Hello friends, @carloshernandezphoto here, excited to take over @photovisionprints for the next few days! I am a wedding and lifestyle photographer based out of the coolest town (in my opinion) Portland, OR. I feel blessed to be a part of the most memorable moments in so many people’s lives. My desire as an artist is to create photos that are full of life and express beauty in an honest way. For this reason, I choose to photograph people with #film. This allows me to slow down and turn an eye to detail to document moments that are meaningful.
A little background about me—I graduated from Oregon State University as a structural civil engineer in 2007. Soon after, I became a licensed professional engineer, where I learned the importance of detail, precision and organization. Since 2012, I have worked as a professional photographer, incorporating the important skills I learned as an engineer into my workflow. All the couples I work with really enjoy that I have had that previous training, because it allows me to see the world from a different perspective and it translates in my photographs.
📷 by @maria.lamb on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at Willow Lake Estates in Brush Prairie, Washington.
I began my photography journey at a very young age. I can still remember the very first camera I bought with 50 soda caps and just a few pesos (yes, I grew up in Mexico). I was 9 at the time. The camera was in the shape of a soda can and took 16mm film cartridges. Ever since then, I was known as the “camera guy” in my family. I took photos of everything, mainly family and landscapes. I continued that passion all the way through college where I was convinced to photograph a friend’s wedding. I quickly realized just how much I really enjoyed wedding photography, but I truly didn’t know much about it. I contacted a few established photographers in southern Oregon and bugged them till they allowed me to second shoot for them. I was determined to learn as much as possible, and as they say, the rest is history.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645 at Lowndes Grove in Charleston South Carolina.
On a more personal note, I have been married for 3 years to the smartest and most supportive woman I know. @athinahernandez is my beautiful Finnish goddess. I don’t know what I would do without her. My business has flourished only because of her support. She works very hard behind the scenes to make sure I stay on task and is my assistant on most shoots. It is a blast to have her as a business partner. When we are not working, you can find us traveling the world, either at a lake, on top of a mountain or simply exploring new cities. We can’t seem to stay in one place for too long. We are also foodies, gotta love a good meal, we try to experience as many different cuisines as possible. If you ever find yourself in the Pacific Northwest, please reach out to us. We love meeting new people and would really enjoy showing you around our town.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #nikonF3 in Yacolt, Washington.
I remember when I was first learning film as a child, the things I loved the most were the sounds of the shutter and the film advancing. Two years after I began shooting professionally, I remember seeing the magic other wedding photographers were creating with #film. I immediately fell in love again and wondered why I ever left that medium behind. I dusted off my old camera and began shooting film again. I tried several #mediumformat cameras until I found the one that works for me. I use the Pentax 645NII with a converted Zeiss 80mm f/2 lens.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
There are many reasons why I love using film to capture love stories. From loading film, to using a hand-held meter, to envisioning what the exposure will look like, to making sure my camera settings are set correctly, to hearing the sound of the shutter, I love it all. Knowing that I won’t get to see my images for at least a few days only builds the anticipation. Film really does make you slow down and think about what you are capturing. It allows me to be truly aware of my surroundings. I believe film has made me a better artist.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at Lowndes Grove in Charleston South Carolina.
I am a sucker for beautiful landscapes as backgrounds. Give me a simple, yet beautifully styled subject and a grand view, like the ones we have here in the #PacificNorthwest, and I am happy. Those are some of my favorite photography sessions. I have been to many places around the globe but I keep coming back to this little pocket of the world—the Pacific Northwest.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii in Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.
Speaking of my favorite images to take, it’s no secret that I like to capture intimate moments. Close crops strip away all the distractions surrounding a special moment. I usually spend time with my couples before a photo session getting to know them, this helps create a more relaxed, comfortable shooting environment. Every couple is different and shows affection in unique ways. I try to really crop close on these moments to emphasize the ways they show their love for each other. Before your next shoot, try to get to know the people you are photographing, before you point your camera at them. You will be happy you did.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at the Cotton Gin Inn, in Edenton, North Carolina.
I am sure you have heard this before, but capturing movement is one of the best ways to tell a story. However, manual focus on medium format film cameras can be really tricky, especially when shooting wide open. I have come up with a few tricks on how to get images with movement in focus. One way I deal with this is to pan with my subject at the same speed they are moving and snap a couple of photos. Another way, which in my opinion creates better results, is to position yourself in one spot and anticipate where your subject will be moving through—and either focus on a test subject at that location, or focus on the floor where your subject is expected to move by. Practice, practice, practice. And if you are still having trouble getting your subject in focus, try adjusting your aperture, and shoot at f/4.0 or f/5.6 instead.
📷 on #ilford100 with a #pentax645nii at Lowndes Grove in Charleston South Carolina.
Don’t be afraid of trying new things that are out of the norm. For this bridal inspiration shoot, @kalebnormanjames wanted to try a floral bridal hat, and I am glad we did. It was such a great success!
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii in Seattle, Washington.
We all have those people we look up to and seek advice from, particularly in the beginning stages of our careers. I really believe I wouldn’t be the artist or entrepreneur I am today if it wasn’t for all of the amazing people who have poured into me since I began my journey as a photographer. This is why I am very excited to get the opportunity to pour into other photographers.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at Monet Vineyards in Brush Prairie, Washington.
Many people have asked me what photo subjects I have struggled to master. If I had to pick, it would be flat layouts. I always struggled during weddings because I wanted everything to be perfectly straight (due to my engineering background), and I would take a very long time to get it “just right.” I am not an expert by any means, but I feel that I can now confidently style any details or invitation suites at weddings. My secret was to compile a handful of styling items in a bag and practice at home. I now take this bag with me to every wedding, so I know exactly what I have to work with and how it all looks together. Now I can style beautiful flat layouts effortlessly. Give it a try.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii in Columbia River Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon.
The biggest advice I could give any photographer is to always be true to yourself and photograph in your own style. Learn from other photographers and be inspired, but find your own niche. The world doesn’t need the same photographer over and over, the world needs you.
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at Monet Vineyards in Brush Praire, Washington.
It was a pleasure hosting a PV Takeover and connecting with all of you these past few days. I have to say thank you to @photovisionprints for the opportunity and for being the only #filmlab I use. I meant it when I said that if you find yourself in the #PNW, you should reach out. @athinahernandez and I would love to show you around this little paradise and maybe even visit #photovisionprints’ lab!
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii in Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.