A Birthday Surprise

When my friend asked if I would do a boudoir shoot for her husband’s birthday present I was excited to try something new.  I wanted to make them a piece of art rather than a pin-up.  I had seen this post on “kiss the groom” (a fast favorite) and wanted to try something similar.  Although with a one week deadline, we weren’t ready to dive in to a totally new medium.  We created something with a similar feel using materials easily found a the art store.

I did take the plunge and purchased a Lens Baby Composer to aid in the feel of the images.  I bet you don’t know that while in school I photographed all my assignments using a crappy Cannon Rebel 35mm which would scratch my film plane even.  Oh, those were the days.  Then BYU’s photo department secured a few 4×5″ cameras which we could rent.  Well I checked out one of those 40 lb cases whenever I could.  I loved the 4×5 cameras and I loved tilting that front plane.  I used those cameras in my illustration class, which was mostly product work (which I hated) and proceeded to use it for the portrait class.  My teacher asked that I stop shooting with the large format camera.  He wanted the images to be less staged (they were still pretty loose, I thought).  At the time I didn’t really feel the need to practice shooting people with my slr.  I had had plenty of time on that thing.

That spring we visited some photographers in Los Angeles who photographed people using a 4×5 camera.  Kids and families even!  They were high end portraitists who would present proofs (4×5″ contact prints) in handmade books and photographed wiggly kids using a camera that took time to set up and was difficult to move around.  Unbelievable.  Wish I could remember who they were so I could get an update on their work.  That was probably 15 years ago.

Since that time I have always wanted a 4×5″ camera of my own, or get a tilt-shift lens.  But I never wanted to lug the equipment around or spend the dough for the tilt shift lens.  I couldn’t imagine shooting a wedding and having to set up 3 different cameras.  Just too much stuff to deal with.  But whenever I saw 4×5 or 8×10 cameras being used for wedding photography, I would always dream of ways to make it work.

Fast forward to 2011.  Film is pretty much dead (unless you talk with Jonathan) but I still have the desire to load the film and crank the knobs and get some type 55 polaroid.  Oooo, and a vintage, uncoated lens.  Buying a $250 lens baby makes me feel a bit like a sell out.  Really, everyone’s got one…  every blogger mom in the world owns one.  Why am I just hearing about them?  Am I really that out of the loop?  Apparently.  I want the hack product too.  It’s $250.  In the world of lens, that’s super cheap.   It’ll hold me over until I decide I need the real thing.  Tonight I will  dream of all the things I could do with a 4×5 camera.


We found these wooden frames which I’m sure are made for someone to paint on.  They were a convenient 4×6 size!  We just got some sheet adhesive, not sure what it is called, and mounted the prints to the frames.  Then we used some jell medium or something… who knows.  It sounded a lot like mod podge.  I almost bought the glossy mod podge, but I’m glad I didn’t.  This stuff smelled much better.  Sorry the details are a little fuzzy.  This happened in April and all the supplies are packed away some place in my garage.

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