BL Blog


BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Troy Paiva


Technique, knowledge, inspiration – gain it all from seasoned photographers with years of experience and many tips to share with both burgeoning photographers and pros looking to gain a new perspective. Visit our entire collection of interviews, which are full of amazing images and valuable advice.

Baby Photography and Storytelling


Shutterfly provides award-winning photo books, iPhone cases, photo prints, and other great photography keepsakes so that photographers of all levels can share their personalized memories with the world. In their Storytelling series, they share the images and techniques of photographers to help inspire others. In this guest post, Shutterfly shares the work of a creative baby photographer.


What Does Your Baby Dream About?

Adele Enersen imagined what her daughter dreamt about and used her creative muscle to capture those scenes with her camera while the child slept. The resulting collection of inspiring photographs that show baby Mila as everything from Thumbelina to Rapunzel are bound in the new book, When My Baby Dreams in Fairy Tales. These are her words and images…”

Read the full story here.

We hope you enjoy this guest post and share your opinions, images, and creative suggestions in the comments below! 

251 of Your Best Shots From 2012


2012-showusphotos called for your personal best photo or video from 2012 to share here on our blog. Participants span a spectrum of skill levels from hobbyists to professionals and cover a wide variety of genres, including landscape, macro, nature, photojournalism, portraiture, event, wildlife, fine art photography and more! We highly recommend visiting each entry below – discover what other people are doing and make new connections!

Best Shots from BL Employees

  1. Jim M. Goldstein Photography
  2. Alex Huff Photography
  3. Kenneth So Photography
  4. Kris Rowberry
  5. Miko Saldana
  6. Austin Hill
  7. Kyle Mix
  8. Jeffrey Cole
  9. Bryan Markwardt


Powerful Portrait Inspiration With Steve McCurry’s iPad App


Steve McCurry is one of the most prolific photographers alive today. His photograph for National Geographic’s June 1985 cover of Sharbat Gula (also know as the “Afghan Girl”) is one of the most recognizable portraits in history, and his imagery has graced NatGeo’s pages many, many times since.

McCurry has repeatedly proven himself an absolute master of the portrait. His street portraiture, especially, carries tremendous impact. He has an uncanny ability to capture his subjects’ essence, distilling it in a split-second into an image that can range from haunting to exciting and everything in-between.

Steve McCurry iPad App

Steve McCurry iPad App


Notable Storytellers – Sara Lando

Sara Lando Self Portrait

Sara Lando Self Portrait

Welcome to Notable Storytellers, a feature where we point you to some of the best visual storytellers around, from photographers and videographers to VFX and graphic artists.

Sara Lando is an Italian photographer who first came to my attention through her work on David Hobby’s Strobist blog. An occasional contributor there, Sara is a commercial photographer based in Milan, Italy.

I devour with regularity, and remember seeing Sara introduced as the European correspondent last year. I also remember reading an article by her on photographer Christoph Martin Schmidt.

Her recent series of articles, however, weren’t about another photographer, or even a technique – not necessarily, anyway. These were more of an “approach philosophy” piece. I quote David Hobby:

Picture a tiny Italian woman gesturing continuously as she uncorks a full brain dump (from a very, very creative mind) on all of the little things that many people never think of when photographing others. As I was listening I kept thinking, “Someone should be writing this stuff down RIGHT NOW.

I read the article. Then read it again. It was, I realized, pretty damn good. And insightful. (more…)

Flashing Above San Francisco


Every so often, we get to talk about our friends, whether they’re doing something awesome in front of a lens, or behind the camera. This time around, it’s both.

Alex Huff by Syl Arena. Image Courtesy and Copyright Syl Arena.

Alex Huff by Syl Arena. Image Courtesy and Copyright Syl Arena.

One of our favorite all-round good guys and awesome photographers, Syl Arena, swung through San Francisco a while back and hung out with our very own Alex Huff. Alex has an awesome (yeah, I’m jealous) view of San Francisco from her balcony, and Syl used the opportunity to do a shoot with the new Canon 600EX-RT flashes and the ST-E3 transmitter.

Using the 600EX-RT, Syl balanced the ambient light with flash, resulting in a very cool image. The complete writeup, with breakdown and before/after shots, is on Syl’s blog.

Syl also has a piece up about a personal project he did recently, called “The Faces of American Coal.” It’s one of those deeply personal series of images that will resonate with you. They’re up close, intense, and searching.

Of course, Syl being the consumate teacher, has also broken down his process for taking the images too, so we get the added bonus of seeing what goes into a project like this.

Maine-area folks, a quick heads-up: Syl will be at the Maine Media Workshops, presenting on Canon Speedlites from Aug 19-Aug 25. If you’re around and have never been to one of Syl’s workshops, they’re not to be missed. Head up there and learn about Canon Speedlites from a photographer who’s often cited as knowing as much about Canon Speedlites as many Canon engineers.

Notable Storytellers – Vincent Laforet


Vincent Laforet is a filmmaker and photographer that belongs in any reasonable list of Notable Storytellers. Long before he became one of the pioneers (some, including me, would say he is the pioneer) of making films with video-capable DSLRs, he was a staff photographer for the New York Times – and a Pulitzer-prize-winning photographer at that.

A quick note on “Photo Finds” and “Notable Storytellers.”

BL News Photographers

Late last week, we debuted the first of our “Notable Storytellers” pieces, featuring director and VFX artist Stu Maschwitz. This piece replaces the “Photo Finds” column, and I thought that the switch in name and focus warranted an explanation.


Notable Storytellers – Stu Maschwitz


Stu Maschwitz is, to use his own words, “a filmmaker, photographer, and writer, with a passion for kinetic storytelling.” To that, I’ll add that Stu is a prolific director and geek whose blog should be required reading for all video afficionados.

In Their Own Words


Behind-the-scenses, how-tos, and technique tutorials are excellent tools to help photographers get better at their trade. Just as important, however, is listening to and understanding the experiences of the shooters you look up to. Here are a couple of videos along that vein.

Photo Finds, July 16, 2012 – Philip Bloom


On this week’s Photo Finds, we talk about filmmaker Philip Bloom. If you’re a budding filmmaker, or even a veteran of the industry, Philip is someone you should definitely be following closely.

Op-Ed: Giving Respect Where It’s Due


From time to time, we offer up Op-Ed pieces on various aspects of photography for your consideration. Please note that these articles are the personal opinion of the writer, not necessarily of 

I’m going to start this post off by sharing a video created by Zack Arias.

Next up, read this post, also from Zack: “Wedding Photographers Deserve Our Respect.” Now, the video here introduces a different topic, but at the beginning of the video, Zack actually talks about tipping your hat to wedding photographers. White the rest of the video is something that you absolutely, positively, mush watch. I won’t even try and summarize it for you – just go watch and read, then come back here. I’ll wait. (more…)

Photo Finds, July 2, 2012 – Melissa Rodwell


In this week’s Photo Finds article, we take a look at fashion photographer Melissa Rodwell’s work. If you’re interested in getting into the field, this is one photographer you should be paying attention to.

Photo Finds, June 15, 2012 – Matt Furman


Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. This week, we introduce you to the work of editorial and commercial photographer Matt Furman.

Meet – Ernest Aguayo

At we have some incredible people behind the scenes that help make us the best online camera and lens rental service. This post is the second of a series to introduce you to members of the team who tap into their passion for photography, videography and the arts daily in an effort to provide you the best service possible. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ernest, our inventory buyer.

Ernest works behind-the-scenes making sure that we have the latest new gear to add to our ever-growing inventory. He is constantly keeping up with industry rumors and research so that we can be among the first to make a new item available to our renters. Keeping up with trends is an important part of Ernest’s job, as he is also in charge of restocking our very popular items and that means more gear availability for everybody.

What’s your role here at
I am in charge of purchasing the massive amounts of photo and video gear that carries in inventory.  The most important part of the job is trying to predict what items will be in the highest demand so that we can give our customers the best gear selection and availability at all times. Through the relationships I maintain with a variety of vendors and sellers nationwide, I strive to constantly find the highest-quality (and often hardest-to-find) gear to keep up with our customers’ shooting needs, whatever they might be.

What type of photography do you enjoy pursuing?
I have loved poring over photojournalism images all my life and I also enjoy shooting portraits of my family, capturing images of birds, pursuing travel and macro photography, and doing astrophotography.  I love shooting with both digital and film.

How do you stay on top of all the latest gear?
This is one of the most fun parts of my job.  I read various photography publications, follow news and blogs online, listen to photography podcasts, and stay up-to-date with press releases and trade show announcements.  I try to figure out what new gear might rent well and then immediately start the legwork to get these items to and into the hands of our customers as soon as possible.

What are some of the factors that impact your research?
I study how our inventory rents over time, looking for trends such as when certain bodies, lenses, lighting, and accessories get booked throughout the year.  I learn about the genres of photography and filmmaking our customers are passionate about to get an idea of what gear will help them get the job done.  I also love hearing from customers directly about what kinds of gear they think we should carry, too.  Very often, if we hear customers asking about a particular item, we will start carrying it.

What services does Purchasing provide and assist with to meet the needs of our customers and ensure their satisfaction?
I work very closely with the Inventory and Shipping teams daily to make sure the gear our customers order is available and scheduled to arrive on the date requested.  Sometimes this means suddenly replenishing inventory levels when a particular item is in-demand on short notice or drop-shipping brand new items from a vendor or manufacturer directly to our customer’s home.  Bottom line is I will do everything in my power to ensure every order has all of its requested gear, on-time, whether it’s for a novice or for a pro.

What one thing would you like customers to know about Purchasing that perhaps they might not know?
I wish I could reveal how much we spend maintaining our inventory, but I will just say that it’s probably much, much more than customers think. It’s a little mind-boggling, actually!

For more be sure to check out the first post in this series featuring Jo Guzman our Front Desk Manager.