Christine’s Portraits & the Learning Curve

Christine and I had originally hoped to have a portrait session back in March with her two friends, but my Easter plans delayed our session – which may have been partially a good thing. The day before our session, I was able to purchase a “new” Canon 24-105mm lens from Katelyn James Photography to use with my Mark II. I had posted a Facebook update a couple of months ago saying I would like to do a free session with someone and so my session with Christine was a great way to try out the lens. I still stand by my preference for prime lenses (i.e. lenses with a fixed focal length), because they offer beautiful bokeh and exceptional quality.

Three things I am learning (thus called my learning curve):

1. Zoom lenses are convenient, but I love prime lenses.

2. I probably should invest in a reflector (this more so applies to sessions like the backlit engagement session I did with Joel and Rebecca).

3. I need more control over my shutter speed/exposure. I know how to shoot fully manual, but for the sake of speed, I usually shoot in aperture priority. So I would like to find a balance between exposure control and the speed in which I can capture images.

So just to clarify after I misspoke in my last post (it has since been revised), Christine is going to James Madison University and not George Mason. I am not sure why I confused this fact, but I am really excited that several of my friends from church are or will be attending James Madison University! It is a beautiful school and I had a lot of fun there as an undergraduate.

Christine and I first met at our church for some photos before a wardrobe change and exploration of downtown. My after thought is maybe we could have incorporated the yellow scarf with her second outfit. Would that have clashed?

Our church has beautiful wooden front doors.



I had fun exploring downtown for interesting backgrounds. Something I had not realized before is that the downtown area has its fair share of colorful walls and interesting textures.

Is it trespassing when you stand on the porch of a closed business downtown? Well, we liked the rocking chairs and left everything as we found it, so…. I think we were okay. Right?

I really like this photo on the left. It is candid and I think this is when we were talking about her hair – joking about model hair and having it loose and such.

Annnnnnd we may have possibly trespassed again…. such is the life of a photographer, right? But it is all in good, harmless fun and helps us appreciate our local architecture. Or at least, I am appreciating it more.

This alley is not quite as sketchy as it may seem. It is just a gravel pass by the court house. One might hope that it may be a fairly safe place to be considering that the police are always parked across the street.


Well, as you can see, we adventured about quite a bit. The free session proved to be an insightful experiment for me. I am really thankful to Christine for humoring me! It definitely helped to have some more practice working with directing postures and body language. Knowing how to position clients and friends in front of the camera is still one of the things I really want to work on. It is a challenge for me considering most of my work is candid street photography. I may revisit these photos in the future and try out some of them in black and white.


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