Stop for a moment and think about your answer to the following questions.

What circumstance or pivotal moment shaped you as a photographer? What led you to chase after your desire to capture timeless memories? What are your goals, aspirations, and ambitions as a photographer?

Let’s face it. Everyone has a story. Everyone started somewhere. And I truly stand with Marcus Bell when he says, “Outstanding professional photographers do not photograph because they kind of fell into it in a way to fill time; rather, it is usually the result of pivotal moments they listened to and learned from.” He also goes on to say… 

“Great photography can only be created from a combination of
passion and hard-work, determination, and a
commitment to excellence.”

I don’t know how you started as a photographer and what moment changed your direction from pursuing a career in nursing or architecture… to running after capturing moments that live on forever… but you do. Remember how you began and remember your passion. Continue running with that dream of yours and know your purpose.

Today I want to share some tips that are helping both Sammy & I in our “dream-come-true” passion as photographers. We are learning so much every day, and we can’t help but share these life-long lessons with you!  

Here we go… 

TIP O.N.E. As a photographer, focus on content that expresses and evokes feeling an emotion. Does your photograph capture what you witnessed, what you felt, what your content expressed? Every image needs to portray a story. Every photograph needs to leave someone talking on and on, about what they feel the image is expressing.

TIP T.W.O. Be flexible and attuned to the diversity of people. Seriously…every client is different from the other. One is shy the other expressive. One needs direction, the other leads (and in this I mean, they take control of the session). Diversity is ok. You need diversity in order to expand your knowledge and GROW.

TIP T.H.R.E.E. Insight. A wedding is not just about the bride and groom. Ask your clients questions so you better understand who is coming to the wedding. One of your most powerful tools for creating great wedding images is: insight. If a special guest flew from half way across the world to see their friend get married, it would be a shame for you to have not known and to have zero photographs of them! It’s important to know and have insight before the wedding, so that you won’t miss that very important shot.

TIP F.O.U.R. Interact. Talk with wedding guests. Get a sense of the relationships they have to the bride or groom. Also be in tune with the way the bride and groom interact with certain guests. This will be your guide to capturing moments that will mean the most to your couple.

TIP F.I.V.E. Guests with flowers and corsages are important!!! Good to know ay?

TIP S.I.X. Simply listening can give you the tools you need to create some of your most timeless photographs.

TIP S.E.V.E.N. I will always remember what my husband told me a while back. He said, “You will never 'arrive,' you will simply always be growing and learning. And when you think you have arrived, it’s then that you have lost your motivation to achieve a greater passion.” –Love you babe. 


Here is preview of the Garneata Family.
A family who has blessed us with their friendship and love.
A blog of more beautiful photographs will be available this week! 


"Walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes..."

Ecclesiastes 11:9


Lens Tips for Wedding Photography

Have you ever booked a Wedding or a Special Event and stopped to catch your breath because of the sudden realization that you have no clue as to which lenses you need? If so, read on! Both Sammy and I have been in that place and it took some embarrassing moments as well as countless life-learned lessons to get to where we are today.

Both of us wanted to launch this “For Photographers” section in the Blog to get to know our photographer friends a little more as well as work together in assisting one another towards better skills for this photography community we are engaged in. We hope to create a network of communication in which we could advise, share tips and ideas, as well as give creative thoughts for all you aspiring and established photographers out there! We are continually growing and learning ourselves!

Having recently photographed a breathtaking wedding in Chicago, we felt it was necessary to give advice on the best camera lenses/equipment to buy and/or rent for special events that will last a lifetime! Today’s Blog is a little lengthy but flows with juicy tips for lens prep! So here we go…


Portrait Shots

50mm 1.8 - The best “tiny lens” you can get. Although it’s noisy and not always the perfect choice for an “I can hear a pin drop” chapel, it can sure get the job done. It’s very inexpensive and costs around $110 on

50mm 1.4 - Looking for vivid beauty shots of the bride’s make-up and hair? This is the go-to lens. When the reception begins this lens will also beautifully capture sharp images of wedding details such as centerpieces, the groom’s boutonniere, and the cake-topping. This lens will give you that “buttery” touch and you’ll absolutely fall in love. Although many may not agree, I found this lens to have a slower and inconsistent auto-focus… it may not be your best option for that epic, “you may kiss the bride” moment.

50mm 1.2 - Amazing portrait lens. Great for low-light at a medium range. Great for beauty shots. Benefit: fast auto-focus!

85mm 1.2 - We fell in love with this gorgeous lens in downtown Chicago. No lens better captured the still position of our bride and groom. This lens worked magic as we positioned our bride near a rushing water fountain and under tall forest trees. This lens is dubbed “Best Portrait Lens” and we found this to be true, especially for our beauty shots. Reconsider using this lens when you are surrounded with a lot of movement.


Group and Reception Shots

Consider these lenses for your next wedding party!

24mm f/2.8 - Great wide range without distorting your image. Also great for reception shots! (Tip: try to go the opposite of being lazy with this lens. Don’t compensate and only get medium shots. You want to broaden your view of the subject).

Fish-eye (50mm) - Party Lens! Have fun with this piece and don’t forget to be creative.

10-22mm f/3.5-5.6 - I was originally not going to put up this lens because it tends to unfortunately distort images. But if you really are in desperate need and have no other choice, this lens can get the job done.



70-200mm f/2.8 - ZOOM. Provides image stabilizer and keeps your captured moments sharp and vivid. Also great for portrait shots!

24-105mm - ZOOM.


Flower Girl/Ring Bearer shots

Lens baby - Have fun and try this toy lens, perfect for kiddo photographs. 


Ring Shots

100 mm f/2.8 - MACRO



Always be prepared with extra accessories that can also serve as life-savers on the Wedding Day:

-Lens hood (Great for ocean photos)
-External Flash
-Battery Pack
-Pocket Wizards
-UV filters
-iShoot-(Flash trigger transmitter)
-Memory Cards (Multiple!)

We hope all this information will help you as you prepare for your next big Wedding or Special Event! Remember that everything takes practice, practice, practice! Don’t have the mind-set that you can fully “arrive” at the position you highly dream of. The beauty of photography is growth. Instead of arriving you should desire to always be learning, growing, and discovering new ways to be creative and artistic in the talent that God has given you! Try some of these lenses out and let us know how they worked for you! 



Here's a small preview from the Garneata wedding from last week in Chicago!
Expect a full blog dedicated to this stunning wedding this week.

(This photo was taken with a 50mm 1.4 at f/1.4, ISO 800, Shutter Speed 1/1250)


P.s. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below! We will do our best to answer any questions that you may have! We want to make this a place where we can learn from each other and help one another to become growing Photographers.

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