I think children are fascinating. They are curious about everything and get into everything. At a very young age you don’t care about finding yourself and establishing your identity, which is something that seems so important as you get older. You just want to know the names of objects and why things work. Everything is simple when you are a kid because all you know is living in the moment.
I think it’s interesting that so many people believe photographing young children is difficult. You don’t have to tell them how to act because they don’t know how to be anyone but themselves. Everything you photograph is who they are, whether they are laughing, crying, shying away, or just contently sitting and ignoring you. Photographing family portraits is one thing, but capturing a personality is quite easy.
These are only a fraction of the images I took. My boyfriend’s nephew and niece are insanely adorable and full of expression. I sat on the floor for about 30 minutes with my camera watching them entertaining themselves with a box. Kids are crazy. And after photographing her kids all day I bet their mom thought I was a little crazy too…
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!
When I was in high school I wanted to shoot fashion. I suppose I had it in my head that I was a nifty thrifty trend setter who could bring a certain dramatic and quirky edge to fashion photography. I’d still consider myself thrifty (or cheap…), but I’ve long left the dreams of shooting tall models in long gorgeous dresses that would take me months of eating top ramen to buy. I quickly realized I was much more interested in capturing personalities and glimpses of a seemingly attainable happy lifestyles. Clothes are fun, people are better. But, there are times when merging fashion and lifestyle becomes seamless, and really communicates the feel you want. I’m infatuated with the relaxed Santa Barbara lifestyle, and that carefree feeling finds its way into my photography. Shoots like these remind me why I never want to leave.
I’m not gonna. Ever.
Thank you so much to my lovely model Alexis Ransom! She is a fellow photographer and you can follow her on instagram here: http://www.instagram24.com/aransom_photo
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….
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!
Variety is everything! Humans get bored. It’s what we do. If we see the same look over and over we eventually lose interest. Keep your viewers in mind when you shoot. How many personalities can you show in that short amount of time? You can’t just expect your model to conjure up all of the expressions you have in your head. You are the director! So where to get inspiration…?
Here are some boards I find to be inspiring when I need ideas for expression
The snippets of life: the moments that come and go so fast that we often pay them no attention. I have built a passion around capturing moments and surroundings and things that intrigue and inspire me. But I find myself forgetting the snippets. There are many times that I overlook something because I tell myself that it is boring. In that moment, I convince myself that some subjects are just “there”, and hold no place in creative thoughts. But time and time again, I find myself wishing that I documented these snippets, because I realize later on that they actually did intrigue me. They had the potential to be a cornerstone in a larger project, and I cannot easily revisit it. Moments are fleeting, and it is my job as a photographer to make them timeless. No one can tell you that images have to be planned, or that they have to have some sort of deep underlying meaning. Not even yourself. As artists, we have an obligation to ourselves to document life as it unfolds. This includes ideas, events, people and, of course, the snippets.
The snippets are what we see in the time between projects. They are the landmarks that lead us from point A to point B. Once we pass them, it is easy to forget them. Try not to forget them. Challenge yourself to give the small moments your full attention. Find the value in overlooked detail. If you allow the snippets to become these documented moments, you have opened a whole new range of possibilities.
I call this “Snippets of Sushi Time” which took place at Kai Sushi in Santa Barbara. Nom nom 🙂
You cannot fully understand the phrase “two peas in a pod” until you meet Matt and Tania. For as long as I have known them they have been attached at the hip. She makes him watch Teen Wolf (though secretly I think he enjoys it), and he makes her…accept and love him. And she does whole-heartedly. When they got engaged, I knew I was taking their engament photos. I wouldn’t take no for an answer. The day of the shoot I made them hike a little (sorry guys!), but they happily let me drag them around to different locations because they knew that I was excited for this shoot.
As I was organizing and editing through the images today, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. The whole shoot was unbelievably adorable. Capturing moments like these makes my heart so so happy!
A couple of months ago I reconnected with a friend I used to intern with. He is sarcastic, he is a videographer, and he has very majestic hair. My type of friend. He introduced me to a pal of his and we shot down by the beach. I’m starting to shoot more and more for myself. I can’t keep making blog posts about doing the things that make you happy and not follow my own advice.
I am excited about the direction I am taking with my photography and art. There is so much work I have yet to post! I am getting back into the groove and hopefully it stays that way!