I get a lot of photography questions, and I've always tried to respond personally to each one.  I realized that I get a lot of the same questions over and over, so I thought I'd take the time to answer them on my blog, in case any of you out there were wondering the same things!  If you have a question, feel free to email it to me at molly {at} cedarhousephotography {dot} com and I'll do my best to answer it!What programs do you use to do your editing?

I use Adobe Lightroom 2.7 and Photoshop CS4, although I'm dying to come up with an excuse to get CS5 ;)  I absolutely love Lightroom and would be lost without it.  Although Bridge can do a lot of the same things, I think Lightroom is much more user-friendly and definitely worth the investment.  I also use Photoshop CS4 to composite my images together and add the logo for the blog.

What kind of camera and lenses do you use?

"Canon or Nikon" is like the original "mac vs. PC / Coke vs. Pepsi" rivalry.  Everyone has their preference, and many people on either side of the debate might be willing to die to defend it :)  If you don't believe me, check out this video.  However, I would estimate that 95% or so of pros use either Canon or Nikon, with the small remainder using brands like Sony or Olympus.  Asking me the "Canon or Nikon" question is a little bit of a trick question, since right now I'm shooting with (gasp!) both.  I started out with a Nikon D2xs and bought a Canon 5D MarkII about a year ago, and when I shoot weddings, I bring both with me and keep a 50mm 1.4 on one and a 28-105 on the other.  When I'm shooting senior portraits, etc, I'm pretty much always using the 50 mm 1.4... I just love the quality and feel of prime lenses.  I've been shooting with the 5D Mark II more and more lately and have recently decided to make the switch all the way to Canon.  So, on that note, I'm also selling a bunch of Nikon stuff!  Let me know if you're interested :)

I'm getting more into photography lately.  What's a good starter lens for me?

Well, this really depends on what you're shooting.  For portraits or people shots, I would recommend a prime lens like a 50 or 85 mm with a shallow depth of field, such as a 1.8 or 1.4.  I find that I prefer the 50mm in most situations and I really don't use my 85 that much.  The only big drawback to using a prime lens is that they're "fixed focal length" which means that you don't get any sort of  zoom capability.  However, if you're interested in sports photography or wildlife, for example, you might want to think about getting a good telephoto lens, which will enable you to zoom right in on your athlete or your bighorn sheep without having to be right up close :)

How do you get your images to have such vibrant color?  Do you make saturation adjustments in Photoshop?

Actually, nope, I never touch the saturation - I find that doing so makes the colors look a little unrealistic and fake.  Honestly, the best way to get amazing color in your images is to nail your exposure in-camera so that you don't have to mess with it later.  Also, I intentionally shoot in areas that have a lot of color- green trees or grass, colored walls, etc.  The only time I really make color adjustments is when I'm editing a shoot that took place in less-than-ideal lighting conditions - for example, under fluorescent lights.  Fluorescent lights tend to do funky things to skin tones and give everything sort of a bluish-greenish cast, so if I absolutely have to shoot under them, I'll have to make adjustments to my white balance so that the skin tones will look more natural.  Natural-looking is the way I like it!

Did you Photoshop that?

Ooh, this question is a  toughie.  Without even looking at the image you're referring to, I can say, technically, yes.  All my images are edited with Photoshop.  But this probably doesn't mean what you think it means :)  I use Photoshop to sharpen, remove blemishes, and do some general fine-tuning.  However, I don't shoot people in the studio and Photoshop them to look like they're sitting in front of the mountains, for example.  If you see someone in front of an amazing background, they were really there!  I'll also never change your eye color or hair color.  Sometimes I will edit out distracting elements like power lines or pieces of trash on the ground, but that's about it.

Do you teach classes or workshops?

I've been getting so many of these questions lately that I'm definitely thinking about putting something together.  Although I don't have anything set up right now, if I have enough people interested, I'd love to host a workshop!  Let me know if you're interested!

Thanks for the great questions, everyone!  And because every blog post is better with an image... here's a sneak peek from Cole & Sara's wedding this last weekend.  Enjoy!

buena vista wedding photographer, salida wedding photographer

1 Comment