Kenzie | Tween rainbow color session

My friend Kristin is a fellow photographer, and we often daydream about session ideas that are rolling around in our brains. Her daughter Kenzie loves all things rainbow, and Kristin had previously done a session with her on a light blue wall, but wanted to do an extra session with all different colors of painted walls. She loved my painted wall project from a couple summers ago, and so we set out with a new map and a timeline and made it happen!

We were able to find the 6 main color wheel colors — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple. We did have a few challenges in that it ended up being a bit chilly that evening, and the sun wasn’t always quite where we’d prefer for it to be. We love how the images turned out though, and we especially liked seeing the juxtaposition of my digital versions versus Kristin’s film versions.

Friday Fives | My Five Lenses

1) Nikon 50mm f1.4 prime — I probably use this lens most, and it’s the lens I took with me on vacation to Disney. It’s on my camera I’d say about 60% of a wedding day. It’s a great versatile lens that has that soft bokeh I love, it gets me close enough to the action for portraits, but I can also back up and get wider if needed (in most cases).

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2) Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 zoom — This wider angle lens comes in more handy for my business and commercial shoots — real estate, fitting into tight spaces, food, overhead flatlays, landscapes, etc.

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3) Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 II zoom — This lens is my go-to for sports, wedding ceremonies, and sometimes portraits! I also have a teleconverter that I use on it for football that doubles my zoom (but I lose a few stops of light too so I can only use it outside when it’s bright and sunny).

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4) Sigma 85mm f1.4 prime — This lens is a sweet portrait lens, but works best outside or in larger indoor spaces when I have room to get further away from my subject. The wide aperture gives me that beautiful bokeh and shallow depth of field that many photographers aim for, plus the compression of using a tighter crop. I love me some compression!! ;)

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5) Nikon 60mm f2.8 macro — I use my macro lens for ring shots, and sometimes closeups of food. There is a rare instance when I’ll use it for other things and if say I have it on my camera for some ring photos and I need to snap a quick portrait or candid, it will still do the job. And even though it stops down to 2.8, typically I shoot rings at a higher aperture around 4-5.6 so that you can see the full depth of the diamond or gemstone. Since it’s macro, you still get that bokeh-y closeup feel, but closing down the aperture still gives me the depth I want.

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So that’s it! I’ve had these lenses now for several years and am pretty happy with my arsenal. I don’t plan to change it unless I end up adding another lens or two for a tax write-off or just frivolity. :D If I were to add other lenses, my next choice would be a 35mm (maybe the Sigma art version?) and then possibly upgrade my 60mm macro to the Nikon 105mm (or an off-brand equivalent). With as little as I use the macro though, I don’t really see the need at this point!

Do you have any questions about any of the lenses or terminology I talked about in this post? Feel free to comment below to ask! I’m happy to answer questions about my equipment. Thanks for reading!

Laura + Bob | Downtown Champaign engagement session

Have I mentioned before that I love when I get the chance to photograph a sibling that I’ve photographed before?? I am truly honored that Bob + Laura (whose sister’s wedding I photographed a couple years ago) chose me to photograph their wedding! I still remember Bob offering to help me with my flash equipment when we were forced indoors while a storm rolled through that day. Laura emailed me a few months ago to ask about my services and availability, and we three had a lovely chat over some house-made chips at Harvest Market. I’m looking forward to their wedding at iHotel next May!

So, cute story — these two met at Destihl in downtown Champaign so that’s where we decided to meet up that evening. We made sure to get a few photos with the sign in the background, ad the lovely pink trees were still blooming so we took advantage of those too. It was a gorgeous evening out, so we enjoyed a lovely stroll around downtown and then West Side Park to round out the session. We got so many cute images — it was hard to narrow them down for this blog post! I especially love the candid ones of them laughing!! <3