Spring in Mammoth Lakes

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...

The Prichards

I am behind on updating the blog! I did a big photo shoot yesterday and am still editing the pictures. I am posting them here but annoyed because I wish I could show them bigger - they definitely need to be looked at on a larger scale! Well, this is a free blog site, I shouldn't complain.

So, Mary, the client who contacted me, wanted a portrait with her brother and mother and somehow have the environment of her house be included. Mary's 5 year old daughter was also supposed to be in the pictures, but didn't want anything to do with the camera, unfortunately! Mary had been raised in this house, and so we took photos in all areas, inside and outside. Mary was now in the process of buying the house from her mother, and was now going to be raising her own daughter in the house. So, in a way, the house was kind of like a family member that needed to be included, and it's history had a story to tell. The pictures were also kind of archiving the house, as it is now, as it now getting passed on to the next generation, and most likely have a new chapter with a new history.

Mary had also told me that her father had recently passed away, so a picture of him was also included in most of the family portraits. Her father had been a renaissance man who did carpentry, welding, etc., etc., and had restructured the house and rebuilt the house over the years, where it seems like the house was definitely a final product of his labor, love, and handiwork. I could identify with the history of the father, since my husband is in construction and can build a house from the ground up, from plumbing to electricity and the whole nine yards, but he went to the Minneapolis School of Design as a sculptor, and is a true artist. If he builds something as simple as a bench, he is not a manual laborer, he is a craftsman, and anything he builds is, in a way, a piece of art. I went to some high falutin' art schools and I know some "high brows" debate the definition of art, but I'm ready to argue with them on this one - and yes, a craftsman is a true artist.

Anyway, I digress... the point is, I felt the history of the father and the house because living with my husband, I understood the depth of his handiwork and what it meant to his family. I was excited to take the photographs, because this was a family that had a definite story, and I wanted to honor that. I really wanted to do them justice.

Unfortunately, my kit isn't as big as I'd like, so I ended up renting a wide angle lens that I thought would be best for this particular shoot. I forgot how much I love using a wide angle lens! On my old, pre-digital camera, I pretty much only used my wide angle. This time around with my photography, I didn't buy a wide angle lens first because I'm going for a more commercial portfolio and I thought a portrait lens was best. But a wide angle is so much fun!

After talking to Mary and her telling me about her dad, I was expecting a somber shoot, but was quite surprised by quite the opposite! Of course, there were some melancholy moments, but mostly, it was a lot of fun! Maybe because I could relate to this family personally on so many levels. Mary's brother is a clown, and my uncle used to be a clown! Not too many people have clowns in their families! But they were great, and they brought a lot of humour to the photo shoot. It amazes me how no matter how much I plan a photo shoot and how much I predict how it's going to go, it always turns out completely different. But that's what's great about taking photographs and meeting new people and getting surprised by what they bring to the table.

And happily, in the end, Mary's daughter came out to join in the photos. I literally had already packed my camera bag and started putting away my lights, so, they were not the most artistically pleasing photos! (The backdrop is only half in the photos and I'm using the camera's built-in flash). I didn't want to do too much fussing and scare either the daughter or the dogs away after what had already been a long evening - I needed to just grab my camera and shoot! But I was happy that the family was happy that they managed to get a couple of photos at the end with everyone! Including the dogs!

The Big Monday

This past Monday was a big day for me. It started by getting my daughter to school BY 7 a.m. (no small accomplishment) so I could start Boot Camp by 7:30! I have signed up for a 2 day bike ride fundraiser for MS in October and realized I better start exercising! Never mind training, just a simple exercise routine should some how be in my life before bike riding 150 miles in 2 days! At this stage in the game, I don't think I'd survive a 30 mile bike ride. So I signed up with Brooke from Fit Happens to get a jump start. She is amazing! But the first day of getting back into shape is always the worst. (But it's a good kind of pain... At least that is what I keep telling myself...)

Then in the afternoon I had a playgroup photo session. (If you haven't seen my website, I will photograph a playgroup for $20 a mom, not counting the price of prints!). It was soooo much fun! There were nine kids and five moms - and the kids were a great age, ages 2 to 5. They are at that age that love to ham for the camera! It was so, so much fun! It was hard to believe that it was a job!

In the evening I was at King King and photographed The Moth, which is a storytelling competition. Even though I have had lots of experience photographing in nightclubs, it was my first time not using a flash in what seemed like pitch dark for a job! Thank God I bought that 1.4 Nikkor lens a few weeks ago. That was also a lot of fun, and it was great to see the show considering it is very popular and was over-sold. The place was packed! I wish I had a fast super wide-angle lens with me to capture how mobbed the place was.

All in all it was a great day... It's nice to be busy...

Finally...

After dealing with so many illnesses, I am finally getting to take some photos. Although, illnesses are still haunting our photo sessions.

I got a chance to take some quick snaps of my friend Anise and her son, Cyan. (Seen above, she is the owner of Anise Mouette). I had technical problems with my camera, which was really embarrassing, and Cyan was actually still sick, so we didn't take very many photos. But still, we got a couple of nice ones!

Then I also photographed Sara and Andy with their 22 month old twins. I am still sorting out their photos, but here are some ones I grabbed quickly. I was still kind of sick that day and took an overdose of Sudafed that day - which I really hate but I was desperate, so I feel like I could have done better. But still, there are some nice ones. I think you need your full wits about you, though, when photographing toddler twins...