Catch Me if You Can

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This is another picture from our week at the Oshkosh Pathfinder Camporee. When the kids had free time, they enjoyed playing on this hill right by our campsite–which also happened to be a great location for pictures. When the kids started tossing the football, we decided we wanted to catch it in the air. To accomplish this, we teamed up. I watched for when the ball would be thrown and indicated that timing to Rob, who had his eye to the viewfinder and finger on the trigger ready to catch this moment.

When the Sun Shines

We just returned from a week of camping with about 37,000 young people. And though we were greeted with mud (our bus got stuck on the way to the campsite) and left in a downpour, the days in-between were nice.

Rob was shooting pictures from morning ’til night for a souvenir book we’ll be putting together. It was fun to see how he worked with the different lighting throughout the day.

Among my favorite photos, are these pictures Rob took during the evening meeting when he noticed that the setting sun was creating a golden shimmer in one of our young people’s hair.

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The In-Between Story

If you haven’t already listened to the Photography Tips HQ podcast featuring Futcher Fotos, check it out here: pthq-podcast-episode-13

Interviewing for this podcast was both exciting and nerve-wracking. And, of course, as soon as the interview was over, our minds were filled with things we should have said. Nevertheless, listening to it again several weeks after the actual interview, I found myself becoming re-inspired as we move forward with our business ventures.

In this blog, however, I’d like to share a bit of the in-between story that I left out as I was being asked about my photography background. The story I told in the interview took me straight from having a less-than-successful photography class experience to helping my husband start a photography business. There’s more than 20 years in between those two parts of the story, and I did have a couple experiences during that time that encouraged me in the direction of photography. As Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story.

After graduating from college, I went to work in the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, in a building that housed more than 800 employees. Shortly after joining (when I still barely knew anybody), I was asked if I wanted to photograph the employee picnic. Not being particularly comfortable mingling with strangers but still wanting to attend and have a chance to get to know people, I was happy to have a role that would keep me occupied without feeling socially awkward.

I particularly enjoyed photographing the kids at the picnic, and when the pictures were developed, there were a couple pictures I chose for the employee newsletter. One was of a girl jumping through a puddle, and the other–which I particularly loved–was of two sisters with balloon hats eating cotton candy with the help of their grandmother. The picture was so colorful that I almost hated using it in a black-and-white publication. Nevertheless, I ran both of those pictures and got some nice feedback–particularly from one coworker who felt I should enter them in a photography contest. Still feeling I was an inadequate photographer after my class experience, I shrugged that compliment off–but it did help me gain more confidence as I continued taking pictures as part of my job.

By the way, those two girls with the balloon hats ended up being flower girls in my wedding. I hadn’t met my husband yet, but these were children of one of his best friends.

Leaving that position, I worked for several years in jobs where I didn’t have to think about photography, except maybe to hire a photographer here and there. Then in my most recent job, I was an editor for a university alumni magazine. Student photographers took most of the photos that went into our magazines, and I found myself having very specific ideas of how the photos should turn out–so specific that I when I could I started accompanying the photographers on their photo shoots so I could direct them. Little did I know this role would be a big part of the next phase of my career.

While Rob is the one who’s usually behind the camera in our business, I’m often to the side, posing subjects and giving feedback. It’s a good fit for me. I’m not as comfortable with the technical side of taking pictures–but Rob’s got that part covered. But I love directing people (I was a drama director for several years), and I love being a part of creating the picture.

And so, despite having a difficult Intro to Photography (that was literally the name of the class), it turns out that life experience gave me my niche in this field.

 

Like Father, Like Son

DSC_0253This week, the boys in our family are attending a media camp at one of the local universities. It’s great to see my son crouching down on the floor and positioning himself to get the perfect shot–just like a real photographer. 

Though photography isn’t his number one passion, he has been showing more interest in it lately. In fact, he’s the one that took the picture of our new camera in my last blog. I love seeing him enjoy something that has brought joy to several generations of our family. 

Our New Nikon

Today is the day Rob has been waiting for. Our new Nikon D810 arrived.

While any photographer will tell you that it’s the photographer not the gear that makes a great picture, they’ll also tell you that great gear certainly helps. Here are some ways that DSC_6888our newest Nikon will help us provide you with a stellar photography experience. 

1. Less distraction Because this camera operates nicely in low-light situations, we’ll be able to leave the flash off at times where it would be distracting. A quieter shutter will also mean less distraction when taking pictures in classrooms and other “inside voice” locations. 

2. What we see is what you get. In many cameras, the view finder doesn’t match exactly what is going to be in the final picture. This means, distracting elements can creep into the photo without the photographer being aware. Though these elements can always be cropped out later, this takes time and reduces the final size of the picture. By being able to take the picture exactly right the first time, we can streamline our editing so that we can take on more projects. And you’ll be able to order very large prints without interfering with the picture quality. 

3. No more pictures with Uncle Bob’s eyes closed. There aren’t many things more frustrating to a photographer than thinking you have a great picture, then loading your images onto your computer and realizing someone has their eyes closed or is looking off to the side. To prevent this, we’ve followed the rule of always taking three pictures of each pose to make sure at least one turns out. Even then we recently had to use Photoshop to “open” someone’s eyes in a recent group photo. This camera has a larger, sharper screen that allows you to get a preview of the image that’s nearly as detailed as what you’ll be able to see on the computer.