Monday, August 31, 2009

the "romantic" life of a military wife ...

Hollywood would have us believe that being a military wife is romantic ... for those of you who think my husband has carried me off from work in his uniform whilst everyone looks on & cheers well you would be way off. Being a military wife is anything but romantic, it's stressful & tiring & emotional & for me most of all frustrating. Saying all this i wouldn't change my life for anything.

But here begins a series of photos, taking using the technique ttv highlighting the not so romantic life we lead.

The Inspiration Avenue weekly challenge

I belong to a group of artists on Etsy known as Inspiration Avenue. As a group we work within different mediums, selling a variety of products but act together as advisers, colleagues & friends. Recently we decided to start a weekly challenge, a way for us to push ourselves & each other within our various mediums in a little friendly challenge. We each get to choose a "topic" it could be a color or a word or just something to get those "creative juices" flowing, & i get to choose the first topic of (drum roll please) ... Summer.
Now i know summer is all most at an end, & possible for the past couple of months it has been our inspiration already but now the seasons are in theory starting to change & we are experiencing a new side to it. In choosing it as my topic i want the artist to be able to take this ending into account, as well as all the things they have experienced the past few months. & i am assuming all those taking part in the challenge are in a part of the world where june, july & august are considered to be the "summer" months.
Summer as defined by the dictionary ...

sum·mer 1
1. The usually warmest season of the year, occurring between spring and autumn and constituting June, July, and August in the Northern Hemisphere, or, as calculated astronomically, extending from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox.
2. A period of fruition, fulfillment, happiness, or beauty.
3. A year: a girl of 13 summers.
v. sum·mered, sum·mer·ing, sum·mers
To lodge or keep during the summer: summered the herd in the south meadow.
To pass the summer: They summered at a beach resort.
1. Of, having to do with, occurring in, or appropriate to the season of summer:summer heat; summer attire.
2. Grown during the season of summer: summer crops.
So what's summer to me ... it's about bold colors ... yellow, green & red. It's being outdoors, long lazy days spent with friends & family, vacations, sun, sea, sand & ...! BBQ's, picnics, camping & traveling, big blue skies & glorious sunshine. It's about happiness & smiling, being silly & having fun. When i imagine summer i see sandcastles & children playing, lying by the pool & margaritas in the shade. No school & no work (for some), flowers, dresses & skimpy clothing.
So now i turn it over to you guys ... & anybody else out there who wants to take part in the challenge. You have 7 days to create something that falls under this theme, interpret as you will & i can't wait to see what we all come up with.

the lone blue cupcake ...

yes i know more cupcakes but he's all alone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cupcake Thursday

So today was "Cupcake Thursday ... which for those of you don't know about today, Thursday & i made cupcakes. Anyways it all started many many moons ago ... well actually 2 days when this lady contacted me asking if i had any photos of cupcakes. Well i didn't but i was all about getting some & i also had this cupcake recipe i'd been wanting to try so figured i'd spend my day off making cupcakes. & thus "Cupcake Thursday" was born. I'm not going to lie, it won't be a weekly thing or possibly even a yearly thing but it was fun (& messy) & at the end of it i got to eat cupcakes so really who can complain?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Running is like a drug ...

why is it that sweating your ass off makes you feel so good? ok maybe that sounds weird but seriously ... i know endorphins do it but i feel like it's something else. You muscles hurt & you don't want to move but you feel like top of the world. & that moment when you're running & your muscles sore from the last run stretch out, you can feel your body powering forward & even when it hurts there's this small part of you that has to go on.

Monday, August 24, 2009

happy anniversary to us!

Today is my 2 year wedding anniversary ... August 25th 2007 i sold my soul to the devil!! ok ok i married the most amazing guy (just don't tell him because we don't want him getting a big head & thinking i actually like him) & i have never been happier. He is my rock, my everything & well without getting soppy the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. I love him a little more every day. So here are some photos from our life together, our travels & well me & kevin being me & kevin. Enjoy!

352nd AMXS Squadron Christmas Party, 2006 - the night we became "official"

Wedding day - August 25th 2007

The Top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris - July 2008

Night river cruise, Amsterdam - September 2008

Mazatlan, Mexico - November 2008

Las Vegas - December 2008

The day the hubby came home from the sandbox, i had been stood out in the rain a while! - April 2009

Luxembourg City - May 2009

Miss Erica

So today i photographed one of the girls i work with ... she was my willing victim ... uhhhh "client" & it was awesome. Ok i know i should really hold back but WOW did i have a good time. We were going for a more fashion look, something i have really never tried & everything went fantastic.
I was lucky that another photographer, Chett Collier of Reserve Photo acted as my "assitant", & he has agreed to allow me to assist him in the future, teaching me more about the business & in particular lighting. This is something i am incredible excited about & i can't wait to learn everything he has to offer.
So anyways we went into Landstuhl for the shoot, taking photos around the little park & in an alley way a little down the road with Erica looking every bit the superstar she is. Moving through the locations & with Chett's support, plus a very active subject i grew more & more confident. We experimented with lighting, using an umbrella, flash & reflector all new to me, the flash creating some fantastic lighting, very Hollywood.
So now i have something new to add to my portfolio & a whole new world that i both love & can't wait to experiment with more.

monday morning ...

This morning i somehow managed to pull a 4 miles run out of my ass ... & it hurt, but sometimes the hurt is good & sometimes it's what you need to push the body & mind, a wake up call on a Monday morning. This run was me saying it's time to start again, that everything my bodies been through the past month is done with.

I love to run, i love all the old cliches about pounding the pavement, i love the freedom, it's my time. I listen to music & watch the world go by, pushing myself to a new limit & feeling the power that comes with the body working hard. A hard run whether it's 2 miles or 10 miles is that much more satisfying than an easy one, i don't feel like I've achieved if my body doesn't feel like it's worked.

So now as my training starts over i plan on blogging about it, it's definitely not exciting or glamorous but it's part of who i am now & i feel like it's another way of sharing with the outside world & the motivation i have to run is the same motivation i have to achieve my photographic dreams. Maybe for me i need one to push the other!

"Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage"

-George Patton

Sunday, August 23, 2009

new etsy find ...

So i just wanted to share this shop i've just discovered (& thanks to my wonderful husband) make a couple of purchases from ... her items are stunning & i'm excited to have them in my living room.
Her name is Joom ... her shop is gorgeous ... & with such items in your home (she also makes totes amongst other products) how could you not smile every day!

& you can visit her here on etsy ... Joom

the cost of photography

Recently i was asked by another photographer to write in her blog about the price tags we place on our work. Halyssa Riggins, a fellow photographer on Etsy wanted to show the world (so to speak) through her blog that it's not as simple as taking a photo & printing it on paper, there is a whole host of other "things" (for want of a better word) that need to be taken into account when selling a photograph or taking a portrait. & none of it comes cheap. I wish i could give away my photos but then i couldn't afford to continue taking them. I wish i could just travel & photograph everything i see but how would i pay for this? & it's not just the physical cost of things such as the camera, it's the time it takes to do such things, taking me away from my full time job that needs to be taken into account.

Halyssa wrote a wonderful blog using the words of a number of photographers to hopefully open up the eyes of the viewer to what they are seeing. I've dealt with the assumption & ignorance when it comes to starting a business, it's not as if i just picked up a camera & start charging people "vast amounts of money" for a piece of art (remind me again what the Mona Lisa is worth ...), or a product that will stay with you forever. Maybe we under value the skills that go with being a photographer, or maybe we just don't consider it to be a valued profession but a degree, equipment & time don't come cheap. You pay for what you get in this business & if you're not willing to appreciate all these things then you can do it yourself.

Maybe what i want to say is next time you're browsing through Etsy, or looking to have your portrait taken i hope you take into account all of the above, the words of the wonderful photographers on Halyssa's blog & the fact that we work our butts off striving to give you perfect product ... & it's not like that perfect moment in time is going to appear again tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

another me blogging about you blogging about me ... i could so get used to this!

& now i get another chance to blog about my photo being included in someone elses blog, that of Cat Ludwig ... she took 2 of my favourite things as well, photography & animals & included photos taken by various members of the POE (Photographers of Etsy) team to include in her blog. She chose this photo of my munchkin head kittie as one of her images. Having another artist choose one of my images is something that never stops blowing my mind or making me feel special. Thank you chica. You can view the blog at & her stunning images in her Etsy store.

inspired by another artist

I have talked a lot about inspiration within my blog, & belonging to a group on etsy known as "inspiration ave" it's natural to gain ideas from those around me. Well one of the most "inspiring" photographers for me on Etsy is Tali Schiffer who's photographs are stunning in every way. Recently she shot this gorgeous image of an umbrella, turning something completely normal into a work of art.

This past weekend when visiting the town of Bernkastel Kues in Germany, i used her umbrella idea for my inspiration & came away with my own version. This shows how we are all influenced by those around us, whether it be Ansel Adams or the kid next door, & how differently we all view the world, that two photographers can take the same subject matter & walk away with 2 completely different images.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

flower porn

Mr. Stuart:
The parts of a flower are so constructive that very, very often the wind will cause pollination.
If not, then a bee or any other nectar gathering creature can create the same situation.
Yes, anything that gets the pollen to the pistils, write it on the list.
I'll try to make it crystal-clear:
The flower's insatiable passion turns its life into a circus of debauchery!

Mr. Stuart: Now you see just how the stamen gets its lusty dust onto the stigma.
And why this frenzied chlorophyllous orgy starts in spring is no enigma!
We call this quest for satisfaction a what, class?
Sorority girls: A photo-periodic reaction!
Mr. Stuart: Oh, that's good, that's very good.
Hey, I'm lost where are we? Chapter 2, page 5...

Reproduction, reproduction!
Put your pollen tube to work.
Reproduction, reproduction!
Make my stamen go berserk.
I don't think they even know what a pistil is!
I got your pistil right here...
Where does the pollen go?

Mr. Stuart: Next chapter, In an abstract way, the same thing applies
To the reproductive organs of the more complex life forms.
But now we are dealing with sexual response.
Are there any questions before we begin reading?

Is it possible the female member of some sex on a couch
Could like get this guy all hot and she never even knew it?
When a warm-blooded mammal in a tight little sweater
Starts pullin' that stuff, is she sayin' that she wants to do it?
Johnny: Can't prove it by me, cause they change their tune
When you got 'em in the back seat.
With his heart beatin' fast! Sorority girls: They make it sound like a track meet, gross!
Yeah, then all they can do is say "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!"

Reproduction, reproduction!
Baby, give it to me now.
Reproduction, reproduction!
Is that all you think about?
Come on baby show me that you really love me so!
Ohhh, I think I'm gonna throw up!
Where does the pollen go?

Mr. Stuart:
The human is the only being capable of consciously controlling its number of offspring.
Any comments on this?
Paulette: Mr. Stuart, is it true that guys like you, you know, mature and all,
Carry some protection with them for sexual occasions?
Johnny: What's the big deal? Can't a girl just do that thing in a book
Where she adds up the days of her, uh, what do you call it, mentalstration?
Oh, that's really neat! Yeah, and what'll the guy say when the numbers don't add up right, huh?
Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Reproduction, reproduction!
Hope he's proud of what he's done.
Reproduction, reproduction!
He was only bookin fun.
See what happens when a boy and girl
Don't know how to play it safe?

Reproduction, reproduction!
Reproduction, reproduction!
Reproduction, reproduction!
Where does the pollen go?

me blogging about you blogging about me

So i finally managed to enter the "photo of the week" "competition" a fellow POE member, Jessica Rogers has on her blog, which in itself was a miracle (possible i was trying to enter for the previous week & missed the deadline). Anyways i was delighted when my image was included with such other fantastic images on her blog.

The photo was one of those i shot as part of the shoot with Monique & James, in Landstuhl & is my favourite of the two. Taken in a setting that suits their personalities, urban, contemporary & fun it shows James looking at the camera smiling whilst Monqiue has her head thrown back laughing. I love how it is them, as individuals & them as a couple. Plus the angle is interesting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

more macro lens ... i really can't get enough of it!

Ok so here's a few more macro shots ... this is way too much fun!!

This cricket(?) was chillin by my front door ... check out those eyes!

A few images of the various cameras in my collection.

Finally a photo of "Damn-it" my other cat, she hates the camera!

... but we all know how much cujo loves the camera!

Mmmmmmmmm golden oreo!

Some images of a vintage toy airplane we bought in Bayeux.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

my new lens arrived ... i think i'm in love!

my new ... oh so pretty ... macro lens arrived today. So here is the beginning of my learning curve into the stunning world of macro photography. Trust me when i say there is much much more to come.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

for all those who have ever wanted something enough ...

& so it begins ... the waiting ... wanting ... wishing ... hoping & praying. the unnerving belief that your dreams can come true & hollywood endings do exist.

you cross your fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyes & "T"'s ... wish on a star, eyelash or candle on a cake ... say a prayer if you pray & if you don't a quick word with him upstairs never hurt anyone.

fill your pockets with charms ... a rabbits foot, four leaf clover, horseshoe, wishbone & who could forget the male tortoiseshell cat.

plant lavender for luck, throw salt over your left shoulder & don't avoid those birds looking for a toilet (though investing in some good laundry detergent might be a plan here).

luck, chance, destiny, fate, karma & serendipity all playing a part in the outcome, in your search for that happy ending.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

is august too early for a christmas list ...?

So i know it's august but it's never to early to think about what you want for christmas right ...? Here are a few of the items on my etsy wish list.

Monique & James

August 5th ... the weather was perfect, & i was meeting up with Monique & James for my second outing into portrait photography. They wanted some images to take away from Germany with them, & also some engagement photos. Monique gave me some ideas & on talking with her we decided to go for an urban setting, a local town.
So i had previously scouted some suitable locations for taking their images & on the day in question i took a walk around with further ideas in mind & found some more places of interest.
We were able to move amongst the locations no problem & as we got into the shoot i found myself relaxing more, giving directions were needed & of course experiementing & starting to find my own way within their genre. It's important that should i decide to go down the road of portrait photography i stand out from the crowd. As a whole i've never been a fan of this kind of portrait photography, often posed & unnatural it looks fake & isn't what i feel these kind of portraits should be about. As a photographer i need to be able to adapt to the subjects themselves but also bring out their personalities within my photos.

Overall i found the shoot to be successful, & the clients are happy with their images. This gives me something to work from, & new images for my portfolio.

Editing took place at stupid o'clock last night as i couldn't wait to see the photos. Editing to me is one of the most tedious parts of a photo shoot but it can also be the most interesting. You never really know which images are going to work the best until you view them on the computer screen, & some surprise you whilst others you thought were great really don't stand out so much. But it was fantastic to be able to see all these images, & i was incredible pleased with the results.
& now i have areas i know i need to work on & the idea that maybe this is something i could have a serious go at. & of course i had fun.