Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shooting More

in 2004 i went to the oklahoma school of photography and graduated as a nationally recognized professional photographer and lab technician. back then (which is kinda funny being as it's only been 7 years) digital photography had been around for a while, but my instructors were very skeptical that it would ever be as good as film. a year later, one of those guys (who i could actually go on and on about...and will probably do so later because he was such an inspiration to me...but not yet because that's not the focus here) bought a digital slr...and so a few months after finding this out, i bought the same one! i still use it...a canon 20d...i will not tell you about my lenses...because i will be embarrassed and's all about the lenses when it comes to photography...and mine are a major fail:( anywho and gumdrops! moving on! longish story short! i did studio work a couple of times. i did freelance senior portraits and weddings...did a quinceanera and some work events as well. worked in a photo lab for about 6 years and that only ended recently. out of all of these photography related jobs, the lab work was actually my favorite...even though it was a 1 hour lab without any requirement for the degree of knowledge i professionalism and the professionalism of the team i put together made this lab a well respected one with a nicely known reputation that extended to other states even! i am blabbin' about stuff that wasn't the point of this post! sheesh! okay so moving on yet again! i enjoyed the lab work and bits of the other stuff i've done...but none of these have ever been fulfilling enough!

my favorite part about being a photographer...the shooting i enjoy capturing nature, unique perspectives, and scenes i find visually appealing. i'm just not a fan of shooting people...except for family and friends...i enjoy just candid photography of life with the people i love. maybe i don't like it because of the pressure...or the fact that my lenses are ridiculously amateur and humiliating. it doesn't really matter to me. i'm an over analyzer and therefore annoy myself too if i can choose not to dwell on things too much, i go with that. my friend, roxy, and i use to go on photography road trips. we would get a map, pick a destination, drive towards it, and stop for photos and detours along the way. this was an all day adventure and man it was fun! we'd pack lunches and spend hours just shooting! she's married in kansas now and i'm married in illinois so our lives definitely took some dramatic turns...i miss shooting with her.

i miss shooting period! and here we come to the subject of this post! i need to take some photography road trips...start shooting just every day things that my little family and i do. i believe photographs are what make us immortal (which again is a post for another day!) and so i think about what i will have to show my future children and grandchildren. today i realized that tommy's xbox controller and his terrible mustache are things that should be documented:) the controller will probably look ancient in ten years and his mustache will be a good reminder of something to never do again!!! kakashi is a 6 month old puppy growing fast and is truly like a first child for us...i need to capture his every day behaviors in order to immortalize him too! so! for the remainder of this post will be some photos of our day thus far today:) i am challenging myself to take more pictures...capture more memories!

this is a pretty typical day for us:) tommy plays xbox. kakashi plays outside. i work on my art or other random things like this anklet a friend made for me a while ago...i added the clasp...yes my pinky toe is deformed...that is what happens when the toe is broken while it's still healing from another least i have tiny my deformities can be considered cute! right? right?

ahem. so there it is! our day thus far:) obviously these photos won't make it in some gallery exhibit, but they are just as precious as any fine art to me!

Friday, June 10, 2011


my earliest memories involve art...i believe i've made that apparent before...sorry if my repetitiveness is happens! the first things i can remember drawing were people. i started with a large circle...encompassing most of the page. their bodies were triangles connected right underneath the giant circle head. the arms and legs were simply lines sticking straight out with circles on the ends for hands and feet. the eyes were circles...the girls had eyelashes but the boys did not:) the nose was a little circle and the mouths were just a curved line. the hair was usually curly for the girls and spiky for the boys. as i got older i noticed the shape of our faces were more of a "u" or oval shape rather than a circle plate face! i started copying other drawings and noticed how facial features were drawn and started doing those more realistically as well. my mama and my grandma could draw and i learned from them too. there is quite a bit more about the development and learning process as to how i learned to draw, but the focus today is faces.

my dad once asked me why i drew so many different faces all the time. i was probably about eleven years old or so and very insecure with my own my response was that i liked drawing pretty faces because i wished my face was prettier. my dad of course rubbed my back and told me how pretty i was...which i of course smiled and thanked him, but knew he had a biased opinion! i must say that lookin' back at pictures of my youth, i was a pretty cute kid! the things i disliked about myself became things i love about myself...freckles and pale skin...or things that were corrected by doctors such as crooked teeth and a genetic gum condition (which after braces and surgery left me with a smile i love). at the time i thought my tan blonde sister who was taller and more athletic than me was far prettier than me...i was very i said...but i grew out of it! i'm not always too pleased with my face, but it's my face and i love myself so i love my face:)

as i grew as an artist, i became more particular about faces being just right... which too me was symmetry...which is not really true life...but i guess the "ideal" beauty is such. anyway! one thing i lack and will be apparent quite often in my ramblings, is patience! so out of my lack of patience, evolved the "half face" i so often draw! i have these 2 to share that you see above and will see below, but i don't know what to title them! and in case you are wondering, no i do not wish my face resembled these and no i don't draw them wishing for beauty to be bestowed upon me. i think my desire to draw these faces comes from my affection for my in my eyes and my mouth...hell even my nose...i love these features of mine. i love how big and green my eyes are and how full my mouth nose is nicely proportioned. yay for me having positive body image! (my only dislike is my giant forehead but no big deal!) anywho and gumdrops! i love drawing these types of images...but i don't know what kind of series to call them or how to title them individually. any ideas would be appreciated? but if i receive none...i'm sure i'll come up with something!

so with this last image, i leave you with this...find a positive image for yourself...and be in love with yourself. everyone has at the very least one feature they can identify as a something they like about themselves. i believe if people start finding and discovering these things about themselves...start loving themselves for what's inside and out...they will know a greater happiness in life.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


i believe that if you take an object that anyone can identify and photograph it and turn it around in post production cropping, that it should qualify as abstract...does it? or am i making my own rule...'cause i do that...and i don't feel bad about it. i like leaves. i've always liked leaves! 3 of my most vivid memories:

1) i use to draw landscapes and flowers and such when i was a kid. my trees were usually the broccoli type or the pine type...easy to draw and no trouble identifying what they were. then i went through a phase where i would draw every single leaf on a took a long was not very much fun.

2) i love the contrast of vivid, almost neon green trees against the steel gray of a sky warning of impending thunderstorms. especially when i would drive between school in iowa and home in oklahoma, coming through kansas city, and occasionally see the peppering of said trees through the cityscape. i believe i love kansas city for these memories:)

3) oh geez...i forgot what number 3 is...hold on a second. oh! i remember! i always loved the change between winter and spring (which is weird since fall is my favorite season and i love fall leaves...and i love the change...but the favorite actually goes to the other transition). anyway! i grew up in the country and our home was (and still is...parents still there) surrounded by trees and a little bit of woodlands...or forest...or...just country. when march came around, one of the first things i would do in the morning was look out the window to see how much green had sprouted. it always seemed like a little bit at a time...and then maybe there would be a weekend of rainy weather and come monday at the bus stop, it was like an explosion of green! i loved it:) and now that i'm thinkin' 'bout it...maybe my affection for this transition is because as a kid, to me, when the world started turning green, it meant that summer was almost there and summer break too! that makes sense.

so yeah...leaves! they're great! and of course, i loved climbing trees! i could spend hours in my favorite tree in my grandparents' yard...i had to throw a rope over a branch and climb up at kind of a slope. then i could gather the rope up and no one could come up unless they got a ladder to get them to the first step or if i lowered the rope. oh i loved that tree! it got hit by lightning. i cried:( oh no...i wasn't in the tree when that happened...don't worry.

and then my friend, amy, had a tree house that we would sometimes spend all day in! we would play barbies or draw or just talk for hours...sometimes we'd even take naps. that tree house was our was bliss up there! it was surrounded with that camo stuff that hunters use...i'm sorry i don't know what it's called. but anywho and gumdrops! it was our little hideaway:) its deterioration aligned with our growing up...our heads weren't in the clouds as much as we got was about part time jobs, college applications...boyfriends...blah! man i loved that tree simple life was back then. i want a tree house in my yard someday...i'll even share it with my kids:)

i started taking pictures of me holding leaves or other bits of nature in my hands. i think i was inspired but other photographers doing this. i don't think it was my idea. that's okay...i'm not trying to take credit! i like showing myself being a part of the world around me...i guess like people taking pictures of their feet...i do this too. holding something in my hand says, "i see this. i can touch it. i find beauty in it. so i'm going to capture myself with it." leaves in the sunlight are always lovely...can't go wrong!

i'm happy my fingernails are clean. when i'm at the river in a few weeks, there will probably be shots of me holding my bits of nature with my dirty river hands and fingers...that's just nature's a good way:)

i really could go on and on about leaves. oh! i should tell you where these leaves came from! our upstairs neighbor has a patio full of plants that she tends to and throws the dead bits down below. so the front of our little patio is often sprinkled with petals and's like confetti:) earlier today there was a little red petal that looked like a heart in the bright green grass...i didn't have my camera though and was tending to kakashi. anywho and gumdrops! i'm grateful for my upstairs neighbor with the green thumb.

something to look forward to my friends! i have gathered some leaves that i call "fairy wings" because that is what they look like to me. they are lovely little veiny whimsical fragile leaves! i'm not sure how i will photography them, but my goal is to capture the beauty i spotted in them sprinkled on the ground i walk over every day with kakashi.

hopefully, my love of leaves was at the very least entertaining to read. i think everyone should try to find some beauty in a bit of nature they see every day...or drive or walk through on the occasional weekend trips or yearly vacations. even a grain of sand or colorful weed can be a treat for the eyes and senses. so maybe i sound like a hippie...well i am a little and i'm okay with it. even my conservative husband can handle it...but i digress:) i love leaves.

p.s. my favorite tree is the weeping willow. not many down in oklahoma since they need a more moist environment. but lots up here in illinois!!! yay!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Photography on the Porch

kakashi and i like to be outside...kakashi all the when the weather is nice ;) this can cause some conflict, but that's not the topic today! luckily for both of us, the weather has been lovely since monday...sunny and warm with a gusty breeze. our porch faces east, so we get the direct sunlight before it gets too intense...and then as it falls behind us, we get plenty of shade. my fair skin does not like the sun...i freckle and's not fair. my sister and brother will both get brown in the sun...from our black and cherokee ancestry...but i got all the irish. tanning ages the skin anyway...i will maintain my youthfulness longer caring for my skin the way i do with spf. stevie nicks agrees with me. anyway! this is not the topic either! sheesh! stay on track woman!

i will tie kakashi up with enough slack so he can roam about pretty freely without getting in to places he's not the marshy stagnant water hole in the middle of the pet area and other people's porches:) so while he lazes about in the grass, i sit on the porch and make lists or spend some time on the laptop...i'll draw or play games on my cell...or texts friends back home. but today was all about photography on the porch. it's truly amazing how much one can capture in any size space. i told y'all before that i was going to work on abstract photography...i believe that i made some progress with that today...but i need to work on the crop of said photos. i'm not really all about massive amounts of post production stuff...but i do like to play with the crop and contrast a little...sometimes i hit the "auto levels" tool. so i'll work on those and share them later. is a unique perspective considered "abstract?" well, there's some flowers...or weeds?...growing on the side of our porch...yeah i'm not good with identifying botany type business...anywho and gumdrops! i shot them from their undersides...which pretty much every photographer has done...but it's always still a unique perspective. so i'll leave you with a bit of my porch photography from today:)