Saturday, October 30, 2010

Summer Re-cap!

I'm thinking about the holidays! Halloween brings in a whole new season at our house! We bring out the pumpkins and they stay out through Thanksgiving and then they are put away and replaced by Christmas decor! I can't believe it is just that close!

I was thinking about what photos will be made over the holiday season and that made me think about what work I've done over the summer! I thought "hmmm maybe I'll show you some of the work I did over the summer" you know, just for fun!

So here are a few of the things I shot over the summer!

The summer started out with Gary and Ashley's engagement and Wedding!

I spent time with Friends and enjoyed a couple of family portrait shoots. (Some still to be reviled...)

Inhabit Las Vegas celebrated their Grand Opening!

My kid graduated from High school!

And I threw her a party!

We all met Baby Sam! I can't wait to take more pictures of this Darling little man!

I worked on a few little projects like this one...

These are canisters my Great Grandmother carried
with her as she went through Ellis Island from Poland.

One of my favorite projects this summer was the Belrose Salon classic 1940's pin-up shoot!
Gorgeous ladies and super fun!

We went to North Carolina and I photo journaled our vacation!

I had a wonderful time participating in the Scott Kelby Photowalk at the San Juan Mission.

I shot the Canstruction Orange County structures to help fight hunger!

I also got to photograph the Awards Gala

And PS I ran my first half Marathon with my Daughter, Amanda and my sisters!

It was a wonderful summer but I'm ready to move into the winter months. I'm ready for warm fires and hot coco. Looking forward to spending time with family and eating fabulous food! I'm also looking forward to entering into a New Year!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Since my last post I have been doing some thinking, I know, you're shocked. I also had a couple of family portrait shoots. After giving the families their images I felt so happy and satisfied. I know what I LOVE about photography! I love when my client feels fulfilled, as though I somehow captured a moment in time that they will never lose. I remember when Paul Gero took some images of my Emma. I was so happy he was able to capture who she really was up down, good and silly. As a parent this is what we never want to lose sight of. I want to deliver this to my clients, a moment that cannot otherwise be saved in time.

I had a client send me a note today that said,"When I opened them up and saw that first picture, I got to say my heart melted and brought me to tears. I saw her true beauty and innocence at the same time. I have never, nor has anybody else ever done that for us. "

Seriously, that is why I take pictures. It is truly my heart's desire. I feel invested in you and who you are. I think that's why I can't handle the basic event shooting. I am not emotionally invested, nor does anyone there want to connect with me as a person. Its either, whip people in and out in font of a backdrop, or capturing images of anonymous people at a party as they all look at me sideways because they aren't sure why I'm pointing a camera at them.

I love shooting events for friends and family because I'm invested. I love shooting weddings because I have gotten to know the bride and groom and the people who love them and again, I am invested. If I am with you and taking pictures of you I can guarantee you I am listening to you and learning about you and finding who you are.

For the same reason I love creating fine art. I get to put a piece of myself into the image. I get to show you tiny pieces of life through my eyes. After my last post I had some great comments from some of my friends but I have to tell you the comment I received from an artist friend of mine really spoke to me and basically whipped me back into shape.

Being an artist is difficult in that you have to inspire yourself and motivate yourself to press on. I LOVE talking to other artists and reading about their journeys because it reminds me I am not alone.

Joey Remmers is a friend of my husband's and mine. We met when he gave me my first tattoo. He was this young, single,blond haired kid with a backwards baseball cap, listening to Dave Matthews with his collection of plastic horror film characters at his station. He was really sweet to us and we just fell in love with him. Over the last several years we have watched this "kid" grow into the man he is today. He is a wonderful father and husband. His art work is ridiculous and amazing. I so respect what he said to me in the comments of my blog. Not only did he really understand what I was feeling but what he continued to say pulled me out of my funk and inspired me to shut up and move on.

Being that I know I have some fellow artists reading my blog I thought I would share what he wrote because I think it will serve to inspire! Enjoy:

Hi Kelley!
I've found that has an artist this is something you will go through often. I will have 'dry' periods where I can do the work but the real drive just isn't there, or I just to seem to have no imagination or ideas. Just enjoying our medium isn't always enough and I've found that having some kind of end goal to work towards will keep me motivated. While painting is different than photography I think the creative process is very similar, especially when you decide to make it a career. I can share some of the things I've learned to always keep myself engaged and they may help.
When I started taking art in college my very first instructor made all of us keep journals, and always have them with us. Has an artist you never know when you'll be struck by inspiration or come up with a great idea for a series. While having a camera makes this much easier for you I would still suggest a small journal you can keep with you. Mine was always full of photos, magazine clippings, notes, sketches, etc. You'd be surprised how many ideas you'll capture and retain that would have been otherwise fleeting.
The next thing I think is very important and took me a long time to figure out is to always have personal goals and projects running, never just work. For years now I've had fairly consistent work (galleries, commissions, etc) but if that's all I did I would have given up a long time ago. I went through a big slump with my tattoo work for this exact reason. If you spend everyday doing what other people want you'll get disenchanted and it'll start to feel like just a job pretty quickly.
I agree with Steve completely in that you should always have goals both personal and professional. Always be engaging yourself and challenging yourself. I'm constantly looking at other artists. Their technique, use of color and light, subject matter, etc. Basically, if I can make myself feel like I suck compared to others I get motivated pretty quick ;)
Doing planned series' is always a great way to get inspired and stay motivated. My process is so involved now that I'll be working for a couple months on a project before I even start to actually paint. I like to plan everything out, like writing an outline for a novel, and let the idea grow and evolve before even starting.
Collaborations are also always fun. Getting to work with someone else and bounce ideas back and forth is always exciting and motivating and forces you out of your comfort zone to try new things. I'm always up for some collab work, let me know, it'd be fun to see if we can mix paint and photography ;)
In regards to promotion, the thing that always moves me is that once I have finished work I NEED feedback, good or bad, just something. Look at promotion as a way to not only get your work out there and generate business but a way to find where you fit in your field, and more importantly where others see you.
So....Hopefully some of this nonsense helps, I tend to ramble when I write. We should discuss further with family and wine ;)

Yes! Are you motivated? I am and it shows in my life this week and last! I feel renewed and as though I have a jump start in my career. And the feedback I have received from my last few jobs have confirmed for me I am doing the right thing for who I am.

PS we are so going to make some art from photography and paint...

Monday, October 4, 2010

No Need to Go Far

This week I had a talk with my husband about what direction my photography was headed. Maybe I should say he had a talk with me. He pointed out that I am not really promoting it, or going after it as aggressively as I have in the past. I think he wanted to know what I'm doing with it. Even after all the jobs I've had this summer it seems as though I haven't been working. Its weird how distant I feel from it.

After our talk I really needed to think about the things he said and search my own heart about where I am with this whole photography thing. I know I love it but I haven't been acting like it. Of course, I'm always grabbing my camera to catch a shot or record an important event. I've even been taking jobs and completing them and people have been happy with the results. I had to ask myself, "Am I happy with the results, or the process, or whatever it is that drives me on in this pursuit?"

This fall I have become a co-leader in a women's group at church. I love the women in my group and really have a burning passion for my studies and for the time I spend with my friends there. I have put my whole heart into this endeavor and set my passion for photography on a shelf somewhere. I really believe God gave me photography as a gift and after taking some time to sort out my thoughts on this I decided to spend the afternoon with my camera.

I wondered if other photographers go through this process. In any relationship we have ups and downs. As in any relationship we need to cultivate it by putting in time and working on our skills as a partner. So, that's what I did. I just went into my own yard and looked around. I looked high and low. I looked at the big stuff and at the tiny stuff. I looked into the shadows and into the light. I began to remember what I love about taking pictures. I love seeing the light, and how things change when it hits them in different places. I love shadows and secret places I only see when I'm crawling around on the ground looking through my lens.

So, I ask you this. When was the last time you went out and shot nothing, for no reason but to spend the day with your sweet little camera, just because you love it?

I will admit my neighbors may think I'm a loon after seeing me lying on the ground taking pictures of the grass, or bugs or dead flowers, but what else is new? It worked though, I remember now why I take pictures. I remember why I love light and being alone in the yard looking at the sweat beads inside my Sparkletts water bottle. Its because no one sees exactly what I see, or how I see it. I think that's why I love to look at other people's photography. For a small moment in time I see the world through another person's eyes and that to me is wonderful and amazing.

So, here is my yard through my eyes, enjoy.

I like to call these fire clouds because it seems to me
they usually show up over areas that are on fire. Where
I live we have major fires in the fall and I see these clouds
often this time of year.


Diamonds in the bottle

I really love the patterns shade and light leave in the ground.

I can't help myself, I like the broken stuff

This is actually my neighbor's yard. How much do you
love the contrast between the grass and bark?

This is what my house looks like when I'm lying upside down
at the bottom of my driveway.

My street

These flowers look pretty sweet dead or dying...
I hope you can see this one large

The following images are of a tiny space under my living room
window. The space is lit by the setting sun hitting the
window and lighting the ground below it. Cool. I was imagining
tiny houses here or a fairy or two, maybe it could happen.

I realize dead is not good but most of it is beautiful anyway.

I have to admit I usually get angry when I see this myrtle
tree because it was supposed to bloom pink. However,
today it becomes my favorite.

Babies soon to bloom

I love the little broken chrysalis shell on the dragonfly

Glass table top

Little kitty in a quiet shady spot.

Not only do I love light, but I love water and get stuck when the two of them collide. The sprinkler water began to look like melted metal sliding down the sidewalk. I had a hard time leaving this spot.

I've made myself a promise to go out at least one day a week and shoot nothing. I would love to have you join me. Just do it, just remember your love, and not just your job.