Since our first meeting, I got to know Liz and Justin more closely during our engagement session at the LA Arboretum. One’s a creative, the other a scientist, much like another couple I worked with recently!
Every shoot, regardless of experience, requires some warmup. I sometimes use this as an opportunity to try my hand at comedy. Hit or miss, how one rolls with it afterwards sets the tone for the rest of the shoot (no pressure). Also like comedy, I try to get my audience involved. Justin, the slightly more reserved of the pair, warmed up and called out spots that caught his eye like the photo with the ginko tree.
Along with age and a far more discerning eye than in the years behind me, during this shoot, I rekindled my relationship with a certain lens of mine that I haven’t used for years. The 50mm focal length just hasn’t always excited me. It’s the white bread of lenses, merely a staple for photographers for over half a century.
The 35mm focal length provides more context and dimension while 85mm offers reach and subject isolation. Neither of them are so specialized that they limit the user when it comes to documentary and portrait photography.
In one of my many instances of self-reflection, I realized that I’ve become complacent with some of my shoot habits and it was time to grow again. It was half user error and half arrogance that turned me away from the 50mm. The solution? Push myself out of my current comfort zone with a seemingly boring lens. Find inspiration the way countless other talented photographers have given the same limitations.