Taking Pictures

31 May 2018

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Photography is one of my favourite activities. I got into it many years ago starting with a little point and shoot camera. I'd used photoshop at school when studying digital art and I'd been really into cinematography because I'd wanted to be a filmmaker. Photography was a natural next step. I loved taking pictures but I got so frustrated looking at the pictures I wanted to take and not knowing how to take them. So I bought a Canon 400D from a friend who was upgrading and took a short course.


Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

When I finished the short course I shot all the time and I only shot on manual. I started a 365 project and managed to take way more than the intended one photo a day. When I was on a backpacking tour around Europe on a tour of a building in Barcelona, I ran out of space on my CF card. I went to switch the cards over and got a camera error. To my horror, I had bent a CF pin! Fortunately, we went from Barcelona to Paris and from there on to London and Oxford, where I had a friend who worked in an electronics store. It was there that I was partnered with my current camera: a Canon 60D. I shoot usually with a 35mm, but for my birthday my best friend Liv gave me my next desired lens: a 17-55mm. 

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

I've wanted this lens for three reasons. Firstly, my sister Goldfields Girl wants a really specific style of blog photography and I haven't been able to capture it for her because I use a fixed lens. This new lens allows me to get the streetscapes she's always keen to have in the background. Secondly, it means that I can explore landscape photography, which is something I know very, very little about. Third, my boyfriend is a climber and this style of lens is what I would prefer to use when taking shots of him climbing. I nearly cried when Liv gave me the lens.

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

In order to get back into photography this year, I decided to start a 365 project again. I'm doing ok so far. My health has been a big challenge so some days I take multiple shots to make up for days when I haven't been well enough to take a photo. When I'm better I'm going to try and add a weekly self-portrait to that, because if there's one thing I'm terrible at, it's taking self-portraits. My camera has no ability to pair with a mobile device as a screen and while I can turn the screen on the camera itself around, without me wearing glasses, I can't see the turned screen from more than a short distance away. It also can't do bursts of pictures, as in multiple timed shots, and I've never got a shutter remote to work yet. All of these things are why I took so long to get a 'fashion' blog started. I ended up getting my sister to help me.

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

So when I began, I would coach other people to take the photos for me. This brought on a whole range of new frustrations. There's the coaching of people to see how to frame things so I don't have to give them detailed instructions (they always seemed to need detailed instructions). There's taking my camera off manual so that they don't have to think about what the camera needs to do (and then I had to think about what the camera was doing on an automatic setting to compensate for elements of the shot and that became just another thing in my mind when I was meant to be the subject). I'd find that people wouldn't notice if I had lipstick on my teeth or a scrunched up collar. They would not check the photo and it would be focussed on the background. I would have a weird thing going on with my hair. I'm not going to lie, it is brutally hard getting people take the photos when I'm directing the shoot. I am, essentially, the photographer, guiding someone on how to be my hands. I simply cannot be all things and plenty of times the only person I could rely on for pictures would end up causing drama. It has absolutely expanded my communication and negotiation skills as I've de-escalated tantrums, translated things from my head into easy to understand terms and rolled with it when the person behind the camera makes things complicated during a shoot. I have often ended up having to hope they take so many photos that I can choose a couple where the stars align and the picture looks good. It has gotten easier over the years as I'm better at describing what I need to my photographers/camera operators because I understand more what they're looking at and the people behind the camera have gotten so much better and translating what I want. I now work mostly with my mum, my sister and my best mate Liv. I still 100% edit all my photos (aside from times I have done collaborations with Pretty Flamingo Photography). Sometimes people ask to be my photographer and I just cannot bring myself to collaborate. It's a position of such trust and understanding that I don't know if I could let anyone else do it. It's hard enough trying to get work from my head into someone else's when they know me as well as my usual photographers do.

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

So because I'm always trying to show me as I am, I asked my mate Liv to work alongside me as I shot my sister Deneale (Goldfields Girl) and to take photos of me doing my thing. It was a great example of how much I trust her because I gave her some loose direction, we discussed light, and then she was away taking snaps of me while I worked. This would have to be one of the most low-key and informal shoots we've done recently. Liv is excellent at coming back to me consistently for feedback to ensure she's captured what I want. This particular skill was essential when I asked her to help me capture this particular vision I had for Mitchell Harris. It took us quite a few shots at the start of that shoot before we found our groove and were able to produce what I wanted. I'd give her feedback on framing and angles and she'd guide me to translate my pose to what she understood of my vision. Complicated, hey? This is why I find it hard to work with new people. Liv, D and mum all get me. The brief for this one on today's post was loads easier: 'take pics of me being a photographer'. It was nice because it gave Liv a chance to let her own photo style come through in the shots. She has a love of intricacy and gets focused on exquisite details, like the way the light hits my eye through the lens of the camera or the knot in my scarf. A testament to her eye for detail as an illustrator.

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Since I spend so much time editing pictures, I thought you might want a preview of the pictures I shot on my camera during this photoshoot. I thought my sister might have shared these shots by now so you could see them all but she is soooooooooo slow in releasing blog posts that I've had to do it before her. See below.

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

If you have any questions about my photography or editing, let me know in the comment section below and I'll do my best to answer them.

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

-L
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