When my friend Sarah asked me to take pictures of her baby after she’s born, I knew that I wanted to take some maternity shots of her. We only had half an hour before sunset, which means we were rushing around the park getting as many photos as we could. Sarah has been a good friend of mine for the past couple of years. It’s like we were cut from the same cloth. I am honored to photograph her and her beautiful daughter Moira, and the little bundle of joy on her way into this crazy, beautiful world.
Well, my dream of my blog post last night failed to go viral. *le sigh*. BTW, I complain a lot and I can be a taaaddd dramatic at times. My husband is a trooper, and just sort of rolls his eyes, takes a deep breath and walks out of the room. So you can imagine how silent its been around the house since I’ve been sick. In fact, he went camping for the weekend I’m pretty sure to run-a-way from me. I’m just kidding, I pushed him out of the house so he wouldn’t hear me cry and have a pity-party for myself about twice a day. I’m not kidding. I have been that sick that I’ve been acting out like a five year old.
With that said, I wanted to talk about photography again and take my mind off of the fact that I haven’t stopped coughing in over a week. I told you. Complainer. Actually, I want to talk about a subject that I’m not sure how to feel about. When is it appropriate to take a photo, and when is it not? When we visited Peru in 2013, we were strolling through the streets of Cuzco, when a funeral parade came by. Instantly my photographer instincts kicked in and I took this photo of a mourning daughter who just lost her dad. Oh, sorry for the graininess, this photo has been through a few transfers. Anyway, as the photo was snapped, I started to wonder if that was the pono (right) thing to do. An answer so many photojournalists have to ask themselves every time that they are out on assignment. How involved and emotional do they get? If need to step in to help, would they do that, or do they get the shot instead? It’s something that I struggle with every time that I go out to shoot. Especially while traveling.
So my questions are these:
Where do you draw the line between spectator and photographer
If there is an emergency situation, would you help or photograph the person(s) being helped. I can’t help think about 9/11. The photos that were taken were necessary to bring us the images that will haunt us forever. But what did the photographer do to help? Did he/ she?
Is it disrespectful to take a photo of someone’s grief?
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. Also, this is a little sneaky way to get more people to respond to my posts. Vanity. Yeah. I’m a catch.
Is anyone still up with me? I’ve been sick all week, and still am having a hard time not feeling 100% yet. That makes it very difficult for me to actually fall asleep. Even after two Melatonin, I toss and turn trying not to cough up a lung. So here I sit, on my website, for the millionth time trying to get it perfect. The problem with “perfect” for an artist is that there is no perfect. Only perfectionism that seems to take control of our lives in the most untimely moments. I have been working on this site now for the past two weeks to get it looking “perfect”. Yet, I just can’t seem to make all of the pieces fit together just the way I want them too. But I am contemplating of letting the stress of perfectionist dictate to me how perfect I should be. I know that we all do it. We put unreasonable goals in front of us that just make us fret over why we didn’t accomplish them.
I have a friend of mine who I absolutely look up to. You can check out here site at: here. She’s smart, funny, extremely open, and writes like a comic champ. She also is so successful on her blog that she gets companies to send her free things so that she can do a write up on their products. Plus she has a million followers (well, that’s not true, but she has A LOT). Honestly, I have a little bit of blog envy. And that perfection starts to come out, and a little bit of my competitive nature. I wonder to myself as I try to fall asleep at night, ‘I wonder how many hits I have now? Should I go check?’. It’s all a little maniacal. Just by looking at Katie below you get a pretty good idea who she is; fresh, inspiring, courageous and self-admittedly a little judgemental. Which is what makes her real. How often do you find a friend like that? So I guess I shouldn’t want her dead then. That would be wrong just because I’m a selfish, envious and self-judging, and also very judgemental woman. I will let her live along with her fantastic blog site. I mean, it’s amazing and you need to check it out. Then like my posts. Then follow me too.
Disclaimer: By the way, this blog from time to time is going to divert away from photography. Especially, when I have insomnia. It takes me forever to write it because of the Melatonin, and often I’ll sit in silence for a few minutes trying to remember what I was going to say. You could say that I’m a bit of….there it goes again. Off like a unicorn farting to the stars.
With all of that said, I’m going to bid you au revoir (that’s French you know) 😛 and try again to get some zzz’s. Night to anyone who has taken the time to read this long piece. I have no idea what it’s about myself. Good on you for making the effort!
What is it about newborn babies that make just about every woman squeal with delight? Coming from a mother of zero, I can tell you what makes me squeal. This may seem a bit harsh, but I like it when they’re asleep. Now wait! You’re thinking what a horrible monster I am right? Why don’t you let me finish and I can explain myself (how many times have we all said that?). I love it when they are asleep because they are in zen baby mode. I think that they are having these wonderfully beautiful dreams that no adult can experience. I think that they are dreaming of some far-a-way land where they came from and are eager to get back. My theory is that is why they cry when they wake up. Reality sinks in and they’re back to a strange new world with lots of outside noises. I also really love sleeping babies because honestly, that’s the best time to photograph them. When they are quiet and asleep, far away from this world. Just look at Spencer below. He is the sweetest angel which makes this one of my favorite photos I have taken.
In general I just love kids. They are fun, full of life, and never really have to think about the mundane things in life that we adults do. Wouldn’t it be nice to travel back to the day’s of being a kid just for a week to experience the wonderment all over. Maybe we wouldn’t take our lives so seriously then. I digress. Look at Aedan here, only about a week old when he got his first of several glamor shots. Aedan, now seven years old, is one of the sweetest boys that you will ever meet. And brave! He already surfs and skateboards with his grandpa. Children are just beautiful angels, and while I don’t have any of my own, I make a really good aunt and baby sitter.
Recently, I broke down and finally bought a new camera. I had been searching and thinking about it for over a year. When I heard mirrorless cameras were the new “it” technology”, I figured I’d give it some time to see how it upholds on shoots and go from there. One day I did a google search for the best travel cameras. Upon our decision to go abroad again, I wanted to make sure that the camera I took with wasn’t a point-and-shoot with limited zoom range, or a big heavy professional camera that would give me a neck pain as well as a hunched back. Then, as I was researching, a ghost of sorts came up from the mists and caught my eye. The Fuji X T-10. It took me by surprise because it was the exact one that I talk about in this blog about how I learned to shoot on my dad’s camera. I did research on the camera, and was impressed. I even went down to Best Buy to take a look at it up close, and feel in love with it. The features while impressive, was not the reason why I bought the camera, but to honor the legacy of my father. I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am to own this camera. Not out of vanity, or materialism, but because I feel that every time I go out on a shoot now, my dad is with me. And that’s a pretty amazing feeling.
I wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog today. In fact, if I could give each of you a high-five, I would. Consider this your virtual high-five. I wanted to introduce myself and my work to you, in hopes that we can get to know each other better over the course of our time together. I’m going to leave out the boring part of the introduction, because I wrote about it here. If you’re so inclined you can check it out.
I have been photographing since I was ten years old. As I started to get older, I got more involved in media production, with an emphasis on photography. As a matter of fact, I took a photography class in high school and received a certificate. Back then we only had 35mm camera’s to shoot with, and I learned how to work in a dark room. Here are some never seen before photos of my photography class in high school.
I should have taken that certificate and pursued my dream of becoming a photographer for National Geographic. Instead, I wound up working in the corporate world, and put my photography aside. Shameful, I know. Instead of blossoming into a world renowned photographer, I was pushing escrow papers across my desk for ten years, and other as equally boring office jobs since then. One day, I decided it was time to get back into photography. I started small with a Canon Elf that my husband bought me, and took photos of the flora and fauna here in Hawaii. I’d pack up my car and drive down to the local art fair to sell my photos. Remarkably, people bought them. I started to become impassioned yet again with my first love. Soon after that my husband bought me my first DSLR. Now I started shooting weddings, engagements, and family photos of my close friends without charge. But it wasn’t too long after that I realized I could make a living off of something that I love almost as much as my pioneer and our cat.
Most of my photography when I first started, wasn’t really that great. Average at best. Let me tell you one thing, it’s not the camera brand, size, or whether it’s a point and shoot, or a professional camera; if you develop an eye you can shoot anything beautifully. My husband has a great eye and shoots on his iPhone. His pictures are amazing. If anyone ever criticizes you, remember it’s them not you. If you’re really passionate about photography, or anything for that matter, you can develop your skills just by making the effort to learn and to practice. In fact, I’m going to recommend some books that really helped me in the beginning. I still reference them, especially since I haven’t been shooting for awhile now.
Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 1
Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 2
Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 3
Scott is point on breaking down and simplifying how to shoot like a pro, even if you’re not. His chapters are also very funny and easy to read. I learned a lot of his techniques and have taken them out in the field on several occasions. If you are interested in learning more about photography, I highly recommend this book series to anyone, from beginner to pro.
Boy, I have a tenancy to talk a lot don’t I? Let me conclude that you can do anything with your life. If working in an office is your passion than God bless you. If you want to pursue something different, you have to find your passion and go with it. Too many years have a struggled with this small fact. My dad taught me a lot, but he was very practical. I worked in an office because I wanted to make him proud of me, even after he died. I realized though a week ago, that the only person I need to prove anything to is myself. You only live once, so make it worth it.
I’ve always have been a gypsy of sorts. In fact, my husband and I are well known as the gypsy and the pioneer. We both love exploring the world, and seeing the wonderment’s of the world. After we got our passports in 2009 we bought our first ticket’s out of the country to Thailand. Well, wait…I did live in Sweden and had a passport, but I was only six years old. Since that time, I hadn’t been abroad. We had traveled most of the United States, and found beauty in every state we visited. From the lobster on the east coast, to the Rockies on the west. Nothing prepared us though for what was waiting for us in Thailand. It was like waking up in a dream, and seeing the world with fresh new eyes. We took in every aspect of the culture, food, and the generosity of people. On that trip we also visited Cambodia. There we were humbled by the atrocities of the world, yet taken in again by the culture, beauty and the kindness of the people.
Soon after that we started our next series of travels to Sweden to visit my family in twenty-six years, and Peru. Now as we begin to embark on our next part of our global travels, we are experiencing the marvels that lay ahead for us. At the time of this blog, we aren’t releasing our travel destination quite yet, as we are still waiting on our tickets. But I can tell you, it’s going to be yet another exciting trip for the gypsy and the pioneer.