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Velvet 56 Love: Guest Post by Sarah Huizenga

  • 2 min read

Sarah Huinzenga of Paisley Rain Boots was kind enough to share her blog post with us, detailing her experience wielding a Lensbaby for the first time. Below is a slightly edited version of her work, aptly titled "Velvet 56 Love." Enjoy! Don't miss links to Sarah's blog and social media channels below.

Late last fall, I purchased theVelvet 56 when Lensbaby was having a pre-Christmas sale on some of their lenses. I have always been intrigued by them but wasn't sure if I was ready to be that brave and different. The sale was too good to resist (Merry Christmas to me), so I clicked "purchase" and waited for my new lens to arrive.

stone steps cobblestone staircase creative photography velvet 56 lensbaby

The demo video that sold me on it showed beautiful, shallow depth of field portraits of people, hmm...self portraits? My daughter? And of dogs...Findley?

As soon as it arrived via UPS, I sliced open the box and put it on my Canon 6D. Findley...where was Findley? What I wasn't prepared for was the manual focusing, and I totally skipped over the fact that I had to manually set the aperture. Let me say, manually focusing on an energetic puppy, well...the photo says it all.

Golden lab dog portrait Sarah Huizenga Velvet 56 Lensbaby Creative Photography Dog Photography Art Lens Sarah Huizenga with Velvet 56

I slid the Velvet 56 into an empty lens slot in my camera bag, and then returned to my 35mm auto-focus lens. The Velvet 56 stayed in my camera bag until April.

April - a new season, and new subjects to photograph. I dug the Velvet 56 out of the camera bag. I did not go looking for Findley. Instead, I went to the garden center.

Garden potted plants rose starts Sarah Huizenga Velvet 56 Creative Photography Art Lens Nature Photography Sarah Huizenga with Velvet 56

I do get frustrated with not being able to do something well, but rarely do I give up, so I watched some Lensbaby videos and actually learned what to do with the Velvet 56, there was that bit about manually setting the aperture.

A successful outing at the garden center and I was ready to try the Velvet 56 on a trip. I was tagging along with my husband on a business trip to my favorite part of northern Michigan. A good place to try the lens, on things I know and love, and have photographed many, many times. I was looking for a different approach to these places.

Red house barn Michigan lake grass grey sky Velvet 56 Creative Photography Lensbaby Sarah Huizenga with Velvet 56

The Velvet 56 stayed on my camera the whole time we were gone. This time the 35mm stayed in the camera bag.

I still have more to learn, more videos to watch, and more practice is needed, but I love the look I am achieving. The Velvet 56 sees the world the way I do - one spot of sharp focus and blurry around the edges.

Read Sarah's blog, Paisley Rain Boots, and see more photos on her Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Learn additional tricks for shooting with Velvet 56 (and the new Velvet 85!) in the Velvet lesson on Lensbaby University.

Do you have a Lensbaby journey of your own you'd like to share? Email us at

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