I first picked up a 35 mm camera and had dreams of being a professional photographer in high school. I remember learning about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and all the rules of composition with such a sense of bewilderment and enthusiasm. I was on a roll until my Canon AE-1 was stolen from my first apartment I wasn’t able to replace it. At that point, I had unfortunately lost my momentum.
Over the years, my relationship with photography waxed and waned but didn’t really stick until I was able to get a digital camera which made it possible to edit the photos at home on my PC. Even then I wasn’t satisfied with the images I was producing with that first kit lens. Soon I picked up a 35 mm lens with an f/stop of 1.8. I was getting closer and really starting to enjoy my photography hobby.
Then it happened…
I stumbled across photos taken with the Lensbaby Composer and the double glass optic. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful bokeh and blur in the botanical images that came through my social media feed. I got myself a Lensbaby and felt like I found my niche in the world of photography. I had so much fun shooting flowers; all of the flowers. As time went on I was also falling in love with all of the captivating street photography I was seeing on the internet. I decided to go out and shoot a couple of images with a Lensbaby , just to see what I could produce. To my surprise, I loved the combination. I usually use an Edge optic and I love how that slice of focus can isolate the subject, draw my eye through the scene and how I can incorporate the soft blur, that I love so much, into an urban shot where you might not expect it.
This past spring, I decided that I’d like to expand my skills and learn something new. I had always loved the portraiture that Lensbaby photographers were producing but I was really intimidated by the process. After much hesitation, I signed up for a studio photography class at the community college. I liked it but I wasn’t really sure that portraiture was going to be “my thing”, so to speak, until I brought in my Lensbaby and my trusty Edge 80. That was all it took. I love the creative control and the outcome I get when I can select the area of focus. The combination of lighting and directed focus just to the area I’d like to highlight really sparked my eye. I ended having so much fun that I started looking into what other classes were available to take.
This summer I started a digital photography 101 class that has an emphasis on composition and critique. I took it thinking it would encourage me to keep shooting through the summer but I have already learned a handful of techniques that I didn’t know before. When fall comes around I’ve enrolled in a landscape class but one foggy day in the mountains, I found a scene that I loved and managed to get a head start shooting landscapes with the Edge 50 and Edge 80 optics. I’m really looking forward to the class and the learning experiences that will come with it but I have already fallen in love with the photographic genre of landscape.
I’ve yet to reach my high school dream of being a professional photographer but I’m working towards it, every day. If you find yourself in a rut or if you’ve always wanted to try shooting a new type of subject but are hesitating, let me recommend that you find a class in your community or online. If you can’t do that, just jump right in and give it a try.
To see more of Loralieh’s work: