Monday, July 25, 2011

What I'm doing instead of blogging!

Hello all! Last week I warned that I probably wouldn't be able to blog today seeing as Andrew and I are en route to California! We left at 8:30 this morning and have had a few stops along the way so far. Right now we're chugging through Oregon and we're still a ways away. I think the pit stops were worth it though :)

The purpose of this post is to direct you toward Andrew's blog where we are posting updates for each stop that we make! Once we stop for the night we're going to go back and edit the entries and fix the photos and probably add more content. Be sure to check it out into tomorrow as well as we finish our two day excursion : D

P.s. Sorry the photos are the wrong way! I'll fix it later

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monster creations, sunsets and a last minute dog photo!

How is it Monday again already? Although I think a more important question is how this week managed to both fly by and drag at the same time. Positively baffling. I should stop thinking about it though or else I'm going to get sucked into a mental vortex and I'll never complete this post.

I have had a mondo busy week so again I allowed my laziness to overcome my urge to take photos. I've been sleeping in because I can; I'm still kind of on vacation, I think? Everyday I have visited someone, driven to a few places and I believe that more days than not I was at my storage unit hacking away at the enormous task of packing all of my possessions.

The good news is that I have quite a few photography project ideas beginning to brew in my mind. Little still life things here and there that I'm excited to put into motion. Unfortunately this week won't see the progression of any of those ideas because this coming week is going to be even busier than the last! Shopping, moving, family gatherings and a wedding. I really believe that my calendar has never been more full.

Now that I've rattled off my excuses for why I have little content for the second week in a row, here's what I do have for you!

 This guy still needs a name. He was supposed to have arms, but his feet ended
up looking like flippers and Andrew liked it, so I left the arms off.

First off is a preview of some Weird Little Monsters that I've made. In a nutshell, Weird Little Monsters (trademarked name, I think? I'll have to double check with him!) is a business idea that Andrew has had for a few years and has experienced a few stop/start attempts at getting it going. He asked me if I'd be interested in helping him get the venture off the ground and I gladly said yes. I really enjoy sewing and the thought of creating and assembling original monsters is very exciting.

The first little guy came together extremely sloppily; a combination of unforgiving slippery fabric and me being severely out of practice. Also really just poor attention to detail and a total lack of measuring. I suppose I could be obnoxiously negative and continue talking about what's wrong with him, but I'm going to stop. I'm proud of the fact that he's together in one piece and doesn't look like an Ugly Doll. He even has some flipper-like limbs that are firmly attached! I'm excited to make this same monster again with some different fabric and a greater attention to detailing for the eyes.

Glamor shots of Rohmer from my new camera application. I have yet 
to take any real photos, but I plan on it!

Monster number two, my favorite (and very first original) design, came together much more smoothly. My choice in fabric really helped with the aesthetics, I believe. The muted blues look much more comfortable. I'm glad that I still have so much canvas to work with as well. His pants just feel so sturdy and I like it! The only thing missing from Rohmer (named by Andrew) is the monocle that I drew in his original sketch. I'm still brainstorming possibilities on how to best construct it. I have some ideas in my head involving internal magnets, so we'll see what happens next time I make another Monster of this style.

When I first bought my new phone I spent a good amount of time researching interesting, free camera effects applications. I found two that I like (one for a wide range of edits and one that has a tilt/shift feature. LOVE tilt/shift) and I've been working with them for the past month. Just a few days ago I decided to take another look and see if I had somehow overlooked something particularly good. To my delight I found a free application that includes a fisheye filter, as well as a rather fun polaroid filter. It's easy to accidentally overuse these sorts of things, but I think they definitely have their place in the world.

There's just something about those two photos (fisheye and polaroid of Rohmer) that I enjoy. I look forward to more opportunities to explore and experiment with my various applications. It'll be some time before I have a real tilt/shift or fisheye lens. I'll take it however I can, and free is perfect for the time being. I hope to have a lensbaby lens sometime soon, they open up the door to creative freedom in similar ways to film, but with the easy and enjoyability (for me anyway) of digital. And as far as I know they offer the most affordable tilt/shift lenses for digital SLRs.

 It looked so much better at first! Some really great rays piercing through the
trees! Also, had to zero in on the mountain there. The views here are spectacular.

On Saturday evening I arrived at Andrew's parents and was greeted by a rather wonderful sunset. They live in a highly advantageous area for sunsets, so I stood in front of the house and enjoyed it for a few moments. Then I remembered that I'm a photographer and I have a camera and I needed to move my butt into the house and get the camera. Of course by the time I got back outside (roughly 45 seconds later) the sky had shifted to something much less spectacular.

I snorted in irritation at the inconsiderate nature of the sunset, exhibiting such a lack of concern for my interest in capturing its beauty. I did what I could. It wasn't a total loss.

 Shot of her lovely engagement ring, as well as their carving.

Happy smiles all around :]

I have to apologize for not having any photos of Slinky. I'm taking them tonight, so that doesn't really line up well for this earlier entry. I wish I could promise that they'd be in next week's blog, but next week I'll be in the car with Andrew on our way to California! I anticipate blogging from the car entirely with photos that I've taken with my phone. I'd better keep that in mind while I'm snapping away with the Canon this week.

So much to look forward to!

Oh, also, I included a few more photos of Rachel and Zach. They are from their choices. I spent a lot of time coming up with some new editing ideas and styles that I'm feeling pretty proud of. As a result it took me quite a long while to complete them, but Rachel is thrilled with them and so am I. Mission accomplished, I'd say!


Slinky! Sweet nine year old dachshund. 

Snuck in a photo of Slinky :D He is an extremely camera shy dog, so this was an exercise in patience and creativity. I'd say probably 90% of these photos he is a blur or it's the back of his head. Harumph.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Busy busy me

OK, today's entry is SUPER late in the day and for that I apologize. Truth be told (and I do try to make that as close to always as possible) I had absolutely zero content planned for today. Nothing. Not a single photo taken all week! I have been hyper busy and distracted, running around and using up far too much gasoline in the process.

Currently I sit over at Andrew's parents house in an effort to get away from my animal allergies. They're getting worse and worse, which is just horrific because I'd like to own some animals in the not too distant future. I just completed a lovely little crafting/sewing project that I've been anxious to tackle for the past two months: a candy zippered pouch! Found at this blog via Pinterest (if you'd like an invite just ask, I can give you one!).

 Supplies! Iron on vinyl, lining fabric, candy wrapper, zipper. To the right are the
two halves of the wrapper with their iron on vinyl all ironed on! I had some issues.

Unfortunately, I haven't sewn in a while and really I've never been that good at making things perfectly square and straight and all of that. So with that in mind, my finished product is a wee bit jankier than I had hoped for. However, it is fully functioning and completed and isn't that what matters in the first place?

 I've never been particularly good at sewing straight. My fabrics never ever line up!
Horrible! Fortunately, I remembered to unzip the zipper a little bit before I started
to sew. That could have been just awful.

Through the week I pondered what I could possibly take pictures of for my upcoming post. No brilliant ideas were coming to mind, and really I've spent most of my stationary time catching up with friends or neck deep in my storage unit sorting through items preparing to move in about two weeks. Yikes! Last week I mused over taking photos of Slinky, the dachshund that I have recently become acquainted with, but that idea fell through. That'll probably be in next week's blog.

It functions! Although at first the zipper kept getting caught on the fabric
(I think I sewed it too close :/) so I put a tiny stitch on the inside to hold the 
lining fabric down. Works perfectly now!

I would have liked very much to take some portraits, but right now I am completely empty for ideas. I'm tired of straightforward shots. Headshots are great to be good at, but I'd love to do something more creative. I've had a little bit of 'friending' activity on my model mayhem profile so who knows? Maybe when I'm back in California I'll be able to line up some shoots with new people and get my portfolio expanded. I could have chosen to be less lazy and shoot some of my friends, but there are times when I'd rather relax and socialize and just not focus on a camera for a while. That has been this week.

Storage unit before I start moving any boxes out.
Packed full and highly daunting to think about.

When I woke up this morning I had a stroke of brilliance, "Aha!" I said to myself, "I found my film cameras in storage and I pulled them out. I can take pictures of THEM and write about film and analogue printing!" Well, that didn't exactly come to pass. I've been on the move since 9am and I didn't get to Andrew's parents until almost 4pm where I proceeded to rest because the humidity was at 57% today, lame, and I was far too warm and uncomfortable. After that I just had to make my candy pouch because why wouldn't I want to? Now it is 7:15 and I'm still writing my blog. Horrible! Also, the cameras are in the car and darnit I don't feel like going outside.

Next week should be all about Slinky and film cameras. Andrew is very interested in film and I happen to have cameras as well as film to shoot. He's especially interested in my Holga, which I don't believe I've ever touched on here but that thing is practically the bane of my existence. I won't get into that right now. I know that our drive down to California is going to be captured digitally as well as on film, and we'll have a blast doing it and an even "better" time figuring out how to get them onto the computers. We may have to invest in a film scanner. Exciting!

These two blocks are from first grade. I would tape them together
and I thought it resembled a cat. I even drew a cat face (barely visible).
One day after play time I took the blocks with me because I liked them
so much. Another student saw and tattled on me. I got in trouble, but
for some reason I still have the blocks. Curious.

I thoroughly apologize for the short (and late!) blog today. This week my mind has been elsewhere, plain and simple. I'm going to continue to do more crafting. Even though I got a little cranky while trying to make the m&m pouch, it was ultimately very fun and rewarding.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy children and engagement photos.

I suppose I should get an obligatory, "happy fourth of July!" out of the way before I start this post because I don't have anything Independence Day related to talk about :O I could have taken photos of the fireworks downtown last night, but I didn't bring my camera. More on that later, actually.

Nephew and niece.

So while I'm sorry that I don't have anything patriotic to share, I am delighted to say that I had two extremely successful shoots this weekend. After a week of being lazy and hardly taking any photos (I had reasons but shame on me all the same!), I had two full-out shoots to round off the week with. I just ended a sentence with a preposition and for that I am sorry.

My sister and her daughter Emily and son Elijah.

On Saturday I packed up all of my gear and went to my sister's house to take photos of her children. My nephew Elijah will be four in October, and my niece Emily turned one in February. They're certainly not the easiest age range to work with! My mom, sister and I encountered a fair amount of issues while attempting to get them to cooperate. We ended up down by the beach because there are some lovely photo taking areas, but they ended up being too excited about being in a new area.

Not 100% sure how I feel about the one on the left. I think I'm headed in the 
right direction but it's still incomplete. Love the one on the right though!

Emily's primary interest rested in tossing rocks into the water, which was adorable, and it did not lead to many good photos. Perhaps someday I'll invest in some waist-high waders, but on this day I had no way of getting out into the (super cold) water to get pictures of her face while she threw rocks.

 Face snuggles and kisses from her kids.

I did my best to remember what I had learned while at the first studio in Ireland. It was a family and child portrait studio, which is not my forte. However I did pick up a few useful tidbits on how to photograph children and I tried to put them to use on Saturday. Cassidy and I had ideas in mind about what kind of photos we wanted, and the kids were having none of it. Eventually we gave up and tried to just go wherever they wanted to go, but they still lacked the interest and cooperation to look at the camera.

Elijah. Not sure what he was going for but
he was looking at me so I went with it.

As we were preparing to leave, dejected and resolved to trying again another day, the two became enthralled with a big toy/jungle gym type play structure that was in the park. We stood and waited for a few minutes before I decided to give it one more go. I climbed inside and attempted to get a few photos that way, but still no luck. Finally Cass climbed inside of it with Elijah and that's when the magic happened.

Little Emily playing at the bottom of the slide.

We were finally able to get the photos that my sister was hoping for, it just had to be on the children's terms. Even though I knew that, I was still uncertain of how best to go about it. The whole day was a learning experience, to be sure, and I'm guessing that the next time I have a photo shoot with her kids things will probably go a bit smoother. On a final note though I am bummed that the one place they chose to finally cooperate included the big green wheel that was covering parts of their faces in a lot of shots. What am I supposed to do about that sort of thing? I almost fell off of the big toy a few times because I was balanced on a wooden slide and was holding on with one hand while swinging out in front of them. Danger!

After viewing these on the computer I wanted to scream bloody murder
because of the people standing in the background. But hey, nothing 
I could do because it was a public park. Either way this is a great photo
of Elijah and Emily laughing and playing together :)

On Sunday I had another shoot with my friends Rachel and Zach. They're getting married next summer and asked if I would do their engagement photos. I was happy to oblige.

All of yesterday was a raging success of beautiful picture after beautiful picture of them smiling happily in various places downtown Poulsbo. Rachel and I took a walk through this particular park earlier in the week and she absolutely loved it. It proved to be a great place for their photos.

I thought this was a cute idea. Feedback?

We had a really fun time finding different places to shoot, and they did a great job with the variety of outfits that they brought. Rachel and I had discussed a few different places over the phone, and also brainstormed over the different outfits that would go best with the locations in the park, and I'm really glad that everything came together so well.

They were wonderful models, and I'm also going to take a moment to congratulate myself because I think I managed to create some great and natural photos with my knowledge and suggestions for how they should interact :] I've been spending a fair amount of time doing research looking at engagement photos to see which ones I like and which ones I don't. There are so many different options and styles and some are (obviously) more appealing than others.

Under the boardwalk.

While editing a small selection for today's post I began to wonder how long it will take for me to develop a style all my own. Some photographers really have it down, and I know that I haven't been shooting consistently enough to figure out something that's "mine". It's difficult because I enjoy a wide variety of types. Sometimes I am really into hyper processed images, and sometimes the colors are so perfect that I don't want to touch the photo at all. Occasionally I feel that black and white adds the perfect touch and brings out an emotion that simply wasn't present in the color version.

Original in color.

I'm all over the place! I guess it may boil down to whatever my client wants and then I'll go from there. Curious. Can't wait to see what I end up doing.

 Good edits? Bad? Better in black and white or color? Does 
the yellowish/sepia/high contrast on the left even work?

For the fireworks last night I made a conscious decision not to bring my camera. I knew that it would be busy and crowded downtown and I didn't want to have a bag banging around behind me. I wanted an easy night of focusing on enjoying the company of my friends. Fortunately I don't regret the decision, but as the fireworks were going off I found myself wondering which camera settings I'd be using if I had brought my camera and what I'd have to do to get a great picture of the explosions. I really need to get a functioning tripod.

As soon as Cass, Rachel and Zach have picked out which photos they want I'll be posting more, but for now the images posted today were ones that I particularly enjoyed and wanted to share on my blog. I'm not sure what next week's entry will bring. As far as I know I don't have anything big planned for this week. Maybe I'll take some nice photos of Slinky, a new dog that I've come to know. That could be fun. I enjoy animal photography.


Saturday, July 2, 2011


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