TAMRON: A Partner in the Creative Process

Photographer Stephanie Vogel gets the shot—from any angle.

Nov 12, 2007

tamron advert 1
Photo Credit: Stephanie Vogel
Las Vegas-based wedding photographer Stephanie Vogel is petite. "I'm barely five feet tall so when I'm running around at weddings it can be very, very hard," she says. She typically carries two cameras, but her go-to gear is a Canon EOS 20D with her Tamron 17-50mm XR Di II lens.

Vogel treasures her Tamron lens because it allows her to shoot "exceptionally wide," she says. The lens's wide-angle ability enables her to fit numerous scenes into one shot, whether she is close to the subject or across the room. She also trusts her Tamron lens to capture images from above, even if she's not looking into the viewfinder.

"My style is to capture the moments so there are times when I see something and I don't hold the camera up to my eye I just put my finger on the shutter and take the shot," Vogel explains. "If something is happening that makes for a great shot, I can hold the camera body up over my head to take the photo-and the wide-angle lens is perfect for table shots or dancing shots."

The Big Picture

Of course, Vogel's shooting style isn't limited to the revelry of a couple's wedding day. She also tries to capture the quiet moments. This was the case at a recent wedding at the Rio Las Vegas when one of the bridesmaids asked to see the bride's wedding band.

"When a moment like this comes, I need to be ready," Vogel says. "The Tamron 17-50mm XR Di II lens is fast enough to shoot the moment and wide enough so that I don't have to spend time looking at the shot through my viewfinder-but I still get everything I want in the shot."

The resulting image was picture perfect: the bride, still clutching her bouquet with her right hand, held out her left hand to the bridesmaid to show off her new wedding band, as a flower girl observed the two from a distance. "With the Tamron lens, even if I'm close to the action, I'm still able show the entire scene," she says.

The same lens came in handy for quite a different scene at a wedding at the JW Marriott Hotel in Las Vegas. Vogel was present during a quiet, pre-nuptial minute when the bride decided to take a walk outside. The sign at the entrance to the Las Vegas strip was in plain view, so Vogel again used her Tamron 17-50mm XR Di II to capture the bride, looking serene in her long white gown. And with the wide-angle capabilities of the lens she was also able to reveal the focus of the bride's gaze—not-so-serene surroundings that included a large truck driving down the street and the neon lights of the iconic sign.    

"I really like getting the spur-of-the-moment shots," Vogel says. And more times than not, she believes that the key to capturing the mood is using the widest angle possible. "I allow the day to unfold," she explains. "I don't get stressed, and because of that the brides are easy to work with and I'm able to catch some wonderful candids."

Generation to Generation

Vogel's positive attitude was something she learned from her father, also a wedding photographer, whom she assisted until starting her own freelance career in 1992. At the time, Vogel was working with medium-format film and used lenses from the Japanese brand, Bronica. Popular with wedding and portrait photographers for its modular design, Bronica was eventually bought by Tamron, which soon became the young photographer's brand of choice for many of the same reasons. "I was a Bronica user from day one," she says, "but now that medium format is a little passé, Tamron has come in with their great digital lenses."

These digital lenses, an enthusiastic personality and a close working relationship with her clients is all the ammunition Vogel needs to capture a couple's wedding-moment by moment-from start to finish.

"I love my job, and I love creating a lifetime memory for people," Vogel says, "I think I have one of the most important jobs in the world. Maybe the president is going to protect the country but I get to protect peoples' heritage," she jokes. "These are special moments-a stop in time when you can't go back."

The latest addition to the PDN family, the PDN Gear Guide in print, has a total circulation of 30,000, and covers the latest and greatest in photographic equipment. Initially created in 2006 to be the official guide to PDN's annual flagship photography event, PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, the PDN Gear Guide is now also available online for gear news and updates 365 days a year.
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