April Nienhuis » Oklahoma hobbyist and lifestyle photographer

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I just made myself hungry putting this post together.

I love making apple pie. I don’t make it too often because it’s also my favorite to eat. Seriously, I ate this pie, with a tiny bit of help from the kids, in 24 hours. I should feel ashamed but I don’t. For fun, I thought I’d document the preparation and baking process of this fall tradition of mine.

apple pie recipe by April Nienhuis

bowl of apples by April Nienhuis

peeled apple skin by April Nienhuis

cut apples in a bowl by April Nienhuis

cinnamon by April Nienhuis

cooked apples by April Nienhuis

dough stirring in a KitchenAide by April Nienhuis

rolling dough by April Nienhuis

pie crust by April Nienhuis

pre-cooked apple pie by April Nienhuis

ready to cook apple pie by April Nienhuis

homemade fresh baked apple pie by April Nienhuis

Pie crust from Annie’s Eats.

Apple pie filling from Food Network.

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  • November 26, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    Celeste Pavlik - yummy!! The photos are fabulous. I can’t wait to try it. When you come for a visit you’ll make me one I hope? xoReplyCancel

I love seeing what photography gear others use so I thought I’d put a little post together showing y’all what I use. I’m somewhat of a minimalist so you won’t see tons of gear here but I do have a decent selection of loved equipment that I would recommend to others.

To start off, I shoot with a Canon 5d mark II camera body and Canon BG-E6 battery grip. I’ve had this camera for almost four years now and although it’s a great camera, it’s about time to upgrade. Most likely, I’ll push that upgrade off for as long as possible.

Canon lenses of April NienhuisCamera lenses, oh I’ve been through so many lenses. Over the years, I’ve tried many and I’ve come to settle on these four beauties. They fit perfectly for how I shoot and I can’t imagine parting with them. Ever.

From left to right:

Canon 17-40mm f/4L:  I love this lens for landscapes. You know I have a fascination with the sky and this lens helps me capture it in its full glory. It’s also fun at 17mm really close up on kids with its distortion.

Canon 35mm f/1.4L:  Oh this lens is lovely. The 35 range allows just a little distortion up close for the fun of it but it pulls back nicely for a wider shot.  Plus, there’s the f/1.4 to get that beautiful bokeh.

Canon 45 f/2.8 tilt-shift:  This lens was made for me. I’m not big on the 50mm lens that so many love so I doubted how much I’d like this but the tilt-shift just works at 45mm. Gosh I love that slice of focus!

Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro:  This is by far the most versatile lens I own. Not only is it great for macro photography but it rocks for portraits. It’s usually this lens sitting on my camera and what I use about 75% of the time.

artificial light gear of April NienhuisI love artificial light! Don’t get me wrong, I love some beautiful natural light but being able to create my own light is invaluable. Artificial light can be intimidating but it is so worth learning and has actually helped me understand natural light better.

From left to right:

Profoto B1 (used with the Profoto Umbrella Deep White Large and Profoto Air Remote):  Studio lighting was always a little scary to me. That is until I saw the Profoto in action. It’s battery powered, super light, easy to adjust, and creates fantastic light – you can’t beat that! This is my favorite recent purchase.

Canon 580EX II speedlight: I wouldn’t know what to do without my speedlight. This is so handy to have sitting on my camera for the evenings and it’s my sole light source during wedding receptions. Of all my equipment, this is the one I’ve had the longest.

Ice Light:  The very first time I saw the Ice Light in action I knew I wanted one. However, it took me about a year and a half to talk myself into getting one. I doubted how much I would use it shooting around the house (and Andrea already had two for us to use at weddings). Boy was I wrong! I use this all the time for quick detail and still life shots and for whenever I want some super dramatic light.

Ona and Kelly Moore camera bags by April NienhuisI’ve never been the type to have tons of purses so it surprises me that I love camera bags so much, but I do. I’ve had several and just sold quite a few so now I’m down to these two which keep me perfectly happy. As a side note, I do have a Pelican 1510 case that will hold all my lenses, camera, and miscellaneous gear. Tornado warnings are fairly common here in Oklahoma so I felt much more comfortable have a durable case like the Pelican to hold on my gear in those times.

From left to right:

Ona Union Street in black: This is such a durable bag. The quality is top notch, the material is great, and I love how roomy it is. I can fit my laptop in there nicely and I’ve had up to five lenses in there at once. The side pockets are nice and large too.

Kelly Moore Songbird in saddle:  Such a pretty camera bag this one is. It’s the perfect shade of tan and all the extra pockets are very handy. This is a fun bag to carry and I always get compliments on it.

miscellaneous photo equipment of April Nienhuis

I have a few extra items that just have to be mentioned. They make my photography life much easier.

From left to right:

Delkin Battery Holder:  So handy to have these small and compact cases to hold my batteries in for my speedlight. I carry two of these.

Pictureline clearlens:  This cloth is just too handy to not carry in my bag. It’s perfect for wiping down a filter or lens. Heck, I even use it on my glasses.

Canon TC-80N3 remote:  I once bought a $20 remote and it crashed and burned. So I splurged. I love how this one will let me shoot at longer exposures and has an interval timer.

Fotodiox Step Up Rings:  These are super cheap and handy to have. They fit onto a filter and then attach to your lens. You can stack multiple together so that your filters can fit on more than one lens.

Hoya Neutral Density Filter:  I don’t use this filter a ton but when I do I’m so glad I have it. It’s perfect for when I’m shooting landscapes during the day and want a slow shutter speed but it’s too bright for my settings. This ND filter allows me to darken the photo when I’ve maxed my camera settings.

B+W Circular Polarizer:  I’m still getting the hang of this one.

Opteka 5-in-1 reflector:  I love reflected light. LOVE. Well, that and the diffuser with harsh sun. I don’t use this near as much as I should.

Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod with 496RC2 Ball Head:  This tripod set is great. I haven’t felt the need for anything else. I love having a tripod for long exposure images, selfies with the kids, or to attach my Ice Light to quickly.

Promaster LS2 Light Stand:  Sturdy, lightweight, easy to adjust – what more could a girl want in a light stand?

cup of coffee by April NienhuisCoffee. Trust me, it’s part of the gear.  My coffee of choice is Donut Shop Sweet & Creamy.  It’s suppose to be iced but I drink it hot.  Such a rebel;)

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  • November 22, 2014 - 8:55 am

    Celeste Pavlik - I love the look of your new site AND I love all your gear and especially your bags. Just a bit jelly of that ice light!!!ReplyCancel

    • November 22, 2014 - 7:28 pm

      April Nienhuis - Thank you, Celeste! And I’ll say it again, you need an Ice Light ;)ReplyCancel

A few days ago I heard some squealing from outside.  Taking a peek, I see half the neighborhood kids, mine included, sliding down a hill on empty boxes. It reminded me of that time my friends and I made a sled for 10 people out of sheet metal when it was snowing and then took a ride up a wire connected to a pole.  These kids are smarter than my friends and I were.

kids sliding down a hill on boxes photo by April Nienhuis

blox sledding pictures by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

neighborhood kids sliding down a hill pic by April Nienhuis

And a quick iPhone shot…

iPhone 6 photo of kids sliding down a hill on boxes by April Nienhuis

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Yeah, you read that right, this beautiful little nugget is 1 of 21 grandkids (or grands as my mother-in-law calls them) on my husband’s side of the family.  Maybe we should be putting dibs on how many grandchildren there will be total? Lol!

I may not be a newborn photographer but I can’t resist photographing my own niece when she makes her grand entrance:)

baby girl laying on bed pic by April Nienhuisnewborn picture by April Nienhuismother and daughter newborn portrait by April Nienhuismom holding newborn daughter photo by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuisblack and white photo of mother holding new baby by April Nienhuis

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Swimming, tetherball, playing on the mustard and ketchup at the ball fields, hanging at Grandma Jan and Pappy’s… my head is full of childhood memories with my BFF.  One of the strongest memories, and one I’ve wanted to share with my own children, is listening to Dan & Louie before bed.  Okay, so ventriloquy dolls are a little creepy to look at but Louie and his “dad” Dan are great storytellers.  Every night I stayed over at Brooke’s house, we’d snuggle up under the covers – never quite ready for sleep – and listen to another bible story told by Dan & Louie.  Sure, we knew the stories, but it never stopped us from listening intently with a few giggles thrown in.  Tonight, I introduced my kids to this childhood memory of mine.  Finn may not be convinced yet, but the girls loved listening to them.

kids listening to dan and louie bible stories on the ipod photo by April Nienhuishearing bible stories on the ipod picture by April Nienhuis

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  • August 8, 2014 - 10:12 pm

    Brooke - I haven’t thought about the ketchup and mustard in forever!ReplyCancel