Guest Judge//Jade Lyf//Lyf is Grand Photography

Tell us about yourself...  
Well Hi, I am Jade Lyf of Lyf Is Grand Photography. I am 26years old, a mother, a wife, an avid reader, an artist. And I am flawed. I break rules, pretty constantly, in my artwork but never in my life I am a stickler for rule. Funny that.. I've been told to quit. Been told my work is confusing, it's not good, it's too dark. But it's a reflection of myself and that's all I have to share, I can't give what I am not.
I live in a small town on Vancouver island, I spend a lot of time outside and I have a passion for details.  

What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now? 
Details. It was and always will be details that drive me. Things others might miss, things that I notice and that maybe aren't apparent to other people. Details right down to the smallest drop of dew up to a certain way that someone moves, the light through a small patch of stained glass, the lines of a skyscraper, the texture of a reflection in water.  

What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least? 
I currently shoot with a Canon xsi, it's my old faithful. I invested in a more expensive body recently and fell in love with it only to have it stop working 3 weeks after I bought it. So it's at Canon, what can I do? I regularly carry WAY too many lenses, mostly all vintage: Canon plastic fantastic 50mm f1.8 for freelensing, Lensbaby edge 50 composer mount +double glass optic swap out and aperature rings. Vintage: Nikkor 24mm f2.8, Tamron 90mm f2.8 + f2.8 macro focusing teleconverter, Nikkor 135mm f2 OR 200mm f2.8 but never both, Helios 44-2 quick aperature 52 (58?)mm f1.2,  a small length of copper pipe, a worn out prism, some lenses from various strengths of reading glasses, extension tubes for the Lensbaby, SD cards (2), spare battery. Sometimes: a small spray bottle of water, bubbles, a snack.  
I currently use my 135 and my 24 pretty equally but lately I have been trying to get back into macro and lensbaby work and have been trying to just pick a lens and leave my kit in the car (it's heayvy with all those metal body lenses in it LOL) to no avail. I probably use my macro lens the least, I should use it more and I want to but it is hard because I always have my son who stomps on the things I am trying to shoot quite often, toddlerlife! 

What’s your dream project or shoot? 
This is a tough one for me, I have all these ideas but little time and a low budget. I write them down though!  

What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer? 
For me, it's my budget, I have spent a lot of time using really low end gear and it has taught me so much more than I could have learned without it, but I am at a point now where a better photography budget would take me a long way.  
If it wasn't my budget I would say it's probably that as an artist I am really hard on myself, I feel naked when I share my work because so much of it is just my heart out plain for people to see, so when others are harsh about my work, I take it really personally. Usually I am able to learn from it later, but initially, unsolicited CC isn't something I have really developed a tough shell for yet. 

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

How should you spend it? I should probably spend it fixing my Mkii5d which is currently at Canon for repair of an unknown but debilitating problem  

How do you wish you could spend it? I want a few lenses, a 16mm zenitar fisheye particularly... and I want another body, a backup, probably would go with a t3i. 

How would you really spend it? I would really spend it on my life at home, even if it's for photography a lot of my money ends up repurposed for our groceries, our bills, my son needs summer clothes. We need to move.  

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

beginning of your photography journey? 
I wish I had found pages like this one, like Fantastically Flawed, like Looks Like Film. I had no idea that the kind of photography I have always loved was actually even a thing.  
I wish someone had told me that blur and motion and deep shadows are worth pursuing. I feel like I wasted a lot of time trying to be "light and airy" which is wonderful on other peoples work it looks amazing, but it's just not me. I tried and tried and almost quit because it was sapping the joy from my work. I wish someone had told me just to break the damn rules.