Options stress me out. It’s taken me a good many years to realize that. The more options I have, the harder it is for me to be decisive. Maybe that’s why I love the small, but mighty Fujifilm X70 so much. There is no guesswork that goes into popping it into my bag for the day. No agonizing over which lens (or lenses) to bring. It frees me up to simply take pictures. It’s quite liberating.
Now, I have other gear of course, but nine times out of ten, the X70 is the camera I’ll grab. It practically lives in my bag or an easily accessible spot in my home. Most times, I feel I am not only more motivated to shoot, but also more creative when I limit myself to a fixed lens camera. (If only the X100 series were just a little smaller! I’d love faster autofocus, an updated lens, and some of the newer film simulations in a package the size of the X70. Skip the EVF and optical viewfinder – I don’t use them anyway. So basically, I really, really want an X80).
The X70 is the most unobtrusive camera I think I’ve ever owned. Even my photo shy teenage boy stays in the frame when the X70 comes out. That’s REALLY saying something. I’ve done a lot of experimenting with different gear since I closed my photography business last year and felt I had the freedom to let go of the “latest and greatest.” It’s been a high turnover of camera bodies and lenses to discover what I most enjoy using. Enjoyment has really been my focus, knowing that I’m much more likely to shoot if the tool I’m using is fun. Not just for me, but for my kids as well.
Two of my kids (the ones that aren’t photo shy) have really gotten interested in photography this year, which is the only reason I’ve held onto as much gear as I have. Part of me would love to sell everything and just keep the X70 for this season of life. Does that sound crazy? I began my serious foray into photography way back in 2008 and had my own business by 2011. It’s been a long time since photography was just for me.
The X70 is helping me rediscover why I picked up that first camera to begin with.
It’s no secret that I decided to move away from professional photography last year to make way for a new opportunity. I don’t regret it. It was time. While I began my new job in March of 2020 and my last paid shoot was back in August of 2020, it is only this month (on June 30 actually) that my photography license expires. I’ve known I was done for a good while, but there’s a sense of finality to it now. It feels good. Like the fitting end to a wonderful story.
And along with that fitting end, the embargo period has now passed and I can show you what my last shoot actually was. I was able to shoot a feature for The Property Brothers new magazine, Reveal. A LOT goes into these magazine shoots. There is so much frenzy behind the scenes as we move furniture and decor items, rearrange spaces, etc. Sometimes, the way a home photographs best isn’t necessarily livable and so we set the scene to place the space front and center, only to have to move everything back afterward so that the family can do life as usual. It’s quite exhausting.
Thankfully, I had an assistant for this shoot (Cesia Noemi Photography) and Stacey (the homeowner) and I have worked together for years so we have our own little system in place for getting things done. It was a fun last shoot to conclude my decade of professional photography.
I’m a big fan of uncluttered compositions. I don’t care so much if it lines up with the “rules,” and in fact, sometimes I appreciate a picture more when it doesn’t follow the rules. There’s a lot to be said for throwing up your fist and saying, “I’m just going to do my own thing.”
I do find that I am always drawn to clean images, often with a lot of negative space. They offer a sense of calm. There’s certainly a time and place for a busy image with a lot of interest, and I can appreciate them as well, but for me, the images I seem to love the best are much more simple. I don’t like clutter in my home so it makes sense that I would have a greater appreciation for art that fits in with that aesthetic as well.
As I go through my own images, I can see this is a theme I return to over and over again. It may not work for the daily snapshots of my life, which are by nature chaotic, but when I have the time to focus, compose and simplify, I do.