I was fortunate enough to attend and photograph the 10 year vow renewal of friends of mine. I can't say enough good things about the event. The location, weather, food, and people were all amazing but the best part for me was seeing some of my oldest friends all together again, some of which I haven't seen for at least 10 years. What a fantastic time, and we should all do this again before 10 more years!
Check out box one and check back for my individual edits as well.
I took a class at Brooks where I was able to play around with a full spectrum camera and I made a decision that when I had a second camera I would convert my first one to take infrared photos.
With the new semester there are new workshops running. As always you can find the whole list of classes offered by EWC Community Education at their website. I always start off the semester with 'Getting to Know Your Camera' so you can learn the basics of how to use your camera before we go into Photoshop and Lightroom classes. I have been ending the semester with a second 'GTKYC' class offered in the middle of the day instead of the evening.
It's the time in-between when memories are made. I always try to get a few frames between the 'smile for the camera' shots. They show something more real than the camera face everyone prepares for.
Watching people grow through the lens.
First box is gone through and photographed. I did some extra work on a few of them and will continue that, check my other blog posts to see the image and the memory behind it.
I started with the last bottle I have. Now for one of the first. I really liked the Snapple elements line. Rain was probably the best tasting. I am not sure what started it but my friend and I started putting things inside this bottle. I remember a flower and a piece of chocolate, I know more went in but I can’t remember what. We made a hat with needles in it to keep people out and keep it’s insides safe, the needles are gone, and so are the insides.
Little things to show you care. I worked with a good friend in the kitchen and every week we would bring each other a friend beverage. Some weeks I would spend time searching for something new that fit with the trend at the time, maybe energy drink, maybe coffee, maybe low carb or special water. Some drinks came back from another town or state, some drinks were delivered by someone else while I was on vacation, because friend beverages were too good to pass up, even from thousands of miles away. It was a lot of fun and something to look forward to. My first bottle memory being digitized is one of the friend beverages that were brought to me, The Rowdy Mermaid. This drink was made out of living ginger and Colorado snowmelt. It tasted very healthy and we joked about the legality of drinking Colorado snowmelt while on the clock.
One area I have been working on over time is to minimize the clutter I pack with me through life. I have always been a collector of stuff. Some of it is just stuff I like, and some of it is saved from a fear of throwing away anything that a friend has given to me incase I would forget the meaning behind it. Having a solid memory to hold on to feels safer, but memories slip all the same and in the end all I am left with is stuff. I have started a scrapbook to organize some of my flatter memories, this year I am going to start digitizing my bigger items I am starting with my bottles. I have collected bottles for as long as I can remember. Some of them are just bottles and some of them have more significant memories.
I have 2 workshops starting soon through the EWC community education program. The first of the 2 is Digital Photography where you learn to use the manual settings of your camera, some tips to modify light, and we also cover some compositional elements to frame up the perfect photo. This class runs for 3 monday nights starting September 8th.
The other workshop is Enhancing Your Photographs, where we will do that and so much more with an amazing adobe program that isn't as complicated to use as photoshop (or as expensive). So if you love photography and take tons of photos this class could be beneficial for you, and I am going to take this opportunity to tell you a little about some of the features of lightroom.
To start you can catalouge your photos in the library module. This is amazing because you can find the photo you are looking for in seconds instead of searching through piles of folders. Example: Your daughter is getting married and you want to put together some photos of her growing up, this birthday, this vacation, this first day of school, ect. In the folder set up you have to remember what year that photo was shot, then find the right month, and hopefully if your memory is correct after an hour or more of searching you have located the photo of her 6th birthday with cake all over her face. In the lightroom set up, as long as you have key worded your photos, all you have to do is search for the right words and that photo comes right up.
Now, that function alone is a reason to use lightroom, but there is much more. From there we move into the develop module where you have the opportunity to nondestructively edit your photos. In photoshop you have tools and subsets of tools with 6 different options specific to that tool on top of layers and blend modes to work with, photoshop is a deep program and not really for everybody. Photoshop is more well known so everybody wants to learn it because they want to change photos, add some creativity. If you don't need to retouch a photo at a pixel level for 10 hours to prep it for a magazine or something else intense, you probably don't need photoshop. Unless you just want to learn it for fun. Lightroom is an amazing place to start and if it ends up not being enough and you need more, then go for photoshop. I use both, but I wouldn't ever want to go back to life without lightroom.
You have an endless amount of presets that come with lightroom, you click the one you like and it makes all the changes to the photo for you. 15 seconds to search through the presents and find the one you like as opposed to hours in photoshop making adjustments. When the presents in lightroom get old you can search online for more unique ones that people have designed and made available to download, and many are free. There is also the whole other side of lightroom that you make adjustments on your own instead of using a present, still very time friendly compared to photoshop and much easier to understand and use.
The version of lightroom at the school doesn't have the map or book function so I will just tell you a little about the book and move on. The Book module allows you to use your photos to create a layout for a book, choose paper type, size, format, hard or soft cover, dust jacket and so on, then hit a button and it automatically sends it to blurb.com to be printed and shipped to you. Coffee table book of your vacation, wedding, birthday, kids, or just of flowers or sunsets that you have shot. Possibilities are endless.
We will touch on the slideshow module and how quick and easy it is to create a beautiful slideshow of your images that can be saved and used to email, load to Facebook or whatever it is you may do. I create a slideshow at the end of every semester I teach to show all the students hard work over the course of the class.
Lastly, we will go over the print module where you can set up photos to print to your printer. The possibilities here are pretty endless too, restricted only by the size of the paper. Do you want an 8x10 to print? Maybe two 5x7's of the same image? Different images? Wallets? Some artistic overlay of two or three photos? Save your print set up as a file and take it to the business center to print? Or a friends house?
I can't stress enough how much I love lightroom and how necessary it is to someone who loves photography. As a professional, my job is made much easier with the cataloguing function alone.
A couple of months ago I set up to do portraits at the senior center during one of their dances. One of the couples I photographed, Lynn and Willis, were also looking for a photographer for their 50th wedding anniversary. Willis is also my mailman and asked that I just leave a quote for them in my mailbox and assured me he would get it. From then until the date of the event we communicated through notes in my mailbox. When the date came I showed up early to Natural Bridge where the gathering was being held. It is a popular park in the area because of its beauty and seclusion, and there was another group of people there setting up for a wedding that was being held the same day right across from a group celebrating 50 years of being married. Once Lynn arrived and started unloading her car and frantically setting up for the party I asked what I could do to help and she handed me her wedding album and said I could go through that and showed me that at the end of the book was a bunch of blank space where my photos were going to go. Seeing their wedding album and the photos of when they began their journey and how happy they looked on that day 50 years ago, and how happy they still look together was such a neat thing to see. Lynn, Willis, and their family are such pleasant people and the whole experience was very rewarding from the first photo at the dance, the notes in the mailbox, the wedding and the anniversary at the same place, time, and date, to the last package I left in the mail for Willis to pick up today.
I will be periodically working on a new project. I have been hired to produce a pin up styled calendar for The Yellowstone Garage in Casper Wyoming for next year. So far we have run through the test shoot and I wanted to share some of those images. The next shoot will be coming up in the near future and I will have some more shots to add. I really like vintage style and I am looking forward to the photography, friends, and networking that this opportunity is making possible.
It's the first day of November and time to reflect on the things I am grateful for. Life has been amazing these past few months and I have much to be thankful for. My graduation ceremony is coming up in a month and a half, this will be the first time I have ever walked for a graduation and I am getting very excited. I am all settled in at home, while it was sad to leave my friends in California, it feels very good to be home. I get to see my family often and I missed that dearly for the last 3 years. I've been able to visit with old friends, and even have some pretty exciting new ones in my life. I have started teaching photography workshops at the college and may even be hired on as a course instructor by next semester. My photography business is up, it's been a slow start but it's going and I am having a lot of fun with it so far. I think the future is more exciting than it has ever been to me before and I look forward to what it brings. I just wanted to take a moment to lay in the grass, feel the sun on my face, and be grateful to be alive.
I created this photograph to show the insecurities that women are faced with. It is a reflection of how I have felt about my self at times. I am not sure if we are raised this way or if we can blame society for it but I have spent a lot of time worrying how others see me, mainly because of having a distorted view of myself. There is a general idea of what women should be and I am not sure if I fit into that. I am happy with myself, the person I have become, and the one I am striving to be, but this photograph will always hold a place in the timeline of my life.
This photo is available for purchase. Check it out in my shop by clicking the link to the left. Also, feel free to leave comments.