Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already 2014! Today, instead of reflecting back on this year, I’m looking ahead to new beginnings, more time with family and friends, exploring new opportunities, and going on more adventures! This past year was filled with so many amazing people and events, I have an awesome job where I am able to use my graphic design and photography skills, and I started my freelance photography business and had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful families and seniors. But it was also a very difficult year for my family and I as we watched my mom have to go through surgery and radiation treatment for breast cancer (she is now one year cancer free and we are so happy and thankful!!). I want to thank all of my family, friends, clients and colleagues for all of their encouragement and support this year for my family and I…without all of you I would not be where I am today! I’m looking forward to starting a fresh new year filled with happiness, good health, love, and joy, and I wish the same to all of you.
The above picture is of one of my good friends Eric who is currently serving in the army. He was home for Christmas this past week and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend an afternoon with him snow tubing and getting dinner. I’m so proud of him, and I’m thankful to everyone who is out there working to protect our country every day.
I had such a fun Christmas with my family this year! All of my cousins are getting to be so grown up, and I always love catching up with everyone. I came up with the idea of a family “photo booth” because I wanted to find a way to bring everyone together for pictures and make some really fun memories at the same time…And it was a huge hit!! Everyone really got into it and had a blast…and now we have some awesome pics to remember it by!
The set up…
Recently my uncle built a backdrop stand for me which worked perfectly for this! It’s made out of PVC pipes and has holes drilled into the two top polls (which fit inside the bottom two polls) so the height is adjustable. The width is also adjustable as it has an extra pipe that can be added or removed.
I used clips to hold a large white throw blanket for the backdrop, and found some adorable felt letters and sparkly garland and a star ornament at Target to add some pop! The hats and sunglasses were also found at Target in the dollar section.
I used a Canon T2i on a tripod with a flash attached, and bounced the light off of the ceiling. I set the camera on ISO 400, the F-Stop on 5.6 (Aperture Priority), and the flash set on manual at 1/2 power.
This photo booth was really easy to put together and now we have memories that will last a lifetime! Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
This past month I started something I’ve nicknamed “The Presence Project.” After graduating one year ago this week, I’ve gained so many amazing experiences and met a ton of awesome people! But sometimes, I’ve found myself focusing so much on what’s ahead, that I don’t always remember to enjoy the journey along way, so I decided to try some yoga classes to help me focus on living more in the moment…and it really helped! It got me thinking about what other people in my generation are doing to be more present, and it inspired me to start a photography project around the idea. I recruited several good friends, former classmates, and colleagues as models, and I have been photographing each of them doing something they love that helps them to live in the moment. For some people it is as simple as chatting with friends over coffee, and for others it is something more unique like taking improv classes. Every model has a story to tell and one of the best things about this project is getting to know another side of each person! So far it has been such an inspiring experience!
The first model I photographed was one of my best friends, Emily. We have been friends since 8th grade when we were paired together in science class for the “egg drop” project, where we had to design a structure that would keep an egg from breaking after being dropped out of a window (and yes our egg structure worked great!). Emily has been one of my biggest supporters while working on my photography and design through college, and we always have a blast together! When I asked her to be a part of the project, she decided that she wanted me to photograph her while we chatted over coffee at Starbucks…one of our favorite places to just relax and catch up. Although this seemed so simple, the point of the project was to catch each model doing something that brought them into the present, which meant they couldn’t be focusing on me photographing them or it would contradict the whole idea…and when you are sitting in front of someone in a coffee shop trying to photograph them, it kind of makes it difficult for them to focus on anything else. Photographing Em being present in the moment at Starbucks was not an easy task, but once we started gabbing, I was able to sneak in a few candid shots. The photo above is just one candid from the shoot, Emily’s final shot for the series won’t be revealed until the end of the project.
I’m still thinking of a better name for the project…but for now it will stay The Presence Project.