Bellingham & Vancouver Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer Mikaela Ruth »

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FAQ: Shooting Wide

Hello, been a long time fan and would like to ask a few quick questions…what lens do you use the most as your blur is amazing in your pictures…I love how your subjects just pop out of your pictures!!  Any post blur?  Off camera flash or on camera flash (fill flash?). Thank you for your time.

Thanks so much for the note! I go back and forth between my two favourite lenses: Canon 35mm 1.4 and Canon 50mm 1.2. Most often I’m shooting as wide as 1.8, which gives that lovely, soft background! To achieve an even softer background, you can do two things in camera: pull your subjects away from the background for a greater depth of field, or really come in tight with your camera on your subjects…both pictured below…


I never use the blur tool in post production as I like to maintain as natural a photograph as possible :)

Which brings me to the second question about fill flash. In keeping an authentic feel to my photos, I use natural light as much as, and whenever, possible. Basically, this means my flashes only come out at a wedding reception once the sun has gone down or if the venue lacks natural light. Instead, I do my best to place my subjects in the most flattering light available. I look for natural reflectors – light bouncing off a sandy beach, gravel or paved path, building, etc – and use these to illuminate.


I couldn’t have asked for a better location for this newborn session. The light walls and bedding acted as the perfect reflectors, and the wall of windows to the left of these photos didn’t hurt either ;)


For this photo, I had the girls stand on the edge of the shadows, so that they were evenly lit. What you can’t see are the dried grass and gravel path that bounced the sunlight back into the photo.

If you’d like to read more on natural reflectors, check out this post. 

As always, if you have a photography related question, feel free to comment below or send an email and I’ll do my best to help and feature it in a similar post!

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