Rainy Days & Parking Garages

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I’ve learned never to plan anything without considering the possibility of rain. Because if you fail to have a rain plan, it will absolutely, positively, no-doubt-about-it rain. And if you DO have a rain plan… well, it’s just as likely to rain then, too.

Since I shoot on location (i.e., no studio), parking garages are my best friend on rainy days – particularly the big, open-air kind with daylight-exposed sides. One of those coveted garages saved my ass in May when I hosted five fantastic photographers for a freelensing workshop in Atlanta, and – you guessed it – the sky opened up and it rained like we’d danced for it.

These photographs demonstrate what it can look like when you make The Rain Plan your friend…

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When I shoot in small spaces, I try to find multiple ways to photograph the same scene. Every single photograph in this post was shot with my Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens. Using a prime (non-zoom) lens demanded that I physically move to achieve different angles and perspectives – no getting lazy!

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Parking garages are typically lit with terrible fluorescents, making color balancing less than fun. I wouldn’t rely on this sort of light for an entire shoot, but I liked using it for a few photos.

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My gorgeous models were Elli & Dustin – a real-life couple whose wedding I’ll be shooting in St. Lucia next year! EEK!

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Whenever I teach a class, I get scared that no one will show up. With that in mind, I’m enormously grateful to the people who not only show up, but they contribute their own unique, creative energies to the experience. The five women who attended “The Art of Freelensing” brought much to the table. I’m forever honored to be in the company of so many terrific artists. Photographing them at the end of the workshop was my way of saying, “Thank you for making this community such a beautiful place to reside!”

This is Kate Pardey, whose travels from Australia brought her through my neck of the woods at just the right time:

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Lisa Phillipson and Susie Mann:

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Self-proclaimed hobbyist Sandi Walker:

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And Elizabeth Smith:

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Even for a blog post, I like to have a finishing photo (or set of photos). This little diptych feels like the perfect “goodbye.”

Freelensed motion is a challenge to capture, but it’s lovely to look at – even when it’s not spot-on. That’s the beauty of freelensing: the imperfection of it. The twisted bokeh and the unexpected light leaks remind me of why I got into photography in the first place – to make something beautiful when no one else thinks I can.

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