Crushing photos


[Image from google : I searched destroyed DSLR]

My camera is with me literally everywhere I go. I have it in my back pack in a handmade camera sleeve I fashioned from old camera bags and inserts. Therefore I have the opportunity to take a lot of photos and I have learned my way around my second hand D7000 and the kit lenses. But, no matter how many photos I take I am never happy with the results. Something is always off, either I can’t get the background to blowout, the lighting is not optimal or something else like dust is on the sensor and ruins the shoot.


However, every once in a while you can have a magical shoot. This is a time where everything goes right, the zoom actually works, the models behaved and the weather was perfect. Today I am going to write about my perfect day and how everything worked out for the best, even if it wasn’t planned.


It was a bright day, the sun was shining and the wind was light and cool. I had spent the morning splitting my time between working in the rice fields and cleaning the dust from all the elements on my camera from a very unsuccessful and windy trip to take pictures from the top of a mountain of the sun rise. Once I finished it was finally time to go off to the zoo where mixed race families had gathered for a fun time out (my daughter is HAFU which means half breed in Japanese).


I spent the day playing with the kids and taking snap shots until everyone finally settled down in the cool polar bear area. This is where everything really began to come together. I put my camera into auto and took a shot, this is a trick I learned from Peter Mckinnon on Youtube and then I used the histogram and settings to fine tune my shots. It was right at the time where I got the settings up that the bear jumped in and the kids were in the perfect position.


Once we got out of the polar bear exhibit the kids were just settling down and golden hour was rolling in. I pulled out my long zoom lens and I was able to get some good portrait shots of the kids as they enjoyed snacks in the outside food court. Finally all the families got together and I was able to use a cheap travel tripod I got the day before to take group photos before everyone went home. In the end everyone enjoyed the photos I took and I even impressed myself.


I took a lot from this day, I had a lot of great photos for my friends and word of mouth so that someday I can maybe land a few clients. I also got a renewed sense of motivation and confidence in my photography skills. Even with kit lenses I was able to pull off some amazing shots and while I may not win any prizes for the shots or get a NIKE deal because of them I did create memories in a creative, crisp and in focus way. In the end creating lasting memories for the people you are taking photos for is more important that any deal because those memories will last a lifetime, everyone will remember that day, and when friends ask who took the photo my name will always be attached.


What is the take away from this experience, besides surprising myself with better than normal quality photos? No matter what equipment you have – be it an I-phone, Android, Nikon, Cannon, Fuji Film or anything – else you can have off days and magical days, you can take snapshots or photos. If you know how to use your equipment you can crush your photo game and impress everyone with your photos. Even if not every photo is a winner some will capture the moment in a good and creative way. As Chase Jarvis said: “The best camera is the one you have with you.”


My first venue experience

29478a7ce63cb3bcea1a71d15bb331dfIn my never ending journey to make money through my hobby, photography, I am always thrilled when I get the chance to take photos in different styles and venues. I live in Japan and part of living in a Japanese community is taking part in the system. Japanese people are very group orientated and when you live in a community, especially a neighborhood it is almost expected that you take part in the events. So after much reluctance I was forced into the local community organization board.


A few weeks ago we had our first community event. The event took place in a local elementary school pool where students would be given the chance to try and catch trout by hand (*remember this is Japan, the same animal rights don’t apply here that Americans subscribe to. I know many out there in the internet might get too riled up about this, but remember this is a different culture). The community organizers found out that I liked to take photos so when I arrived I was asked to take photos of the event.


This change my sour mood into a really good mood, because at least I would be doing what I like to do. So I took out my Nikon D7000 with my 70-200 lens and I got a Nikon D3300 with an 18-55mm lens from the event organizers. I was really impressed with the 18-55mm lens because I had never used one before and with that I was able to get some really great shots of the venue as well as some great shots of the kid’s catches.


During the event I was able to walk around with both cameras strapped to my neck and found it really easy to take photos and everyone was having so much fun it was east to get some snapshots, photos and administration photos, too. I even jumped into the pool and had a fun time trying to avoid getting splashed while at the same time get some good action shots. While jumping into the pool with close to $2,000 USD was probably not the best idea I came out with some great shots.


The only down side to doing an even like this, however, was that I didn7t make any money off of the event. Also, out of the 400 some odd photos I took only about 10 were used on the website as well as a local neighborhood newspaper. However, I did get great comments about the photos and was even compared to the professional photographer from the newspaper who was there.


All in all this was a great event and I am glad that I go the opportunity to go and take photos. Even though I didn’t get paid, I did meet many people and was able to get my pictures posted on community websites and newspapers. Who knows this might just be the boost I need to get recognized and possibly get clients and make money on the side. Here’s hoping.


Here’s the link to the page with my photos:


Thanks for reading, I would love to hear from you so if you have any questions or comments… Or you want to hire me please feel free to leave a comment or contact me.