Wedding and lifestyle portrait photographer, Caroline Tran, tells us how her FUJINON professional zoom setup has helped her to preserve memories of time at home with her family.
The FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR and XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR are a combination of lenses that offers huge versatility across all genres, not least family portraits. With such a variety of situations and an abundance of childhood energy to keep up with, Caroline knew this was the perfect choice for her project.
“The XF16-55mmF2.8 was great for wide shots and the XF50-140mmF2.8 gave me gorgeous portraits when space permitted,” says Caroline, who wanted to use this time under lockdown to create something that her children could look back on and remember.
“While I am often busy documenting other people’s stories, as a mother of two young boys, I often feel guilty that I don’t document my own family enough,” she explains. “During this lockdown, I wanted to document our time together, and their time in their childhood home. I documented them from the perspective of their children – my grandkids – one day looking at these photos and wondering what life was like.”
“The XF16-55mmF2.8 was great for wide shots and the XF50-140mmF2.8 gave me gorgeous portraits when space permitted”
Caroline’s idea seemed simple, however, putting it into practice wasn’t quite so straightforward. “It’s difficult photographing your own kids! It’s difficult being behind the lens while parenting and directing at the same time,” she laughs. “I overcame it by just going with the flow. I love the unscripted moments we got.”
For this kind of candid photography, Caroline tells us that choosing the right lens is hugely important: “The lens is integral! The right lens can help you achieve your desired look. The wrong lens can really limit you – like if you had the wrong F stop, or if the focal length limited you by being too telephoto or too wide.”
And this is where the XF16-55mmF2.8 and XF50-140mmF2.8 really came into their own. Between them, they cover every 35mm equivalent focal length from 24mm to 213mm, while maintaining a constant F2.8 aperture. They are also both dust- and weather-resistant for maximum durability, and the XF50-140mmF2.8 benefits from built-in optical image stabilization (OIS) to help eliminate unwanted camera shake. These features all came together to ensure Caroline was ready for every situation.
“These zoom lenses were great because they gave me a lot of flexibility,” she explains. “The XF16-55mmF2.8 lens was great for tight spaces, like when I was on my porch, and to get the wide scene of my driveway. On the other hand, the XF50-140mmF2.8 was my preferred lens for flattering portraits or when I knew they would be far away. The compression gave me beautiful bokeh.
“The lens is integral! The right lens can help you achieve your desired look. The wrong lens can really limit you”
With such versatility at hand, Caroline was able to do so much more than just create great-looking images. She was able to preserve those special childhood memories not just for herself, but for her sons and for their children in the future. “I love the shots of my boys on our driveway. Either the portrait of them – because those are so hard to come by – or them walking down our driveway,” she smiles. “There was a lot of growth that happened on that driveway, like learning to ride bikes and long sunset walks around the neighborhood,” she continues “It’s symbolic for me.”
All in all, Caroline couldn’t be happier with the results. “These are beautiful, fast lenses!” she enthuses. “The XF16-55mmF2.8 and XF50-140mmF2.8, are pretty much all I need for portraits. They cover the entire spectrum of focal lengths I would practically need.”
Learn how Caroline achieved such stunning results with this exclusive behind-the-scenes video:
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Caroline Tran is Los Angeles-based wedding and lifestyle portrait photographer who loves making connections and is passionate about telling her clients’ stories through her lens.