song credit: no cars go (cover), maxence cyrin
This shoot is near and dear to my heart for many reasons.. Roman and Christina are two dear friends of mine, so naturally I was beyond excited when they asked me to photograph their wedding. These two have been friends for years, I remember just early last year hanging out with them and wondering if or when they’d get together! They also went out on a limb and took a chance with me, and let me shoot all film! So this was my very first all film session and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I’m heading out for Sacramento this afternoon, to shoot their big day this weekend.. So I figured it’d only be fitting to save the blog post for today!
song credit: blue buildings, aunt martha.
I love these two. Love them. And this is the ideal dream of how I’d like each of my shoots to go, and each relationship with each of my clients.. Mary is a fellow photographer who I admire greatly, I was so honored she asked me to shoot her and Matt. We met officially for the first time a few minutes prior to the shoot, but by the end of the day we grabbed dinner and talked for hours – they quickly became two of my favorite people! I think I’d like to make it mandatory for each client to become my bff’s after the shoot. That’s reasonable, right?
song credit: phosphorescent, nothing was stolen.
Chad & Jess, to me, exude the definition of joyfulness. They are so laid back, and fun.. So I wanted our time together to be just that! I love going on “dates” with my couples, pretending to be paparazzi, directing them in little ways here and there, but also just having fun and capturing the moments as they play out. Their laughs are infectious, and despite the fact that it was, like, 50 degrees (which for a Californian like myself means practically freezing!) we had a blast. They both recently moved to Seattle, but I do plan on going up there to visit, and shoot them later this year! I’ll be announcing those dates – if any of you Seattle or Washington residents are interested in booking a shoot! Shoot me an email via the contact form , or just keep up to date by following the facebook page if you’d like to stay in the loop!
In case you missed the Part 1 review earlier this week, Film Is Not Dead (aka: FIND) is a workshop I had the extreme privilege to attend last month. I wrote a more in depth review and explanation in the last blog post, here. These are all shot on a Contax 645, with a variety of Portra 400 & 160, and Fuji Pro 400h. Developed & scanned by the amazing FIND lab!
[PART ONE] A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Film Is Not Dead workshop..
FIRST, the reason:
About three or so years ago, I was still new to photography and figuring out who I am as a photographer, and what I like.. I found myself instantly drawn to photographers like Jose Villa, Elizabeth Messina, and Jill Thomas.. They had this soft, creamy and natural warmth that I just love. I spent so much time researching the photographers who achieved this look that I loved so much.. And they all had one thing in common: film. I even emailed all of them to make sure; they did. (Thanks to Jill Thomas, who introduced me to the FIND community in the first place, two and a half years ago!) At that time shooting film seemed untouchable, a skill that a youngin’ like me could never master.. So I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to make my images look like film.. While secretly toying with the idea of attempting to learn for a long time, yet doing nothing about it.
Well, a lot changed two years ago. I was diagnosed with cancer just two weeks before launching S’Wonderful Photography (or, two weeks before I planned on launching it). So I spent the next ten months in and out of the hospital, on isolation and bed rest. It was a really bittersweet growing time that taught me a lot about who I am as a person.. I learned where my hope lies, I learned why I breathe each breath, why I click the shutter, and why I feel like portrait photography is something I know I’m meant to do. I’ve written a little bit about my rhyme & reason on this post, which you’re welcome to read if you’re interested. But not only that, I was able to use that time to learn and study photography more in depth, and my skill improved greatly in that time. I don’t believe in wasting time anymore. And I also don’t believe in being afraid to pursue your dreams, what do we have to be afraid of? So with that said, I saved my pennies over time and dove head first. And my only regret is not attending the FIND workshop, or starting to shoot film sooner.
Like I said, my only regret is not going sooner. In case you’re not aware of FIND (or, Film Is Not Dead), it’s a workshop and community dedicated to helping photographers grow in their knowledge and confidence of shooting film. And when I say film, I don’t mean video. I mean non-digital, analogue photography. The art of composing an image with great care, purpose and thought, without the instant gratification of seeing the photo immediately on the back of the screen. This workshop completely blew my mind in the best possible way. I feel like it helped me sort of break down and then build back up again, the right way. I have so much to learn and what I love about photography (and life in general) is you never stop learning.. So not only did this help me to grow in my knowledge of shooting film, but it helped me to grow tremendously as a photographer in general. Jon is a natural teacher, something that stood out to me is how much he loves life and his family.. And seeing that love, reminds me why I do what I do.. And only made me feel more empowered to go out and capture people in their best light. Not only was this an amazing workshop, but when you attend FIND you’re signing up for more than a great three days of learning – you’re signing up for a community and a support system.
So, here is my part one of the workshop! All of these were shot on a mixture of Portra 400 & 160, with maybe a few shots of Fuji 400h in there as well. Shot on a Contax 645, and developed & scanned by the amazing FIND lab!
You can view part two, here.
I first met Erika in the eighth grade. I had transferred into a new school in the middle of the year, I didn’t know anyone and I desperately wanted to make a good impression! Erika was in my second period english class and I remember thinking, “Who will my new friends be? She’s pretty. She’ll do!” Fast forward eight, much less shallow years later and I genuinely believe she will be a life long friend. I remember when Erika and I would walk with David to class, none of us had a clue what their future held. It’s been so awesome to watch these two go from friends to best friends, and best friends to best friends… for life! I couldn’t be more overjoyed to document their big day.
song credit: two wooden spoons, this is the kit.
This is nephew #2: Hudson, when he was just three days new.. I watched him come into this world, and after getting to know all four of my nieces and nephews, I’m convinced it’s impossible to love anyone else more. Perhaps that’s just a taste of what motherhood will be like, but right now I am positive that I have the best job in the whole world, auntie. I could go on and on, but photographs are worth more, I’ll let them do the talking.
You may remember my nephew, Axel’s newborn session, here.. I can not believe he is now six months… Actually, now he’s almost nine months! Which is crazy because I did this shoot the same day as my other nephew’s newborn session, who is now almost three months! They are truly men after my own heart. I can not get over the sweetness. I will be posting my other nephew, Hudson’s newborn session tomorrow. So stay tuned. And soon enough (too soon in my humble opinion) we’ll be here for their one year, and six month pictures. Well, I have some handsome boys in my life. Be still my heart.
Song Credit: Islands in the Stream, Feist & The Constantines
… I love him!
Song Credit: Year One, One UFO ; M83
I don’t normally write a lot in my blog posts on this site… In fact, I don’t blog nearly as much as I should. (That’s another new years goal!) Some of you may know this, but I do love to write, despite the fact that I don’t on this blog.. I prefer the photographs to speak for themselves.. There is a time for words and a time for photos.. And a time for both. For the past two years I’ve been going through chemotherapy for lymphoma and leukemia. I am so thankful to say that I’m responding well to treatments, and am a little under two years in remission. (Which means that if I stay in remission, than three years from now, I’ll be considered cancer-free!)
There are so many things I am excited about for this year! Here are a few of them:
-This is the year I’ll dive head first into shooting film. In just two weeks I’ll be attending a FIND workshop, learning to understand and feel more confident shooting film.. (no, not videography/cinematography, but film. like old school, non digital photography) This has been a goal of mine for the past three and a half years.. I’ve dreamed of getting a Contax 645, going to a Film Is Not Dead workshop, and integrating film into my business with confidence. But it’s something I was, (and still am!) absolutely terrified of. Shooting film means that I no longer rely on the quick gratification and assurance that digital brings. It means that I am smarter than my camera, that each shot costs me money to develop and scan, so that I’m much more careful and purposeful with each click of the shutter. It means that each photograph I take is that much more rewarding,.. Because it’s something I created, without relying on anything else, no crutches, no excuses, no mindless clicks or over editing. There are plenty of other benefits and reasons to shooting film, which I will go into more detail in a future post. Also, keep in mind that I intend on shooting hybrid. (film + digital) As I grow in my film shooting I will integrate it more and more into my business, and it’s definitely a goal to shoot majority or even entirely with film, but for now, I do intend on shooting both.
-This is the year that I finish chemo.. In October, to be exact! (hip hip horraayyyyy!!!) So, to those of you who don’t know, I had intended on launching S’Wonderful Photography in January of 2011.. I had been working hard on my website and portfolio for the year and a half leading up to that point (and during that prior year I interned for the wonderful, Wildflowers Photography! Such a great learning experience to learn from someone I have so much respect for.) But God had a different plan. On December 15, 2010 I was diagnosed with cancer, and for the next ten months I was on isolation, and lived in and out of the hospital. It was a very trying, but also growing experience. One that I’m thankful for, and documented on my personal blog, here. So… As soon as I got the OK from my doctors to start working again, I officially launched S’Wonderful Photography in the August of 2011! I can’t tell you how many reasons why I’m thankful for cancer, as a photographer… But I will touch on a few.
- This will be the year that I strive to each day, love others more than I did yesterday. I love and cherish life in a way that I never once understood before. Not only that, but I love and cherish people in a way that I never once understood before. Every person on this earth has a story, they have loved and been loved, they have hurt and have been hurt, they have a soul, and a purpose, and a reason for being there- regardless if they know what it is or not. Each person has a story that needs to be told, each person has a breathe and a pulse, and one day they won’t. I’m thankful that today, I have lungs that move, and eyes that see, and a heart that not only beats, but loves. I am not guaranteed tomorrow, but I am guaranteed this moment, the one that I’m standing in, right here and now. I am not by any means dying of cancer, and by God’s grace, I have not only the hope of a long life, but a hope that lasts beyond this life.. One that will never fade or be taken away by trying circumstances. This is why I’m here, and one of the many great reasons why I have cancer. My purpose and passion in photography has changed because of this. I want to get to know people, any people, all people. I want to become their friend, I want to laugh with them and cry with them, and learn about them. I want to give them an experience in front of the camera that is comfortable, natural, and one that reminds them who they’re holding onto, and why. And why? Because these people and these moments are wonderful. They deserve to be cherished and remembered. So this year, my goal is to each day love others more than I did yesterday. I want every time I look at someone through my lens, to not get so caught up in the artistic composition, that I lose sight of the faces and souls I’m photographing. It’s something I need to grow in and purposefully think of each time I pick up my camera.
- This will be the year that I prepare for next year, and, Lord willing, I’ll be physically able to take on the amount of work that I’d love to take on! (in my heart, the more the merrier! but right now, and the past year and a half I’ve had to turn down so much work and it absolutely broke my heart! I so look forward to saying yes when I want to say yes!) I’m hoping that 2014 will be a year full of travel, joy, and fun things! I also intend on starting a lifestyle blog, where I specifically reach out to encourage like minded creative women, who, like myself, live their lives striving to bring God glory in each thing they do.. I will essentially talk about all things that I love am passionate about, things that I wish I could go back and tell the 18 year old version of myself. I have a passion to challenge people to not only embrace contentment, but to embrace each moment with joy, courage, and thankfulness. Because each breathe and heartbeat is an amazing gift, one that isn’t promised and should not be taken lightly. I’ll talk about natural health, photography, good music, pretty things, style, and fun things. (which is my vague way of saying that I’ll talk about whatever I want to talk about!) Anyways, I’m in the beginning stages of prepping for this blog and am eagerly anticipating it’s launch. I’ll most likely wait until I finish chemo, (yikes… maybe I’ll even wait to launch it January 1st, 2014! But I don’t think I can wait that long!) and feel like I could realistically commit to blogging each, to every other day.
So.. This is my idea of what the new year will bring.. Just for this year I’m taking on fewer weddings (but still ask me! I may be available to shoot yours!), and focusing more on portraits, so that I can keep myself as healthy as can be during my last cycles of chemo. But doing so with purpose, so that I’ll enter into 2014 with a bang! The beauty of life is that you never know what tomorrow holds, so I’m keeping my hands open with an awareness that my plans can easily change. I’ll be content no matter what my life holds… But… Really hoping it holds fun and nice things, and shooting awesome people all the time! That’s my favorite!
I hope you’re all having a wonderful new year, and I promise to blog more! I also promise to not be the person that apologizes every time they post a blog for not blogging more, (with the exception of this post, of coarse) and I promise not to be the person who doesn’t stick to their promises.
Until next time,
Words cannot describe what a joy this wedding was to shoot.. the entire bridal party was so vivacious and fun. It was a day full of love in a way that every wedding should be. They cared for the gorgeous details and beauty of the event, but this was a wedding that revolved around the love Caleb and Alicia had for each other, first and foremost. It was such a joy to see all of their loved ones come together and support them just as enthusiastically!
song credit: to go home, m. ward