05 September, 2008

What's in YOUR Bag Naomi Masina?

I could not be more excited to introduce you to Naomi Masina. . . well, technically she's been on the blog before right HERE. But today I get to actually SHARE her with you, and just be forewarned, you are going to fall in love with Omi in EVERY WAY.

Enjoy our fun and heartfelt interview below (is it just me or do these interviews just keep getting BETTER AND BETTER??!!).

Me: What's your primary camera body?
Noami: Canon 5d.

Me: What do you use for back-up?
Naomi: An Olympus E-500. I loved the way the Olympus handled, but it holds such a small market share that Nikon and Canon accessories are so much cheaper and readily available, I knew I was going to make the switch when I upgraded. I debated trying out a Nikon before I got the 5D, but I'm very happy with my Canon. The second I picked it up, it felt so second nature, I haven't put it down.

Me: Which lenses do you have and what do you use each for?
Naomi: I decided to purchase the 50mm f1.2 a few months ago. There has been so much buzz about it that I worried I was buying the hype, but I couldn't be happier. Before I bought the 50mm, I was using a zukio 40-150mm f3.5-4.5 for my Olympus and a standard 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 that came with my Olympus. I found that I was favoring the 14-45mm, for studio and portraits because I like to shoot tight, and wide open, but I wasn't getting the fall out that I wanted, and quite honestly the lens wasn't good. The 40-150 is a good lens for catching relaxed candid moments, because you don't have to be all up in there biz, like you do with a prime lens. It's nice to have a telephoto lens when you don't want to be to intrusive. I'd really like the 70-200mm f2.8 for my Canon, it's on my wish list.

Me: Which is your favorite?
Naomi: The 50mm by a landslide. I use it for everything. It's good for details, portraits, low light. I like the versatility, and the *bokeh is perfection.

*Bokeh: That gorgeous quality of the out of focus areas of an image, produced by the lens.

Me: You do some studio lighting. Which lights do you use?
Naomi: I do. I started to learn studio lighting because the weather in Utah is so severe in the winter and I missed shooting. There is a different kind of freedom in a controlled lighting situation, that I really enjoy. I have two strobes, two umbrellas, and two soft boxes, one standard, and the other octagonal.

Me: What's your primary lighting set up for studio work?
Naomi: Simple! I tried a lot of things, but my favorite is: One octagonal soft box, to my left. That's it. I get the soft box as close as I can to my subject with out it getting in the shot. I set my camera to 500 f5..6 and adjust my lighting from there. I prefer the octagonal to the square, because the catch light in the eye is round. I just like the way that looks especially with children, but any shape works with this set up.

Me: Your processing is out of this world. Do you do it all manually or do you have preset actions that you've either created or purchased?
Naomi: Thank you. I do a little of both, but I am moving more and more to preset actions. At the end of the day it comes down to efficiency and actions save you time, bottom line. I think it's good to know how the actions work, because you have more control over the final out come, and you can create a style that is more "YOU" than say, The Boutwell's, but it's not necessary. I've used a lot of different sets, but hands down I prefer The Boutwell's Totally Rad Actions set. They just came out with a new group called The Revenge that I just purchased. My favorite actions are first, yin and yang (TRA1) it allows you to lighten and darken selectively, allowing you to draw the eye to where you want it to go.

Me: Yin and Yang: hands down best action ever. So helpful!!

Naomi: Fresh and Colorful (pioneer women) this is a contrast and saturation boost action, that is adjustable.....and free. YAY! Last would be Magic sharp (Kevin Kubota). You run this after you edit and re-size. I don't do any in camera sharpening because I know I have better control with Magic sharp.

Me: How did you get so advanced at Photoshop? What resources would you recommend to other photographers who are trying to learn the program?
Naomi: A lot of my over photoshopped images make me gag now. (lol) Seriously. When I realized what photoshop was able to do, I sort of went crazy with it. I liked the creative freedom it gave me to stylized to fix "almost good" pictures. The goal is go get good images straight out of the camera, but when you're not so good in the beginning, it's fun to get a little ego boost photoshop. You just have to not to make it a crutch. Keep learning your craft and make it your goal to do you best on the front line, and then have fun on the back end. An excellent resource for photographers trying to learn photoshop is SCOTT KELBY. He's a total guru, and a very funny and open teacher. The is a program called PHOTOSHOP TV. You can down load them as podcasts, or look them up on the internet. I believe they are free....or at least they were.

Me: What's been the number one resource in helping you get to where you are as a photographer?
Naomi: I have two I'd like to mention...oh..wait three. Good friends, like you Nat. You are such an inspiration for me. I used to wonder how I could make this happen: run a business, pursue this passion, and truly be the mother that I wanted to be and you blazed that trail for me. How many times have I called you for help and you have always been there. It's so important to have a network of people you can look to for help, and motivation.
Me: I'm all choked up. Seriously. That's my ultimate goal in life. . . to give people the courage to define and follow their passions while being committed FIRST AND FOREMOST to what matters most in their lives. So, thanks Naomi. You just made my millennium! Ok, what else?

Naomi: Becker and the Internet. On the [b] school blog, there is an archive from December 2007, that I think is an amazing resource. He does blog after blog detailing his work flow, how he shoots, how he processes, how he markets and brands. He has an amazing network of friends in Orange County that share the same open attitude. I think anyone, no matter how long they have been in the industry could benefit from the [b]school blogs.
Me: Yeah, what Becker's created over at the [b] school is pretty amazing.

Naomi: Yes, it really is. This last one is more a personal inspiration. Jasmine Starr, who you know is doing amazingly well in the industry, has a blog...not the new blog but the old blog. I ran across it one day, and I went as far back into the archives and read her very first entry. She posted no pictures, but just journaled for the first few months about her desire to make it as a photographer, her fears, her discouragements, her worry. I was blow away. It was like I was reading my own words that I had never dared to say out loud. It was so incredibly encouraging to see the actual journey to success of an individual, based on desire, determination and hard work.

Me: Jasmine is purely magic. Truly. Aside from anything else . . . her photography, how she's built her business, ALL of that aside, she is one of the most candid, honest, sincere people I have met in this industry to date. She has a heart of gold.

Me: What would be your number one piece of advice for an aspiring photographer?
Naomi: Believe in your self. Doing what you love is such a gift.

Me: Will you marry me?
Naomi: Ha Ha! I'd be a big disappointment compared to Richie, he's like the perfect tenor, how could I replace that!!

Don't miss Naomi's new site! It just launched this week!! Check it out HERE.


I love you!
Thank you for sharing so much, so freely.
I'm so proud of you, honestly, and so very very happy for you!
I hope you meet with EVERY success you desire.



Don't miss previous installments of What's in YOUR Bag?

Jasmine Star
Michael and Anna Costa
Ed Pingol
Allison Cox
Jonathan Canlas
Sean Flanigan
Heather Cole
Jeff Newsom
Matt Nicolosi

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KK said...

wow natalie! what a truly amazing interview...

you were able to hit on so many interesting topics from lenses, to actions, to studio lighting - and a big "thank you: to Naomi for demystifying it all.

btw - i'm too am saving up for the 70-200mm 2.8L...can't wait to get my hands on that thing...!

Natalie. said...

I totally have the 70-200mm. . . make sure you spend the extra cash for the image stabilization! It's SO worth it. . . SO SO SO!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Naomi -- that was AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing! Great interview, Nat!

Whitney Elizabeth said...

i love these interviews.

christina said...

This interview is a breath of fresh air and so is your blog. To hear women speak so passionately about their careers and to have that bond of support is beautiful.

I really am choked up over here because I remember emailing a photo blogger and asking a question, her reply was " I worked to hard just to give my secrets away." This made me sad for many reasons.

I love photography and am learning more everyday and have met some wonderful women thru the blog world.

I don't always know what I'm doing when I take photos, but I love it and I am creating memories for my family and friends. That's a huge part of it, right. ; )

Natalie. said...


It's not a huge part of it . . . it is all of it. Every bit. All we do this for is to make people's lives happier and their memories brighter.

I am sorry you had such an awful experience with that photographer. Where the heck did she get her "secrets" in the first place. . . 99% sure they came from other photographers. That infuriates me.

I'm glad you stopped by and I hope you'll come back soon.


Natalie Norton

Paul Bradford said...

WOW! This interview was great. I enjoyed reading it, and the candidness of it . I love how everyone has the same fears in this profession , but it is over came with work and dedication. I found this blog by reading the DPS site and finding "Moving Toward manual Settings" which was great.

I am a newbie in this world of photography and it is nice to read these blogs.

SO I just wanted to say thanks for the posting!