My Favorite Photography Gear

If there’s something that makes a photographer tick (and drool), it’s looking at photography gear and gadgets, most of the time while online. Who doesn’t go ‘window-shopping’ online for their favorite hobby, obsession or lifelong pursuit? If there’s anything that the web has done, it has made clicking and shopping so easy, it’s scary. But it has to be said, that this ease has made it so that you can potentially get your hands on something that you actually need the very next day, if you wish…and so revolutionize your photographing power that much sooner!
Me and my fellow Clickin Moms photograp(her)s somehow always manage to mention photography gear and tools at every photowalk or meetup, so I love hearing about others’ fun purchases too. I don’t have much extra money, and nor am I a spendthrift, so my shopping usually goes along with a lot of deliberating and comparing, and this usually means I’m a happy customer. There is now a huge market for women photographers out there, so I have featured a number of items here that reflect that.

Thanks to Pinterest (and sites like Amazon and Etsy), many of us probably spend entirely too much time gawking at things we can’t afford or don’t need, but here are a few choice photog purchases I have made, that I love, love, love. This one is for the lady photographers!
*Note: I have not been asked or paid to write about these products by the business owners, so they really are things I love enough to write about…

1) Custom camera strapSomething Strappy, $28

Camera Strap, Something Strappy

Camera Strap, Something Strappy

Now maybe I should join the Black Rapid gang and get one of their straps, but I like to be more unique than that, getting something that says me a lot better. The strap on my main camera, my Nikon D7000, is a custom strap by Something Strappy on Etsy. I spent hours ogling straps, deciding a camera strap cover wasn’t for me; although I like the idea of changing designs more easily, they never stay in one spot and bunch up, making my strap not looking as awesome as it could. My custom strap does have different prints on the two sides, as well as my photography business name embroidered on it (marketing tool!), so I at least fulfilled two design choices with it. Kimberly K was easy to chat online with to get the strap as I would like it, and I can tell great care was taken in making it just as I wanted.
It can be attached to the camera just as any strap would, but I use a Strap Buddy on the base of my camera, so that it can hang more easily on my side (take that, Black Rapid) and so far, it has been the perfect combo. The Strap Buddy was bought on Photojojo‘s site; quite possibly having the coolest collection of fabulous photography gadgets anywhere on the web. But naturally, many many things on there that I don’t actually need, alas.

*Baby Crown prop: JBPLove, also on Etsy

2) Lens cap keeper strapEverlee Designs, $5 (CAD)

Owl Lens Cap Keeper, Everlee Designs

Owl Lens Cap Keeper, Everlee Designs

This little handy dandy gadget is also the cutest little gadget, thanks to Megan Lee, based up in Ottawa, Canada. Also bought on Etsy. And I kind of fib here by putting this in the singular, because I have kept on going back to Everlee Designs to buy these for all my lenses and have just bought myself a backup. Having your lens cap staying attached to your camera instead of setting it down somewhere or putting it in your pocket (for it to fall out) is more than handy. That’s one less thing to worry about when you’re shooting a session. I suppose this is unabashedly one for the girls, because I have a couple of owls, a ladybug/bird, a flower and I have a pink mushroom coming. Beyond cute, and also serves to help capture the attention of many a photographed cat with the dangling of my camera cap.
Megan also includes with my purchase, the cutest notes to me and some blank tags that I use on client packaging.

*On the above photo of my camera with the strap and crown, you can see another of the owl lens cap keepers!

3) Rose Bronze camera bagJo Totes, $89, and Urban Photo sling bag – Lowepro, $76

Rose Bronze camera bag, Jo Totes

Rose Bronze camera bag, Jo Totes

Now these are two things, yes, but one can’t go anywhere without a bag to carry everything in, and these two serve different purposes. I’m actually cheating here, because these were both bought as gifts for me (although I picked them out).

My Rose is the larger bag as well as the prettier one, and holds a good load of gear safely: camera body with lens attached, 2 lenses, external flash and some other gubbins like an extra battery, filters, cell phone, etc. Sometimes it feels a bit too bulky and pretty to take along to a shoot, so I often use my Urban Sling instead (photos below). It’s boring black, but sometimes inconspicuous is good. It’s also very easy to pull round to my front to change out lenses and so forth, is very comfy and light, and I stuff a fair amount in: camera plus lens or two (depending on lens size) and my flash-gun.

I have many other bits and bobs that I use and love, aside from my actual kit, but these are things that I get asked about when people see them, so I thought I’d share. I definitely support the little businesses I find on Etsy for buying unique custom items and there’s a plethora of cool photography products out there that aren’t just black and grey and advertising your camera brand. If you buy through Etsy, tell them I sent you, and get customizing!

Photos on the blog soon of my recent wedding photography session. Excited to get them done! Catch up with me on Facebook too: K.A.Moore Photography on Facebook

xo ~ K

PS. Follow me on Pinterest here: kamoorephoto

Perfect Imperfection | Seattle Film Photography 

Hooray for analog! I finally got around to the long (although not quite arduous) process of getting my medium format film prints into their new square photo album this afternoon. Having the prints in a square format (some 5 inch square, some 4) makes them automatically special, but it’s the getting them there and into a real live, not-on-the-computer, album that makes it all so extra special.

Taking photos on film, in any format, involves you in such a different process from that of digital photography, and until I got my Diana F+ a few Christmases ago, I’d mostly left film photography behind for some time. Back when I was working on feature films, I had basically become a film snob, and would abhor anything that would be shot on anything but 35mm celluloid, for the process and production values at the time when working with film, just magnified a project to further greatness. Everyone has now gone digital in the lands of both professional photography and film-making but there are signs everywhere of nostalgia for those mediums; there has been a resurgence in what is called the ‘analog lifestyle’; go see http://www.lomography.com/ if you want to see how the Lomo movement has taken off with and grab every cool camera to do so with. And funnily enough, every camera app on your iPhone wants to replicate film, to get the look and feel of its simplicity, its unsuspecting colors and its element of surprise. I love using the phone apps but they don’t truly represent the process of taking photos on film, getting them developed and into your hot little hands, where they were highly anticipated for so long (usually the next day, actually). You had to make sure every shot counted and there were always some good, and disappointing surprises with the returned prints.Then finally getting those beautifully imperfect prints into an album – not even into separate plastic dividers inside, just with actually photo mounts straight onto the page – feels like the most wonderful thing. For if photos aren’t meant to be gazed over (other than on a phone display or on you laptop), what are they for? There’s a major satisfaction of holding that imperfect surprise of a print in your hot little hands…and there you go, that is your art.

As photographers now, with all the new technology and post-processing available, you find yourself expecting nothing less than perfection. Perfect composition, lighting, exposure, posing, editing, all of it; some aspects of the medium have allowed us to get close to perfect, particularly with the new ability to take countless shots without worrying about wasting frames/money. But we may spend too much time trying to get that ‘perfect shot’ these days…

I think I will set myself a personal cat project with film because I think this would be a lot harder challenge against digital. I would expect most pet photographers to agree that they can take a lot of shots of cats and dogs at a session but most will be throw-aways, due to the activity and often non-compliance (or if you’d like to say, they had a different agenda that day). I don’t think I’d be able to do the same pet portraits on film, but I’d go in with hope that the less-than-perfect shots held their character as I imagined but still showed me some great surprises. I will have to research some pet photographers of the past who shot on film…

On to a week of organizing photos, possibly a cat session and a model session, as well as prepping for school portraits! It’s keeping me busy but it also keeps me sane; it all serves as therapy!

“A beautiful thing is never perfect.’ – Proverb

Bye for now. xo ~ K