This past weekend, on a whim I made a trek back home to San Diego. I left Friday at 1:15pm. Never again. The traffic alone is enough to keep me from moving to LA. Oh how I love you Santa Barbara and your less sucky traffic. Anyways, if you remember my last post, I talked about my younger brother and shared images from my own twist on senior portraits. It was a rad sesh, and if you haven’t checked it out you should! Well this week, I am going to share images of my younger sister, Oni. See, this past weekend was homecoming. As you all know, it’s a very important time in high school. It’s hectic, and the whole day leading up to the dance is a blur of makeup, hairspray, and last minute essential shopping trips. I guess I can only speak from one perspective, but I am sure the guys are just as involved…right? 🙂 My usually curly haired sister actually looked like me with straightened locks. Usually no one can tell we are related! Of course, as expected I was her own personal photographer for the day. And of course, I took the pictures I wanted.
Yes, Homecoming can be a day of mild drama, a competition for the shortest possible dress and boys who feel indifferent about the whole ordeal. But Homecoming can also be a moment for friends, and enjoying a time in life where it seems you can conquere anything (especially your look for homecoming!) Because the moment high school is over, that goes right out the window doesn’t it? 🙂
I always tell my family they are lucky to have me, you know, so I can artfully document their lives through photography (and then post it to the internet 🙂 ) I happily jumped at the opportunity to take Zeno’s senior pictures, because not only is he a natural at modeling, but it was also a chance for me to hang out with my younger siblings and catch up on their lives. A huge part of me is sad because I missed most of their high school years, so I try to make up for it whenever I can. So on a Saturday morning Zeno, Oni and I drove to a huge open field with tall golden grass. It’s the grass that looks like waves when wind rushes through it. If you walk across it you come to a cliff overlooking the ocean. It’s one of my favorite places in Santa Barbara, and it always reminds me why I love it here so much. The mornings here are a bit on the gloomy side, which is perfect for photography. The gorgeous even lighting and the moody grey tones in the ocean and sky; everything about it is peaceful. It’s the sort of magical place you want to tell stories in.
Of course, I had Zeno pose for more than the typical senior pictures. I wanted to capture more of who he is: A young man who is contemplative, and comfortable in the silence of his own thoughts. He craves adventure and new experiences. He is an artist, motivated by the sounds of life that surround him. He plays a multitude of instruments. I always found us to be very similar, in that we both have these creative passions. Though we are both quiet on the introverted side, we both dream of sharing our creative visions with the world. He is ending one chapter and on the verge of another. It’s a time in life we are all familiar with. I am very proud of him, because he has always stuck true to the person he is. I don’t know if many people can truthfully say that.
Now I am going to text him the link to this post so he can read it. He needs to be reminded from time to time how much of an awesome and loving sister I am 🙂
I ran around all day with this lady creating a bio video for her! It was extremely easy to capture her easygoing personality and eagerness to work with a camera. Her style is very go with the flow until she gets the exact shot. Though a bio video’s main objective is to show potential clients who the photographer is, Alexis’ bio video just doesn’t do justice to her actual work, which by the way is amazing. You definitely need to meander over to her tumblr blog at http://alexisrenson.tumblr.com/. Her portraits go beyond photographing the people in front of her, and her unusual perspective is very inspiring to creative minds.
I browsed her blog just now and noticed I’m in a couple of shots! Holla!
Okay guys, I’m back. I know how much you have missed my long ramblings about the brain. I mean, I know how much I missed rambling. There is nowhere for the piling up of creative thoughts to go except out, and in the form of words or work or whatever you choose. Actually, I have been doing a lot of work! I’ve got those last semester of photo school feels, and I’m feeling the pressure of the real world. Yikes! But if all goes as planned, I get to stay put in sunny Santa Barbara and hopefully continue my artistic endeavors. And of course, my sporadic ramblings on the inter webs. The images you see here was a project with one lovely Caitlyn Silkey (thank you girl!) and a plan to create a nerdy but gorgeous persona through photography. She was awesome and very understanding of my spontaneous shooting style, and she did a wonderful job transforming into this character. I would also like to give a shout-out to my rats Pinky and Brain for their first ever modeling gig. I am always stoked to follow through with a fun and quirky shoot like this because its such a walk in the park. I wish all shoots were like this….
I know i know…you have been dying to know how to draw another monster to adorn your homework. There is no exact steps when I draw mine. They just start to develop as I add features. So this little guy (lets name him Jerry) literally started as two circles and my brain didn’t have a clear picture of what he looked like until he was finished. He’s so cute. Look at his little shirt with a bitty tree on the front.
*sigh* I wish monsters were real (the cute squishy ones)
I love faces. I love how you can create a story just by seeing a face. Where have they been? Who are they? When I photograph people I want the image to be more than technically correct. I want expression to give more than that blank stare look we see so often on models faces.
Intrigue your viewers. Make them look twice or longer than two seconds.
Thank you to my lovely models (from top to bottom) Kaitlyn Hawkins, Thania Madere, and Nicolle Sims 🙂
I mean, I do enjoy film. It’s that day before Christmas feeling when you finally get your film developed in the dark room, and you are just about to unroll the spool. After an hour or so of technical agitation with the various darkroom mixtures in your canister of film, you pull off the negatives and hold them to the light. You pray they come out. In those few seconds of unspooling you think, “Shootshootshoot…did I use the right ISO on my phone light meter?! Damn you ISO 400 film!” You realize that digital cameras have spoiled you. As the light shines through the strip, you breathe a sigh of relief. YESSS! They are perfect (at least you tell yourself that because developing that one roll of film took forever).
And then comes the printing. There is really something magical about seeing your image come to life as you let the developer wash over the now exposed print. Then awe turns into a wee bit of frustration when you print that same print over and over to fine tune those dark room edits. But you power through and find the perfect time of exposure and contrast, and you define what areas to doge and burn. You print a few more of that perfect image. YES, IM SUCH A PHOTOGRAPHER. Fist pump.
One down. A million more to go. Yay.
Thank God for scanners. Having all of my negatives in one organized file on my harddrive? Yes please.
You can follow these beautiful models on instagram at adreamdiffered and kayhawks13.
Nicole (the one with the crazy stick bra) is a great friend and fellow photographer. Her photographs are gorgeous! You can check out her site here http://nicolecanegata.com/
If you want to see how film is really done, please make your way to
Okay. So Bailey is not wild, at least not personality wise. In fact, she is the exact opposite. She is very collected and mature (much more mature than most people my age!), and I was so intrigued at how a twelve year old could have so much ambition. I think this confidence and sense of being really translated into her images. I have worked with so many models who have moments of being unsure during, which is completely understandable. But to my surprise, this girl I met while working at the deli turns out to be one of the best (and most fun!) models to work with. It was so difficult to choose the photos to blog about!