Newborn Photographer Hampshire celebrates National Camera Day by sharing with you my passion not only for photography, but my cameras too.
As a child, I always loved taking photographs; sending off the films and getting the photographs returned in the post. I have no idea what type of camera I used, but I would expect it was something similar to the Kodak Instamatic. https://photojottings.com/kodak-instamatic-100-review/
My true passion for photography didn’t really start until 2001 when I bought my first SLR camera. For those who aren’t sure what SLR means, it refers to a single reflex lens. What this really means is that when the shutter button is pressed, the single mirror lens flips up to reveal the camera sensor. Nowadays we have DSLR; a digital single lens reflex. Professional photographers will have a range of lenses; some a fixed focal length and some zoom.
So in 2004, I bought a Canon D10. My mission was to discover how to use it properly, rather than using it on programme mode. I joined an evening photography class. Little did I know that we would be learning on a film camera, so I bought a second-hand Canon film camera. I absolutely loved creating images in the darkroom; it was just magical seeing the image come alive in the chemicals.
I used my Canon 10D when I first became a wedding photographer. I can remember the first wedding where I was the photographer, I shot the wedding in film – never again. This was crazy as I had a digital camera at the time. I ended up converting the negatives into digital images. At that time, the experts were saying that film was still better than digital.
Moving from Film to Digital
However, there was quite a change in the camera world when Nikon launched their D1 when there was a great shift from film cameras to digital. I was a wedding photographer and there were rave reviews on using the Nikon D1 for weddings. I used to get frustrated with the battery power on the Canon flashgun, so I made the decision to trade in all my Canon equipment for Nikon. This was quite a brave thing to do at the time, as photographers make a huge financial investment in their camera equipment. So in 2008, I bought the Nikon D700 which was full frame sensor, which means that you can take better photos in low light, the image isn’t cropped and the end result is of a higher quality image. This was the perfect camera for being a wedding photographer. I have not for one minute ever regretted swapping my Canon equipment to Nikon.
Being a wedding photographer, it is so important to have a backup camera. If your camera fails on you, you still need to carry on taking the wedding photographs. I bought the Nikon D800 in 2012 and had my D700 as a backup. Only in March this year (2021) did I purchase the upgrade to the D800, the D850. My Nikon D800 recently developed a fault; not surprising as it had 296,000 clicks on the shutter (Nikon’s rating of 200,000). I think you can tell that I’ve taken quite a few photographs over the years.
I’ve always invested in Nikon genuine lenses. They are certainly quite an investment, but will last years. I won’t get into the technical aspect of lenses, but for weddings I had two favourite zoom lens – 24-70mm and then a 70-200mm. The 24-70 would be used for the majority of the photographs. The 70-200mm will give you a crisp photograph with the background being blurred. I loved using this lens for the bride and groom photographs and also capturing guests from a distance. For my lovely newborn photography studio at Cams Hall, I only use my 24-70mm to capture those gorgeous newborn photographs.
My Life in Photography
Photography isn’t just a profession for me, it is a huge part of my life. I love taking photographs in my personal life too. So for me, having the best camera for my personal life is incredibly important.
In the mid-2000, major camera manufacturers were launching mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras lack a reflex mirror (like the SLR camera), which means light passes through the camera directly to the digital sensor of the camera. Mirrorless cameras are also lighter than SLR cameras.
Fuji was making big waves in the camera industry with the launch of their mirrorless cameras and it was also becoming very popular with female wedding photographers. I purchased a Fuji X-T1. Like an SLR, the Fuji mirrorless camera has a range of interchangeable lenses. I’ve recently upgraded my X-T1 to the X-T3. The technology enhancement between the T1 and T3 is incredible. I would say that the quality from my X-T3 is on a par with my Nikon D850. I have the equivalent lenses for my Fuji as I have for my Nikon, so if I needed to use it professionally, I could. My partner has recently bought the Nikon Z6 camera which is really the equivalent of my Fuji X-T3.
Inspiring New Photographers
I’m excited that I am going to be launching photography training for mums, and potentially I know that some of these mums will be looking for recommendations on the best cameras to buy. There are many camera manufacturers out there, but for me personally, I have always been pleased with Nikon and Fuji. For anyone wanting to take photography seriously, I would recommend buying either a SLR or mirrorless camera. My advice would be to buy the best lens possible, as you can always upgrade the camera body at a later date.
There are so many options out there for cameras. I would say that if you think you would like to take photography seriously, I would make sure you buy a camera where you can have interchangeable lenses. Mirrorless ones have the advantage of being lighter, and make great holiday cameras, as well as using them professionally.
Just as an example, an entry-level Nikon SLR is the Nikon D3500. You can buy it with an 18-55mm lens for just over £400. A little more expensive, the Nikon Z50 mirrorless body with 16-50mm lens is just under £900.
Here are a couple of links to camera suppliers I would recommend: