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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Lensbaby Artists: April Milani

  • 2 min read

Lensbaby Artists April Milani

Lensbaby Artists is a virtual exploration of a gallery featuring the work of talented Lensbaby photographers. Each short video celebrates the work and story of a different Lensbaby artist. Follow the series to get to know these inspiring shooters.
Meet April Milani

I am a visual opportunist who uses photography as my medium to capture beauty. I am to convey emotion. I preserve moments long after they would be forgotten in our everyday lives. I am a military wife, homeschooling mom of two wild boys, taking one move at a time, saved by grace. I am human. I make mistakes. I am not afraid to go out and try something new. Even if I feel I have failed, Ive still won because I didnt let fear stop me. My saying this year is: Dont feed the fears.

Lensbaby Artists April Milani

April's winding career in photography brought her to a moment when she needed something new.

Working with models had limits. I always needed to wait until they had time, and they couldnt always convey the story I was trying to tell. I needed a change, so I took the next step that was needed to continue my journey: self-portraits.

Every time used normal lenses to create my self-portraits, something was missing. It was not working. Could it be that I had missed my time to be in front of the camera? I was 40 and had been photographing 20-something models. Getting in front of the camera was harder than I had thought. I found myself slipping into a bit of depression and self-pity.

April Milani Lensbaby Artists portrait of a dancer

But for me, defeat is never an option. One day, after shooting my safe shot, I grabbed my Edge 80, my tripod, and my 10-second timer. It was magic! Those little optics were me. Lensbaby is a true reflection of who I am. I realized I am perfectly imperfect.
Lensbaby Artist April Milani Self Portrait Study

The image above is a photo from that shoot. I was able to focus on my heart. The part of me that once was so broken and sad is now overflowing with hope and joy."

April's Kit

Lensbaby gear
Twist 60: I love this optic with the Macro Converters.
Sweet 35, Sweet 50 and, as of yesterday, Sweet 80: I use these for portraits of all kinds.
Edge 50 and Edge 80: I use these for everything! There is no part of my photography that these two optics don't cover.
Velvet 56: I use Velvet 56 for macro and for dreamy portraits.
Circular Fisheye: I use the CFE for family fun!
Pinhole/Zone Plate: I use these when I'm feeling nostalgic.
Double Glass: I use this optic when I want to go abstract.
Macro Converters: For macro!
April Milani lensbaby lenses gear

Cameras: Canon MarkIII and Canon Rebel 35mm (film)
Camera Bags: Mountainsmith, Borealis AT and Lowepro 22AW
Tripods: Vanguard, Alta PRO 263AT
Lights: Fovitec Studio PRO, Impact reflector stand and reflector
Misc: Backdrop stand and Costco stepping stool
April Milani photography photo gear studio lights strobes

Learn from April Milani

Registration is open for April's newest, online workshop: See Through A New Paradigm.
Also, check out April's upcoming online, Lensbaby workshop.