Mar 27, 2012

Canon 35mm/1.4 L Lens Rental {Review}

As you might know, I rented a LENS this weekend! I thought I'd share my review of the entire process...sorry if it's a little boring!

I decided to rent the Canon 35mm/1.4 L lens on Wednesday of last week because I had a few photo-shoots this weekend that I wanted to try them out on (planning on sharing them later this week!). After looking around a bit, I finally decided to order from Lens Pro To Go since I get a 10% Clickin' Moms discount (by the way, if you're into photography you should TOTALLY join CM because

As I was ordering, I had a few questions regarding shipping, so I called Lens Pro To Go and immediately was talking to the nicest man, who answered all my questions and even gave me some insight as to how this lens would work on my 60D, which is a crop-sensored camera. After I got off the phone, I ordered the lens and was at ease knowing it would be able to get to me by Friday.

Friday morning, just as promised, my lens arrived! I tore into the package and got that sucker on my camera right away and started shooting! I noticed the lens was a little different than my 50mm/1.8, but figured it was just me getting used to it. During lunch, I took the camera with me to look at wedding rentals and that's when it hit me that something.was.wrong. The camera was super blurry on the edges and I knew that I wasn't moving or doing anything that should make it do that!

{Notice how the centers of each picture above is clear and in focus, while the outer edges seem to be moving? Strange!}

After lunch, I uploaded some of the problem pictures to the Clickin' Moms forum to see what the problem the lens? I immediately got responses that yes, the lens was in fact messed up. It's so awesome to have a community of photographers to answer stupid questions like that. But their answer wasn't exactly good fact, talk about a bummer! So back to the phone I went, to talk to the pros at Lens Pro To Go. They were so nice, and didn't even ask me to prove to them that the lens was in fact messed up. In fact, they just asked that I ship it back (shipping back is already paid for when you order) and they went ahead and overnighted me a new lens in the meantime -- which was awesome because I was guaranteed to get it before any of my scheduled photo-shoots!

The new lens came in early Saturday morning and it was MUCH better than the first one! I was so relieved! I pretty much kept it on my camera all weekend for all of my shoots! So here's a review of the actual lens that worked!

• the 35mm/1.4L is a heavy lens, but in the good kind of way, unlike my flimsy 50mm/1.8. I knew it was substantial and sturdy!
• with the 35mm, I was able to "back up" without actually moving, since it is a wider-angled lens than my 50mm. This allowed me to get more stuff in the shots without being effected by distance restrictions. For example, I was able to do a few "above" shots without having to get on a ladder! Love this picture!

• the 35mm has a wider aperture, which means the camera opens up to let more light in. It also increases that buttery bokeh that people LOVE so I was really excited about that.

• the price tag is the BIGGEST con to the 35mm/1.4L lens. If I were to buy it, I'd be about $1,400 poorer than I am right now. That's a lot of babysitting!
• the 35mm is sharp, but I didn't notice a HUGE difference...however, I haven't edited all of my pictures so this could just be that I didn't notice as much in-camera.

Okay, stay tuned because I want to share some pictures from one of my photo-shoots either Wednesday or Thursday! Come back and see!

Mar 23, 2012

Guess What?

I rented this baby for the weekend.

Full report on Monday.

Mar 21, 2012

Our Engagement Pictures!

Y'all, remember when John and I went to Texas to see Radiohead? Well, if so, you might remember that we also stopped by Galveston, TX to take our engagement pictures with our photographer, Taylor Lord. She lives there and since we were in the area, we just decided it would be easier to do that than to have her come all the way to Little Rock to do them.

Well, let's just say one thing: I totally have a crush on this girl. Y'all, she is amazing. Like that smile-real-big-and-make-you-want-to-be-her-best-friend amazing. Plus she's got some mad photography skillz. That's right. With a z. Taylor must be the brightest, funnest, most laid-back girl in the universe and I had a total blast with her. I'm not even getting paid to say that {nudge nudge, Taylor....}

Anyway, we got our pictures back yesterday and I've been going crazy over them! I love them all! So I thought I'd share some of my favorites. But every single one is my favorite so sorry for the overload. :)


All photo credit goes to Taylor Lord of Taylor Lord Photography. To see even more, check out her blog.

I feel so inspired now. It is just so breath-taking! This weekend I've got a few of my own photo-shoots (my parents and my sister) and I am pumped about them! I hope I do a good job and I'm hoping to take some of the things I learned from Taylor and bring them into my own style. Those pics will be on the blog next week so come back then!

Thanks again Taylor! I cannot WAIT to see you in July! It's right around the corner!

Mar 20, 2012

We're Getting Married. For Real.

Last night I totally had an AH-HA moment. John and I have been going to marriage counseling at his church in preparation for our big day for the past few weeks. It's been really great -- laid back and fun, with us basically just discussing our relationship: how we met, how we fell in love, how we decided it was time to tie the knot...all that good stuff.

Anyway, last night our pastor decided to talk about the actual ceremony. We went over a typical Presbyterian marriage ceremony and talked about the different decisions we would need to make. Like what scripture we want read, who we want to read it, what songs we'll do, etc. After all of that our pastor took us into the sanctuary and as I stood at the front of the church, facing John, it just hit me.

We're doing this. We are getting married and it's just around the corner. 

Y'all, my heart was so happy. Literally jumping as I thought about how BIG of a moment this is all leading up to.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share that since I haven't updated in a while. I know you're getting antsy. I have lots of blog posts in my head, but I'll be posting those next week. Hold your horses :)

Oh, and our engagement pictures are gonna be ready this week, so have no fear -- I'll be sharing them with you too!

Happy Tuesday!

Mar 14, 2012

New Actions

This is a post mainly about photography so if you're not really interested, I'd turn back now. :)

I bought the Film Solution Actions last night from Red Leaf Boutique and I am so pumped about them! They are sah-weet! I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite from the action set on a picture of John from Christmas morning (right after he opened the iPad I gifted him). I'm sure this photo isn't the greatest, since it was taken inside my dark apartment, but whatever....I don't think I've shared this image yet, which is why I chose it to play around with some of the actions.

I wrote what action I played on each image, but after I shrunk it down to web it turned out itty bitty so pardon if you can't even read them. I'll interpret at the bottom.

Here are the color options I was totally diggin' from this new action set. Note that they're all super subtle, but up close, they each bring out their own amazing qualities in the image.

From left to right: COLOR | 400 WASHED, COLOR | 800 WASHED, COLOR TINT | TARNISHED GOLD, COLOR TINT | COOL, COLOR MATTE, COLOR MATTE | SOFT. All images have the grain set to 10% opacity. All other settings in the action were kept the same. 

And some black and whites....

From left to right: B&W | 400, B&W | 3200, B&W MATTE | DARK, B&W | HIGH CONTRAST. All images have the grain set to 10% opacity. All other settings in the action were kept the same.

I think my favorite color edit is the COLOR 400 | WASHED:

My favorite b&w has got to be B&W MATTE | DARK:

Anyway, just thought I'd share! Have a happy Wednesday!

Mar 8, 2012

Photography Bug!

After taking my engagement photos last weekend with the amazing Taylor Lord (who I have a little crush on), I started feeling...different. It was like my body was all a'tingle and I couldn't quite put my finger on why. I thought it must surely be the excitement of the day, the happy feelings that Taylor instilled into John and me, the lovey-dovey thoughts running around in my head about how lucky I am to have landed such a great guy. Yep -- all of those things were totally making my body want to dance around a little bit. But there was something else that was giving me the shivers.

It was the photography bug. I've come down with it, and it's hittin' me hard.

Yep, with the sun staying up a big longer each day, my photography bug is back and I'm so ready for action! I want to get out there and take some pictures! I really am wanting to try my hand at some engagement shots (and maybe find a photographer down the road who would maybe.possibly.crossmyfingers let me second shoot a wedding. How freaking cool would that be?) So this is me asking for your help. Do you know anyone who wants some pictures taken?

Last year I was able to do a few photo shoots with some wonderful families for Christmas cards and it was so much fun! And then a few things happened that put a little damper on my enthusiasm. One, daylight savings time took my sunshine away from me. Two, I got engaged and let's just say I got a little bit busy with that. Three, throw in the holidays and things just got crazy.

So do you know someone who needs engagement pictures? Family pictures? Senior pictures? Maternity/boudoir/baby pictures? Cause if you do, tell them about me. Give them my info and I will give them a good deal :) Promise.

Alrighty. That's really all. I am so excited to see what I can learn this year! Can't wait to take your pictures :)


I also wanted to tell you all that I have a photography tutorial featured today on I Heart Faces! Check it out if you want to read a little bit about how to take pictures from your pet's perspective!

Mar 7, 2012

One Two Three

This past weekend, John and I went to one photo-shoot, two Radiohead concerts and three cities in Texas. Yup. It was a big weekend for us. And it was superfun. One word.

It all started a few months ago when Radiohead put out their new album. John is a huge fan of Radiohead and he'd been telling me for years that he wanted us to see them if they ever went on tour again. With their new album, he knew the time had finally come -- and when they announced that they'd be going on tour shortly after, let's just say he was a wee bit excited. And when John is excited, he buys tickets to not one, but two concerts. Yep, he's crazy.

So on Saturday, we hopped on a flight to Houston to catch concert #1. It was a pretty hectic day and by the time we landed and checked into our hotel we only had time to catch a quick bite to eat before getting in the line for General Admission (we had standing-room-only spots). I don't want to bore you with what we did for the next 6 hours (stood in line, got into the arena, stood up some more, watched the opening act, kept standing, danced around for 2.5 hours to Radiohead, stood in line to leave, walked home...) but two things I remember: the first is that Radiohead kind of rocks. I loved it. The second is that my feet have hurt that much ONCE, and it was after walking around for DAYS in Rome. It was intense.

Sunday morning we woke up bright and early to get ready for our engagement pictures with Taylor Lord. I went ahead and did my hair in Houston and then we got into our rental car and drove down to Galveston, Texas, where she lives. We got there a couple hours early so we took a leisurely lunch break and then of course spent the next hour scrambling around our hotel room to try to get ready on time. Which we failed to do -- we were 6 minutes late. Gah!!!

Taking our pictures with Taylor was I pretty much have loved her from the moment I saw her work about six months ago, but actually meeting the face just assured myself that I 110% made the best decision when I hired her. She is SO hilarious and easy-going -- exactly the kind of photographer I wanted. John and I laughed for probably 90% of the time she was taking our pictures and it just felt so awesome!! I'll share the pics with you guys when I get them back -- it'll be about 2 weeks. Can't wait!

After our shoot we headed to get dinner again and then went to our hotel to crash for the night. Getting your picture taken can be exhausting! And after a good 8-hour nap, we were back up and on the road again -- this time to Dallas for concert #2.

Of course, we had to stop for some snacks along the way. Dippin' Dots was an obvious choice.

Then it was back on the road to get to Dallas, i.e. Radiohead. And let me tell you. Radiohead for the second time was so much better than Radiohead the first time. Or maybe it was just that we had seats this time? Regardless, the concert was ah-may-zing! We danced the night away!

After the concert, John and I finally got back to our hotel around midnight and got to sleepin' around 12:30. A short three-and-a-half hours later, we were up again to catch our 6:10 flight back to Little Rock. And after we dropped off the rental car, checked in at the airport, got through security and scarfed down our breakfast it was time to board. I'm terrified of flying, but luckily our hour-long flight was pretty easy. John held my hand anyway, though. :)

And that's the story of our weekend getaway to Texas. It was SO fun -- can't wait until our next trip -- the HONEYMOON!!! WHAAAAAAAAA