Why I love my camera, & why it’s time to say goodbye… Ode to my camera

Sometimes it's time to say goodbye..

Sometimes it’s time to say goodbye..

PHOTOGRAPHER READER WARNING:

This blog post may cause some (and by some I mean MOST) photographers to feel uncomfortable, cringe, shake their heads, and in some cases wince. It may also cause a deep internal disagreement in regards to my slightly abusive relationship with my camera. Please feel free to post your comments & feelings in the comment box below.

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO…

I LOVE my camera..

No not just the way you love your TV, or your computer, or your mp3 player. I mean I really LOVE my camera. It comes everywhere with me. It is an extension of me. It’s flown thousands and thousands and thousands of miles across the country and half way across the world more times than I can count. It’s come with me on countless hours of road trips across beautiful Canada. It’s attended every major event in my kids lives, in my life, in my families lives. It’s been in waterfalls, oceans, and rivers. It’s been dropped, kicked, blatantly covered in ocean waves, and I have even accidentally bumped someone on the head with it. It’s seen my house messy, it’s seen my house clean. It’s seen all of my most private moments, and covered other people’s most special moments. It’s been in many different people’s homes, in different countries and it’s broken the ice with strangers across oceans. It’s sat on my lap like a baby, been hugged to my chest, zipped up in my jacket in -40 Saskatchewan weather and it’s swung carefree from my neck. It’s been in weather so hot the lens rubber fused itself to the camera and it’s been by my side through every love scene, every moment of laughter, every child temper tantrum and every tragic event I have ever witnessed. It’s also followed me to drunken parties and taken drunken photos (and no, I will not be held responsible for those), it’s been to black tie events, street parties, music festivals, car shows, put in the eye of a vicious storms, and thrown onto my car seat in a hurry. It has even seen a crashed plane in the middle of a busy Saskatoon road. It has been there to sooth my pain, my depression and my anxiety, and it has rejoiced in my happiness. It has been there through my worst moments and my best moments, and it has helped me to gain a tremendous amount of confidence with it by my side. It is NOT just a camera.. it’s my lifeline. A friend, a confidant and in some ways the love of my life. It truly is a miracle invention that in some ways has saved my life. It’s a connection between my feelings and my perspective and it allows me to share it all with the world.

I want my camera to be like my books. I don’t want to “baby” my camera. I don’t want to pick up a pristine camera, with tight dials and buttons. I want to pick up something comfortable, that knows my fingers, and the palms of my hands when it fits into them perfectly. I want to see scratches, bruises, character and I want it to look like it has lived. Used, worn, full of life. My camera is just that. It is scratched. It is bruised. It is worn. It is in fact starting to rust in some spots and it is just PERFECT. It has been through so much with me. I have treated it kind, and I have treated it unkind. I have put it through situations, weather conditions and tested the water resistant claims to the very limits. It has had sand stuck in the dials and sweat on the screen. It has been submerged in waves, covered in sand and bounced up and down on my chest during long walks in different parts of the world. I have put it in situations I have no business putting it in. I have pretty much done everything to it other than deliberately and literally beating the crap out of it.  I have taken so many photos with it, I did in fact burn out the motor. Again, it was packaged and shipped across the country for a fix and returned to me weeks later to get back to work with me. Yet, it still remains. Trusted and true. And I LOVE it.

Ahhh sigh.. but it is time to say, goodbye. It has been a few years since I brought my camera home and finally I am ready to move on. Lately it has been showing the stretch marks of it’s labor and although it is still my trusty old camera, I have decided it’s time for a trusty new camera. Now it’s not goodbye forever, and it will become my daily “around the house” camera, but it is time for it to retire it’s sore old bones and let some young little thang take it’s place doing the hard work. So in just two more weeks, I say goodbye to my trusty old camera (and the hippy strap that adorned it) and I will be moving on with a new camera. I am excited to see what this new camera has in store for me. What boundaries we will break, what adventures we will go on, and what experiences we will have.

Sometimes we just have to say goodbye to something good, to let something better into our lives.

So… farewell my sweet camera. I love you for all that you are, all that you were and all that you have given me.

xoxo

Martine

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Contact me at agasteche@yahoo.ca or 306.371.1332

AND

Please comment below!!!

 

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Fun & simple tips on how to take professional looking photos of your pet!

Charles (Dave X Piper kitten)  Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Charles (Dave X Piper kitten) Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Hey guys!

I know it’s been a long time again! I have been ever busy with boys, photos and life. So I know I posted awhile back about sharing some tips on pet photography, and so I wanted to talk about that today!

I LOVE pets.. cats, dogs, horses, love them all! For some of us, they are just like our kids, family members and friends. Of course we want to take some amazing photos of them to remember! Pets can be tricky. They can be wiggly, squirmy and they don’t take direction overly well. Especially cats I have noticed :-D. I have put together a little tutorial for you on some simple and very easy steps to taking a professional looking photo of your pet. I would LOVE it, if you would share some of the images you take with your pet using this tutorial… In fact I might even give away a free pet session to the best one! You can send them to agasteche@yahoo.ca and I will share the top picks on my blog!

I hope you enjoy!

What you will need:

– Poster paper

-Tacks or tape

-Nice blanket or rug

-PATIENCE!

So what I start out with is locating a place in my house that has good natural light. Typically the light shines in through my window onto my couch during the day so I know I want to use my couch area. If the sun is overly bright, I might want to close my curtains or hang a solid white sheet over my window as a filter. I then decide on my color of poster board. Typically I like to try and match the pet’s coloring with the coloring of the poster board in some way. For example, a cat with green eyes, would work well with a dark forest green poster board because it would draw you into the color of the cats eyes. For a solid white cat, you don’t want to use a background that is too dark, and definitely not black because it will end up washing out some of the detail in the cats face and coat. You would want to use a nice vibrant color such as a blue, purple, or pink. Blue typically works best with white. For a solid black cat or dog you want to stay away from using a solid white background as well and use something that compliments their eyes, or highlights. Most black cats tend to have blue, silver or grey highlights naturally so I would try to use one of those colors so that it draws the color into the natural highlights that are there.

Next I take my poster board and tack or tape it to the wall or against whatever I am using as a background. Here you can see I have used a purple blanket over my couch and a pink poster board to take photos of my kitten Winifred.

Set up for pet photo session

Set up for pet photo session

Next, be prepared to have patience. Pets move around a lot, so whether you are shooting with your iPhone, a point and shoot or a pro camera you want to be on your toes! It’s good to have a little assistant who can hold up treats directly behind you or get your pet’s attention. With a simple point and shoot and even some of the professional cameras the “action mode” is still a great choice for a wiggly puppy or kitten.

Set your pet up with the poster board directly behind them and try to get them looking towards the natural light. This will instantly constrict their pupils drawing more vibrancy and color into the eye. Be prepared to keep placing your pet over and over and over again on the same spot and keep them at arms length. This can be tricky! You can also try holding a treat up for them with one hand and shooting with the other or throwing something over your shoulder to get their attention.If you have a smaller puppy or kitten sometimes using a prop like a basket or planter pot will momentarily keep them still while they are trying to figure out what they are doing in the basket to begin with! You can start to incorporate props like flowers, baskets, bowls, etc to add that little something extra to your photo too. Above all remember your patience, because you will need it! Sometimes I have lucked out with pets who will pose willingly for a shot, and sometimes it may take dozens of frames and moving the pet back onto the spot you want them in. Don’t be afraid to keep snapping when you see a yawn, or a weird face, because those are usually the best shots!

In the end you should end up with a fairly decent looking photo of your pet! I hope this was easy for you to follow and I hope you will be able to take some nice photos of your pet to remember forever!

Again I would LOVE to see the results of anyone using these techniques! You can e-mail YOUR pet photos to agasteche@yahoo.ca and I will put them up on my blog!

Love & peace – M

Winfred with the above backdrop

Winfred with the above backdrop

Richard with his two best in Show ribbons

Richard with his two best in Show ribbons

Adding props to your photos will add that extra something and might help to keep your pet still momentarily.

Adding props to your photos will add that extra something and might help to keep your pet still momentarily.

Try to catch your pet mid-play or with a silly expression!

Try to catch your pet mid-play or with a silly expression!

Dave, looking mad as always

Dave, looking mad as always

Here I have used a chair in the background and I find it distracting! Try to find props that compliment your pet, and draws your eye into your pets face.

Here I have used a chair in the background and I find it distracting! Try to find props that compliment your pet, and draws your eye into your pets face.

Here Winifred is standing on a chair which makes her look bigger than she is!

Here Winifred is standing on a chair which makes her look bigger than she is!

I love the contrast here between Winifred, the blue ribbon around her neck, her blue eyes, and the blue background.

I love the contrast here between Winifred, the blue ribbon around her neck, her blue eyes, and the blue background.

 

 

 

Adventures in Jamaica Pt 2- My near (camera) death experience with waterwalls!

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

Ahhh finally I have come out of my coma of exhaustion and sickness! What a relief after over two weeks! So what have I been up to? Mostly editing, and also trying to clear out my house for a mega-sized garage sale. Time to clear out some of my hoarder style collections and some of my precious photography props. I hate to see them go, but I really can’t keep everything!

So I hope everyone in Saskatoon has been keeping warm, in this deathly horrid weather we have been having. It’s been … epic to say the least. It doesn’t help that my trusty old van left me stranded with the boys at Safeway yesterday and has basically been acting like a piece of junk for the last few weeks. Great.

So let’s talk about my experience with Dunn’s River Falls, which was where we decided to end our day taking photos in beautiful Jamaica! What a fun/scary time! Basically what happened was, I thought I could handle being in the waterfalls as well, with my camera around my neck. However, what I didn’t think about was, how slippery the rocks were, and how it might have benefited me to bring water shoes for this whole scenario. So a few minutes into our session, I stepped off of a log under water and realized that I was tumbling/falling/tripping/slipping deep into a rocky waterfall grave. As I sunk lower and lower and fell more and more I raised my camera higher and higher. Boy, it must have been quite a sight. It might be exaggerating to say that the only thing you could see out of the water was the top of my head, my arm and my camera… but no it was actually pretty close to that. The groom said afterwards he just wasn’t quite sure who to save; the photographer or the camera! When in doubt.. ALWAYS save the camera! I can definitely survive whatever outcome there is from a fall like this, but my camera would not be so lucky. We had a good laugh about it afterwards and we had a lot of fun! So it just proves to those of you who may think my job is all fancy and frills.. I am in the business of taking risks, putting myself in awkward and potentially dangerous situations (I have done everything from laying on my stomach in the middle of a highway, to getting knocked over by strong stormy ocean waves). Is it worth it though? 100% and I will only continue to push my limits AND my camera’s limits until one of us breaks haha hopefully it will be the camera.

I can’t wait to share more of my Jamaica adventures with you all and more great images from this fantastic wedding!

For tonight, I am going to cozy up with my book and maybe even make myself a cup of hot chocolate (if the boys haven’t completely raided the mix already). Get some good zz’s and work like a maniac tomorrow.

Love & peace – M

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

My first adventure of the year!

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I am packing, doing laundry, cleaning, trying to eat, finishing up edits, updating Facebook, replying to e-mails, messages, phone calls, running errands and in general pulling my hair out in stress and excitement getting ready for my first adventure of the year!

Where am I headed? Montego Bay, Jamaica for my first wedding of 2013! I am truly blessed to have such an awesome job that allows me to fulfill so many dreams at once..

I have so much to post when I get home. A proper introduction to my new blog for starters! Secondly I have a great post coming about how to take a professional looking photo of your pet, and of course I can’t wait to fill you in on all of my wild and amazing Jamaican adventures. So keep an eye out and follow me on WordPress for updates!

Have a great weekend everyone!

❤ & peace

Martine