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FAQ for Photographers

A big part of me feels like a bit of a doofus for making this page, but I actually do get enough emails from other photogs and photogs-to-be to warrant it. I love being able to answer your questions, but I figured this page would cut down on a lot of the more basic stuff I get asked.

What kind of camera do you use?
I have a Nikon D3, and a D200 as my backup. I love the full frame of the D3, and the high ISOs kick some major bootie.

What are your favorite lenses?
Right now I’m digging my Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8. I had the Sigma version, and it was a good lens, but the Nikkor is an AMAZING lens. I can literally see a difference in my photography since getting it.
I also like my 85 1.4 and my 50 1.4. I can’t emphasize enough how important good glass is. As a first lens, I always recommend a 50mm. Unless you are full frame, and then you want to go for an 85.
For outdoor portraits, I love my 70-200mm.

Do you shoot in manual?
I sure do. I have been known to go to AV mode when shooting family stuff, but for my client sessions I need the control that manual gives me. I do however, use auto focus. I move my focus points around in camera, and choose one that is on the eyes (or eye closest to me). I do flip it to manual focus once in awhile, if my AF is being finicky and starting to embarrass me with its whizzing.

Do you use actions?
99% of my post-processing work is done within Adobe Camera Raw. I then bring it into Photoshop (CS4) and do any healing or tweaks that need to be done. For any extra oomph, I almost exclusively use Totally Rad’s Rad Lab.

What lighting do you use?
I’m all natural, baby. It’s tough in Calgary though, where we have a lot of cold and dreary days over our very long winter. That’s where the D3 comes in handy. I do have some lights, and I do use them on occasion. I have an Alien Bee AB800 and a Nikon SB800.I also occasionally bust out the Alien Bee ringlight or my Westcott Spiderlite. For some great lighting techniques, try the One Light Workshop dvd. Zach Arias is a genius with light.

Can I come with you on a session?
I really wouldn’t mind it, but clients pay for my undivided attention. I can’t be shortchanging them by instructing someone else at the same time.

Do you do workshops or mentoring?
I’ve done both and I can honestly say it’s not my thing. I’m a grower, not a shower. Feel free to email me with any questions you have and I’d be happy to help. I may even post them on the blog!

  • JamieWinquist - Hi Brandy,
    I am just starting out in photography in Medicine Hat, and loving it so far! I’ve been going to lots of websites, and yours stood out to me the most. I LOVE the fresh bright use of colors. They are so vibrant. I have a couple questions if you have time to answer them.

    1.Can you buy different backdrops or do you just use wallpaper or paint on a certain textured wall?

    2. I am using a Canon right now (just the Rebel as my first Camera) and was hoping to move to the Canon 5D (eventually) -Do you know how this compares to your Nikon? I love what your camera can do,what are your thoughts?

    Thank you so much. I would love to book a session with you sometime when I’m in Calgary, as I have 3 sisters there!

    Sincerely,
    Jamie

  • Toni Raper - I love these kind of pages so! Thanks for sharing, I’m going to be following you alot, you seem cool and your images rock!x

  • Will Hosier - Hello

    I noticed after reading through the content on your site, which I love, that you may be looking for employee’s.

    I am a graphic designer and communications professional, who does semi-pro photography on the side. I am not interested in getting a full time photo job with you, but I am interested in the “other” positions you may be looking for. If you have a need for a designer, computer guru, type of person, I would be interested in discussing your needs further.

    Thank you for your time.
    Will Hosier

  • Louise Jolley - Hi Brandy
    I came across your website whilst mooching through Moo’s website to get inspiration for some stickers.
    Your website is absolutely gorgeous!
    I am a photographer based in the UK, spending my week days photographing products and my weekends photographing children, which I absolutely love.
    This experience is quite new, although I have been a photographer for 15 years and it has it’s challanges.
    I use a Nikon, Itty Bitty actions and have the Zac Arias DVD, suffer from the dark dreary days of the English winter but I think that’s where the similarities stop. Your work is wonderful and is something for me to aspire to.

    So glad I stumbled across your website.
    Kind regards
    Louise

  • Bridget O Neill - Hi Brandy,

    I was just wondering if you are still looking for an office manager/admin person? I have over 10 years experience in office administration and at my last position I was the senior Accounts and Office Administrator for a medium sized company here in Calgary. I have a passion for photography and am looking to work in an environment that is more in the field of my passion. I would be happy to send you my resume if you have any positions available.

    Love your work!

    Kind Regards,

    Bridget O Neill

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