Guest Judge//Pagan Mckenzie//Squirrel Lane

1. Tell us about yourself...

Hi Im Pagan. Im a mama to 4 babes, age 1-7. A wife. A crazy bulldog lover. Coffee addict. Former avid reader, pre kids now Id rather have a cup of tea don my pjs and go straight to bed. Living in country Victoria, Australia. 

First time 365er. Obsessed with documenting their everyday with the goal to give them the best darn baby book there ever was. You can find me on instagram daily either hanging out @life_at_the_circus or @squirrel.lane . 

Im team canon since 2010 when I got my first DSLR. Im a doco/lifestyle photographer specialising in birth/fresh 48s and in home newborns. If I could photograph one thing day in, day out for the rest of my days it would definitely be Fresh 48s. Holy moly they have my heart. Those wrinkly newborn baby feet get me everytime. 

It doesnt take much to make me happy, pretty light, a new baby, my babies, fur babies, my camera, coffee, comfy pants. I am set. Every day is an adventure around here. 

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

I fell in love with photography in High school when I studied the subject. It was always something I wanted to pursue but never really got around to it until my daring husband bought me my first camera not long after my first baby was born. I thought I was the bee's knees, I look back now and cringe at the images I thought were amazing. That's growth for you. My 4 little people who call me Mum and eat all my food fuel my passion now, each and everyday. Im kinda obsessed but I also have a new little flame that I've recently lit in the form of filming during my sessions particularly Fresh 48s. I'm very green but very very keen to learn more. 

3. What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

In my bag I have:

Canon 5d mark iii, 

24mm  2.8. Rarely use this lens. I try to love it but it falls short every time. I doesnt perform so well in low light and has one heck of a vignette, it isnt sharp at all. 

35mm 1.4 Sigma art. This very rarely comes off my camera. I use it for everything. All day, everyday. 

50mm 1.4, I used to love this lens before getting the 35mm now it is just collecting dust. 

60mm 2.8 Macro. This would be the least used as I no longer have a body to fit it and cant decide whether to sell it and take the loss of buy a second hand crop body just so I have a macro again. 

85mm 1.8. Again collecting dust. The 85mm doesnt have much use in my lifestyle work so I rarely bust it out. 

200mm 2.8. This is an incredible lens but serves no use in my lifestyle work. Great for the odd outdoor session but that doesnt happen so often for me. 

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

 Im a simple gal that is easily pleased. If I could shoot brand new babies in their first hours of life everyday for as long as I can pick up my camera that would be my dream. Chuck in a big beautiful window and you had me at first click. 

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

My biggest challenge is my work/life balance. 4 children and 4 four legged children demand a lot of my time.  Thankfully I have an amazing husband that tends to  the kids on his days off so I can spend some quality time hanging out with my mac but during the week my time is divided between kissing boo boos, tying shoes laces, making lunches, folding washing, taming the chaos aka Mum life and my Mac. 


6. If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it? 

Getting my gear serviced. It has been way too long. 


How do you wish you could spend it?

Investing in the Sigma art 24mm or 100mm macro. 


How would you really spend it?

I'd totally buy a lens. 

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very

beginning of your photography journey?

Find the thing that makes you happy and shoot that with your whole heart instead of shooting what you think will make others happy because that will only get you so far. Also join photography communities. Learn and help learn.