Don't post much anymore on the blog, but updating a fun photo shoot with the kid. We had fun hanging out in Griffith Park, which is a part of our every day life, anyway. We even found a good spot at sunset to set up the tripod. I want to teach her old fashioned photography with manual settings. Not enough kids are learning that these days now that everyone has a phone with fancy automatic settings! Sure, phones make things easy, but can't replace a classic art form. This day was just an introduction...
Yes, it's true, I kind of abandoned this blog for awhile. Yes, I have taken photos, but I have not posted them here. Life got a little hectic, and photography was just not a priority. Although, like I mentioned, I was taking photos - sometimes life just gets a little haphazard, family issues arise, and focusing on family comes first.
Now the dust is beginning to settle, and I realize how much I miss my camera. Yes, I shot a few family photos for Christmas cards - and done some headshots, but I miss doing photography for the fun of doing photography! I originally explored photography as a fine artist, and ultimately, that is where my heart is. I miss it!
Anyway, I realized I hadn't taken photos of my daughter since she turned 9 - and she is already on the verge of turning 10! Thought that would be a good excuse just to get out my camera and loosen up a bit. My daughter is always a wonderful muse, and she is growing up too quickly! So, it is good to get photos before she has completely grown.
We've been going up to Mammoth Lakes a lot lately, and my daughter snowboards. So, I thought I'd do a photo session with her in her snowboard gear! Nothing fancy, she is wearing a jacket from K-Mart - but this is her style! Many times when she was younger, I'd want to style her and pick her clothes, buy a fancy dress, etc. This time, I just wanted to photograph her as is. Even though I wanted to venture back into my photography, this time my core inspiration, was thinking as a mother - not a past art school student! I know many years from now, this will be how I want to remember her. Not in a fancy dress she never wore any other time.
We also stopped at Convict Lake on the way up. We had never been before! The scenery was stunning! Well, my daughter snuck on some of my lipstick when I wasn't paying attention - and even though I wiped it off, it left a bit of a stain! Other than that, I just wanted to photograph her as is. Okay, I admit it, I have a good looking kid, and between that and the scenery, I had fun doing photos again...
I had the pleasure of photographing the lovely Anise Stevens, writer and founder of the popular art blog, Filling the Negative Space. It was a quick photo session, with just one quick set-up, but we got some nice photos out of it. It was tricky because we were talking so much! Sometimes I forgot that we were trying to take photos! But that is the joy of taking photos, that it is also can be social.
I have photographed a few times before, and she is always a joy to photograph.
My daughter actually got invited to audition for a music video for Bruno Mars - how fun is that? It was actually because she plays violin, that she was invited to audition. Of course, she wouldn't actually be playing violin for Bruno Mars, I guess they just needed a kid who could look like they were playing violin?
So, even though I have ten million pictures of my kid, I didn't actually have just a recent regular headshot for her - so I thought I'd do a photo session with her.
That being said, although we showed up for the audition - we didn't stay! We had no idea what to expect, and didn't realize that there were several other parts being cast at the same time, and there was something like a 3 hour wait before my daughter would have been called in. When I was told, "Come at 4" - I thought we'd see someone at 4! I felt fairly naive, considering I was raised in Los Angeles and the film industry, and my mother was a headshot photographer. For some reason, I thought situations with kids would be a little less manic and cut throat! My daughter has done modeling jobs before with HUGE photographers for well-esteemed companies, but because it was word of mouth, we just showed up and she had the job!
Anyway, it was a school night with homework, and because I wasn't expecting the mob of people and multiple castings going on, I had not brought anything with us at all - no books, no homework, no electronic devices, no water, no snacks... So, we gave it a little bit of time, sussed out the situation, and decided to leave.
I don't mind if my daughter does a job here and there if it falls into our lap, but I wasn't quite prepared for that amount of hustle!
For now, she's just my own private model - and I love that!
Yet another blog post from Mammoth Mountain.
It is our home away from home! I thought it would be nice to take some photos of my daughter with her violin, and a view of Twin Lakes in the background is the perfect setting! I guess there is a reason I post from Mammoth a lot - it is so gorgeous! Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter. I wish I had the scenery on hand every time I have a photo shoot with a client here in Los Angeles...
This is Harry. He is only 7 years old, and quite the model. I didn't think he'd be that into the whole "posing" thing, but boy, was I surprised. I mean, sometimes he was a typical boy and goofing off, but for the most part, he got quite intense!
My daughter also posed with him for a couple of shots, and that is when the silliness usually happened. But even through the silliness, there were still some great shots with some great attitude!
Harry would definitely have a future in modeling if he and his parents chose that path for him...
Miles needed updated photos - even though I photographed him a few months ago. The thing about little ones, is that they change in such a short amount of time. Wow, what a difference! Wow, that boy has energy! It was already a hot day, but after chasing Miles around like crazy, I was sweating like I'd never sweat before! I had lights set up for the subject to sit in a specific location - silly me! So, I was a bit nervous that I hadn't gotten any good photos of him, but I managed to get a couple cute ones. After all, he's a great looking little boy!
Then I photographed Sarah, (while Miles stayed with his dad!). I've spent so much time focusing on my little studio, I had forgotten what it was like to hit the streets. It was super fun! And of course, Sarah is gorgeous and an amazing model, so the photo session was a joy to do. The hard part? Deciding which photos I liked best.
Liz Menzel and Dale Vaughn are a local couple who have done quite well for themselves, lately. They both lead groups about self-empowerment that have made it to the L.A. Weekly's "Best of L.A." list. Dale leads a men's group, Liz leads the women's group, and sometimes the groups merge and do group events and hikes in Griffith Park. I am thrilled by their success! They both have lots of other projects in the works - you can check out their websites at Women's Wisdom Community and NextGent.
I was photographing them individually for their professional business endeavors, but I think my favorite photos were the spontaneous pics of the two of them together.
I was also honored that Dale asked me to help him out with a photo he had of his grandfather that he wanted to duplicate. I felt bad because he hadn't told me before the shoot, and I did not have an old sawhorse on hand, like the one in the photo. My husband is in construction, I could have gotten one with a little notice! But he was fine with the one sawhorse I did find in our garage, even though it didn't match. If I had notice, I probably wouldn't have gotten anal about it and tried to figure out how to duplicate it down to the smallest detail, but considering it was on the fly, it still turned out pretty good. Then afterwards, I played with it in Photoshop, and he cropped it even more to match. I know this isn't my finest portfolio piece, but to me, the personal sentiment makes it feel like a very fulfilling endeavor.
A new website! What a relief! My old one was driving me crazy and looking kind of shabby, but I just hadn't had the time to make changes. I still don't have time, but if there is a will, there is a way. You HAVE to make time to be professional, right?
And I get to debut my most recent photos, which are now a few weeks old! I got to try out my new strobe set with my gorgeous friend, Sarah. And her gorgeous son! I didn't realize he was crawling, so that was a bit stressful, since my new studio set up wasn't exactly baby-proofed, but he managed to live through the day. Luckily!
I am still learning the ins and outs of this new lighting system, and of course, I always have higher expectations of myself. But ultimately, there are some nice photos here. I am looking forward to shooting Sarah again when I have this system down - I know the next session will be even better!
I have been setting up my little studio in the basement again. I got some new equipment for Christmas, but I see some old backdrops have gotten damaged while buried in the basement - so I am having to sort things out and seeing what I need. It is an itty-bitty studio, that shares space with our collection of bicyles, Tim's train table, and our camping gear! Yeah, on a scale of 1 to 10 in professionalism, it rates about a 1 1/2. And I don't think I could photograph really more than 2 or 3 people down there, but I am keen on making it work. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? If I clean it up a bit and place some strategic curtains, I think I could make it look pleasingly funky, as opposed to a black widow den...
Since last time I tried to photograph Anise and Cyan, I was having technical problems and Cyan was ill, (although we still got a couple of good shots then!) we did a reshoot. Now that Cyan was healthy, I broke a sweat chasing him to get his photo! And he was not thrilled being held by mom when he had so many things to explore, but I still really liked the photos.
I also got to play with my new portrait lens, Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime Nikkor Lens. I love it!
I have been reading a great book on photographing children, actually entitled exactly that, Photographing Children Photo Workshop: Develop Your Digital Photography Talent, by Ginny Felch. The author reminds its readers that for every great photo that you see in its pages, chances are that was not the exact photo the photographer was planning. Obviously you have to master technical control, and having a good rapport with kids is a must, but you are not going to be able to control the kids completely, and flexibility and the ability to creatively adapt is an important technique when photographing kids! I do have to remind myself when I see a great shot, I can't just say, "Oh wait, hold that pose while I move the light over a bit!" You have to move FAST and get what you get and THANK GOD for digital photography where you don't have to pay for processing anymore! But then again, sometimes what you get is a nice surprise and something better than what you were first thinking. In that sense, children make wonderful co-creators that keep each new situation fresh and alive. It's great!
Anise is founder and creator of Anise Mouette. Besides creating really cute stuff, she also donates a portion of her profits to a really good cause - so check out her site!