Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Test Shots + Answers to Your Photography Questions


I am finally working on getting my portfolio together, which means I have been doing a lot of test shoots as of late. I shot these photos of Lo last weekend, and I am really digging the mass amount of greenery. She is wearing one of my vintage 50s pin-up bathing suits I scored at an estate sale for under $2, a vintage hat I picked up one day while thrifting, and some random African beads used as as necklaces.

I shoot with a Nikon D60. If you are interested in that model, know that it has now been replaced with a newer model: Nikon D5000 

The Nikon D5000 will run about $600 [comes w/18-55 lens] - HOWEVER; if you can find a vendor that carries Refurbished camera's, you can get a Nikon D60 [with the 18-55 lens] for about $200-$250 - Whenever you are purchasing a refurb, always source from a reputable vendor. Samy's Camera is one of my favorites www.samys.com 

As far as lenses are concerned, I love to shoot with prime lenses [lenses that don't have zoom capability] because I find that they are much clearer. Here are some of my favorites!

Nikon 50mm 1.8 [$124.95]- This is hands down one of my favorite lenses to use for food photography, and portraiture shots. It's perfect for low-light conditions, and produces photos that are crystal clear. 
One note about this lens is that it will NOT auto-focus on the following Nikon models: D40, D40x, D60 and D5000, which means you will need to focus manually. 

Big Bucks? You can get the Nikon 50mm 1.4 [$439.95] instead, which has the capability to auto-focus on all Nikon DSLR models. This is also much faster in comparison to the 1.8 model which can be crucial if you are shooting a moving subject. The creamy bokeh [out of focus/blurred distorted area] that this model produces is also a selling point.

Nikon 85mm 1.8 [$432.97]- One of my favorite lenses to use for in-studio shoots, as well as close range shots on location. The clarity that this lens produces is unbelievable, and the bokeh [out of focus/blurred distorted area] is nice as well if you're in to that kind of thing.

I also love to visit photographer's websites for inspiration; here are some of my favorites at the moment:

www.3680photography.com - Met this photographer at the Bilal concert, and I was hooked on his work after seeing one photo.

Kwesi Abbensetts - I absolutely love the grittiness of his work! I have been a fan for some time now!


  1. Great work! I model, it'd be great to collab with you one day. =)

  2. These shots are Fab, and I really love the greenery as well, I actually really dig the contrast of green to Lo's popping Red lips. Fab!!!


  3. The second photo looks perfect. Great shoot.

  4. Professional pix, professional model!? Love em!!

  5. what's the lipstick name pleae? i love it!

  6. These photos are gorgeous! You guys rock!

    ...I'm so glad you did a post about photography because I've been shopping around for an upgrade to a dSLR and I've been trying to research and see what my favorite fashion bloggers are using. I'll definitely look into a Nikon because your photos are always so vibrant.

  7. Beautiful shots, Two of my favorite things -- photography and modeling in one post, awesome. :D

  8. Liv,
    The lipstick color is RubyWoo by MAC.




  10. LOVE THE SHOTS! I dabble a lil in photography as well, as a matter of fact I just recently purchased the Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens that you mentioned. I love to use it for portrait work and it also gives a pretty good depth of field. I shoot with a D80. My friend just bought the D5000 and she absolutely loves it! Keep it up!

  11. Beautiful photos!

    This post is right on time! I received a Nikon D5000 as a mother's day gift and I'm learning all the basics of photography now. It's so awesome to see what kinda of shots I can get with my camera (and the right lens :)

    Also bookmarking the photographer websites you mentioned.

  12. Thanks for the photographers...good luck with you portfolio. I'm trying to work on mine too.

  13. Great pics, great post! BTW there is a new feature you can use on your blog to let people post your blog to other social networking sites. I would love it you had one :)I have it on mine under my post.

  14. Stunning photos! I'm also picking up photography & running test shots to build a portfolio.
    I work with a Canon Rebel Xsi though :) Thanks for posting the photographer websites. I'm always looking for inspiration!

  15. These pics are so dope..I wish I were this creative...

  16. @CoCoCosmopolitan Hit me up! nikole@themoptopmaven lets connect and make it happen :-)

    @Morgan-Ashley Thank you!!I love the contrast of the greenery and red lips as well!

    @Hell Notes for Beauty™ Thank you! That is one of my favorite shots as well!

    @Ife' I concur

    @Shakira Thank you very much!

    @wonder211 Thank You!

    @Liv Ruby Woo/MAC

    @Sheree Thank you! Glad I could be of some assistance!

    @Veronica W. HA HA HA! Thank you very much! And I love your friend's site! Adding it to my list of sites to stalk!

    @Lolitta It DOES give a good depth of field, it's one of my favorite lenses.

    @Elle Congrats! I know you will love it! Take pics of everything! I know I do...lol

    @K.I. Double Thank you! Good Luck with yours as well!

    @Encourage and Uplift Thanks a million, I will definitely check out my dashboard and add it to my posts.

    @LadyCook Thank you so much!

    @birthday à la mode Thank you, are you L.A based? Always looking for photographers in the area to collab with!

    @mpoweredbody Thank you so much! I am SURE you are! We are all capable of it!


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