Introducing: Black Lamb Photography

How long have you been in the business?

since 2008

Can you tell us about this first picture?

This was one of the first engagement sessions that I shot when I first moved to Ottawa and set up my business.  This couple was really nice and it was fun to photograph their session. We went to a local museum and wandered around the grounds taking photos with various backgrounds. At that time, they were happy with their photos, thank goodness.

beautiful bokeh

Now that you are more experienced, when you look at this first picture, what would you say is wrong with it?

I’m thoroughly embarrassed when I look at this photo.  Where do I even begin to write about what is wrong with it?  First, I’ve got the couple standing in speckled shade, so he’s got a hot spot on his forehead, while the rest of him and her are in the dark.  Second, it’s totally muddy and underexposed.  It’s also not colour correct.  And what is that pose all about?  It’s too contrived and downright cheesy.  I wouldn’t get any couples to pose like that anymore.  The girl is actually quite petite, yet I managed to make her look kind of chubby with how she’s sitting on him.  (Look at her arm!)  Finally, I shot this photo at f/7.1, so the boring background is all in focus, taking away from the couple who should be the main focus.

Can you tell us about this second picture?

This was a recent engagement session that I shot. Over the last 4-5 years I’ve really gravitated towards shooting in more rustic locations.  I love anything rustic, so when my client contacted me and asked me if I could drive out to a farm so that she could include her horse in their engagement photos, I was thrilled beyond anything to do a shoot like that.  I love the sincere interaction between this couple—like they’re in their own little world.  I also like that you can see what’s happening in the background, but it’s out of focus enough that your eye is still drawn to the couple, instead of the horses.  Normally, I love creating lots of bokeh when photographing couples, but I knew that the horses were important for this particular engagement session, so I shot it at f/2.2, but pulled back so that the background wouldn’t be so out of focus.

beautiful bokeh

What is one of the biggest things that contributed to your growth as a Photographer?

There are a couple of things that contributed to my growth as a photographer.  In 2011 I did a one-on-one mentoring session with one of the best wedding photography teams in Canada.  They gave me lots of amazing advice, including to stop using on camera flash and start shooting in manual mode.  It took me about a year before I took the leap and followed those two pieces of advice in 2012.  Within that time, my daughter was born and I was shooting photos of her like crazy.  I was doing monthly photo shoots of my daughter to document her growth and while shooting her portraits I started working in all manual mode and no flash.  Since I was no longer using on camera flash outdoors, I was able to be more flexible with my apertures, thus being able to shoot at much wider apertures creating beautiful bokeh.  I also realized how much I loved natural light and I started to embrace it.  I now consider myself a natural light photographer and I’ve never looked back.
A couple of other game changers were that I started shooting in RAW in 2012 when I finally purchased a computer that could handle such large files (I was working on an old laptop with a pretty old version of Photoshop and no Lightroom when I started back in 2007.)  I also started sending out my RAWs to be colour corrected as I’ve never been good at colour correction.  By doing these things (as well as practice, practice, practice), I’ve seen a huge jump in my photography skills.

Thank you for sharing, Linda! Beautiful improvement.

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