Camera Shy

Out from behind the lens

Top Ten Reasons You Might Be a Photographer

#9.  30,000 family photos neatly categorized in Lightroom.  Zero photos of you.

That’s pretty much sums it up. I have thousands of family photographs. Parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, my wife, my son, you name it….and nada of yours truly. Aside from some family portraits we had done at JC Penny’s over a year and a half ago (it’s rather cute how they never touch the camera or light settings there…everything is already pre-programmed. All they have to do is press the shutter), there hasn’t really been any family photographs where I was in the picture. This troubled my wife. She said something along the lines of looking like a single parent because it was always just her and my son. I was always behind the camera….She was right….(sshhhhh!).

So while we went to North Carolina to visit some friends (back from my Shooting from the hip post), we also went to Duke Gardens. My wife was adamant that we were going to get some family pictures. It was an ultimatum of sorts. Well… I puffed out my chest, looked her straight in the eye and said:



One thing I realized….Duke Gardens is quite a walk. The temperature was also nice and toasty (it was noon). I had my camera bag and my bag with light stands and modifiers. By the time we found a nice place to take a couple snapshots, I was hot and sweaty. Needless to say, I could have used a mule…but I was the only jackass around. 🙂

So as I mentioned earlier, it was noon…bright, blistering heat shining down on us. I may be half Asian, but I didn’t want our family pictures to be squinty-eyed from the bright sun. We found a shaded area near a pond, and I started setting everything up.


I used 2 yongnuo flashes, paired up with my Phottix multi-boom on a light stand. I had the flashes set to 1/2 power each, mounted to a 60″ shoot-through umbrella. Triggered with Pocket Wizard Plus X units.

I had a wireless shutter system plugged into my camera, with the remote in my hand. I had pre-focused, and then turned off automatic focusing. Granted if we moved a lot, we wouldn’t be in focus…

My camera was on a tripod (I hate tripods…) that had one leg sitting in the pond.

By the way….whenever you go into a department store and see those free umbrella bags at the entrance, grab a few. They work great as tripod leg covers when you need to use your tripod in and around water! 🙂

So here we are….me and my better half. I should have worn better jeans….Notice the sweat stain on my shirt from the aforementioned heat.

And of course one with our son, Liem, getting a surprise sneak kiss/squish attack!

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