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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

My Lensbaby Journey & Progress | Anna DeStefano


  • 2 min read
It can take time and patience to bring your artistic vision to life when you're working with a new creative photography tool! Anna DeStefano shares her Lensbaby journey with her favorite lens the Velvet 85.

I talk creativity all the time. To my authors (I’m a freelance author coach and developmental editor). And more recently to photographers who’ve grown to admire the affirmational work I do.

I was over the moon to purchase my first Lensbaby—after following the work of Kathleen Clemons and hearing she worked with them. There was so much to choose from, but the Velvet 85 seemed like the best fit to begin. I’ve been using, recommending and demonstrating it ever since.

Some of my first flowers bought into the Emory Healthcare System here in Atlanta were shot with my Velvet 85. The soft yet selective sharpness of these early images is ideal for the emotional support and encouragement sought after by hospitals and other healing spaces. And my Velvet got me there in a hurry, practically right out of the box. Every dream I had dreamed for the wildflowers I captured last spring (2018) came to vivid life.

Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85
Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85
Anna DeStefano Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85
Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85

But I wasn’t capturing the light I so desperately wanted to reveal to viewers. I wanted soft backgrounds, yes, but I wanted to invite you closer, the way masters like Kathleen Clemons do.

So I tried again in the fall, with one of my favorite subjects—backlit flowers. Shooting from behind and often from underneath blooms that are backlit, their petals diffusing all that buttery, golden light. Practice, practice, practicing, I wanted so much to get in THERE with my Velvet, and to take my viewers with me. This time, I slipped on some extension tubes and went to town, LOVE-ing the result.

Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85
Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85
Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85

And now, it’s spring again (2019), and the peonies in my neighbor’s garden are nothing less than magic. They’re bigger and brighter, softer and more plentiful than I’ve ever seen them. And I knew. I just KNEW. This was my chance to put to best use everything I’ve learned over the years about shooting intimate and abstract (AND over the last year about creating with Lensbaby)…

Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85
Anna DeStefano Lensbaby Velvet 85 Anna DeStefano with Velvet 85

These latest Velvet 85 flowers are my favorite by far.

So far. Because who knows where my go-to creative lens will take me next. Off I go to keep shoot and talking creativity and learning. Hope to see you out there, loving what you’re capturing, too!

Check out more from Anna on her website & Facebook.
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