Wednesday, March 31, 2010

photo of the day: happy family

This shoot was tightly scheduled, and I just didn't think to compensate for my non-existent sense of direction. Suffice it to say that somehow on the drive back from Wilmington I managed to end up in Baltimore. I HAVE NO IDEA. My lovely husband saved the day for me, and met up with the couple, using the spare camera to get things started. By the time I showed up they were laughing, joking, had some amazing photos, and the light was perfect. This image, however, was the second-to-last snap of the evening, I think. By that point we were so cold we could barely move our hands, and I could see everyone's breath. Despite all that, we got some amazing photos, and I love this one. Isn't Jackson adorable? I'll share more soon, I promise.

the three of them

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

photo of the day: happy accidents

Inspired by Picasso and one of the most talented photographers I know personally, I'm trying to deconstruct my photography more, pushing past literal interpretations of events and finding focus and beauty in the mundane. Well, I'm not doing terribly well, but the tree image on the right was actually an accidental snap of the camera button. So rather than throw it away, I'm counting it as a happy accident.

nature

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Monday, March 29, 2010

photo of the day: cuddles!

I mentioned on Friday that I had lots of shoots scheduled over the weekend, and I did indeed have three. (There was another band performance I could have dragged le camera to, but after 1300 photos that day, I decided not to.) Anyway, the first one was in Wilmington at Winterthur Gardens, and it was awesome seeing the gardens for the first time. Even though not much is blooming, there was a slope COVERED IN BLUEBELLS. Amazing. All I could think was "I want to do bridal portraits here!"
Anyway, the subject of the shoot was a five-year-old who's a friend of my sister, which is how I got involved with the pictures. In the shot below she's got M wrapped in her trench coat, keeping her warm while we waited to start taking pictures.
I love this image because it is such typical Joy: impulsive, laughing, comfortable in her own skin. If you've ever met my sister (and a lot of you probably have--she's incredibly good at her job) you know that she absolutely lives up to her name, besides being one of the most focused people I know.

le sister

Anyway, I had to share this image, because it probably won't end up framed anywhere, but it is the sort of image that is frozen in my mind when I think of my family.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

photo of the day: thirds

Last week was career day for Wicomico County freshmen at Salisbury University, and I was privileged to present for (I think) the third year in a row. I'm supposed to talk about what it takes to have my career (photographer) and I do, but I like to take a good portion of the time and show the kids simple ways to make their photos more effective. After all: they're the same age I was when I picked up my first real camera, and about 95% of them have access to a camera of some kind (I asked). So anyway, I went over several points with them, and thought I'd share at least one of my examples here: the rule of thirds.

If you've messed about with photography at all you've almost certainly heard of the rule of thirds--place your focal point on the third line instead of in the middle--so it's nothing revolutionary. I actually had a hard time finding illustrations for this point, since I almost inevitably shoot with lots of negative space in my images. But then I happened across this pair of pictures, and they're an excellent example of several things, not just the rule of thirds.

Part of being a photographer is choosing what to show in photos, and a good photographer can make a really bad venue look impressive. I was shooting at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens here, but as you can see from the first image, it's still possible to make an incredibly beautiful location look lame! Distracting foreground, unattractive walls, and a bland pose combine to make the first photo incredibly eh. (Yes, "eh" is a technical term.)

So I moved a little closer, stood up a little taller, turned my camera to make a vertical instead of horizontal, and added action to the photo, and it turned into one of my all-time favorite images. I mean, look at that expression on the left! Gold!

thirds2001

thirds2002

So I guess I'll sum up this post (and this week!) by telling you what I told the kids last week: I don't care what kind of a photographer you want to be; your job is to see things differently. If you see the way everyone else sees your photos will look like everyone elses. Push yourself to see in a new way.

See differently, people.

PS: I have three photoshoots lined up for the weekend, so there will be much activity next week! It's getting to be wedding season again, so we'll see if I actually manage to keep posting with any kind of consistency at all. But being busy is a good problem to have, right?

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

photo of the day: ROAR

Yes, I'm adding to the white tshirt project. For the photo on the left, I said, "What face does your sister make when you touch her stuff?" 

david

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

photo of the day: camera (wo)man

One of my favorite things to do at receptions is take pictures of people taking pictures. Meta, I know. I particularly love watching how other people use their cameras, and, well, if they've had a little alcohol the results can be rather amusing. Trust me: I understand that expression on her face all too well. I'm sure I've had it before.

camera(wo)man

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Monday, March 22, 2010

photo of the day: last-minute

I promise that after tomorrow I'll be done with images from this wedding, but I was going back through these this weekend and found a couple of images that I just love. Technically this one is pretty weak, but I love the sense of urgency communicated by each person, as well the general sense of confusion. This is what weddings are, usually: a bunch of waiting interspersed with frantic hurrying. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

hustle and bustle

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

photo of the day: in memory

It's quite possible, and even probable, that I've posted this photo before. But that's ok: I'll keep posting this picture, every year, on Saint Patricks Day, until I just stop blogging. Because St Patricks Day will never be just a holiday to me any more: it's the anniversary of the death of Randi Dye, my husband's mother. Today marks 4 years since she finally succumbed in her battle against breast cancer, leaving behind 6 kids, the youngest of which was 8.
This picture was taken in July of 2005, less than 12 months before she died, and it's one of only a handful that I've taken of her. The family had driven in from Ohio for one last family vacation before Jared's and my wedding in the fall, and we spent as much time as possible at the beach. She couldn't walk much at that point--there were tumors in her legs--but she still managed to organize meals and rally hordes of people out the door.
You can see in this shot how thin she is, and you can even see a little bit of the distortion that the tumors were causing in her head. But she's laughing, and that's how I try to remember her.

my mother in law

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

photo of the day: me myself and I

True facts: some days you want to take pictures and there is no one around to pose for you. And it might just happen that on that day it's warm and glorious and the last thing you want to do is sit down and work on finalizing your presentation for career day. So I don't know about you, but on such a day I personally might crank up the tunes and spend half an hour being a nerd in front of the camera in the name of "practice." For what I have no idea. But there you go. (Don't worry, I did actually put in some real work.)

self-portrait

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Friday, March 12, 2010

photo of the day: hair toss

Being up in Rehoboth this week reminded me just how much I love shooting there, so I was going through some of last years shoots from the beach. I love this particular shot, which would never make the cut for a senior since you can't see enough of her face, but I love her smile and the movement of her hair. So much attitude. A few more of her images are here.

hair toss

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

photo of the day: ignite sussex

For me, this photo encapsulates what last night's Ignite Sussex meetup was all about: people connecting and using technology and face-to-face contact to build bridges and inspire each other.

ignite sussex

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

photo of the day: jump

Last autumn my husband and I shot a reception in Cambridge, and while I was doing formals the couple's little son was getting antsy and cranky, so J took him off to the side for his own private photoshoot that involved much running and jumping. I love this one.
::son::

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

photo of the day: you spin my head right round right round

Last week I had an engagement reshoot because our last one got rained on and was ridiculously cold. Well, guess what: it rained and was ridiculously cold. But the couple were great sports, and when I told him to pick her up and spin her around for a photo, this is what I got.

I can't wait for the wedding.

judithengagement078

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Monday, March 08, 2010

photo of the day: new york, new york

Confession: I hate looking like a tourist. So much so that I have trouble pulling out a camera when I'm in a traditionally touristy area. Consequently I rarely take travel photos, even though it's very good way to practice detail shots. However, when le husband and I took off two days last week to spend some time together in the city, I swore I would actually record our time, at least a little. I only ended up with about 20 pictures that I love, but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and that's the point, right?

film noir

stolen kiss

creeper

long exposure

liberty

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Friday, March 05, 2010

photo of the day: I have no idea

I don't know how one would describe this expression; I just know that if you had to make a face to represent "verb conjugation" this would probably be it.
outtake 2

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

photo of the day: suprised

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

photo of the day: confuzzled

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

photo of the day: outtake

Since I'm going on a mini-break with le husband for the next couple of days, I'm not going to be around to generate new blog content. (Don't worry: we hope to come back with plenty.) So I'm just going to give you some of the outtakes from the white tshirt project for the rest of the week.

See, before you get to that comfortable place where you get a genuine smile, you get a lot of reeeallly goofy expressions. So I'm going to share some of my favorites.

outtake 1

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Monday, March 01, 2010

photo of the day: the white shirt project

I'm presenting next week at Ignite Sussex, and as I've been working on the slides I got the motivation I needed to start a project that has been percolating for while: the white tshirt project. Eventually I plan to have black and white prints of bunches of my friends mounted on the walls of my living room, but I started with the ten people I had handy last night. (Yes, there are only nine in the collage. Ten is much harder to fit into a rectangle.) 

The point that the images go with for the presentation, however, is this: the part of my job that I love, the reason I can't take pictures of houses or flowers or rocks, is there is this moment, after you shove someone in front of a camera, when suddenly they relax, you connect, they look at the camera, forget it's there, and see you. And that smile, that moment of realness, is what I live for.

I hope to grow this thing eventually

(You can view a larger version here, and the whole set is here. I'll be adding to it eventually.)

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