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