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I love shooting in locations with flowers. Flowers usually don't bloom for long periods of time, so locations are always changing, and I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities. I found this lovely set of Azalea bushes, and even though the location was small, I knew I could make it work by compressing the scene with the right lens. It just happened that I found another benefit of compressing the scene that day...  I chose two sisters as my models and I envisioned them surrounded by the lovely blooms, but something happened that I had not accounted for. The day of the shoot, I discovered that both girls were terrified of bees, and the flowers had multiple bees busily gathering pollen. The girls (understandably) didn't want to stand too close to the flowers, and they were cautiously watching the bees, making it nearly impossible to get relaxed expressions. I needed to come up with a solution, so I chose to use the Sony 70-200mm f4.

Could contain: Purple, Flower, Petal, Geranium, Person, Photography, Portrait, Child, Female, Girl

So what does 'compressing the scene' mean? In photography, it's a phenomenon where the background appears to be closer to the subject and larger in comparison than it actually is. The effect is achieved by using a telephoto lens. The longer the lens, the farther back the photographer needs to stand to keep their subject the same size in the frame, and the larger and closer the background will appear. As you can see in the image below, the girl is not standing very close to the flowers and I am standing in the street to get the shot. The Sony 70-200mm f4 gave me the compression I needed as well as a beautifully sharp subject against a creamy bokeh. Here are my settings: f4 1/250 ISO 80. I used a Godox AD400 strobe for my light source for all the images.

Could contain: Photography, Street, Electronics, Person, Camera, Car, Shoe, Wheel, Photoshoot, Flower

Could contain: Face, Head, Person, Photography, Portrait, Purple, Child, Female, Girl, Smile

f4 1/250 ISO 80


Could contain: Purple, Child, Female, Girl, Person, Face, Head, Smile, Flower, Portrait

She became a little less afraid of the bees and stepped a little closer! f4 1/250 ISO 80

Now for the second sister, and my funny 'photographer face'.....

Could contain: Photography, Electronics, Camera, Person, Photoshoot, Child, Female, Girl, Shoe, Jeans

Could contain: Head, Person, Face, Photography, Portrait, Purple, Smile, Flower, Plant, Neck

I love how this image turned out! I was also thrilled to learn that this image helped me to earn the 25 Most Influential Teen Photographer award this year! f4 1/250 ISO 80

Could contain: Photography, Potted Plant, Person, Portrait, Blouse, Dress, Street, Vegetation, Herbal, Grass

Could contain: Face, Head, Person, Portrait, Dress, Purple, Child, Female, Girl, Petal

f4 1/250 ISO 80

Could contain: Face, Head, Person, Smile, Photography, Portrait, Purple, Dress, Child, Girl

f4 1/250 ISO 80

Both girls had a fun experience and became less afraid of bees. They felt stronger and braver for facing their fears and loved their photos.  I was able to create the images I wanted, including an award winner. Choosing the best lens for your vision is an important part of the creative process, but don't be surprised if you discover additional benefits you hadn't expected. It's all part of the fun of the creative journey!

Edited by fiannabean1
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Thank you Jessica! Caroline, thank you and I love your story! I admire that you overcame your fear to do something good for the source of your fear (bees) and something good for the environment as well. By changing your POV, you turned negativity into positivity; and are now enjoying the sweet rewards (Honey-yum!) I also really love your work!!!


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