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FAQ: Email Questions

Recently, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time answering questions that come in about my work, website, blog, equipment, etc… and have also been asked to mentor a few new photographers. And to top it all off, I EVEN had two sweet gals approach me with requests to intern…da bomb! It is such an amazing feeling to be asked for my opinions and to share my experience…and humbling. I am eternally grateful to God for any talent that I may possess, and also to those who have helped me along the way…offering their opinions, direction, guidance & wisdom.

I remember when I first moved to San Diego, just a little over 2 years ago, and got involved with my local PUG at Jeff & Erin Youngren‘s home. The first night, I stood in the corner…waiting. I knew there was goodness to be found there, but I was just a bit timid to go hunting for it just yet. It was when I was perusing the Youngren’s sample albums for the 5th time, that Erin came over and said hello. That’s all it took. From there, I met Jeff, then my friend Bethany, then the McCue’s, and then…and then… These peeps were my kinda people! I hearted them all instantly for their genuine honesty and openness. From then on, I came prepared with a zillion questions and Jeff & Erin never batted an eye in offering assistance. Even when my newly self-designed blog totally blitzed one day, Jeff (who unbenownst to me was just recovering from surgery) miraculously & selflessly rescued it for me! It is people like Jeff & Erin or Justin & Mary Marantz, who have humbly and openly shared their knowledge with me, that inspire me to want to be better and more available to those who ask of my limited knowledge. THANK YOU to those who have shared so selflessly with me! I am eternally grateful!

So, in that spirit, here are some answers to some of the slew of questions that have come my way of late. And THANK YOU, to those who have asked. THANK YOU for every single question. I don’t profess to know much, but I do know what I have learned the hard way, and I’m glad to hopefully save someone else the trouble. I’m not an expert, I’m not suggesting my answers are right…they are just my humble opinions and I’m glad to share them. And hopefully, possibly, maybe help someone out in the process. ๐Ÿ™‚

Not at all! I shoot with two Canon 5DMII’s right now, and love them. My list of lenses is long (due to my significant need for counseling to cure my shopping habit!) but my Fab Four favorites are my 50 mm 1.2 (uber-loved!), 85 mm 1.2, 24-70 mm 2.8, and 70-200 mm 2.8 IS. I have several others, like a fish eye, macro, wide angle, etc… but they hardly ever get used.

Believe it or not, this wasn’t the full extent of Jennifer’s questions…she asked permission first and then sent me a literal list of them! I LOVE it! Heart her… Go get ’em Jennifer! I can’t wait to see you follow your passion and succeed!

I shot my first paid wedding back in 2002 for a whopping $300!! It was awesome. The bride’s sister hired me, and they were the sweetest family and actually seemed happy with my meager shots. I am still awe struck by the way it all turned out. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Especially since I have never had any formal schooling, and hadn’t even attending any seminars at that point. Since then, I have tried to single out some of my most favorite photographers and afford their conferences, webinars & training workshops every year. The best thing I ever did, was attend Kevin Kubota’s Digital Photography Bootcamp, early on. He changed my life! It was at his workshop when I decided that I wanted to truly pursue a full time career in photography. I met the most amazing fellow photographers while I was there, like Craig Strong and Jeff Ebert, who were so encouraging and inspired me to commit. I continued working another job for the first few years until I was able to afford to purchase all of the gear & computer set up (I have always strived to live debt-free)ย I thought I needed before I jumped in full time to photography. Since then, I’ve never looked back!

I actually don’t use a blogsite, although I have nothing against them. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a separate website and blog, that I built myself (which was fun to learn…albeit ever so SLOWLY). I use WordPress for my blog and enjoy being able to edit both my website and my blog myself. ย I’m constantly changing things and even, right now, have so many updates I want to do to them both to continually stay fresh and reflect who I am as a person. I’m a bit A.D.D. when it comes to change…as I, myself, am a constant work in progress. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, I’m just not really fast enough to use filters when I shoot…so no, I don’t use them at all. I feel like it short circuits my creative juices when I have to manually mess with my gear a bunch. I’m a shoot-on-the-fly type of girl, and post-process works for me if & when I feel an image needs a “filtered” look.

I do 99% of my editing in Lightroom, only pulling files into Photoshop when they need some special lovin’. This keeps my post-processing time to a minimum…which, for those who know me, means a MUCH happier Betsy! I detest lengthy post-process work. I strive to shoot better & cleaner each time, as well as work more efficiently in my post-process, but it’s a work in progress. A work and a process that I want to make MUCH better, as a lesson to me, before I send EVERYTHING out for someone else to do one of these days. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope this info helps someone out even a little bit, by being shared. And feel free to shoot me more questions on my Facebook page or through the contact form.



  • Jeff - You’re the BOMB ๐Ÿ™‚ Love having you as part of our community!! See you Wednesday!

  • Reuben Poon - One more question……why are you so awesome? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jessica - I like taking classes at local schools, but sometime I feel like they are slow paced. I would totally love to learn more, just for personal use. If you ever need an assist, intern or just want to mentor someone. . . think of me!

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