Aug
31
Engagements

Seth & Bethy's Engagement Shoot


Saturday night I met up with Seth and Bethy for their engagement shoot at Papago Park in Phoenix. These two enjoy hiking and like the desert landscape so we thought it would be a perfect location. It was 111 degrees outside (Eek!) but these two were total troopers and had so much fun with it. Here are some of my favorite shots!





Seth is a total HOOT. Both of them are really. I was cracking up most of the time because they are just so fun and goofy together. Seth even came up with a few poses of his own that I thought were pure brilliance:






I have no idea what's going on here, but I LIKE IT.


Bethy is going to make a gorgeous bride!



Can't wait for the wedding you two! Thanks for a super-fun shoot!


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Aug
30
News!

goodbye Peter


I can't believe this but only 3 weeks after photographing this cute, dear family, I have to report that Peter went to be with Jesus on Friday. It all happened unbelievably fast and I'm in shock that he's gone.

Thank you all SO much for your many prayers you have lifted up on Peter, Pati, Colin, Julia and Alissa's behalf. I was able to sit with Pati just hours after Peter passed and the faith that continued to ooze from her was such a testament to her strength as well as the power of prayer in carrying her through such a difficult and heart-wrenching experience. I know she feels that the Lord is carrying her through this time but I'm sure she would covet any prayers that you would continue to lift for her and her children. Peter lived a life that impacted so many and his passing leaves a hole in many hearts.

If you know this dear family and are interested in attending any services in celebration of Peter's life, everyone is welcome:

Wednesday, September 2 at 10:00 am
Memorial Service
Grace Chapel Foursquare Church
8524 E. Thomas Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
480.946.3464

Cemetery Service
Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery
10940 E. Chandler Heights Road
Chandler, AZ 85248
480.895.9232

Reception -- Immediately following the Cemetery Service
The Springs church (the sign on the building says Desert Springs)
6135 W. Detroit Street
Chandler, AZ 85226
480.785.1850


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Aug
28
For Photographers

f.a.q. -- favorite lens


I often get asked what my favorite lens is. Dixie and I both agree it's the Canon 50mm 1.2! I bought this lens back in April and since then I rarely take it off my camera. It has a price point of $1,600 and is worth every penny. Before I bought this lens, my favorite was the 50mm 1.4 which has a price point of $400.

The 50mm lenses are my favorite because they are the most versatile and I can achieve SUCH a shallow depth of field with them. I'm a big believer in changing lenses to work well in different settings so I change often, but I find that I go to my 50mm the most because it works well in many different scenarios. I use it during preparation time, for portraits -- individual, couple & group, during the ceremony and to get detail shots during the reception. So throughout the wedding day I'm consistently going back to this lens.

I'm also a big fan of shallow depth of field. So many photographers I talk to are scared to open up their lenses to their widest potential because they're worried their focus will be off and the shot will be blurry. But if you spend the money on good lenses, why not use them to their full potential? Don't be afraid to shoot wide open. Use the back button focus technique and you'll find that you can be very accurate with your focus. Also keep in mind that depth of field is determined not just by the aperture setting, but also by your focal length and camera to subject distance. So your depth of field is extended at the same aperture when you shorten your focal length or increase your camera to subject distance. When using the 50mm you can't change your focal length but you can keep in mind that the further away your subject is, the larger your depth of field is going to be. So don't be afraid to shoot wide open!! You have to be most careful with your focus selection when you are in close proximity to your subject.

I'm going to share some of my favorite images I've shot in the last few months with you. All of these photos were shot with my 50mm 1.2 wide open at 1.2.

In this first one check out the quality of the veil as it wraps around the bride's arm and how her right hand is out of focus. My focus point was locked on her eye and that's all I cared about. I just love the etherial quality of this image and shooting at 1.2 is what achieved it:


I'm not afraid to shoot photos with multiple people in them at 1.2. And look at the window in the background. The look of it and the quality of the light coming in is something that I couldn't get with the 1.4 previously.


Detail shots are of course amazing with the 50 1.2:



And some portraits shot at 1.2:






Love this one:


And in my bravest moments I also shoot images with the subject moving at 1.2 (back-button focus tracking is key here):


Just for comparison, here's a shot I took with my 50mm 1.4 at 1.4 -- still amazingly beautiful.


If you absolutely can't afford the 50 1.2, at least have the 1.4 in your arsenal. It's an amazing lens for the money. But If you can afford it, you'll be thrilled with the 1.2. The image quality is beyond amazing. And if you have awesome lenses with super-low apertures -- USE THEM AT SUPER-LOW APERTURES. Sorry, didn't mean to yell. Just don't be afraid, k?

Yep, that's what I think! :)


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MJ2Day


Aug
27
News!

only 4 spots left!


My next MJ 2 Day workshop is quickly approaching-- October 26th & 27th -- and there are only 4 spots left! I'm so excited about those who have signed up so far--looks like it's going to be another great group. This workshop is going to be packed full of learning-goodness so if you've been on the fence, now is the time to take the leap and sign up! And for those of you who haven't seen how cool the last workshop was, here's a fun video for your viewing pleasure:



Click here to find out all the details and register!


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MJ's Camera Bag


Aug
26
News!

vote for me to go to antarctica!


One of my blog readers sent this opportunity my way thinking it would be right up my alley and she's right! (Thanks for thinking of me!) Quark Expeditions is giving away a cruise to Antarctica to the person who gets the most votes. The winner in turn blogs about their trip. HOW COOL IS THAT!?

If you enjoyed my photos from Africa, imagine how fun it would be to follow along as I travel to Antarctica!

Here's the catch though. I'm entering the contest a bit late in the game. The voting closes on September 30th and the guy in the lead has nearly 5,000 votes. I currently have 1. BUT! We have 6 weeks to catch up and I know my faithful blog readers will help me out! Click here to vote. You have to register and then go to your email and confirm your email address. If you have more than one email address you could possibly vote extra. And if you know of any other ways to drum up some votes I would SOOOO appreciate it. Thanks guys!

You never know....it doesn't hurt to try!!


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