Another Monday. Thank you for the comments last week when I asked what topics you all might want to hear about on Toast Talk—it was helpful to get some feedback! I’m hoping to discuss topics like dressing for work, stress management (or mismanagement?), favorite Dallas spots, trip and traveling advice, newbie blogger tips, and a bit about how we manage our collaborations. Sally and I will also try to do weekly “work-wear” posts starting in the fall when she is back at school full time. Both of us work in pretty relaxed environments but we do have some tricks and tips to dressing each day so we don’t get sick of our clothes and we still look appropriate!
A big question, and one that I continue to receive lots of emails and comments about, is about our photography on the blog. It is SO freaking complimentary to be asked about our equipment and techniques, I really cannot even tell you how happy it makes me feel that you all admire the personal shots we put up. Thank you! The truth is, we are both novices when it comes to photography. Both Sally and I have taken classes (I took a full day at Spot Studio and she at Beaux Arts) and we both found this book to be really helpful—but so much of what we’ve learned has come from practice and trial and error. And a lot of what you see happens when we edit the photos in Photoshop. Under our “Facts” Tab you can read more about our equipment and find a link to this Toast Talk post that was all about being a wanna-be photog.
Last September I upgraded to a Canon 60D body and a 50mm 1.4 lens… I passed down my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel T3i, to Sally, along with my 50mm 1.8 lens to Sally. I’ve really, really enjoyed the 60D (it was a big jump from the Rebel and it takes great pictures) but as I’ve been taking more and more photos for the blog, I am thinking about upgrading to a new full-body EOS that will only furthur improve my images. This means I need to find a new home for my 60D and I would love to sell it to a reader in need of a great camera. Any takers? You will get everything you see here, including the original box the camera came in. The camera is in perfect, like-new condition (it’s been my baby for the past 11 months and I’ve taken excellent care of it!) and I will really miss it when it’s gone. If anyone is interested, please email me to talk pricing!
The body of a camera definitely determines the quality of the photos you take but most/all photogs will tell you that the secret sauce comes from what lens you have. All my initial research and inquires about lenses resulted in the same advice: get a 50mm lens. Compared to most, they’re relatively inexpensive (in the world of lenses), light weight, and give you gorgeous depth of field without much effort. I started out with a 50mm 1.8 but got a 50mm 1.4 when I got the 60D. I’ll be sticking with the 1.4 with the new body I end up getting because I think it still serves as a versatile lens for what I need (portraits, lifestyle shots, etc.). I’d highly recommend bypassing getting a camera body with the “kit lens” (the lens the camera comes with) and buy the body + a 50mm or another lens that fits your needs. I think I’ve used the kit lens that came with my Rebel twice in the past 2.5 years (re: not a good bang for the buck).
I mentioned editing a little bit and it’s a huge part of how most, if not all, photographers get pretty photos. Right now we use Photoshop for edits and the process/steps we use is too helter-skelter to do a quick walk through of (and it really depends on each image). It takes a loooong time to edit (I’m slow) and we’ve been talking about buying a trial of Adobe Lightoom to see if we like it better for editing… We’ve been told that it’s much more intuitive and faster for editing purposes. If anyone uses it and prefers it to Photoshop and/or has great resources for learning the program please let us know!
What else? Oh yeah, cameras are expensive. It hurts shelling out a lot of money for the equipment but in the long run I really believe that it pays off. If I think of any of my favorite blogs and why I love to read them what comes to mind is, “content, photography, and originality.” Great photos can be a gateway to creating original content. Buying good equipment, learning how to use it, practicing (a lot), editing, etc.; it’s not an overnight process but the investment will probably be well worth it!
It cracks me up that I’m even posting about this because I am so critical of my own skill level and photographs. I constantly stalk photographers for tips and tricks and I always want to improve and hardly ever feel satisfied with my personal results. But I love learning and I’m really passionate about improving and making photography a life-long skill! Leave a comment if there was anything specific you wanted to know photog wise and I’ll add amendments to the post (: And please email if you’re interested in making my sweet Canon 60D yours!
**Editor Update: My camera has officially been sold! Thank you to all that emailed —I can’t thank you guys enough for inquiring and showing interest in helping me out. Excited to send my 60D to a loving new owner…
(Image via Lovely Pepa)