The Combs Kids, Child Lifestyle & Portraits | A Fujifilm XE-2 Shoot | Boston Child Photographer

I was hired by The Combs to do a photo shoot of their three boys, ages 5, 3, and 1. The Combs wanted this shoot to focus primarily on the children with candid images of them playing outside in their backyard, along with a few traditional portraits (but only a few!). The shoot took place on a crisp, Autumn day in October. Dad was away at work during the majority of the shoot. 

Their home, located in a beautiful rural area just outside of Boston, had a large backyard complete with a vegetable garden, a tree swing, some woods...and chickens! Such a perfect space for three little boys to run around and play in.

These brothers were the sweetest. They warmed to me quickly, which warmed my heart.


I began the shoot with some quick portraits of the two older brothers while the little one was being woken up from his nap. 

The littlest brother and Mom joined us...

The chickens came out to play.

The sweet middle brother was very excited to show me the fresh-laid eggs.

The tree swing!

He called Mom over to push him on the swing...

Combs-3037.jpg

 

A boy and his rock collection.

And the littlest brother...

 

These shoots are all about the kiddos...but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to do a quick portrait of the loving parents together.

 

*Photo geek notes: This entire shoot was done with my stealthy little Fujifilm XE-2 and my 23mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2 lenses. Some images were shot using only available light and some were lit. 

Rakeem-Andre Chapman, Gospel Artist | A Fujifilm XE-2 Shoot | Boston Music Photographer

Gospel artist Rakeem-Andre Chapman reached out to me a few months ago to do some press/promo and album cover art for the release of his new album, "Soul Revelation".

Andre expressed his desire to be outdoors in the beauty of nature for the majority of the shoot. He wanted the images to convey "introspection, highlighting the soul". And that's what we did! The shoot took place last month, starting off at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, and then moving to an indoor location afterwards, for variety. 

We were incredibly fortunate to get a warm, sunny day for the shoot. The sun played a significant role in backlighting Andre - along with my lights, of course! - to give me that dreamy, etherial, glow-y flare. 

Once we were satisfied with the outdoor portion of the shoot, we broke down the lighting gear and continued on to our indoor location - a small room in Andre's apartment - to knock out some solid indoor portraits. 

©Sarahmica Photography | Chapman-3256.jpg

During the pre-production planning, Andre also expressed a desire to, if possible, incorporate the Christian symbol of a cross into a few of the images. I really wanted to try and do this in a more creative and unique way, avoiding obvious cliches such as shooting in the sanctuary of a church, or using a church steeple, or life-size cross or crucifix in the background. So I ruminated over the possibilities for a few days...and then I got the idea of somehow hanging miniature crosses over his head, kind of like a baby crib mobile (ha!).

Once we had our safe portrait shots in the bag, I pulled out the little crosses (which I found for very cheap on Amazon.com) that I'd hung with thread on a wire hanger. The contraption looked laughably heinous and totally unimpressive to the naked eye. But this little prop added a cool, new element to a few of the portraits. These are my personal favorites from the shoot.

I get these "what if" ideas a lot and I plan them out as best I can. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. But I have to at least try them out. Always try them out. If they fall flat, it's no biggie and I usually learn something. If they're a success, it's icing on the cake!

Many thanks to Andre and his wife for choosing me to create these images! Best wishes on your new album release, Andre!

Check out Andre's website: rakeemandre.com

Photo geek notes: This entire shoot was done with my Fujifilm gear (XE-2 camera, and 23mm 1.4 and 56mm 1.2 lenses), and was my second "Fully Fuji" shoot to date. My first "Fully Fuji" shoot will be coming up next on this blog:  a child lifestyle shoot, which I'm very excited about, so stayed tuned. 

Intensity & Drama with an Entrepreneur...and My Fujifilm X-E2 | Boston Editorial Portrait Photographer

Entrepreneur and visual artist, David Williamson, contacted me to create some special portraits for a new venture. He wanted "dark, mysterious, intense, dramatic" and sent me a few inspiration images he found on the Internet. I took a look at the images and knew right away that this was right up my alley. Dave arrived in Boston from out of town, and we did the entire shoot in his small hotel room.

Using a simple two-light set up (one bare flash with a CTO gel attached and another flash in a 46" gridded softbox), I was able to create the dramatic lighting David wanted within a very small work space.

I brought both my huge and heavy Canon 5D MII DSLR and lenses and my very small and stealthy Fujifilm X-E2, working the shoot with both cameras. (At the time of this shoot, which took place in June, I only had one Fuji lens: the 23mm 1.4. I've since acquired Fuji's 56mm 1.2.)

 

 © 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

 © 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4.5, 1/180, ISO 200

 © 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/5.6, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/5.6, 1/180, ISO 200


The image below is the one image shot with my Canon 5D that was selected as a final.

 © 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with my Canon 5D MII and 85mm 1.8 lens:  f/4, 1/100, ISO 100

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with my Canon 5D MII and 85mm 1.8 lens:  f/4, 1/100, ISO 100


The following two images are actually outtakes. I was doing some light tests and caught Dave in relaxed, candid moments where he wasn't playing the part of the "mysterious, intense character" that this project required. I love these images precisely because they are un-posed, natural, honest. I really dig the contrast between the two personas of "Mysterious, Intense Dave" and "Natural Dave".

 © 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

 © 2014 Sarahmica Photography   Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

© 2014 Sarahmica Photography

Shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens:  f/4, 1/180, ISO 200

I am incredibly happy using my little X-E2. It makes me darn right giddy with delight knowing that I can use this compact, light-weight camera on a professional shoot. As I mentioned in a previous post about slowly making the switch to Fuji, my plan is to eventually get one of Fuji's more top-of-the-line cameras, relegating my X-E2 as a backup camera. 

It's FUJI TIME! | Boston Fuji X Series Photographer

I cheated on Canon with Fujifilm. What I thought would be just a casual little dalliance became a full-blown love affair. I've fallen deeply in love with Fujifilm and we're moving in together. 

It all began this past December, as I was preparing for a trip to the UK to spend Christmas with my British husband's side of the family. I couldn't stomach the thought of lugging my huge Canon 5D MII with me to England again for leisure photography, mostly candid portraits of family and such. What I needed was a small camera just for my personal needs and travels, something compact and lightweight with manual controls, but that also had RAW capabilities and produced high quality image files. I'd been hearing so much about the big splash Fujifilm was making with their X Series cameras, specifically the x100s.

The x100s seemed to be the camera for me, but I couldn't quite get over the fact that I'd be forever stuck with a 35mm (equivalent) focal length, since the x100s isn't an interchangeable lens camera. I just couldn't pull the trigger on it. Around that time the X-E2 had come out and was also getting rave reviews. If these Fujifilm X Series cameras and lenses did indeed turn out to be as spectacular as I was hearing, I wanted to make sure I invested into a system that I could grow with, keeping the door open to the possibility of building a new kit.

After more research, I felt the X-E2 was exactly what I was looking for. Only problem was, I didn't have enough money budgeted for my Fuji lens of choice which, at the time, was the 35mm 1.4. So I made a compromise. I went ahead and bought the X-E2 camera and acquired, for very cheap, an old Canon FD 24mm 2.8 lens on eBay. I hoped this would satisfy me until I could get a Fuji lens. Off I went to England with my new little camera and, as it turns out, a piece of crap old lens. The aperture blades on that Canon FD were stuck at f/2.8 and it was not at all sharp. Every image I shot with it was slightly soft and it drove me crazy. I knew I wasn't really getting the Fujifilm experience. I came back to Boston a little frustrated and set my beautiful new X-E2 aside until I could get some Fuji glass.

It was several months ago that I was able to finally get my Fuji 23mm 1.4 lens And what a lens! Since then, I've been taking some time to get familiar with my new Fuji system.

Honestly, the shot below is what made me stop and seriously contemplate switching from Canon to Fuji. As I was processing this image in Photoshop, my thought process went sort of like this:  "Holy cow, the image files are gorgeous and I can push them around in post just like I do with the image files from my full frame 5D! And I love using this little camera - it feels so good in my hands! These Fujifilm mirrorless systems are so light and compact, it makes me giddy! Fuji's lenses are top notch and they're coming out with more! Fuji's X Series cameras are top notch and they're coming out with more! Hmmm..."  

And that was the moment. That was when I began to realize that this was not just a fling, but something substantial. 

  Candid portrait of Dave the Muse, shot RAW in available light at f/2, 1/180, ISO 1250. Processed in Lightroom & Photoshop.

Candid portrait of Dave the Muse, shot RAW in available light at f/2, 1/180, ISO 1250. Processed in Lightroom & Photoshop.

So, I've jumped onto the Fujifilm boat. I just sold my beloved Canon 135mm f2L lens in order to get the Fuji 56mm 1.2 (85mm equiv) lens. It's currently backordered, but as soon as I can get my hands on it, that 56mm is MINE. I'm going to make the switch incrementally, because it will take some time for me to acquire the necessary gear to go "full time Fuji". I need more glass (the 56mm, as I said, and maybe the 35mm, and perhaps something wider, like the 14mm). I also want to see what the rumored upcoming X-PRO2 will be like, as well as the next generation X-T model. I'll eventually need to get another Fujifilm camera - a top of the line model - and let my X-E2 become my backup.

Canon and I aren't actually divorced yet. I still need my Canon gear for professional, commissioned work. But my little X-E2 will be there with me on those jobs, as well. 

More images shot with my X-E2 coming soon.

Smoking in the Bathroom...With the Fujifilm X-E2 | Boston Fuji X Series Photographer

I'm testing the capabilities of my Fuji X-E2 and brand new 23mm 1.4 lens! I absolutely love the feel of this camera in my hands. It's compact and lightweight and the image files are beautiful. There is definitely a significant shutter lag, however. Not a huge problem - it'll just take some getting used to, is all.

The 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens is superb. Sharp and fast. I almost bought the 35mm due to budget constraints, but I knew I would start to feel limited with that focal length after a short time. I tend to shoot portraits at either very wide or telephoto focal lengths; I use my Canon 24mm or my 85mm much more then I use my 50mm. So, I went with the 23mm and I'm glad I did. It will be a versatile focal length for me. 

The following image was shot in RAW, using only available light (the quality of which was pretty awful) in an old, dingy bathroom, using the shower curtain as a background. The ISO was cranked all the way up to 6400 and I was somewhere around f/2.5 and 1/180th. I've been keeping the in-camera noise reduction turned down to -2. Otherwise, it's a tad bit heavy for my liking, as I prefer to have more control in post.

I processed this image in Lightroom and Photoshop...and, yes, I did add some noise reduction back to this image in post. 

© Sarahmica Photography_Smoking in the Bathroom.jpg

I am really digging my X-E2 and 23mm. I just cannot get over how small and light this camera is and the high quality images files it produces! I definitely plan on testing this Fuji system with some studio lights in the near future. I have a feeling I won't be disappointed.