While getting my materials together for my photography class at ATLOSCon I realized that I have in mind what I want to teach people, but I have no idea what they want to learn. So, quick question: what do you want to learn about improving your photography? Any specific issues I should discuss? Please leave your feedback in the comments.
You know what? I’m kinda tired of the same old pregnancy package photos. You know the one when the man stands behind the woman and they both cup the belly and look down at it lovingly? That’s nice and all, but I’m in the mood for something different.
I had a lovely Sunday yesterday with Reid and Kelly yesterday. We met up with Aaron at Ted’s for a delicious lunch and then set off to the High Museum to see the Titian exhibit. We had a good time on the train ride over talking about Lord of the Rings (which Reid and Kelly are obsessed over and I’m just now listening to) and crazy people we’ve met on MARTA.
The Titian exhibit was beautiful. Not all the paintings were by Titian; some were by his Italian contemporaries. I was a bit disappointed that the exhibit was so small; only two rooms compared to the vast area taken up by the Dali exhibit, a waste of space in my opinion. Nevertheless, I did enjoy looking at all the paintings, discussing the stories behind them, and sharing opinions on the works. It was much more enjoyable to have friends there to talk about the paintings and hear their points of view. I also decided that I really want to be painted as a Greek goddess or a damned woman in the Bible. I would especially love to be Venus! I enjoy posing for classes and artist meetups, but the works produced are always half-done studies rather than a finished concept painting. Here are some of my favorite paintings from the show:
Afterwards we walked through the permanent collection and visited some old favorites. Reid also pointed out pieces he was drawn to and we noticed a definite pattern of depictions of confident, often scholarly men, deep in concentration. It was interesting to contrast the paintings I was drawn to, which were often beautiful, confident, usually feminine women with my body type. I think both of us were drawn to art that embodied the traits we admire within our sexes and want to see in ourselves. I’m really glad he came with us and had a decent time.
Towards the end of the trip I browsed a photography exhibit by Peter Sekaer. The photos were taken mostly during the Depression and were informal and subtle images of people and places. While none of the images blew me away, I could definitely appreciate the kind of personality it takes to enter people’s homes and neighborhoods and shoot such relaxed photos. The subjects always seemed straightforward without any kind of walls between themselves and the camera. Here are some of my favorite photos:
On the drive home Reid and I talked about art and listened to Lord of the Rings. All in all, it was a good day. Now I want to visit other museums!
After several months of living in panic- I hate my job! Now I don’t have one! Where am I going to live?! Am I wearing out my welcome?! Am I going to have to go back to Kentucky?! What the hell am I going to do?!- things have finally settled down. I have my own apartment, a steady(ish) stream of income, and the confidence that everything is going to be ok. Now that I’ve gotten the basics of food and shelter out of the way and I’m not an emotional wreck, I can move onto other concerns.
My original purpose for quitting college and moving to Atlanta was to discover what I wanted to do with my life. That process was set aside while I got back on my feet, and now I’m ready to go after it again. Here are my interests and possible options at the moment:
American Sign Language: I love ASL. I love the energy and emotion of the language. I love interacting with deaf people and I ache to sign more. (Especially since moving because I don’t know anyone here who signs.) Of all the subjects I’ve studied in school, ASL was my favorite. I never missed class and I would frequent as many extra-curricular signing events as possible. I was a deaf camp counselor and I became great friends my ASL professor and my classmates. (Team Awesome!) I constantly sign without realizing it and I’m eager to get back to signing regularly. And although I enjoy trying to interpret songs, I don’t think I want to be an interpreter. I’m more interested in the language than playing communication middle-man.
Photography/Video: Photography has been a long-time passion for me. I started sophomore year in high school and by senior year was known as “the girl with the camera”. I was Miss Journalism, spending half the day (and many evenings) in the newsroom working on the newspaper and yearbook. I was absolutely sure that I was going to be a photojournalist and work for a newspaper. I went to Western Kentucky University, which boasts one of the best PJ programs in the nation. It was in the program that I realized I wanted nothing to do with journalism (I hate hunting and invading people’s personal lives). I did however love my studio and multimedia classes. I often dream up portrait and video ideas. I realized I wanted to work the business side of photography, using the craft to promote businesses. I’m still pretty new to video, but I’m just bursting with ideas.
Working with Kids/Teaching: This one is a bit more vague. I like kids, but it seems I can only work with other people’s children in certain capacities or my brain melts. Nannying? No way. Teaching at a homeschool co-op? Totally! Chaperoning high schoolers? Oh god. Shooting photos with high schoolers and helping their technique? Completely satisfying. Herding a large group of deaf kids through their camp schedule? Oh dear. Interacting with deaf kids one on one about their interests? Love it! I think I like talking and interacting with kids, even teaching and guiding them, but I absolutely loathe disciplining kids. That’s the mommy’s job! (Especially because I feel closer in maturity to the kids sometime more so than the adults.) I’d much prefer to hang out with a kid and talk about awesome stuff.
Pretty Things: I like pretty clothes. And pretty decorations. And pretty knitting patterns. And pretty crafts. And pretty photos. And pretty page design. I notice a large bulk of my free time is spent looking at pretty things on the internet, in thrift shops, in knitting books, and just imagining things in my head. I have no idea how that translates into a career path, but damn do I think about pretty stuff a lot.
Blogging: I really enjoy blogging. There are slumps and dry spells, but I do enjoy thinking up posts and the pride I get from publishing them. It’s been a great way to track progress in my life over the years and to meet new people. In fact, blogging is what led me to Atlanta. (That is reading Jenn’s blog, meeting her and the Atlanta people, then deciding this was the place to be.) I really want to devote more time to it so I can produce more creative and consistent material. I’m constantly inspired by the fashion/decorating blogs I read and I want to be as successful as they are.
Art Modeling: I’m coming to really enjoy it. I love meeting the artists, seeing the artworks progress, and knowing I had a part in it. Modeling is also revolutionizing the way I view my body. And the pay is great.
So, I’ve got a lot on my plate. Having too many options was one of the reasons I left school. Now it’s time to dig through them and see which ones work best for me. At the moment, this is the plan for each:
American Sign Language: Take classes at Georgia Perimeter College and possibly get the interpreting certificate there. It’s not a degree and it doesn’t qualify me as an interpreter, but I don’t think I want to be one. It’s a great way to keep up with ASL, meet other signers, make contacts in the deaf community, and test the waters in ASL-related fields. If at the end of the certificate I do want to interpret, I can always transfer the credits and finish up a bachelors, which is what I’d have to do anyways to be a nationally certified terp.
Photography/Video: I hope to push myself creatively by working on a personal project relating to Atlas Shrugged and doing promotions for the Atlanta Objectivist Society. I might try doing some regular videos fro the blog too, if I have time. I also want to get out of the motivational rut I’ve been in since college and start taking pictures regularly again. Not sure how to do it yet, but there’s a post in the making about it.
Working with Kids/Teaching: I’ve been teaching ASL and photography at a local homeschool co-op. I don’t know if I’ll be teaching again next year, but I hope to offer more classes in the future after working on the curriculum a bit. I’m also interested in doing some baby-sign classes with local mommies. That’s more of a long term goal. I plan to do deaf camp again, but hopefully more as a photographer and less of a counselor.
Pretty Things: I’m going to focus on prettying up the apartment, working on my various knitting projects, and my photography. I also want to work on honing my style, so lots of visits to the thrift store!
Blogging: I hope to be working from home soon, which will allow me the flexibility to blog when the mood strikes, as opposed to having to wait till work is over. I plan to try to expand my readership, create more in depth posts, and post more of my photography. I hope one day to get sponsors and monetize the blog a bit. I have no idea how that would work, since most of the blogs I see making money are fashion blogs with accompanying online shops. I have nothing to sell and I have no desire to post pictures of my daily outfits. But I figure that working hard to create a better blog will lead to the solution of creating wealth from it.
Art Modeling: Working from home will also give me the flexibility to book more modeling gigs. I’ve been pretty successful so far and next year looks promising. Till then I plan to network among local artists and possibly set up a website for myself once there are more finished paintings of me.
That’s the plan. There’s a lot in the works and I’m very excited. I’ll update as things progress. Please leave any suggestions for the blog or pursuing my interests in the comments. I’d love to hear from my readers and get a dialogue going.
I problem I frequently run into in photography is whether to shoot life events or not. I feel like I have two decisions: to focus on taking photos or to soak up the moment instead. I find it very hard to do both, and often feel guilty if I try to. (Guilty for not focusing on taking the best photos possible and also guilty for not immersing myself completely in the experience.) And afterwards I’m either left with great memories, but no tangible record or great photos, but no real experiences to go with them, other than the joys I had shooting. My shoot from last year’s PJ Valentine’s Day Party is an example. I had a blast running around the party creating different photos and playing with the light. But I don’t have specific memories of jokes or conversations from that night to pair with the photos. I just have the images.
I haven’t quite figured out the balance yet. I find it really difficult to just meander between shooting and living it up. If I’m going to do one of the other, I want to do it full out. (Because if I’m going to haul that big ass camera around, I better do something with it and do it damn well.)
Any other photographers out there face the same problem? Got any advice?
This past week was my very first photo modeling gig with GemTiques in Marietta Square. It was quite different from most of the modeling I’ve done in Atlanta, because this time it was clothed (really!) and was more for advertising than art. The process was very different. Rather than holding the same pose for hours on end, I did lots of poses with many wardrobe changes. And I also had to focus more on my facial expressions and smiling. Here are some of the photos:
While I’m happy with the shoot, I think I’ll stick with modeling for artists for now. It was very strange not to be the one behind the camera directing the shoot. Like I’ve said before, I think photo modeling will be the hardest for me because it’s my own craft. But this was a great learning experience and opened me up to more job opportunities involving photography and social networking. I look forward to working with the shop more in the future.
Update: I’ll be working as a hostess at GemTiques tonight (11/12) from 5 to 9. It’s their Christmas Open House and I think other businesses in the area are opening their doors to the public. If you can, come see me and the jewelry!
I’ve seen many multimedia stories in my time at WKU. To date, this is still my favorite. I do have several criticisms of the piece- I think it’s over idealized- but I think it’s a tight story that evokes emotion and is accessible. I love the photography in it. I think it’s creative and sensual and really shows how much love there is between the subjects. I’ve heard a lot of criticism over the photographer Matt Eich covering his own life. I don’t really have a problem with that. Is it hard hitting news or something I would run in the paper? Not really. But I think it’s an incredibly heartfelt and happy piece amid lots of depressing stories (just look at everything else on MediaStorm). I think this quality of documentation and emotion Matt got is something only he could do, because he was a part of the situation. People keep scrapbooks to track their lives; Matt did the same with multimedia. I’m glad that he created the piece and shared the story. I’d love to do something like this about my own life (and eventually will).
I was gong to enter the Atlas Shrugged video contest, but not anymore. I found out about it just as it became open to submissions, and there isn’t an ice cube’s chance in hell that I could get it done by the deadline of December 8. (And honestly I think the sponsors did a poor job of advertising it in time for people to get videos together.) I might have been able to whip something up if not for the move and job search, but nothing I would have been truly satisfied with. So I won’t be submitting a project this year.
But I do plan to go ahead and shoot it anyway, as a personal piece and probably as a promotion for AOS, since it will feature members. At the moment I’m visualizing the piece in my head, planning out shots and working out what quotes from the book I’ll use as voiceovers. Here’s a few bits of inspiration I’ve found on the internet. Keep in mind I like the style of these pieces, but not always the content.
I think the theme of this piece is god awful. It’s so depressing and the characters walk in a fog of their own sad vagueness. My characters will be the total opposite: purposeful and happy. But I do love the way this piece is plotted out with a single voice telling a story and nothing but stills to match. The combination makes for an intriguing but slow pace, which I like. It definitely makes you ponder the scenes more. I also like that the photos are less journalistic and more free form. Things fall out of focus or creep out of the side of the photos. I’d like to incorporate some of that style in my own storytelling works.
I like the quick movements from scene to scene in this piece. I’ve often found transitions the hardest part of editing, and this one moves pretty smoothly. I also love the various types of shots she got, especially the last one under the trampoline. The style of quick and lively shots used in the banjo(?) part is exactly the type I would love to show off Stoney’s Pub.
I do love the continuation from one character to another in this piece. I also love the combination of stills and video, and the different shots used. And I love love love the shots of the environment around the characters moving. I think it gives it a nice sense of place and a feeling of going somewhere.
The picnic was a blast. I had so much fun shooting portraits of my friends and their families. I haven’t shot anything in a while, so it was great to get back to the camera. After the portraits we hung out and chatted while the kids played. I only wish I could have played a bit as well on that sweet playground.