Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trisha and Marlin

Thursday was just winding down the highly stressful week when I had an engagement shoot with Trisha and Marlin. Coupled with the beautiful weather, it couldn't have been more relaxing and fun. We gradually made our way to a nearby ball-field in search of tall grass (lol) and other such picturesque elements and just let it fly.

It was a privilege to shoot with them in more ways than one, as I found out later that they too are photographers as well as connected to an amazing high school experience of mine, which I will explain a little later.

Here are some favorites, starting with an experiment completely out of my typical "engagement style" that they were totally up for. Lol, I've always wanted to do a panorama and see how it would look with people. Then with a simple tutorial, put them in a "globe."


There are some amazing landscapes done in this fashion, should you want to see.

And on to the rest!









And now on to my favorite of the faves, not necessarily because of the composition, or the moment, but because of the significance behind the content. It's interesting how we came across this, because the connection unfolded right in the middle of our session.

Naturally, as a photographer, you're thinking of things that subjects may not think of...hair, clothing folds, flattering angles, or when girls forget to take hair-ties off their wrists. This particular time, I was looking through my viewfinder and noticed a green Livestrong-like band on Marlin's wrist and inquired whether they wanted to keep it in. When they took a moment to decide, it hit me.

My senior year in high school, I had the privilege of being a leader at a Prayer Conference in Florida, where academies in the surrounding states would travel for half a week and completely get lost in our oober-cool God. Group leaders would show up a day early for training as well as bonding/sharing/troubleshooting every night. This was when I met a fellow group leader, a college guy by the name of Brandon Moor; he was an assistant chaplain for one of the high schools. Naturally, being a good-looking college boy, he attracted a lot of attention from us high school girls, lol, but I was amazed at how much everyone was attracted to him. His character just exuded with God and he left no one out...not the socially awkward, the average or the self-appointed cool crowd; seriously, it seemed like everyone was his friend.

The last day, we were all laughing at the breakfast table and giving our goodbyes. I had a pillowcase that I would have tons of people sign (random, I know), but Brandon made it a point to make sure he got a chance to sign it. On our way out, he finally signed it:

The next day, the very day after I had hugged him goodbye, we were all devastated to hear that he had been killed in a car accident. What he stood for, lived and died for, even from what I observed in those three days, impacted me more than anything else in my life. I remember a paper they posted that he wrote, about why he wanted to work with people. He said he disagreed with the statement that nothing will pass between this earth and heaven; people will. That's why he had decided to dedicate his life to working with people, and that's a major reason why I'm going into youth ministry as well. He inspired me to continue being unashamed and I only hope to have the same impact as he did.

After his death, his school made Livestrong-type bands in his favorite color: green, with "B.Moor" cleverly remembering him and challenging us at the same time.

So what does this have to do with anything?

Trisha happens to be his little sister. It is the biggest honor and privilege to have a small part in Trisha and Marlin's union. It touched me deeply to see them include Brandon in this special chapter of their lives.

God bless your marriage! Here's to the days ahead...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

#15 Check!

Ever since the Washed Away film shoot (then called "The Accident"), my former boss and now friend and fellow photographer, Wes Hall, had tied the coolest thing on-set called a monkey's fist. So, naturally, this would be on my bucket-list.

And I've been after him for almost a year now to teach me how to tie it. One random night, he happened to be there for a crew-meeting for a shoot that we found out we were both working on and launched into catching up, INCLUDING an awesome lesson in monkey-fist tying :)

Granted, it's the size of my pinky...but it's done. So bam...Check it!


Thanks to Matt Taylor for the use of his D90 and converting/e-mailing, Ledford for the use of its lens and Wes for his rope :-P

Monday, March 8, 2010

#54 - Check!

With about a 5 hour layover in Ft. Lauderdale on my way back from Mexico, I contemplated whether or not I'd actually get some sleep or how many times I'd read and reread my photography magazines. Deciding I wouldn't be necessarily fruitful in either choice, I made one huge airport splurge and got Jodi Picoult's latest book, House Rules. In hardcover. ooOOo. This would complete #54 on my bucketlist for this year, and for those who are wondering, lol, yes I plan on living past this year. For some reason I just call it my bucket-list because I REALLY really wanna accomplish those things. Life 'n death.

This would be the fifth book in our long-term, future relationship:


It was good, though not my favorite of the ones I've read. It's probably because I'm always comparing her books to the first one I ever read of hers, Nineteen Minutes. To date, I haven't read anything of hers that tops that one. I want every high schooler to read that, it's absolutely insane. I had to take breaks because it got so psychologically and emotionally intense. Yes it's that good, and yes, even if it wasn't AS good, this one was intense as well. She has a gift for finding places of weakness/tension and completely exploiting it to make you feel like you've been punched in the gut. Sounds awesome doesn't it?

Highly recommended author, and if you haven't read Nineteen Minutes. Highly recommended gut-punch.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mexico - Un Mirada pequeno

So here I am, a full week after Spring break and haven't gotten a thing up...They sure don't wait to smack you between the eyes with life when you come back, seriously right? But I figured I'd put my proverbial little foot down and get the Spring break preview up. Later, I will have albums on my Facebook up, but expect snapshots, lol. It's mainly for the students to see their pictures.

Spring break ended up being COMPLETELY different than I imagined, and honestly much better :) I had some foggy plans with friends that just kinda fell through. So I figured I'd just go home, like always. That's when the parents said, "Um...we'll be across the country. You said you had plans with your friends." Woops. So I started planning my solo-lame spring break, deciding to make the rounds on some friends' houses and calling them up to ask if I could crash their place for a couple days. That's when I got a text from my mom: "Hey, you want to come to Mexico?"

Random. Lol, but totally awesome. SO wish I could say the same for the trip there. Never fly Spirit Airlines, just sayin'...there's a reason you've never heard of 'em. Ask me if you're curious and willing to hear a rant about a 4 a.m. mile-walk.


Chetumal is on the Yucatan Peninsula, about 4 hours south of Cancun. ^^ This was on my way there. I've flown in a plane plenty of times, but I've never seen the clouds like this before...if I were completely nerdy, I could tell you exactly what it meant...but since I'm only partly smart like that, I just figured it was some sort of cold/warm front.

The accommodations were amazing at the Hacienda Campestre, and a later trip to Lago Bacalar ("The Lake of Seven Colors"...a fresh-water DREAM).


But the real reason I was there was (awesomely enough) to be a video/photographer. The whole point of myself flying down there was for a mission trip that my old high school was taking, my mother being one of the faculty chaperones.

Share Him is a global evangelism organization that usually travels with the likes of college groups, but for the first time, high school students were taking the reins and preaching at 15 different churches, while 5 other groups of students rotated with children's ministries. They did a phenomenal job in the short amount of time I saw them in action, and their excitement with the results was crazy-refreshing to hear.

They began with worship in the mornings and then split off into their respective meetings: Pastors and VBS/Children's Ministries. They prepared as a group and then broke off to prepare for that night, whether it was a sermon or manly tasks ;-P


As cool as it was to see them prepare and be excited afterwards, seeing them in action was far beyond cool. I only got to see an average of 3 a night, since I was only there 4 days, but you can see the variety of churches they ministered to.


Churches copy

Besides the awesome locations, I got to know some awesome kids there too. Love 'em to death, and there were a couple girls that I convinced to help me practice utilizing locations.

In a lot of my portraits, I tend to close the gap between the camera and subject, making them pop more, but also completely blurring out the background. Well, in the future, say at a wedding I happen to be shooting on June 7 (Woohoo, Tim and Alisha!), if I should be shooting at the Chestnut Hill Estate on the Ocoee, I'd like to be prepared to capture moments, but also the completely fairytale surroundings :).

So I stole away a couple of the high school beauties and we had a couple little shoots. Here are some of my favorites of Brittany and Iyana. Keep a number in mind and vote for your fave at the top! [Poll is now closed, thank-you for voting! Results in brackets]

1. [2 votes, 2nd place]
DSC_0136 branded

DSC_0030 branded

3. [1 vote, tied for 3rd]
DSC_0381 Branded

4. [1 vote, tied for 3rd]
DSC_0132 Branded

Inevitably, in an airport, I get photography magazines, and American Photo had a spread about senior portraits. One of them was cross-processed with a lightly-textured background...so even if this one is punched in closer, it was an experiment :)

5. [3 votes, tied for 1st]
DSC_0041 - Branded

And I don't know what it is about this one...I think it was the white pavement behind me that put a cool reflection in her eyes, but I think this is one of my favorites :)

6. [3 votes, tied for 1st]
DSC_0040 - Branded

Friday, March 5, 2010

#48 - Photocontest entered!

#48 on my bucket-list: Enter a photo contest.

Let me preface this to say that I have no clue if I'll even be a blip on the radar, but again the number on my list mentions ENTERING a contest...lol, not winning one. So here I am, stuck in the middle of my travels coming home from Mexico. Always always always, I splurge when I'm in an airport (have you seen those prices?? How can you get a candy bar and NOT be splurging??). And I get a photography magazine (or two). I consider it my traveling treat, since I usually don't have time to read zines when school's in session.

So I'm reading American Photo, and I come across an ad for The Look of Love Contest , so I figured I'd go for it and just see how it all worked. Visit the site, there are some pretty cool shots people have already entered.

I picked the Ex-Bachelor's Salute from Kaylin and Jason's wedding to enter into the "Couples portrait" category. Yes, I like the "Thinkin' of you" one better, but it doesn't show a wedding band. And I also like other ones I've taken of just the two of them...but none of them really stood out to me as something being different or original. So I just took a leap.

The contest ends April 5, and winners will have their photo published in American Photo. Prizes also come from the likes of LensBaby, Kubota, Goboda and more. But I remind myself that the goal was to just enter a contest.

So enter I did. And there ya go, lol. #48, Check!

2/20th of #38, check!

So before I completely submerse myself in getting Mexico pictures up, I should get a previous "check" out of the way. While I was waiting for my awesome brother to pick me up at 2 a.m. to take me to the Atlanta airport, I watched one of the classics on my bucket-list: The Magnificent Seven! Lol, gotta love them cowboys, and of course it was great to see Steve McQueen again...watched The Great Escape ages ago with my dad. Yul Brynner was brilliant as well.

The relaxed gunslingers are hired to protect a poor Mexican village from Banditos. Quite good.

Some fun facts, courtesy of IMDB.com:

~ Yul Brynner was married on the set; the celebration used many of the same props as the fiesta scene.

~ Yul Brynner was concerned to make sure he always appeared substantially taller than Steve McQueen, to the point of making a little mound of earth and standing on it in all their shots together. McQueen, for his part, casually kicked at the mound every time he passed by it.

~ Pay close attention to Eli Wallach whenever he handles his gun. Whenever he puts the gun back into his holster, he always looks down at it. That was because Wallach wasn't used to drawing the weapon and didn't want to look foolish by missing the holster while putting his gun back.

~ Composer John Williams was a member of the orchestra that recorded Elmer Bernstein's score; he played the piano.

~ According to Eli Wallach's autobiography, Yul Brynner had a major problem with what he perceived as Steve McQueen's trying to upstage him. According to Wallach, McQueen would do things when on screen with Brynner to draw attention to his character.

Examples were his shaking of the shotgun shells and taking off his hat to check the sun during the hearse scene and leaning off his horse to dip his hat in the river when the Seven cross into Mexico. Brynner was supposedly so worried about McQueen stealing his limelight in scenes that he hired an assistant to count the number of times McQueen touched his own hat when he [Brynner] was speaking.

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