Monday, February 24, 2014

A Journey | Week 8

What?  Eight weeks?  I have accomplished a lot, but I feel like not enough.  I don't have anything to show you just yet but I have booked a few more models for two more shoots and another date for one of them. 

Hopefully on March 15th will be another shoot.  We are going to get messy this time.  This one will involve a lot of food, crazy adults and a lot of fun!

I also have an adorable family booked on standby, with two cutie pie boys. This shoot is going to be a couple of months down the road so date tba.  I have to make a dress with some awesome fabric that I bought in the Fashion District in LA for sooooooo cheap!  Michael Levine's The Loft has bins upon bins of fabric scraps and end of bolts. They sell everything for $2 a pound.  Yeah... This fabric cost me a few bucks for 5 yards.  Love it! Remember the picture I posted of the pattern and fabric?  I was about to make the dress but ended up not being able to due to some complications with the machine (operator error) and the fabric/pattern.  I have worked out all of the kinks (I hope) and will be working on it and hopefully finishing it soon!  I'll post the picture again... although the fabric has changed. I am also making a dress and jacket for my daughter because she will love it and I think she will be in the picture as well. 

A couple of years ago a really nice gentleman gave me his original 1950's pram just because I really wanted it.  He was trying to sell it but we couldn't afford it so he gave it to me, along with some blankets.  Amazing.  People like that do still exist!  We had to take it apart to store it but are pulling it out, cleaning it up and putting it back together for this shoot.  We also have a classic 1950's truck being brought in for it.  Can you guess the era we are going for here? :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Journey | Week 7

I will tell you a little about what happened on Wednesday... I had 9 kids booked for this one and 2 adults.  I could not find a hair/makeup artist for this shoot (because who has the time to donate their services for this, let's be honest) so I had the mom's and kids help. Thank you to Kathy for mixing up her face paint for the kids to smear all over themselves, they had so much fun!    At least only one adult got makeup. Thank you to Jeff for entertaining the kids so well, they sure did love you!  And Thank you Carrie for being so kind and letting us use your home

Well, we had  9 children ages 2-10, it was an adventure.  We had food flying, kids running everywhere, jumping off couches... don't worry, I asked them to do it and they happily obliged. ;)

If I were to ever do another project like this again, I would have a few assistants and give myself enough time to get there before the kids to set up and test everything out.  

  This image will most likely not be ready to show you for some months BUT I will keep you posted on the progress of it.  I still have to photograph a few more elements for this shoot but that is taking a lot of scheduling and planning. 

Today I had another shoot.  I had a sweet adorable family drive up on their day off and brought a bag full of clothes to choose from.  They were all so quick to get into position and were so good that I got the shot after only a few minutes!  I was trying to go for a late 1800's early 1900's feel with a modern twist. I have a couple more elements to photograph and work on in order to complete this shoot as well so hang tight!

Here is the adorable family.  I grabbed a quick shot of them after the shoot was over. :)  I meant to get shots of each of the kids from the wild shoot on Wednesday but I forgot.  I was a little frazzled and preoccupied. To say the least. hahaha

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Jouney | Week 6

I shot my first image the my 12 part series on the first of February.  I am shooting my second image on the 12th, this Wednesday!  AND I am shooting the third image on the 17th, next Monday.  I am really excited to get so much accomplished halfway through February.  Now the really hard part, to edit each of these to perfection!  I am not even starting my editing until I get the third image shot so that I can focus all of my energy on making sure I shoot these perfectly so I don't have to figure out how to fix it in post. 

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you more of my backstory.
In junior high I took my first photography class. 7th grade to be exact.  It was a darkroom class sine this was well before digital. I absolutely loved to watch my image come alive as the developer worked it chemical magic. I was definitely hooked.  In high school I decided to take more photography classes as well as art classes.  It was in my junior year in high school that I decided I wanted to work for National Geographic and travel the world photographing EVERYTHING. Wildlife, wilderness, people.  I never really believed I could do it so, I forgot. 

My dad got me my first SLR camera when I was 17.  It was film of course.  I wore that poor thing out.  I did glamourous photo shoots with my friends where we would dress up in all of my gowns, and do hair and makeup.  I would have to get their permission to post any of those, but they were so much fun.  I discovered later that my favorite thing to photograph is people. Looking back I think I always knew that but I never acknowledged it.

After high school I had no idea what I wanted to do.  I knew college was the next step but I hated homework and studying.  I loved art.  I took a year off and took choir classes in community college.  

One day I received a postcard from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the cover image was by one of their photography students.  The image was eerie and beautiful.  Something inside me stirred. My heart quickened and I wanted to learn how to make art like this, to learn how to take photographs like this one.  I never even thought of looking into art schools.  I wish I had someone to help me in high school, but I suppose I wasn't ready until this point. I started researching art schools that had great photography programs.  I had it narrowed down to a school in southern California and one in Pittsburgh, PA.  I chose Pittsburgh because it felt comfortable and welcoming.  I felt at home with the green hair, mohawks, multiple piercing, tattoos... even though I had none of those things.  I just felt accepted.  I loved my time there.  This was still the days of film although digital was starting to surface.  It was a lot of film, grey cards, metering, darkrooms to load your film from the canister to the reel, wet lab darkroom to enlarge and print your images via the chemicals. I made friends with students in all art fields.  It was such a creative environment, I just loved soaking it up.  

I took a break before I graduated to serve a mission for my church.  My dad was not pleased that I was quitting school and told me he would not pay for it if I wanted to go back.  He probably would have if I had asked but I didn't.  7 years later I enrolled again and finally finished my bachelor degree in fine art.  I am glad I took the break for many reasons. 1. When I started, the photography program was only an associates. 2. When I finished, digital was A LOT more developed and I got to learn all of the cool digital tricks. 3. I cherished the time I spent serving a mission and grew in so many ways.  I was more able to talk to people after and to put myself out there.  

After I was married I told my husband of my desire to go back to school. I felt it pulling me, calling me back home. He agreed and moved across the country with me. 

When I went back I still only intended to do an associates degree because you don't need a degree of any kind to be a photographer but I changed my mind because I wanted to learn more.  I am so glad I did. I learned a lot more about technique, skill, and my own self. I had a baby in the middle of a quarter and still finished all of my classes. I graduated pregnant with my second.  Family is important to me and there was nothing stopping me from having both a family and my education.

My plan, while I was in school, was to start my own lifestyle photography business and make money at that.  I failed at that attempt for several reasons.  I was really bad at marketing myself.  I was really bad at pricing and sticking to it.  I was not really passionate about what I was doing.  That was the biggest reason.  I had fun, but I did not love it.  I did weddings for a few years and enjoyed working with the brides and capturing their special day but at the end of the day, I wanted to do more creative things. 

 I did a lot of personal projects to practice techniques I had seen or different styles and colors.  This shoot below lost me a lot of Facebook fans but I loved every minute of it.  I was told I should not post the images because no one would hire me based on these images.  I looked at them and saw that these were the best images I had shot thus far but everyone is freaked out by them.  I did not take them down and I did not apologize.  They were beautiful and the kids that modeled for me were strong in their faith, mind, body and they loved every minute of the shoot... in January... while it snowed.  

Are these perfect?  No. But they were an artistic expression for me and it felt really good to put it together.  I added the tulle to the dresses myself.  I bought everything for this shoot. At thrift stores and on clearance of course. 

Anyway, so I did a few more shoots like this but not quite as bright or load and loved it.  It was in my last couple of quarters at school (about the time of these shoots) that I realized my passion was not just photography.  It was not to take family portraits, but to make works of art.  So, I secretly decided some day I would be a gallery artist.  It has taken me 3 years to get to the point where I am ready for that leap.  Well, and here we are, me taking that leap. :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy One Year Anniversary!

September 15th 2012 Jessica and Aaron were married.  See their wedding album here and their engagements here. September of 2013 they celebrated their one year anniversary with new portraits!  I absolutely just loved this yummy golden sunset in Lincoln, California.  The sky, the colors, oh my!  Yes the sky is all real!  I know, crazy!

Summer Bridals

Can you believe I forgot to blog these?  

Well, the summer of 2012 was so crazy, I went to the eastern US for 3 months and had to work in someone else's workspace until I got back home and in the shuffle and the crazy schedules I forgot.

  I went to Northern Virginia for the summer and while I was there I drove 4 hours to West Virginia to see one of my besties and to go to another dear friend's wedding reception, well open house.  I went the morning of the event and took her bridals.  

She had a location that was dear to her heart and her mother's so we went there for a fun shoot.  It was so lush and green.  There was a really cool cement tunnel that we had to walk through and I thought it was kind of erie and beautiful inside so I had her stop in the middle of this dark tunnel and used the available light which were some soft lights at the top.

I no longer offer weddings BUT this was shot in August back when I did still shoot them. :)

Isn't she gorgeous?!  I have very beautiful friends. ;)  Anjuli, it was great to see you and work with you.  And thank you to your mom for helping fluff the veil and fix wardrobe issues. :)  And thank you to Ashley for assisting me and carrying my equipment! 

A Journey | Week 5

Saturday I finally got to shoot the first image for my series!  The image in in production and cannot be shown yet but I can tell you a little about it.

I had two moms and their young daughters come over to my home on Saturday.  The pink dress and lace that I was sewing was for this shoot.  We had curls, cotton candy, lace, ruffles, dolls and a lot of fun. We had lots of laughs while we primped. When you see the final image just keep in mind that both of these girls are as sweet as pie. And their gorgeous mommas are just awesome.

Here are the models...