Pause for thought.
I was looking through my old photo albums...and by old I mean from four years ago when I first started exploring the world of digital photography. It may sound a little arrogant, but I can totally see growth in my work. Let me explain...
I received my Nikon D60 as a gift from my husbands mom almost 5 years ago, and thought she was completely insane for spending that kind of money on me! I will admit that I had been salivating over these new DSLR cameras at every turn but had never researched Canon vs Nikon vs Pentax etc. I had no clue what the differences were or why one might suit me better than the other, so my camera brand was chosen for me and a total fluke. She and my husband had plotted to get me this gift because they said they could see the potential in my talent and were essentially, throwing me in the deep end with it.
Five years is a long time to spend with one piece of equipment, especially in a world where technology evolves almost overnight, But again, I would have been happy to stay where I was - pleased with the quality of photograph my little D60 was providing me. (I should note I had updated my software to 2009 at this point!) And I was content - Until I met my now mentor and friend Mukesh Barmeda owner of Mindset Photography in Winnipeg. He uses Nikon equipment, but on a whole other level! I had the pleasure of working for him in his Real Estate photography business, and can honestly say I learned more in those 3 short weeks than you could ever imagine. Mukesh is a perfectionist, and produces a quality of work that is (in my humble opinion) unparalleled. I, for one, will never really understand the excitement he feels when he photographs properties (even the million dollar ones!) but he turns it into an excellent work of art that he takes pride in, He took my D60 and showed me how I could push it to its actual potential, and minimize my editing time too. Then he allowed me a chance to play with his Nikon D300s and totally ruined me for my D60! I wasn't in a place to afford a new updated camera, but I was beginning to see how much of a crutch it really was for my art. The standard kit lens ( Nikon 55 200mm VR Lens) was also limiting my abilities and starting to cause frustration in my work.
In the meantime, I updated my actual computer hardware - again, with the help of Mikesh. I upgraded to a faster processor, with specific capabilities catered to editing and storing images, since that would be its primary function for me. Most significant was my introduction to Lightroom 5.3 as my official editing software.
I also took the time to purchase some key studio equipment, namely lighting, a portrait lens (Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX), backdrops and props for all those studio shots you've seen lately. And finally, I took the plunge and set my D60 aside for an absolutely mind-blowing Nikon D7100.
I didn't get the kit lens, just the body - but the difference in the quality and precision of my photographs is absolutely noticeable and totally exciting. I really don't know how I functioned for so long with my D60 (which I still have by the way, its just now the family camera instead of my work horse). I'm not going to go into extensive detail (as this isn't an equipment review), but in case you haven't figured it out, this baby is going to be worth every pretty penny!
The point I guess is this: I am a Photographer. I have an excellent eye for detail and composition that I believe sets me apart from most. I enjoy working with people, and my bi-line is true to my work's mantra: I look to capture everyday moments forever. My own abilities haven't changed just because I have a super camera in my hands, but the level of excellence in the production of my work certainly has. I didn't appreciate my own talent before - I subjected it to the limitations of equipment and software based on a monetary limitation. But not anymore! If I am to justify what I charge for my work, and if I really believe I deserve to make a living from it, then I need to make sure I have the best tools available to do so. Because I want you, my clients and friends, to walk away pleased - not just with a product, but with the whole experience that I say I will provide you with.
So I will make a promise - to myself and to you all- that I will continue to learn, to keep developing my craft, to experiment with my art, and to ensure that I keep up with the ever changing industry that I am so thrilled to be a part of.
Thanks for being a part of my journey!
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Here are some of the highlights of my recent photography sessions.