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Guest Contributor | Kara May

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I get asked a lot what lenses are my favorite so I thought it would be beneficial to share a little about what lenses I love and why!

I’m a Canon girl and shoot with the Cannon 5D MkIII; all of my lenses are Canon USM lenses.  What’s USM and why is it important?  USM stands for ‘Ultra-Sonic Motor’.  It’s a unique technology that Canon has created with a quieter motor and a quicker auto focus speed than non-USM lenses.  But is this worth the extra cost?  I think so.  These lenses are a little heavier because cheaper plastic parts are replaced with metal parts in the USM lenses making them more durable but more importantly enabling faster, sharper focus.

Image 1


I’m a constant lens changer during sessions. I really wish I had 5 or 6 camera bodies to save time switching lenses.  Ha!  But my current go-to lens is my 50mm f/1.2 L.  It’s tack sharp and at that focal length there’s minimal lens distortion on close up, detailed shots.  I’m pretty smitten over it’s creamy bokeh too. It’s a great overall lens.

Keenan Kids 2014-04 50mm Eddings Girls 2014-12 50mm Eddings Girls 2014-02 bw 50mm Keenan Kids 2014-18 50mm Keenan Kids 2014-19 50mm Pink Indian_Sep172013_7054 50mm


To capture busy, fast little kids during shoots, the 24-70 f/2.8L is my go to lens.  Its zoom makes it so easy to get both wide angle shots as well as portraits.  This lens used to stay on my camera 90% of the time before I became a serial lens changer.  Since this is an f/2.8 lens, the DOF can be very shallow if I shoot wide open.  I tend to shoot wide open nearly 95% of the time.  If you’re a zoom person, this lens is a must have!

Brielle Mad Hatter 24-70


Another lens that has resurfaced in my bag is my 100mm Macro f/2.8.   Some people are shocked to hear that I don’t necessarily use this lens for macro shots.  I use it for pretty much every type of shot – landscape, portrait, and of course detail shots.   Although I have the non-L version of this lens it still has the USM motor that makes focusing easy and sharp.  The compression this focal length offers also makes it one of my favorite lenses to use during shoots. Desert My Kids Sept 2014_5994 100mm Desert My Kids Sept 2014_5729 100mm Boho Lost Dog Trail_4763 100mm Animal Masks & Boho_3562aaaaaaaaa Animal Masks & Boho_3254baa 100mm


I bought the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS-USM in the beginning of my photography career so I could capture a family from further away.  Being up too close with my 50mm or 24-70 didn’t allow a family or siblings to have natural interaction.  If I was further away and less involved, I could capture genuine, sweet moments of movement and interaction. This lens is HUGE and heavy but it’s worth it to get these intimate shots.

Stephanie Moore-31 70-200 Keenan 2013-04 70-200 Keenan 2013-01 70-200


I’m always craving additional ways to be creative as an artist, so I couldn’t resist including my Lensbaby Lenses in my line-up of favorite lenses.  I could write so much about Lensbaby since there’s so many creative uses for the lenses they offer, but I’ll keep it short.  I have the Composer Pro Sweet 35 Optic, Composer Pro Edge 80 Optic and the macro converters.   I have to admit, I was nervous about mastering the manual focus and being able to control my outcome.  But once I played around with it, I was addicted.  You control aperture with the rings, so that was different but easy to grasp.  This lens is a great outlet for those of you who feel a little stuck creatively.

Finally, I couldn’t live without my fisheye.  I’m a proponent of ensuring I meet my own creative needs as well as my clients photographic and artistic needs, so this lens gives me both.  I love the unique prospective it captures.  It skews the world in such a distinct way; I can’t help but love everything about it.  My clients like its funky perspective too, so I usually whip this out at the very end of the session for some relaxing, free-for-all, do whatever you want, photos.

lensbaby_Jan182014_6781-2 lensbaby lensbaby_Jan182014_683 lensbaby lensbaby a Grande Luxxe Eddings Girls 2014-01 bw lensbaby-1

I have several other lenses in my bag but the above are my current favorites.  I strongly urge those I mentor to change their lenses as much as possible and experiment and get creative.  Step outside of your comfort zone even though it’s so hard to do that sometimes.  I promise you, you’ll learn some new things and expand your creativity.   I’d love to hear what your favorite lenses are.  I have a ‘wish list’ and I’m sure some of your favorites are on my list.

kara-bio Kara May Photography




Don’t forget to join Kara and the ladies for Girls Night out on Thursday, October 9th!





  1. Laura Winslow- Blog Bling (blog plug-ins every girl must have!)
  2. Kara May- Creativity Roadblocks
  3. Leslie Kerrigan- Perfectly Styled Seniors
  4. Mary Macomber- Newborn Posing Secrets
  5. Kelli France- Instagram Marketing
  6. Sandy Puc- Successful Sales Strategies

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Guest Contributor | Kelli France

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Recently I started asking myself this question, “WHAT WOULD I DO IF I KNEW I COULD NOT FAIL?” and the answers really surprised me.

It seemed that all the barriers I had built for myself were instantly removed. I felt free to dream…and dream big!

See, I think as we get older, we kinda stop dreaming. When we’re little, we wanna be a rockstar or a princess. As teens, we dream of driving a fancy car, dating the hottest guys, and being somebody important. In college, we dream of what our husband will look like and what we’ll name our kids. We dream of the important career we’ll have. Then, suddenly we graduate college or get married or have babies and then life gets busy and we forget that we can still have dreams. And we can still dream big.

So this week, I want you to encourage you to DARE TO DREAM…and dream BIG! Ask yourself this same question that I’ve been asking myself “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Your answers just might surprise you. Then don’t be afraid to pursue that wild n’ crazy dream. The only thing stopping you is YOU.

So what are YOUR answers to this question? I’d LOVE to hear your big dreams!

kelli-bio Kelli France Photography









Guest Contributor | Leslie Vega



Leslie Vega is a seasoned brand designer for photographers and wedding professionals. She founded Leslie Vega Design in 2008 and has been creating breathtaking brands for clients across the globe ever since. From logos to stationery and beautiful web presences, her passion exudes in her work and in her client experience. View her work at www.leslievegadesign.com
Leslie Vega Design, LLC |  Twitter | Facebook | Blog