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…
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!
I suppose for many photographers, people become a canvas. The expressions and actions they direct are the movements of their own sort of “paintbrush.” But sometimes, when I’m feelin a little artsy, I literally make my models a canvas. Why not dig out the paint and do something unexpected? I love having a blank canvas in front of me. Sure, its process to the finished image, but no one says you can’t have fun with it. Paint some eyeballs, some lips, maybe a tree…anything! It’s your project!
As always, my lovely model Audrey Mangiameli doing her thang! Whipping that hair! 🙂
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 🙂
I feel like I talk about brains a lot. I can’t help it. There is so much going on in my noggin that I have the constant urge to spew back out all the thoughts that trickle their way in. Sometimes its in the form of some artsy thing, and other times its here, so that people I don’t know can read all about it and contemplate my sanity. Im kidding…I think.
So again, back to brains.
You should really, if you already haven’t, become best friends with your brain. BFF’s in fact. I’m serious about the forever part, there is no changing out the workings of your noggin. Sorry. The way I see it, the more you embrace your ideas and the way your mind works, the better. We all have parts we want to fix. Your brain is that one friend that has no filter, says outrageous things and sometimes suggests the most idiotic ideas, and you find it in your heart to love them. “Hey, lets get a Wendy’s frostie and fries for dinner!” “Not today Brain.” You have had this conversation. Don’t lie. But sometimes, your brain says “Hey, you should paint till 4 in the morning as you eat peanutbutter sandwiches and listen to Disney songs” and you think hey, that’s not a bad idea. Love your brain for all of its loose nuts and bolts.
I have found that my work has changed dramatically once I started to follow through with ideas I once deemed too weird. I guess they are still weird, but they are definitely more me. Befriending your brain helps you appreciate the thoughts that find their way in. Giving time to thoughts can lead to enlightenments and overall good feels.
I want to capture confidence. There is no other feeling like knowing where your feet stand and in what direction you look towards. We are humans, and we have moments where we have no idea what path we are on, or even if we are on a path at all. I have been there and so have you. But you can keep venturing on until you figure it out. During your journey, through it’s ups and downs, you may discover something about yourself. I found that if I clean my whole office (organizing, redecorating and clorox wiping EVERYTHING) I get into this creative zone where I feel like I can tackle any idea. I keep learning things about myself and finding different sources of inspiration. When I finally decide I have found a path to follow, the things I learned when I was struggling a bit made me more confident to take on this new journey.
I always feel there is not enough time in the day. The amount of things I want to accomplish greatly surpasses the time I have to do them. I feel like moments are slipping through my fingers. People say college is a time to cherish, and this makes me anxious because it is hard for me to balance the time with friends with the time I need for myself. You create memories and relationships with the people you become close to, and you find yourself and build on who you are. I am not ready to leave this place, but time keeps ticking and soon I will inevitably move on to the next chapter in my life. It’s bittersweet.
Recently time has become a friend to my photography. Long exposures allow you to transform multiple moments into one tangible image. No moment is the same. It is a beautiful experiment.
I go through phases where I really miss home. There are moments where I’m like, “What are you doing Lex?! Don’t you miss snuggling with your dog and being with your awesome (and insane) family?…BANANA BREAD LEX GO HOMEEE!” And so I pick up the phone, call my mom, and go “yo, I’m coming home.”
Every time I come home I feel like my siblings grow up SO MUCH! What is this?? WHY DO YOU HAVE FACIAL HAIR?! Aren’t you supposed to be 13? No, Zeno is 16, and my younger sister Oni is 15. I hardly have to pack clothes to go home because we are the same size. Time flies when you are off at school chasing a dream, and you forget that the life you left at home doesn’t wait for you. So last weekend was a catch-up period. I needed to make time stop for a moment, so what did I do? I made Oni and Zeno model for me. Not that they needed much convincing, seeing as they are obviously comfortable in their own skin. A couple of handsome buggers. I love em so much 🙂
My blog posting needs to be less sporadic. Trying to organize an artist’s mind is fruitless. Too many ideas and too little time to sort them. But hey! A new post yay! (finally…) In my Creative Digital Imaging class our assignment was to create five black and white images cropped into squares. They didn’t have to be cohesive, but I took this as an opportunity to create some images that really encompassed my love for bizarre things. I think it’s important to push the limits of your creativity, as weird as the work may be. When you are not afraid to create art, you let go of that impulse to edit your work, and the art really become something that is entirely your own. I approached this project with the phrase “I am at home…” Some people say that they are more at home in the water than they are on land (think swimmers, surfers…). But the overarching idea is that everyone has a place they feel most home at, and it does not necessarily need to be a house. Personally, I am torn between my little art room and Costco (especially during PRIME sample time mmmm). Your home, your sanctuary, and your place of peace; they are very important. They are essential for artists.
My model Lauren Spooner was such a trooper. Even with the small window of time to shoot, the waves we had to fight through, and all of the props she had to work with, she was incredible. At one point we lost the mug. But then we found it. And by that I mean she had to dive underwater and get it. I was hoping to get some actual portrait shots of her, but we ran out of time 😦 So expect those portraits at some point in the future posts!
I love photographing Audrey. We went to the same high school, but never really knew each other. One day I saw on Facebook she moved to Santa Barbara, and I asked her to model for an assignment. She has been one of my closest friends ever since, and she is always saving my ass when I need a model ASAP. The best thing about having Audrey model is that she has so many expressions. My favorite is when she models with this sort of quirky, awkward beauty. She is one of the least vain people I know (and she definitely has her funny awkward moments!), so It captures her perfectly.