My Photography

Sunday, July 31, 2016

New lens!

I am very, very excited about my new Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens that arrived a couple days ago! I got it with a package that included a new camera bag, a lens hood, 3 filters in a storage case, a cleaning kit and more, so now I'm feeling pretty equipped for my next photoshoot!

I've been reading up on how to shoot in AV (aperture priority) mode since I don't usually, and have been just doing lots of tests to figure out how the lens works. No matter how much you read or know in theory, the best way to learn about a new tool is to practice! What is special about this lens is that it's perfect for portraits because it gives you that smooth, blurry background with the foreground in sharp detail. For example:

Here's an illustration of all the F-stops. That's what the photography world calls each widening or narrowing of the aperture, which is the hole through which the camera captures the image. When the aperture opens wider the background becomes blurrier, and the amount of the frame that is in focus gets smaller. So the first picture in this series at F/1.4 has the blurriest background, and the smallest area that's in sharp relief. The last is F/22 which has the sharpest background with the majority of the shot in focus. The difference is enormous! 

I've been practicing with my family members too, not just flowers! This lens is great for capturing pictures in low-light settings, like this one of my dad working late the other night:

But it can handle bright conditions too!

This is a fixed lens which means it doesn't zoom at all. Because of that it takes a lot of moving around to get the shot right, which is fun!

My sister's cats are honorary family members, but mostly they were being cooperative, so they got some photos too. This is our mama cat who is tiny and still looks like a kitten despite having had a couple litters herself already.

Kitten #1 looks just like mama.

But #2 takes after dad.

They were so cute playing together.

I'm loving this purchase and can't wait to use it during photoshoots! I have a few that are coming up, so stay tuned for more pics soon!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Happy 24th Gus!

Happy birthday little brother!! 

Even though you're probably desperately missing your family (right??), I hope the road trip you're on has all sorts of fun in store for you! I always say 24 is the best year, it's a really good age to be. Enjoy it! Have a happy day and happy year!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


This little sister of mine...

feels like this about a certain guy...

so not long ago this happened!

Which, of course, meant that when they came for a 24-hour visit this weekend I took them to the park down the street for a quick engagement photoshoot! 

We even took some photos on our road,

and in our yard.

When they come back for more extended visits we'll take a few more, because Matt is a good sport. And what girl wouldn't want a million engagement pictures??

Plus these two are so cute it just melts my heart.

Congrats again you two!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Home again

Finally I made it home after the smoothest flight sequence ever!

The past few days have been filled with relaxing, shopping, getting errands done, and just enjoying time with family. It's been lovely!

Smiles all around!

Tomorrow I begin my new job and a new chapter in my career! 

Farewell for now!

 A lot has happened in the past month! So much that time to blog has been nonexistent. I finished my time at Casablanca American School and said some very bittersweet goodbyes, Ramadan has come and gone, and I've moved to the US! I start my new job tomorrow and am very nervous and excited. But leaving Morocco, and my life and friends wasn't easy, especially given that I had to leave Othman there too, until his Green Card gets approved. So in the days and weeks leading up to my recent departure I made lots of time for those I love!

We hosted friends at our place for many Ramadan lftours (breaking of the fast for Muslims, when the sun goes down). It was lovely to spend calm evenings together talking about the past and future. Here's an example of one of our Ramadan spreads, complete with lentil salad, vegetable soup, chocolate cake, French pastries, and smoked salmon toast!

Two days before I left Othman and I gathered many friends at the newly installed Chili's in Casablanca for a farewell dinner/lftour. This picture didn't quite get everyone in it, as many people came and went throughout the many hours we spent there. It was such a wonderful night, filled with friendship and conversation and love and good food of course! It made me so grateful for the friends I've made in Morocco, and while it was hard to say goodbye I know I'll be back and will be seeing them soon enough!

Knowing I wouldn't see my husband for many months made getting on the plane last week very, very difficult. So the night before and at the airport we took bunches of pictures together... some sillier than others!

Goodbyes are hard, but these goodbyes are not forever, and I'm excited for what's to come!