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Friday, January 15, 2010

Q&A Friday

So, as I mentioned, I get asked questions by a lot of different people, and often times they are the same questions. I figured it would be good to start answering some of them on the blog. They may be from a client's perspective, or from a photographer just getting started. I'll try to keep up on this weekly, so make sure to submit your questions to me at joannataylorphotography at gmail dot com

1. What kind of camera do you have? What other gear do you have? What do you recommend I start out with (should I go with something basic or something top of the line?)
I get asked this question frequently. While there is no RIGHT answer here, I'll tell you how I started out and where I went from there. I bought a Pentax K100D when I started out. Why? Well, it's simple really. Mr. Taylor used to shoot film with a Pentax camera and still had several lenses. I'm the type of person that picks up a 'hobby' for a couple of weeks and then drops it because I get bored. Although I'd always been interested in photography, and had even taken some film classes, I wasn't sure if it was something I'd end up bored with in the long run and didn't want to waste my (husband's) money....so I bought a Pentax. Luckily for me, I realized that I'd finally found what I loved to do. And I picked it up relatively well, and had a bit of a knack for it. So I used my Pentax for about 9 months when I realized I needed a different type of camera for the type of shooting I was doing, and the goals I was making for myself. So I researched and finally decided to go with the Canon line of cameras. Currently I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark ii with a Canon 5D as a backup. I also own three lenses that I love. The Canon 50mm 1.4 (an excellent portrait lens, and one I'd suggest to anyone starting out), a Canon 24-105 4.0L, and a Canon 70-200 2.8L. I also own various lighting equipment that I use when necessary.
I'd suggest you start out with a basic camera and learn it inside and out. The camera does not make you a good photographer. You make the camera work for you, not the other way around.

2. Do you use actions?
I'm a firm believer that with anything, you shouldn't use shortcuts until you know the long way around. This goes for processing images too. Once you know HOW to get the desired affect, I say go for it! There's no reason to take numerous steps to processing an image if you can save yourself time. But again, you should know WHY you are using the action, not just because you don't know what you are doing and it makes your image look "cool." I use one action I love and have created my own for the way that I process my images. I know what I want an image to look like and do what I can to save myself time.

3. How do you get your images to look like they do? They are so bright and soft, yet so clear!
I do my best to make sure that the image comes SOOC (straight out of the camera) looking as close to perfect as possible. This means I have good exposure and good focus. This helps me to have the best pallet for post processing as possible.

Next week I will share some post processing tips with you, to show you my SOOC images and what I do to post process them. If you have any questions, send them my way!


And off topic, but LADIES, if you are looking for a great Valentine's gift for your man, contact me. I am offering some tasteful boudoir mini-sessions with my business partner next weekend! You don't want to miss out. You will be pampered by hair and makeup artists and look absolutely amazing.

2 comments:

Mandi said...

Oooh good info, girlfriend. Here's my question (oh please please pick me for next Friday!): why is it advantageous to shoot in full manual mode? How does this help you? How come I can't just pick my own aperture and let the camera decide my shutter's speed (aside from bumping up my ISO when needed)?

Also, my (worthless) thought on actions. Playing with actions kinda helped me learn a lot about the power of photoshop, and how layers work. I totally agree with your point but it was really cool to run one, and go "Oh! So that's what that does! I can do that all by meself!" ;)

Joanna Taylor said...

Thanks for the question Mandi!

And you are right...sometimes people learn by seeing, and reverse engineering! I think the point is that you are learning and understanding the why's. You know? That way you know when to apply the logic! :)