May 31, 2010

Professional Goal

Thanks to a forwarded e-mail from R, I decided to enter a piece for the Nebraska Governor's Residence Exhibition. For the application, I needed to submit my resume, artist statement, and then five examples of my work. I included the actual piece as one of my five examples; these are the other four portfolio requirements:

"Broken"; Digital Photography; 2009

My work is based on my own photography. I get close to my subject and focus on details, such as the texture of wood. Whether a piece is oil or watercolor, the process for replicating the layers of wood by layering paint is tedious but enjoyable.

"Form"; Digital Photography; 2009

My work is based on my own photography. I get close to my subject and enjoy the abstract results. Form and color are the focus.

"Gazebo Roof"; Oil on Canvas; 2007

Although this painting is oil and not watercolor, so techniques are different, this work shows attention to detail. The texture of the wooden slats was due to multiple layers of paint with some blending.

"Stumped"; Watercolor and Pencil; 2009

This watercolor was commissioned by clients who liked a very similar piece based on the same photograph. The attention to detail is important, but the organic nature of the piece allows for differences from the original watercolor.

May 22, 2010

What makes me giddy:

A co-worker found these little treasures for me at a customer's estate sale. I love them! What a thoughtful gift. Charlotte knows I collect tea items; and she is of Danish heritage and thought these would be a perfect find for me.

I have been trying to do some research on these teabag caddies, but have not found anything yet. I would like to know the Danish stories/tale, and I think one is the Princess and the Pea. Regardless, as we are getting ready to move, it was a nice surprise and very meaningful present.

Now I know how Heather Armstrong feels when she receives gifts from readers and gets to showcase them on her
Daily Style.

May 11, 2010

Three generations

Three generations February 2009

Three generations May 2010

So I just had to post some pictures. This is partly a "progress" picture, seeing how I have improved from one year to the next; but mostly it is for sake of posterity. These three ladies are lucky to be able to be so close in proximity, and I think it is important to document "three generations" when possible. Each time was actually impromptu, and not a planned opportunity, and I am glad I made the suggestion each time.

Each time we were at our house, so the options for backgrounds were limited. However, this year I decided to look at our backyard and choose a less stale background than our house siding. We also were lucky for nicer weather and better lighting for the conditions.

When posting items and work on my Facebook page, I try to stay away from family, as I want to show what other clientele I have done work for--and hopefully spur other fans to consider hiring me. However, I chose to post the 2010 photo last week because 1) I did not want to post the two sorority photos before they had a chance to even see them and 2) it is great for family to be able to see the work, whether it is the subjects of the portraits, or extended family who stay connected on Facebook.


Oh no, have I really only posted twice so far in May?

Here's a quick update (though picture-less):

  • I am still hard at work at my job search.
  • We will be moving in the middle of June, and I am excited to decorate the townhouse and make it our home for the next four years (AND completely organize it! Right?!).
  • I have a couple of freelance jobs I am finishing, one I am starting on, and a personal project I hope to finish by the end of the month.
  • Summer is starting, and for the first time in two years that will affect me, as Ben will be starting Dental School in August. That means it really feels like we have a busy summer and goals to meet before school starts. Also, that means shopping for new socks and underwear! ;)

May 5, 2010

Showing Improvement

Taking this group's photographs was odd, as it was many of the same girls as the year before, and they wore the same outfits (Black sorority polo, pink undershirts, and jeans). The similarities ended there.

2009: It was my first large group; I had not had experience in placing people, and in retrospect I did not do enough research to prepare myself. We took the pictures in the morning at the May Museum, and there was sun everywhere. It was hard to dodge the sunlight everywhere we went, and so during editing I did the best I could to fix the original problem of sun. I made the absolute huge mistake of placing the taller ladies in front; at the time, my reasoning was that if the taller individuals were lower, sitting or kneeling, there wouldn't be big gaps and it wouldn't look odd to have tall people standing and the shorter gals sitting. But of course, taller girls are proportionally bigger in general, so I ended up making the bigger girls in the foreground appear even bigger than the petite gals in the very, very back.

Tri Phi Sorority Spring 2009

Tri Phi Sorority Spring 2010

2010: I was smart enough to bring just three chairs to help with placement. When we booked the date, we did not know how many girls would actually be showing up. The number ended up being one less than the previous year, though it really didn't matter, as I had planned a better composition this year. I started by having the tallest girls sit in the chairs, then I built around that, having the more petite ladies on the outskirts of the group. Overall, this gave better movement. Having just the three chairs helped prevent the composition from being: lots of heads, and some heads with bodies in the front. The camera was shot down with a little bit more of an angle above the group, as opposed to a dead-on shot, so we didn't have any double chins. Also, the photos were taken around 5:15, in the shade, without light seeping through trees; and we still were able to have a nice but non-distracting background with some nature and a little bit of color. Who doesn't love brick?

May 3, 2010

May Museum--must be Laura!

Today was a busy day. The morning started out with a baptism of a dear friend's son and then I photographed two different Midland sororities. I was glad the weather cooperated, though there were a few sprinkles for the 2:00 appointment; and that was the group that had already postponed their shoot, due to scheduling conflicts within the sorority.

My experience over the last two years for photography has mainly been kids, families, and small groups of people, meaning generally less than five or six subjects. I have had limited experience with larger families. Therefore, attempting two large groups (on the same day, no less) was going to take some preparation, and so ever since I booked the sororities' shoots I did research online, checking out websites of other photographers and doing some general Google searches.

I will post more on the second sorority later this week, but the first group I photographed at the May Museum--a place I may overuse as a backdrop, but find it reliable as a location for variety, shade, and textures. The girls actually loved it, and continued commenting on what a great place it was for pictures during the hour we were there.

I could write quite a bit on my experience of the first shoot, but it is getting late, so I will keep it short: the first picture (above) turned out great except for the car and tools in the background. Depending on the sizes ordered, those details will be cropped; otherwise, Ben has been telling me what he finds on the internet about Photoshop CS5, which is supposed to have a cool new feature that will help with those problems of unwanted elements.

Also, Ben was a great help today; he loaded chairs into the car, helped me move the ladders I utilized at the May Museum and helped move the chairs around during the first shoot. I admittedly was a bit intimidated about taking on two group photoshoots in a row, so it helped to have the support, physically and emotionally. Plus, he gave me some good feedback once the shoot was done.