looking for light in tampa

the other day, sky went with me to see what the evening light would be like at a specific location. i knew it got dark there quickly because of all the trees and wasn't sure if 5:30 PM was going to be too late for my shoot the following week. sky is my muse. completely. and i can't get enough of her although i respectfully try [and always make sure to thank her...over and over again]. from our looking for light adventure...

sky is my free-spirited one.  the one who is, in many ways, my opposite.  she definitely completes me and oh, i love her so!!

thank you courtney courtney for the fabulous dress and owl cardigan.  we love them so!!

a hat, framed and your voice

hats can be short,and hats can be tall. you can wear them to the market, or you can wear them playin' ball.

some people wear their hats to block away the sun. some people wear their hats just because they think it's fun.

the pilgrims, they wore hats, and nurses do too. sombreros are a spanish hat, but that I bet you knew.

hats can be all colors, all shapes and sizes too. like a cowboy hat or a pirates hat in black or white or blue.

magicians use their hats to pull their rabbits from. and a sailor has his hat on when it's home from sea he comes.

there are hats for all occasions and many places too. last night we thought we'd model this hat for you. - author unknown

came across the above poem and couldn't help but share.  reminds me of dr. seuss, which we read nightly in this house and...last night, i asked sky if she'd let me take a few photos of her, to test out my new hat. (the poem will also be a perfect addition for my family's annual book.)  we didn't have a lot of time to shoot last night -- about 15 minutes in between sky and ryder's gymnastic start times and then about 10 minutes when we got home (until we had enough of being attacked by mosquitoes).

photos shot with lensbaby composer | double optic and nikon 50mm f/1.4G

also, i wanted to share this video series i just discovered and am totally diggin' -- [framed] show, by melissa niu. i watched ryan muirhead's [framed] video yesterday and i can't stop thinking about his closing words...

...find your own voice and the only way to do that is by working. you can't read up on it. you can't learn it. you can't absorb it from someone else. but if you're out there shooting constantly -- on good days, on bad days, when you're feeling creative, when you're not...carry a tiny camera with you everywhere you go. if you do that enough, your voice will find you. it's inevitable.

YES... your voice will find you.

thanks ryan for your ongoing inspiration and the reminder to keep shooting...through the good days and the funks!!

meant to be

you know how you feel that you're just meant to do something? well that's how i feel about shooting polaroid. i'm not sure i can explain it. but it nags at me. to keep going. to keep shooting. to keep investing. of course, i struggle with my brain and waiver at times but ultimately, i'm always brought back to this darn polaroid camera.

but it's not easy. nor reliable (especially if you purchase 600 film off ebay, which i don't recommend). and it's expensive. and that can be frustrating.

i'm trying to figure out a way to incorporate polaroid into my client session because i think they're magical. and therefore, i think i should. i have some definite ideas.

here's a few shots from yesterday that have now become up there with my all time fav photographs.

yes, i believe it's meant to be. and well...that's good enough for me.

and of course, i have the 'remember who you are' polaroid, which i will forever treasure. and is now hanging as a framed 20x20 print right above my desk. maybe i'll enlarge and frame a few others and have a wall of polaroids.

how my brain works

i was twittering yesterday about how i'm so inspired to shoot polaroid right now.  and proceeded to purchase packs of film for my treasured SX-70 polaroid camera.  i then emailed back and forth a with a friend about inspiration. my brain is usually a mile a minute. always has been. probably always will be, although now that i'm older, i find that if i don't write things down, i forget.  i guess that complicates things a big.  but it's the way i work. i'm usually thinking about 20 (or more) things at once. and my body usually follows suit. it often drives leah, who i talk to about five or so times a day, crazy because while we're so similar in so many ways, the way our brains work is so very different. i often flip-flop from topic to topic in one short conversation and she will usually tell me,

i'm not at that place to talk about that right now.

and so i've learned and now our conversations go more like this,

when you're at the place to talk about XYZ, we need to talk about that. we both laugh. she says okay and we later get around to talking about XYZ.

so with that rambling, let me get back to inspiration. i feel that inspiration filters in the same way my brain works and it is often overwhelming. i want to shoot polaroid. i want to try film. with this camera. and that camera. or maybe i should just start playing with my iphone camera more and see what i can create. i want to try this idea. and work on this series. and that idea too. and the list goes on and on. and on and on. to the point that i somewhat paralyze myself, my shooting and my inspired self.

i haven't quite figured out what to do about all this, except maybe writing down everything i want to do and try and am inspired by. and tackle it like i do my to-do lists. circle the priority or two on said inspiration list and commit to following through. i don't know if it will help but it's worth a try. focus my artistry as i am trying to focus my personal life and get things done.

or maybe just try yoga because i hear it's pretty awesome and it might calm my mind a bit. for the moment, the thought of yoga still scares me (that i can't calm my mind).

i know i'm not alone with this. if you struggle with similar or have thoughts on this, please share. i'd love to hear about it.

here's a polaroid of sky i took as we headed out the door to school yesterday.  definitely more polaroids in the near future.  i can't tell you how happy my heart is with that darn camera. one of these days, i'd love to incorporate polaroids into my client sessions.  i definitely have ideas regarding a polaroid add-on package.  just have to get comfortable with the new film that the impossible project is putting out. there's something magical about polaroid.

2010 | family

thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite photos of my kids from this past year.  it's crazy how much things have changed for our family in the past 12 months. also sharing the layout of my family book this year.  for those who are new to my blog, i do a family book every year (since 2006, my first year in photography).  each and every book is such a treasure -- proudly displayed front and center on the credenza in our living room.  i truly cherish these books!!

the only thing missing in the book is a photo of kiele, with her short hair.  must capture in the next few days.  thirteen is not the easiest to photograph...you know.  you can view a larger version here.

and then the storm blew in

celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in, the eagles soar while the small birds take cover.- author unknown

so we had this great idea today, to head to the beach...as a family. we hadn't done that yet here in florida. so we packed up the car and drove 40 minutes to this great beach. and there in the distance, we saw the storm clouds. what we didn't know is how fast the darn thing was moving. all of a sudden i hear...

i feel sprinkles. momma, i really feel sprinkles.

and poof. just like that, we were being poured on! steve was gathering up the kite. i was screaming for the kids to grab something and go.  of course, there was quite a walk from the beach to the car.  hands were full and we were moving as fast as we could.

so we went to the beach. for about 20 minutes. and drove home soaked for the next 40 minutes -- a family outing to remember, for sure. :-)

p.s. i have plans with this beach.  can't wait to go back.  all shot with lensbaby.  no time to change my lens...or really get my kids to cooperate.

remember who you are

emily -- a previous workshop attendee, a client, my friend -- inquired the other day about purchasing a remember who you are print.

me: of course. emily:  i'd like to order a 20x20 print. me:  really? emily:  of course.

i had never printed one of my polaroids 20x20 before but she had. she printed this one that i took of lulu, during their session a few months ago. and now, the two will hang side by side in her house. i so can't wait to see.

after i placed the order, i shared the story of the remember who you are polaroid with emily and thought it would be fun to share here too...

a few years back, i attended a mary ellen mark workshop in venice beach, calif. the weekend was beyond amazing. not only did i get to listen to mary ellen mark speak and have my portfolio reviewed by her, i got to each breakfast and dinner with her all weekend (we just happened to be staying in the same hotel). just she and i sharing. it really was a dream come true because she (and sally mann) have been huge inspirations for me, from the very beginning.

so...as i headed back to san diego in the pouring rain, i passed the remember who you are painted on a garage door in an alley. i drove by. stopped. and backed up to take the polaroid. as i drove away, i prayed that it was going to turn out (i have PLENTY of polaroids that have not).

i can't help but think it was all meant to be.  the polaroid is and always will be one of my favorite images ever.

both images courtesy of emily corey

i think i'll share a bit more about shooting polaroids tomorrow.  i've been getting emailed a lot of questions lately. believe me...i'm no expert but i'm always willing to share my personal experience.

ETA: i really am longing to own a mary ellen mark print.  and when i was looking through her work today, i came across this one. oh my. it's just fabulous. a print that i think i'll appreciate more and more and more over the years. :-) © mary ellen mark


today, i photographed ryder's kindergarten class, for a book i'm designing for their school auction (oct 23rd) class project.  next week is skyler's class.  i feel so blessed to be able to give back and contribute in this way. while i'd love to share more photos from this morning (i can't because of lack of model release), i share just a couple i captured of ryder.  man, is he tough these days.  i just happened to look over, when i was done photographing another child and i saw this, which melts my heart.  it lasted only a second and i feel so lucky to have captured it.

and then, this photo simply captures him and a bit of who he is at 5-years-old and in kindergarten.  he's a bit of a serious child.  yet as sweet and kind as can be.  and he dresses himself every morning and insists on wearing long socks.  they're always pulled up as far as he possibly can and many times, up to his knees.  he is who he is and i fully embrace every bit of it.

i so love what i do and am so darn grateful, i could scream.  as i've said before, i feel we are blessed with this gift to photograph...and i'm a firm believer in giving back whenever possible with this awesome gift we've been blessed with.  donating my time to school auctions is one of the ways i so love to give back.

how about you...what ways do you give back with the gift you've been blessed with?