Wednesday, March 31, 2010

do you believe in magic?

I don't expect this post to be too wordy since I set it up in advance. I just wanted to share something I've noticed.

Photographers tend to love to shoot wide open. f/1.4 seems to be the holy grail for those who can afford it and f/1.8 is the magic number for people like me. While I understand the appeal, it wasn't until I decided to experiment that I began to understand why I should love my nifty fifty so much. All of these were shot using only available light.
Erin Sonic

This is my absolute favorite shot:
traffic lights
The only source of light for this was the traffic light at the intersection we were stopped at.

The magic comes from not only the shallow depth of field, the creamy skin, the sexy bokeh... but from the ability to capture my friends on our late-night outings without making them pose or blinding them with flash.

Dear home,
Send lenses that can open wide. (Or come see me so I can photograph you.)
Love, me

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

a life full of love and laughter

This weekend was LinZ's wedding. I needed to dye my hair a 'naturally occurring color' but the first attempt didn't take so I got to go to the rehearsal dinner with purple hair. I think I looked beautiful.
50s style
50s style eye
I have a thing for my eyes. I read somewhere once that iris patterns are even more distinctive than fingerprints.

I got all dolled up to be a bridesmaid and surrendered my camera to my mother for the ceremony. I had my hair and makeup done. I did my bridesmaid duties and I'm sure there will be plenty of photos from getting ready and the reception when they trickle in. In the mean time, I would like to share what really matters to me: my camera, my mom, and my Doug.

I took this photo of Doug after messing with my custom white balance and it ended up with a ghastly blue color cast from my flash (oops!) so I hand-tinted it. He's posing with our photo booth photos. I had oversized rhinestone cat's eye glasses and a veil, he had a viking helmet. I kind of want to use those photos to announce our engagement (when we get engaged, so stop panicking mom!) but I digress. The color cast came from trying to properly capture the awesome lighting over the bar.
custom white balance

I always hesitate to post photos of myself but I couldn't resist. This entire post is sort of structured around the idea of "a life full of love and laughter" for me. Watching LinZ marry James made me feel all mushy inside. I want that kind of happiness for myself. And I think I've found it.

I know I have the rest of forever to decide but the way he looks at me, the way that I apparently look at him...

This could be my future. He makes me laugh, especially when my anxiety threatens to overwhelm me. I would love a forever with Doug.

He can even get me to dance, which is quite the accomplishment.

I also spent the reception with my mother, who is most likely halfway to a heart attack by now. Mom, I promise we will at least call you to join us when we elope. Seriously though, my mother adores Doug and the feeling seems to be mutual. I (almost) don't even care how grainy this photo is from being shot at such a high ISO because it shows the people who mean the most to me in this world.

They give me the love and the laughter and always make everything okay.

I have very few photos of or with the bride from her wedding day and I am fine with that. LinZ and I are going to be friends for a long time to come. That, and I get to shoot her trash the dress shoot. Hooray!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

dramatic monochrome [i heart faces]

this week's theme over at is dramatic black and white. I'm not entirely sure if this is what they meant by 'dramatic' but I couldn't resist.
Richard's shirt reads "maybe if this shirt is witty enough, someone will finally love me" and I figured a moody/brooding photo would be fun.
dramatic Richard
photo processed using the 'vintage' action from Pioneer Woman with the grain removed

I couldn't wait until tomorrow to post this.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

sneak peep

I apologize for the pun but I couldn't resist. Selale made this lovely nest out of peeps and chocolate robin's eggs. I needed an excuse to post the photo.

But really, this post is a teaser. I took some pretty awesome photos of Richard for the upcoming I [heart] faces theme but I can only post one on Monday. Since I've been torturing myself in post-processing all night, trying to pick just one... I'm posting the rest as a 'teaser' tonight. Check back on Monday for the actual dramatic black-and-white shot.
Richard teaser collage
Richard teaser collage quad

In a completely unrelated note, my friend LinZ is getting married this weekend. I am going to be shooting her trash-the-dress session eventually, most likely over the summer. I am planning to bring my camera to the wedding anyway, even though I'll be a bridesmaid so I can't shoot the ceremony. At the very least, I hope to get a few photos of Doug and I as we try to catch the garter and bouquet respectively. (Note that I have not tagged this post with 'news' and do not panic. yet.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

this is why I do this

I posted a link to my previous post on Kat's Facebook page. This was her reply:

"I read this for the first time last night with Derek, and we had a bit of a cry-fest. You are one of the absolute sweetest, best friends I ever will have. You have no idea how much this post meant to me and Derek (and how much it will mean to Preston one day, as I intend to print it out and make it into some kind of book -- it might become the first chapter of his baby book that I am working on...) I feel so loved and so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

This is truly the best gift anyone has ever given me (other than Preston, although you did play a great role in making our little family be possible -- from moral and emotional support while I was preggers, to capturing special moments in photos before and after I gave birth, to providing us with baby supplies and the best baby blanket a little boy could ever have...) You have made such an impact in my life, Brenda... I've told you this before, but we are connected in such a profound way. I think soulmate, as you put it, describes it best......

I think your post really reminded Derek and I of how much we mean to each other and how much you mean to our family, as well as how much you are a part of it. I definitely would love it if you could email me the originals of these photos (and the rest) so that I can treasure your phenomenal artistry forever."

Since Kat not only said such wonderful things but reposted the link on her page, you get to see one more photo of her and her boy.
Kat Preston

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

life is all about the journey [Preston & family]

Dearest Kat, Derek, and Preston,
I know this isn't exactly the way you expected your lives to turn out. I know Derek has loved you for a long time, Ms. Kat, and I've lived with you long enough to know how you feel about him. I remember sitting on your carpet and watching the way you look at each other. I also remember visiting your apartment and seeing the way you look at Preston. However, I also know how hard it is to have to live in Stuart, away from your family and friends because it's what you can afford. But looking at the way you love each other, I know that it's worth it.
And Mr. Preston, you are one of the most loved boys I have met in my life (and I have a baby brother who I almost smothered with kisses).
You have a mommy who wants to read to you and introduce you to the wonders the world holds.
Preston mom
You have a daddy who would be equally delighted to have you grow up to play football or dance ballet.
Preston dad
They are doing everything in their power to make sure that they can give you the world they want you to have, holding your hand every step of the way and sometimes carrying you when you are overwhelmed.
Preston adventure 2
It's still a bit of a shock to them how smart and curious you are. It's hard sometimes for them to keep up, yet alone get one step ahead of you. You frequently dash ahead and leave them in the dust.
Preston adventure
Preston adventure 4
Nothing can hold you back, not even falling down and bumping your head. Or having mommy ask you to 'share' and then taking away the sticks/leaves/rocks you want to taste.
Preston adventure 3
Somehow, the best of Kat and the best of Derek combined to make one of the best things in their world.
And yes, I know the majority of this post is all about the baby but just remember, he's the tour guide for the next few years of your lives. Go on great adventures, ask people to babysit so you can have time to be grown-ups and relax and remember why you made him in the first place. Don't let the stress of being young parents get to you; embrace the fact that you're going to be able to watch Preston become an all-star long before you get too senile to acknowledge it. And Kat, this journey has set you up to be a MILF. Just saying.
I love you all very much and I wish you were still walking distance away so I could just randomly show up for cupcakes and Disney movies.

Monday, March 15, 2010

teaser: Preston

Today my former roommate/soulmate/wifey came to visit. Ok, technically the entire Spear family came to visit but I was the most excited about seeing Kat. It is almost impossible for me to describe how similar we are and how much I adore her. I've blogged about her before here. Of course, I can't see her, Derek, and Preston without photographing my favorite caveman. Preston used to be a baby like this but now he's all big like this:
sneak peak Presto

I promise there are a lot more pictures. I just couldn't wait to share this one.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

how I spent my spring break

I watched the sun set over the Everglades.
spring break sunset
Mom spread out the laundry to dry in the backyard. When I leaned out the window to photograph it, she took a picture of me leaning so far out I almost fell.
spring break laundry
spring break laundry 2
I tried to shoot a carnival from the car at a red light because I was still having sleeping issues.
spring break carnival
I came back to campus early to pick up my award.

I also wandered the neighborhood on my usual photo rounds, but I am saving those for a rainy day when someone reminds me I haven't been posting.

Friday, March 12, 2010

exciting news

I just got the email (at the last minute, because that's how life goes sometimes) that I won 'most creative' in the Abacoa photography contest. Most of you should recognize my entry from a previous post.

sign and stars

The awards are tomorrow at 3 in the realty office in Town Center in case anyone local wants to go.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the cobbler's kids *do* have shoes

You know that old expression about how the cobbler's children have no shoes? Well, I have pictures of Doug and self-portraits of myself but uh... wait, I do have photos of Doug and I.

I initially was going to make this two posts but I've had computer problems so now you're getting one post.

In honor of our six month anniversary, I decided to do a themed photo shoot. Since Doug and I love Bioshock (he got me Bioshock 2 for Valentine's Day), I decided to do a vacation in Rapture layout for his wall.
vacation in rapture anniversary

For those of you who don't know anything about Bioshock, it takes place in a utopian city under the ocean. Science and technology allow the citizens to 'splice' their DNA, simultaneously gaining powers and losing their minds. In order to simulate a 1950s underwater city, we shot in the atrium on campus.

I realize we are either kissing or almost-kissing in every shot I chose. I did not mean to do that but those were my favorites. It's a mushy thing having an anniversary.

And in behind-the-scene magic:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

hilarious outtakes [i heart faces]

It's been a week since my last post. I've been having some sleep issues so I haven't had a chance to shoot at all this week.

This week's theme at is hilarious outtakes and I could not resist sharing a few of the crazier moments Marjorie and I have seen. (They are in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.)

C.B. Smith Ryan
Ryan and I were exploring C. B. Smith park with our cameras and we came across some interesting graffiti. It said "let God" and we were trying to finish the sentence. The witty banter went back and forth for a little while and then Ryan hit on the perfect one: "Let God do the dew." The next thing you know, he is on the ground laughing hysterically. We had been photographing each other's reactions to these suggestions and I was not expecting him to fall over. This may or may not be just before he actually hit the ground.

princess bubble Clara
This is Ms. Clara, one of the teachers at the Ann Storck Center. As a special needs preschool teacher, she frequently has medically fragile kids who overheat easily. At the royal party, she was misting the students with her spray bottle. I went to take her picture as she looked down at one of the kids... and sprayed me.

total eclipse Aria
We were hanging out backstage before the preschoolers were scheduled to sing their song. Aria and Gianna were getting kind of antsy being cooped up in the dressing room and I was trying to keep them busy by photographing them. I went to take a photo of Gigi and Aria decided to jump in. The flash only illuminated her, which made for some great jokes between her mom and I. (Hi Kerri. Thanks for letting me post this photo.)

uh-oh pie
At the homecoming carnival, Invisible Children had a pie-in-the-face table to raise money. (See previous entry here.) Quite a few people wanted to pie Tony in the face so I stood by--safely out of flying whipped cream range-- and kept my finger on the shutter, hoping to get the perfect shot for University Press. I got a great one... and I also got this one.

hide under the bed
I'm not sure if this one really counts as an 'outtake' since it works for the concept. Doug and I absolutely loved Up. He constantly makes jokes about hiding under my bed because I don't have a porch (and Dug "hid under your porch because I love you"). So while we were in Ohio, he crawled under the cot and was joking about hiding under my bed so I grabbed the camera. My foot is intruding in the shot and I was mildly disappointed to discover that when I looked through the photos later.