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 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 🙂
So I have my weeks. They are the weeks where I swear I have lost my mind. This week has been that kind of week. The to-do list becomes this evil thing looming over your head.
You have been there, haven’t you?
But then you have to remember why you have this list: you are creating opportunities. You create opportunities because you have the drive, and you know you have it in you to handle the responsibilities you put on yourself. You have it in you to take one thing at a time, and check off the to-do list like champ. And you know what? The list never ends! But that’s okay because you know what you can handle, what you can attack easily and what you can chip at until you can check it off the list. It’s all about keeping your cool, and knowing that some things are just out of your control. You do what you can, and hold fast to the motivation that gets you from point A to point B.
Thank you to my beautiful model Sophie Merkley! You rocked those sassy shades like no one’s business in that freezing water!
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!
Isn’t it funny to recall the way you thought a few years ago? The things that made sense to you, and the things you were so sure of; sometimes you look back and think “wow, I was so weird/ I was such an idiots sometimes.” But maybe you look back and you miss that mind. I miss my high school mind sometimes, because I took on challenges I created for myself with that “why not?” mindset. The photographer in me was obsessed. I asked everyone I knew to model for me. I would have them come over after school, and then I would do their makeup and dress them in clothes I splurged on at the salvation army (40% off Wednesdays whooop!). I craved the bizarre. The more out-of-the-box the better. Art for art’s sake, and art because I loved it.
Then you get to school and you learn the do’s and dont’s of photography. You learn wonderful things and you fall in love with light. You learn all the technical things you thought were once so out of your capacity for understanding. But you have to be so careful to not lose a once motivated mind. It’s still there, but it’s scared to come out because the last time you used it, you overexposed, you had uneven lighting, and you were out of focus. You realize you neglected that side of you to be correct. You need to be a perfectionist. I get it, you artist you.
But remember, you can only be so correct in the technical parts, and then you are just as good as the other people who have mastered the technical parts too. You only get better when you push your creativity further than technically correct. Sometimes your own guidelines are the most important. When you are finished with the school’s guidelines, do some shots for you. Even if it isn’t photography. Maybe it’s writing, cooking, decorating or building something. You know you more than I do. Didn’t you know you are still allowed to play? 🙂
I have always felt awkward photographing myself. The fear that someone would just tear apart the image, judging and analyzing the moment where I had exposed a piece of me; it kept me behind the camera where it was safe and comfortable. This semester I took a class that put a huge focus on conceptual thinking. I had to find that part of myself that fell in love with ideas and the challenge to express them. Our teacher brought to light the importance of being in touch with our identity, and understanding how to express our own unique view on life. Each self portraits becomes another page to our journal. As we grow, change, hit roadblocks, and push forward, the portraits will change. It is important to accept the skin you are in. You don’t have a choice. The more comfortable you become, the better hold you have on who you are and what you think. You need to reconnect with yourself once in a while, and that reassurance for yourself is essential to moving forward with confidence.