Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Keep It Simple: Bike love.

While wandering around San Destin with my sister and best friend, I happened across quite possibly the cutest bike ever produced. I was lucky enough to squeal in delight about how cute it is feet away from its owner, Rachel, who was sweet enough to not only allow me to take copious amounts of photographs of the bike, but also jumped in for a few! Florida is just one of those states that is too nice to lock yourself in a car while traveling through, so plans are to gather up an equally adorable bike for myself. Green, economical, and trendy, one just cannot resist!

Lately I have become more and more aware of my environmental footprint, and I want to do every little thing I can do live green, save some money, and better my quality of life. (Getting in shape as a result isn't a bad side effect) If I am not spending $60 a tank on gas, $400 a month on a car payment, $80 a month on car insurance, and all of the other random expenses that come with maintaining such a large machine, I could easily put that same money towards something more fun..... like decorating ;)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tutorial: Awesome Portraits (Breaking all the rules) Lesson Three: Roleplaying and Props

Let's get creative.

Nothing says awesome like when art meets art, so let's marry some photography with some performance art. A great way to gather a few really interesting portraits is to act out a concept, idea or embody a character/idea. This can be done with costumes, makeup, dance or props, and can take place in a variety of different locations, and you can be as complex or minimalist as you like. Since I am not really an in-front-of-the-camera kind of girl, I went for minimal.

I had the pleasure of shooting with Mike Boike (you can see his deviantART profile here.) and we headed out into the wilds of The Woodlands, Texas to shoot along the waterway before heading to Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens to take advantage of the grounds for some vintage photographer inspired portraits. (Mercer has two sides, the Botanic Gardens side, which is landscaped and offers a variety of great shooting areas for just about any kind of session, and the Arboretum side which is a very lovely forest with great trails. We chose the Arboretum side.)

I am a collector of antique cameras, (It is like an illness, I do not even want to admit how many I have) so the concept I chose was based around this collection. I brought out my No. 1A Autographic Kodak Special and a vintage tuxedo inspired outfit and did my best to not look silly in front of the camera.

If you are shooting digital there is no reason what-so-ever not to snap loads of pictures and just have fun with it! Do a little dance, make a little art, and have fun with it.

Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tutorial: Awesome Portraits (Breaking all the rules) Lesson Two: Crazy Lighting

Today's Awesome Portraits article centers on using interesting lighting to being another element to your photography. Anyone can go outside and take a photo of someone sitting on the grass with the sun shining, but if you are going for something striking you might want to spice things up a bit.
After all, people are not normally blue, so when they are people look.

Places with fun lighting exist everywhere, so keep an eye out!

The easiest way to locate fun lighting is to observe your surroundings while you drive around in the night-time. Businesses often have illuminated signs in fun colors, so stand near one and let the light shine on you. Inside cafes and lounges there are often neat colors of mood lighting, and in many cities there are parks with really great colored lighting that goes with the landscaping. The aquarium is a great place to get a few blue shots :)

Make sure you turn your flash off, or the whole effect is lost!

The Fatal Exception

Saturday night I had the distinct pleasure of photographing (and enjoying the music) at a concert featuring a band called The Fatal Exception. (You can download their album for free here.) I love using stage light in my photos because it makes everything look almost painted. Between the long exposures and the lasers I made some superfun shots occur.

They have a very retro 8bit meets electronic sound and it's best played loud!

The venue was dark and filled with lasers and fog-machine smoke, but the lighting was extra fun to play with. Here are a few shots from the show, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tutorial: Awesome Portraits (Breaking all the rules) Lesson One: Shoot from the hip.

Portrait photography is kind of a big deal in some circles. It allows you to capture the personality and likeness of your subject in a visual way. A picture of someone is a snapshot, a portrait captures something more.

Portrait photography seems to have this set of unbreakable rules to take a "good" portrait. The resulting portraits are nice, but boring. I am going to introduce you to some fun and simple ways to snap some truly stunning photographs.

Today's tip:

Shoot from the hip.

Let's start off easy.
Sometimes the best photos are the ones that require no planning. This photograph of myself is wonderfully representational because it captures who I am as a person. The clothes, the camera, the weird angle, it's all me. While this might not be the photo my grandmother wants to see of me, it is perfect in my eyes and will no doubt be on my wall in some oversized and oddly placed way. :)

Take your camera with you everywhere.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Part Of My Day In Photos

The idea of trying to be creative to come up with a great photograph or piece of art can be really scary or overwhelming, so one of the best ways to help yourself out is to approach your medium, in this case photography, is to set yourself up with a fun project.

This one varies greatly with every photographer who does it because everyone's day is different. Carry your camera with you and when you see anything that helps tell the story of your day, photograph it. These can be well exposed artsy type shots with shallow depth of field or they can be shot from the hip style fun photos, anything you want. Whatever makes you happy is how we're doing this! The best part is, you can do it all with any camera you want.

Even if you do not end up with the world's most artistic photos, you still accomplish something by gaining practice with your camera. You are learning how to make the photos in your mind a reality by manipulating your machine and that is priceless. :)

I chose to go with my morning. It was a nice, lazy morning the day after my birthday, so I decided to start out by having cake for breakfast and making biscuits. After that it was time for some dishes, a walk around town, some cocoa to warm up from that walk, and then some general tidying up. I'll let the photos tell my story.

Enjoy, and happy shooting!

The Alphabet Project

Alphabets are pretty fun and can make some great pieces when used in a creative way. Whether you need your child's name for their bedroom wall, or inspirational words for the living room, or even some great cooking exclamations (like BAM!) for the kitchen, you can put your self-composed alphabet to work.

Collecting alphabets is pretty easy and simple. I suggest collecting a few different versions of each letter in both upper and lower case and if you're feeling really creative, you can even collect the letters in cursive.

I am currently working on two alphabet projects. One is letters in normal text from around Copenhagen. The other is letters made by things in nature from anywhere that I happen to spot them. The second project has been super difficult, but I will be really happy when it is all finished.

Today to show off my partial Copenhagen-Alphabet-Collection I have put together a Keep Calm and Carry On poster (including the crown!) from pieces of signs and graffiti that I found throughout the city.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Get out your toys.

Looking for some fun and low difficulty level excitement for your camera? Stuck at home without a thing to do? Get out your toys, kids. It's time to take another look at your playthings.

Nothing adds a little whimsy to a portfolio like a little role-playing, so gather up a few of your favorite things and go on an adventure. Need help? Contact your nearest 5 year old, it would make a great project to do together if you have some little ones running around.

You just might like the photos enough to do some redecorating.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Decorating with Photography

For photo lovers, photographers, and decor lovers, displaying photographs in the home is just necessary. It helps put a touch of your personality into a space by showing off what you love. As a photographer and photo lover, I have struggled with ways to display work in a pleasing way that does not look too cluttered. (Clutter is my bane and will never truly disappear. . .)

If I had my way, all of my photos would be printed in 8x10' size with gigantic black frames and leaned against my beautiful white gallery walls with 18' ceilings. Alas, this is not quite how things are at my space, so I decided to share some of my research so that you, too, can have a home filled with photographs that are displayed with as much care as the photo's subject matter.

Depending on your style, you may choose to go a few different ways with how you decide things should be placed. I am in love with the sculpture frame above! It adds depth to a space, as well as being art by itself. The hangers allow you to change the photos often, and you do not have to invest in frames for each piece. Also, you can display as few or as many pieces as you like and change the sizes as often as you want to.When going for a little more clean of a look, I highly suggest photo rails. These are perfect for maintaining order, while still giving you the freedom to mix and match your sizes. The pieces can be frames or unframed, too, because as long as it can stand by itself it can be shown on a rail. They are inexpensive and very easy to install. They look great over beds and sofas, so if you have a large space to fill, these are the way to go.

Photo groupings are among the most difficult to place and design. Also, they require a little more permanence than the previous two methods. They look gorgeous when done right, but disastrous if done poorly. Just think of the twelve hours invested in hanging everything just to decide it looks like a mess.... and those holes to fill! Photos must be framed, and once chosen and hung, a user is much less likely to change the photos out.

I hope these methods of displaying work helped inspire a few minds! If you are not a photographer, but love photographs, a great place to pick a few up is etsy.com. You can feel warm and fuzzy knowing that you're helping a freelance artist, and good about your unique decor knowing your pieces are not mass produced like things from some of our bigger decor retailers. If you have a great photo that you adore, a good place to have it printed is Ritz Camera or shutterfly.com.

Happy decorating!

A few great places to get photos for your home:
Well, me, of course

Tuesday, February 1, 2011