Wednesday, April 27, 2011

baby lamb photographer~

(don't let the tulips fool you, it is still snowy, windy, and cold here)

With the weather stuck in winter, I am grateful that this year I invested in some new gear for my fetish ~ baby lamb photography.  

Thankfully my sweet friend Pam encouraged me to purchase some real boots ~ Blunnies, the kind that keep the yuck out and the warm in.  Bless her heart, my feet are so happy.

I have real leather gloves that I layer on top of thin cotton gloves and latex gloves (for the freezing/wet). It helps so much to keep my hands warm, I just can't take pictures very well with my sausage fingers.

I also invested in a new camera, a real bad boy (I haven't a name for him yet).  And the lens of choice right now is a Tamron 28-75mm.  I think it because I am not as nervous about getting it a bit dirty?  I would rather use one of my fixed lenses, but I always wince when I go to take it out of the bag.  I just envision the mud and crud (from my own fingers) and I know what it all smells like when I get home.

see the Olie the dog on top of the hay?

So the trick to taking baby lamb photos is just this ~  it isn't simple.  

It is cold.  
It is wet.  
If you don't like smells, it is very smelly (I don't mind the smell of sheep and lambs though). 
It is wildly unpredictable if it will be orderly or absolute chaos.  
And there is noise, lots of noise.  

On Monday, as I was picking up handfuls of sterile gloves from the open pens, I told Farmer that we were in a never ending trauma unit.  He laughed but quickly agreed.  

It can be too busy for photos~

Then there are the obstacles.  It is complicated to format a good composition when pushed against fences, gates, and pens.  I have to deal with pens~  little lambs don't smile for me,  they like to sleep and hide under their Mums tummies and deep inside fluffy straw.  For the newest little lambs, a favorite, I have to find an unstressed Mum and lamb and wait.  

If I don't wait, a stressed ewe will put her ears back and give me the evil eye~ not attractive in my field of work.  So, I find a place with a hint of light, sit neatly on my cold rump (in the hay and stuff), and hope mightily for a lovely shot.  

It is hard when fingers freeze or when I get in the way of work being done.  Neither are good.

Here are a few examples of poor positioning and lighting issues~ 

And then you have the added mess of feeding time (all day), sleepy heads, and little guys that seriously need to get cleaned up~

Brand newbies

So, in this place of mud plastered faces, gobs of snot, and the moodiness of hundreds of pregnant & laboring ewes, there is crazy.  But there is also a crazy amount of hope.  The sun does come out from behind frozen clouds, Luis does laugh out-loud at little lamb antics, and at times, with a great deal of divine help (and sweat), I can get one of these~

Yes, there are times when it all comes together.  There are times when the light is perfect and there is just enough lull in the routine to get my hands out the gloves and grab my shot.  I think all the men-folk think I am a bit crazy, but that comes with the unique job that I have~ a real-life baby lamb photographer.

I am taking & choosing images for my upcoming "Blessed Barnyard Collection" for this year.  You can see some of them here on my blog and on flicker.  I am hoping the images will be ready for Etsy in late May (we'll see!)

Thank you to all of my sheep loving friends, I adore you all!

So blessed,
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