• Samantha Leon

My portrait equipment | Professional Photographer Fresno, California

Hello everyone!

I cannot believe the year is half over already. Didn't summer just start? We had a great 4th of July holiday at home. With our upcoming move in August we decided to just spend it as the four of us and I am so glad that we did!

This week I wanted to start giving my clients the opportunity to get to know me better. Last year when I found out that to stay relevant, photographers need to blog. And by blog, I mean blog A LOT. Apparently google prefers we do it at least once a week if not twice. I really struggled with starting blogging. Who cares what I have to say?! Ha! But, after some self reflection, I realized, if you are going to develop a relationship with me for years you should get to know me!

When talking to my son about what Mama does as a job, my husband has really put things in perspective for both Teddy and myself. My photography equipment is actually what we have started referring to as tools. Without my tools, I cannot do my job.

As in my last post, I wanted to elaborate about what goes into owning and operating a photography business.

It has taken me years (... literally years!) to research, test, and purchase all of the equipment that I own. Of course, there is much more that I would like to have but, I'm very comfortable with my tools. When making the decision to purchase something such as a large item like a lens, the vendors that I choose to work with or smaller items for my newborns I always research everything. I like to find other photographers to hear their opinions, often which are conflicting, and make sure everything that I have is of superb quality. Not necessarily the most expensive, but the best quality items that I can find.

I am a Canon photographer, I love the brand and really enjoy the ease of the Canon products. My current camera is the Canon 5D Mark IV. This camera, although pricy was a year long process. I hemmed and hawed about it but, I was really limited with my previous camera. I just didn't have the low light ability with my previous crop sensor camera. One of the best pieces of advice that I can give to any photographer is to only upgrade when you truly feel held back by your current tools. If what you are using still feels dawnting or your have yet to fully master your camera on manual, absolutely stick with what you have for now. My camera has high resolution video recording ability and a sharpness of photos that can rival anything I have seen before. I do hear chirping about Sony releasing a new mirrorless camera that is sharper than anything on the market. I have yet to try the Sony out , but that will be a post for much, much later! With approximately 31 Mega Pixels, the Canon 5D Mark IV has the ability to capture photos and enlarge them to billboard size. The technology is truly amazing and I love that I have been able to customize everything to fit my style and needs.

Lenses, oh lenses, I could have 100 of them and want more. I love how different each mm length is. I personally only use Primes (lenses that do not zoom). I feel the quality of the lenses are better and much sharper than zoom. I have two Canon lenses (50 mm 1.4f and the 135 2f) and one Sigma Art (35 mm 1.4f). I really like my Canon lenses and they are always consistent, I cannot always say the same for my Sigma Art 35. When it is sharp, it is tack sharp, but I feel it often is too soft for my liking. I'm very bummed about it as I know it is a favorite of nearly every photographer that I know. Each lens provides such a different look and each has its place depending on how much space you have. For family and children studio I will often use my 35 and 50mm. For outdoor sessions with beautiful backgrounds and lots of space I love my 135. The colors actually seem more vibrant as well.

For my editing software and tools, I have chosen the MacBook Pro and always utilize Adobe PhotoShop. I've been an Apple person for as long as I can remember and prefer their products over any other brand. I rarely ever follow the masses but, in this case, it is what it is. In my mind there isn't another tech company that provides a better computer. Ease and customization are things I value in my products. Every image needs tweaking in some sense, I often shoot slightly crooked no matter how hard I try so from a quick leveling to a full multi layered edit that takes me 3 hours (Yes! It has 100% happened to me on several occasions!), PhotoShop is just paramount. Adobe LightRoom has it's place for photographers. I believe the synching process works wonderfully for wedding photographers, my style just tends to be more fine tuned and I just love to paint light into my images. I was so intimidated with PhotoShop for years, it was about 4 years or so before I decided to hunker down and learn everything about the software that I could. I am so glad I did because my images have so much more depth to them.

I have been a natural light photographer my entire career, however, this year I decided I'm going to jump into studio light. I am still researching which brand I will purchase my set up from, plus, I'm still torn as to working with flash or continuous light will deliver what I am after. With newborns, a large octobox (72cm to be exact... gigantic!) deliver the soft creamy light everyone loves. However, with children I sometimes love the harsher- deeper shadows. Quite the conundrum I'm in! I have been looking at ProFoto as I know it is the preferred brand that Ana Brandt uses. With Ana being as amazing as she is, I'm tempted to try it. Also another amazing photographer, Kelly Brown who typically uses natural light, uses JinBei when the lighting conditions just won't allow for a lovely shot. Natural light will always produce harsher shadows, so I just need to decide what I prefer. The artist in me loves both!

All of my non-paper backdrops are from Intuition Backgrounds. I absolutely love, love the styles that Becky sells. I had the pleasure of meeting her in May at Belly Baby and Beyond, she is also such a lovely person. She carries everything from bright with lots of loud detail and simple, classic styles which I prefer. Earlier this year I bought this wood looking floor drop and it photographs so nicely. I plan to purchase another few wood options soon. Becky's customer service is always so great and her team will always answer any question that I have.

So, that's about it. I also have tons, and tons of props. I love props and I really need to stop buying them! I will do another blog post about my vendors for wall art and props soon. I have a love affair for fun and unique items. I can't wait to share all of that with you!

I hope you all have a great week.

Happy Capturing! SL

#MaternityPhotographerFresno #LittleLionPhotographyCo #NewbornPhotographerFresnoCa #BabyShowerGift #ProfessionalPhotographerFresno #Fresno #ChildrenPhotographerFresno #FamilyPhotographerFresno


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Fresno, California

Clovis, California

Located in Fig Garden Village

760 W. Shaw Ave Suite 104

Freno, California 93704

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