to Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, but last year, I started it way too early. I was looking for signs of Christmas in September, was thrilled by the odd bit of tinsel in October, decorated for Christmas early November and by the time Christmas actually came around… I was pretty bored of it. I was looking at the tree thinking ‘I am bored of you. Can I have my house back now?’ by early December.
THEREFORE, this year I am trying to wait just a little bit longer. It’s a bit like being a kid in a sweet shop really. When you move out and have your own house as an adult you’ve suddenly got no-one else to say to you ‘HEY, LET’S WAIT!’ and your mind is firmly on *f it, I am an adult and I will DECORATE FOR CHRISTMAS WHENEVER I WANT*. But it’s safe to say, I have learned my lesson now. Sometimes just waiting a teensy little bit can make it all the more magical when the time comes around. If you decorate early for Christmas I am not judging at all, in fact, I’m probably jealously looking at your festive house on social media and longing to decorate my own.
However – this year, there will be no Christmas decor or trees until 1st December, hopefully that will keep the magic alive for a little bit longer this year.
The only little sneaky bit of sneakyness that may have possibly snuck in is these fairy lights, but to be fair they’ve been around all year – I’ve just…moved them slightly. BUT it inspired me to set my camera up and photograph a little self portrait.
Hello and happy belated Halloween! A friend of mine very kindly got me this huge amazing pumpkin from her family’s patch and I needed to do something with it this Halloween. This was pretty fun to make and upload. Halloween isn’t usually my thing – I love all the cute spooky decorations, and I can get on board with the dressing up, but actual scary things are not my cup of tea. Do you celebrate Halloween – if so, how? Jas x
Looking at my well-used and 6 year old Canon 6D with a cracked screen and missing the odd dial or two, I realised it was probably the right time to look into updating my photography kit. I always thought that doing so would be completely impossible with my finances, but then I discovered you could buy things on finance and it was like a choir of angels shining down on me and saying ‘what goodies would you like to play with?’. I looked into switching to a Sony mirrorless camera A LOT. I got a lot of different opinions, and the new A7iii sounds pretty amazing. However, in the end I decided to get another faithful Canon 6D as I love it a lot, and frankly, it was a third of the price too. BUT because I saved (ish) on my camera body, a part of me whispered ‘…but…. I could get a new lens?’.
Ever since I bought the Sigma 35mm ART f1.4 a few years ago, it hasn’t really left my camera. I completely fell in love with it, and after all this time I’m still so impressed with it. However, shooting only at 35mm has it’s limits. As it’s a little wide angle, I found shooting full body portraits and portraits from a distance a bit of a struggle. Not impossible, but I’d lose a bit of sharpness and the distortion from the lens would start to get quite obvious. I follow the amazing photographer Rekha Garton, and she recommended a 100mm lens. I thought – wow 100mm? My immediate thoughts where: a) I bet that shoots beautiful un-distorted portraits b) I also bet I’ll have to stand REALLY far back compared to my 35mm and c) I could take a macro picture of a bug, y’know, if I ever wanted too.
If I was going to spend the money on a new lens, the least I could do was get something that was vastly different to my 35mm so that I could try something new, but also had a few more options and strings to my bow. And so, the Canon 100mm f2.8 IS was added to my basket and arrived at my door. It was like an early Christmas day.
The first few pictures I took where… yes, okay, they where of a flower. With the 35mm, you have to stand quite far back to focus, but with this lens you can get right up and personal with the macro. I said ‘look how close up I can get 😲’ quite a few times, I’m pretty sure.
It’s so different from my 35mm. I love the photojournalistic feel of those images, and this lens is going to take some getting used to. However, all in all, I’m really happy with it.
I took it out for a bit of a spin photographing myself at the park. It’s SO. SHARP. My full body portraits look so different but in a great way.
This morning I took my fiance out to do something similar too…
It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can create with it. New kit is inspiring! Everytime I take an image I’m excited about what result I will get.
What’s your favourite lens? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear.