Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Makeover // Part 3

This will be the last post I put on this blog. Which feels super awesome and totally bittersweet.

Two and a half years ago (almost exactly) I put up my very first post, some pictures of Aslan, because he was the only thing I had to photograph. It was taken with my first digital SLR, a Nikon D5000, which has (thankfully) been upgraded. Those pictures make me cringe (and chuckle) a little now, but I suppose that's a good thing because I look at them and see just how far things have come. A lot has happened in those two years, and I'm so glad there is some kind of journal to see how this little adventure unfolded.

But it's time to move into a bigger home...and I couldn't be more excited to finally share it!

From here on out, my blog will be living on my website. I'd be so thrilled if you wanted to follow along!*

I'll share a little more about the actual process of the makeover (I've already shared the moodboard and some alternative logo options) on the new blog...but for now I'd really like to give a shoutout to Blair from Leap who did the web design and programming, and to Breanna who created the logo and general direction for design. I know a lot of people who have really struggled to find great designers that can visualize a great brand and follow through on creating it, and these girls were a dream to work with.

And hopefully over the next few weeks, we'll be able to migrate some of the old posts over to the new site. But feel free to stop back here to read through the archive...unlike real homes, this one will still be around to visit once I move out ;0).

*To follow along with an RSS reader like Feedly or Bloglovin, just type into the add or search field and then click follow. Easiest way to make sure you don't miss a post!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Inspirations // 02

Joyce Lee's website has been open in a tab on my internet for a good two weeks. That's how much I love these.

I am obsessed with how she uses color and details to create such cheerful faux-realistic scenes with amazing stories. And some of them don't even have humans! I've had this probably-crazy assumption for a long time that the only way to make interesting pictures - the only way to show emotion - is to have people because their expressions and their body language reveal so much. These photos make that notion seem like a cop-out, because there is so much story and emotion and exuberance in them - and she makes it look easy.

Although these definitely inspire me when it comes to an approach for photographing any details, whether they be for a wedding or simply in my own home, they really make me want to pick up my iPhone and instagram something fun, like create a collection around an emotional theme with inanimate objects. That, and go sit by a pool with a fruity drink ;0).

Photos all by Joyce Lee. Photos 1 & 4 from the Vibrant Life Collection, 2 & 3 are Still Life

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Second Shooter // 11

Today is more like diary of a second shooter than just a simple post with pictures. But I've always felt that blogging should be diary-like in a way, because it's just as much for sharing personal things as it is to show some pretty pictures.

So here's an admission: when I started out this year, I fully intended to only shoot 10-15 weddings. Tops. My reasons were 1 // that I edit weddings for another photographer and that takes up a huge chunk of time, 2 // I worked every. single. weekend. when I was in retail and I wanted to have some of those back (I'm laughing at myself now), 3 // fear of burnout and taking on too much, and 4 // I was thinking about branching out to do some photography that wasn't necessarily wedding related - things for creative businesses who need product photos for websites and such things (which I would still love to do on weekdays and especially during the slow season).

And then Dani and I became friends / soul sisters and everything changed. It actually became even more fun (I know, how is that even possible?) to go to "work" every Friday and Saturday - and dance to 500 renditions of Call Me Maybe. Sounds like a party, right?

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about intentions and actions and things lining up. And even though my intention of shooting a smaller number of weddings doesn't line up with my action of doing two weddings per week, it does line up with my intention of growing as a photographer. By second shooting, I've learned loads about lighting, working in less-than-desirable spaces, timelines, stamina, and the amazing things that come from true collaboration. In fact, I've enjoyed it so much that I'll probably do the same thing next year, but stick to 10-15 weddings of my own.

And one final note: I'm especially grateful to Dani for letting me share images from these weddings. That's not always a given among photographers, and even though it's a relatively small thing, it is a gift that means the world to me.

Also, this is one of my fav weddings so far. Gorgeous couple, gorgeous venue, fun group of people. Love.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Makeover // Part 2

I decided to take a break from my usual Friday Second Shooter posting today to share a little bit more about the makeover that will be happening soon! Particularly, some logo and design options that didn't get used, but absolutely inspired the direction for the final product. All of these were inspired by the mood board that I shared a few weeks (months? I can't keep track of time right now) ago.

Usually, when I first take in an idea visually, I either love it or hate it and I rely heavily on my gut reactions to determine the next step.

It wasn't quite so easy when it came to this, but I think that turned out to be a good thing. Because, instead, I looked at each option that Breanna (who is, of course, incredible and I dearly loved working with her) created and really gave it some thought as to what I liked or didn't like about it. And that turned into a collaboration that pulled elements from several different concepts into one that turned out amazing.

So below are some of the pieces that I liked various parts of, and ultimately they each inspired something really freaking be coming very soon.

Happy Friday! Have a fabulous weekend my friends!

All designs by Breanna Rose

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Inspirations // 01

One of the few things I learned in college that actually stuck with me is that artists do not live in a vacuum. I remember this as my music history professor's mantra, a class which happened to be one of my favorites simply for the passion that the professor had for the subject...and also because we got to listen to a lot of amazing music.

But what he meant by artists and vacuums is that when we create, we are not oblivious to the world going on around us and, whether we want it to be or not, what we create is a manifestation of our experiences. Beethoven was extraordinary, but much of what he did expanded on the concepts presented and tools used by other composers of his time - many of whom he studied with.

I'm not someone who shies away from reading the blogs of other photographers or looking to other people for inspiration - in fact, I am energized by it. And blog reading may just constitute my only other "hobby" since my hobby became my job. I think what the creative community is doing is fascinating, and I'm actually more inspired by interior design, graphic design, and design-your-life blogs than anything else. And I'd rather embrace it than shy away from it for the sake of wanting to be original, which may or may not even be possible.

Which brings me to this lovely new little series of posts about the people and things that inspire me. And I'm starting with someone who - although probably a little goofy - you might not expect...the famously happy Bob Ross. Who was not a blogger, but still an artist...and my current obsession to watch late at night after returning home from a wedding. My husband will pour us beers and we watch The Joy of Painting. We yell at the TV when he puts a dark line down the middle of a perfect painting to make a happy little tree, and then tell each other it will be okay because it always turns out just right in the end. And I usually fall asleep before the second painting is complete.

One night last week, it hit me that what I always think is Bob screwing up a perfectly fine painting is actually what makes his landscapes so interesting. When I think a painting is good and could be complete the way it is, Bob goes and adds another detail or another dimension that takes it from good to really freaking interesting. Those details and dimensions add layers to look through; they draw your eye through the painting from the foreground to the background.

Guess what? That applies to any image. A really dynamic picture, whether painted, or photographed, gets more interesting when there are several dimensions and each one leads you to the next so that you feel like you want to take everything in.

I've never really been a landscape photographer, but if I ever take it up professionally, I will tell everyone that I learned all that I know about photographing landscapes from Bob Ross. But those principles don't only apply to landscapes...they can be applied to portraits too. Adding additional dimensions and paying attention to small details are two more tools in my toolbox of tricks to make more dynamic images.

And if that isn't enough inspiration, I adore this quote from him (taken from his article on Wikipedia):

"I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, 'Bob, everything in your world seems to be happy.' That's for sure. That's why I paint. It's because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make this world as happy as I want it."
Now go make your world happy! And let me know who inspires you.

Bob Ross photos via: 1, 2

Monday, July 15, 2013

Second Shooter // 10

So this light.

There's something spectacular about the way the light falls from the sky at sunset after clouds have passed. It's simply magnificent, and no way on earth could I recreate this artificially if I tried.

Wish I could have this every day.

Dani always takes us to amazing places with amazing people. Couldn't be more grateful.

Happy Monday friends! It's good to be back :0)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Here's the thing about wedding season: the days need to be about three times longer than they actually are. And it's summer, so I think that would be okay with just about everyone. Can we agree to make this happen?

I'll give you more blog posts if it can become a thing.

In all truthfulness, there are a lot of things going on around here, which is awesome - so much better than winter when you feel like you will never work again - but time...I need to work on mastering that. And reprioritizing. Which I'm sure I'm not alone in.

Tomorrow I'm heading to New Jersey with Dani to do something that has forever been on my bucket list - photograph a celebrity wedding - which is exciting and scary and crazy, and I'm so grateful to get to go along. So I'll leave you with a photo for today, and will get back to posting regularly with some updates on everything that's happened/happening next week! Make it fabulous, friends!