Perfectly Real – Jen Gardiner

Our June Perfectly Real artist is the fantastic Jen Gardiner of Eyelet Photography.  We loved the rich colors and moody light in her images. You can check out more of her work at, on Facebook, or Instagram.

kid jumping off swingset - Perfectly Real Artist

What’s your favorite lens for shooting this type of work?  And do you have any accessories you just love (filter, bag, camera strap, etc.)?

My favourite lens right now is my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art.  I love being able to get up really close but still be able to step back to get a wide angle.  Plus it’s great in low light.  I’ve been trying to take out my 12-24mm more because it’s pretty fun to use and I take my broken 50mm everywhere just incase I’m in the mood to freelens.  I love my Bloom Theory camera scarf strap.  I’m always asked where I got it.  And I’m pretty lazy with my gear and have been throwing my camera in my Lululemon backpack wrapped in a scarf!

kids in bed - Perfectly Real Artist

What is your favorite type of light to shoot in?

My favourite light to shoot in is window side light.  I like how it can give my subjects pretty or dramatic shadows.   I usually like to underexpose my images and side light is great for that.  Golden hour is great too but I don’t get a lot of that in the mountains!

boy crying on kitchen counter - Perfectly Real Artist

What is the most valuable tip you have learned in pursuit of shooting in a more documentary style?

The most valuable tip I’ve learned from documentary style shooting is to shoot with your gut and that it’s okay if it’s a little messy.  I usually like my messy photos the best.  And to be patient waiting for the moments to unfold.  I also find that I prefer black and white images for documentary shooting unless the colour helps to tell the story.

Family making sushi - Perfectly Real Artist

Do you have a favorite spot to watch life unfold and shoot?

I love shooting in the kitchen!  So much happens in the kitchen and it’s usually a pretty open space. My boys love to help cook and are always at the table doing their arts and crafts, building Lego or playing board games. I love the colours of the food, the movement of hands, the love that’s put into making meals and when people are together and enjoying their food. The kitchen is the heart of the home so what better place to photograph! 

girl jumping in hallway - Perfectly Real Artist

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