Archive for October, 2010

When One Door Closes, Go Through The Window

Life’s circumstances often inspire me with my photography, as I’m sure happens with most photographers and artists. My life has most recently consisted of a plethora of changes, decisions, and uncertainties, not only in my professional career, but also in my personal life. I am learning to take life one day at a time, and move forward even after it feels like every door has closed. This mindset is what inspired my most recent self portrait…

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Railroad Tracks: The Essence of Nostalgia

Railroad tracks are the essence of nostalgia. I don’t know what it is about them, but people always seem to have the same reactions when they are near them or viewing a photograph, painting or drawing of them. Maybe it’s the “contained freedom” they represent, for lack of a better contradicting metaphor. It’s always a wistful feeling, isn’t it? You see there are the rails, ready to take you somewhere, yet you don’t know where they will lead you. There’s really no beginning or end, so where do you start? Where will your journey lead you? What if you see something on the way that you want to look closer at, but you’re stuck on the path you already chose?

I think railroad tracks remind us all of life… all aspects of life; where we would like to go, where we have been. Those endless miles of rails also remind us that no matter what direction we are going, there is still something guiding us along the way.

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Self Portraits: The Ultimate Challenge

I used to always think that one of the greatest perks about being the photographer at an event was that you were behind the camera, not in front of it. I honestly haven’t met very many people who actually enjoy their photograph being taken, even though it might be an enjoyable experience when it’s all said and done. Even most people who are very photogenic and are comfortable with themselves would rather be doing something other than having someone take their picture. I often tell clients in a joking manner to try to lighten the mood “Photographers are like Dentists: Nobody really likes us but all we want is to see your beautiful smile!”

One day I was home alone, bored, raining outside and no models to shoot. So I decided to set up my camera and try shooting myself. Now I’m hooked. With self portraits, you get the best off all worlds. You can be creative with hair, make-up, and costume. You get to learn what it really feels like to “hold that pose!” when it’s oh-so uncomfortable. You understand how to explain to clients “Yes, I know it feels like you’re about to fall over and your legs are burning, but I swear, it’s gonna be an amazing shot!” Not to mention, you will try more things with yourself! You won’t feel crazy asking yourself to do an awkward pose, and if you don’t like the outcome, nobody knows the better!

This is something I’m really hoping to step up going forward: my own self portraits. I live in a rural area and don’t have the finances for hiring a model. Lucky me, I am now a photographer, model, make-up artist, hair stylist, wardrobe coordinator, and editor. I love every minute of it.

Below are a few shots from my last session. I had this idea for a while, and was really wanting to dress differently for it. I was stir crazy and the sun came out for half an hour (this IS Washington State), so the shoot was with my street clothes. I guess this is more the “real” me. 🙂

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