Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I love you FOREVER.

this was taken a few years of those "set the timer" moments....until someone offered to take it for me as well.....i really love this photo.....zak just gives me that look of "what is my wife doing now!"....and just shakes his head as i run over and look at him and smile....i have peace by the ocean...i don't like swimming in it - but i have peace by it. Do you HEAR the waves? Do you hear the sound it makes? It is soooo restful. It quiets my moves my is the word of MOTION. I am in love with this guy forever. From the day we met til the day we die and even then, after we are gone - forever is forever. I have chosen wisely. I love you Zak. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Creating something out of nothing.........STARTS with an idea.

I know the CREATIVES understand ideas....we probably have a MILLION of them!!! They are a constant riverflow of words and thoughts swirling around in our minds as we try to capture or caress what we want to say think and do.  But hooooow do we harness that to make art?

Well, the simplest of the simple is - TIME.  Taking a few moments to stare at a set of pictures you might have taken in the last 24 hours...and letting yourself gravitate towards an idea.  It might start with "hey, i really really like that color and shape going on here!".....and move towards...oh wow, from there i could blend these 2 backgrounds...what would THAT look like?  Asking yourself...what if? over and over and over.

This is the creative processing!

I start with an image that inspires me....and I move forward without fears or hangups.  No fears of failing or succeeding - simply WORKING THROUGH THAT PROCESS.  I loved soooo many of Brooke's classes because she does break down everything simply as an artist you could go through and do checklists and see what you think and feel about an image.  I think it is very helpful to have amazing teachers in your life that help you HARNESS your ideas to make a great story of them. :) So here is where I began....

We stopped out WAYYYY OUTTTTT towards a lake off I45 in the middle of the night almost.  Here we are at maybe dusk and I'm with my point and shoot trying to see about capturing some scenic stuff - you know, just trying stuff!!!!  So I was inspired by this because of the water and the twigs coming off the water.  It was a semi-rainy day so clouds were already a factor in our journey that entire time.   THIS is what I started with.

The very next day, I had a large fashion shoot that we put together...and in visiting that night's images plus THOSE images I was able to find an image I was happy to insert into the scene and figure out what was next.

This is a raw image of some of the stuff we shot that Sunday whilst I was playing I thought - hmm, this image might be fun!!!!  So i took it upon myself to play a bit more by trying to insert her into this scene I was creating combined with MORE and light create her world she was accessing.

Also into my background I had been inspired by the weird sunset clouds going I figured...hmm...let's play with THAT TOO.
see what i mean? WEIRD! look at that line!!!! :)
 So now...I've started my background....and now starting on my character....but to me, the landscape wasn't enough.  Her look and feel got me thinking about all those great light bursties I had captured the night before....and i started playing with the idea of placing that in too.  I think I went through about THREE options before finding one that worked for me.
starting to see it yet?????
So as I looked at my previous images.....and laid....and played....I found that morphing through the ideas and looks and textures....helped me to wind up close to my final product.  I honestly have a LOT TO LEARN about true finishing.  I think sometimes I jump the gun and finish too soon - or I go back and re-think or think too much about something.  I decided to COMMIT to this one because if I can't be honest about growth....then what is the POINT. I don't know what I'm doing and I'm following a formula in my mind that works for ME.  I'm trying to harness that INNER SELF and expression...and there is nothing easy about it.  NONE OF THIS COMES EASY!!!! :)  But i'm so glad i'm not scared to jump, leap and just keep going.

So I bring you to my final image for now...part of my story...and part of my creations....the extra texture came way later....and it was snow and rain droplets from my trip to Chicago. LOL :)

I hope you enjoy this and are inspired to create and "modge podge" your own pieces as you create your continual reality.  There is nothing like starting with your ideas...and whether they succeed or not is not the question....ARE YOU TAPPING INTO THEM...and making steps to make realities!!!!!!

All the best to you,
Happy Friday.

Love Jen

Friday, March 14, 2014

Following through with things you DON'T WANT TO DO.........

In January 2014 I was in St Louis attending the After Dark Intensive which was alllll about business and devoting LOTS of time to your business needs and wants. 

Now, of course, most of you know I took a lot of Brooke Shaden's classes this year.  Mostly because not only is she a great teacher....but she speaks a language I can understand.  In this world of overly-technical and overly-complicated messages - she comes through loud and clear about doing what you love.


What about doing what you DON'T love?  Part of our brief exercise in one of her classes was writing down keywords and things that aren't AS inspiring or strong, but yet you write them down anyways.  Like for her?  If she was to shoot hot pink - it is not something she would choose. lol!!!!  For me?  darkness and darker monochrome things are harder for me to gravitate to.  So in class, I had jotted down some key words like "patent black"....which to be honest was just my PURSE I was staring at. LOL 

Out of the 2 columns I had a vision clearly in my head of something super fun...and unique and totally "me"...and then i had the other column.  The words that weren't my favorite, the visuals that weren't the most appealing...and then she challenged us to work on BOTH.

So, I give you the "darker" side of the words I chose.  This art piece was created from a petticoat I borrowed from Hallie Garcia, latex necklaces and a simple backdrop.   I had this vision of me walking through swirls of darkness and light and I'm doing my best to put that out there.  I added a small texture today that happened to be Brooke's footprints from our session at "Master your Craft".  To me, those have amazing texture and make GREAT ART. :)

So tell me - does this make sense?  I'm just a character in a story....and we are all reading one big book together..................

paving my own path....with swirls of dark and light.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

the DREAM of Creative Live...part 4!! DAY TWO workshop!

Soooooooooooo we made it through day one.  We were inspired....kickstarted...excited...and can we say....feeling CREATIVE!!!???!!!!!

Our filming was going to be around the building that day....and one of the setups started inside one of the rooms of vines, branches and other goodies to build on.  She discussed a lot of sets, setups and more to build your picture (you gotta BUY THE CLASS) .  

I took some screen prints of the "scenes" we got to experience - but to really grasp what was going on - you have to just watch....every detail was IMPORTANT to creating the images that are in your mind!!!!

The following images are from the first segments....we are all very cold - but learning a TON via her great teaching style and imagination!!!!!  

Jane Love & Brooke
Setting a Scene
Behind the scenes
The seminary
The floor i was inspired by.
A view through the window.
Behind the scenes as we are moving into the first segment!
 Now BEFORE the segment came on - I decided to snag a picture with Brooke because I felt that out of all the outfits I've seen her in - this one had to be the top! lol  As I stood next to her she said the key words that I knew to be true.  "We are so US today".  I literally had to gleamingly say...YES...WE ARE!!!!!! 
"We are US today".
Behind the Scenes
At this point we are heading towards lunch break where I got to take THREE MINUTES with Jane the model....and think about a scene in this huge place to shoot her.  I had chosen a room that was literally across the hall from the studio setup.  So, I took a chance and got some ideas out.
This is my PRE-art to my final concept.  No major touchups - but I wanted to use this FLOOR soooo bad!!!! I was insanely in love with this "river" flowing on it.
After my 3 minutes was done......we had our next segments to go through.  We knew that this was the day where ONE would be outside...OH BOYYYYY :)  They gave us hand-warmers and I thought that was amazing.  I saved them for the very very coldest part of our day!  I had to remember to bundle up and get ready!!! OH YES.  IT was worth it.  Every bit!

Our segments outside - COLD!!!!!!!!!
A view of the seminary - SO MUCH to want to capture!!!
This place was quite awesome.
Both Aussie Jen and I were fascinated by this tower. We wished we could shoot up there.
It was so bright outside - NO CLOUDS. :)
The outdoor shooting went great OF COURSE!!!! I opted to just watch....I was kinda scared to jump in and help a bit. I guess I wanted to be sure everyone got their creativity in.  I just love watching how all of our diverse personalities worked together to help create a GREAT experience!!!  After the final sessions of the day - we met up for dinner at a Vegan restaurant to enjoy a big meal <3  It was actually really really good.

"chicken wings" - oh LORD that spicy sauce was good!!!
let's try it girls!!!!
We all got some great munchies!
And so our 2nd day ended with much laughter....GOOD FOOD and I didn't get to finish my 3rd "fish taco" got left in the fridge!!! AWWWWWWWWWW *cries* :) 

Jane and I ended our nite with a few silly and fun images of her magazine spreads!!!!  Both in Freque Magazine and Cloud Orchid!!! "I'm kind of a big deal in Wisconsin".....lots and LOTS of fun.

by day two....i was just getting blown away about how FAST this was all going!!!! super super super fast.  We got a good nite's prep for DAY THREE.  Day Three was about to get really really fun. 

SHHHHHHHHHH don't tell anyone - but we stumbled into the setup for day Three's set! HAHAAHAHAHAHAHA  So we took a few moments to be goofy, take a few pictures...and play <3 


DAY THREE of the workshop...................................

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Selfie-Portraits 101: Testing ideas on yourself.

I have been in my own vortex of inspiration today.  Between new things on my horizon and trying to get appointments set with creators...and planning some photo has been a whirlwind day!!!!

I have been winding down my evening with some creations that SHOCKINGLY became very very fun.  I am designing a moldable prop for a shoot on Monday...and in doing so I find that TESTING ideas on myself is typically the best way to see how something could be improved.

I can tell you right off the bat....ohhhh boy - this is going to be interesting! :)  The shapes come out great and so does the metal - but I still have some tweaks on the props to make them semi-perfect.  I would love to say I'll do less photoshop - but some things I just can't always fix "pre". :)  Let's just say - I'm learning a lot.  Not bad for 3 days out from deadline. :)

So here is what I started with:

I am taking this in my bathroom - no glasses - no hair....and just trying to play with face stuff.  Now, my model will be super cute but again, NOT ABOUT ME, i'm just the test subject!!!!  I thought about moving my hand around the face - but previous shots were like "meh" at best.

The props I'm using made it a tad difficult in post because there was still a lot of light in the rolls.  Here you see I've darkened some stuff and added an overlay of the rolls try and make it a tad more interesting.  I wanted to see......WHAT IF? 

Moving on downward...I took myself to another photo and tried to see about my one eye and how i could highlight that.  In doing this - I'm also really removing "me" from the photo and I'm just looking at this character.  I changed the eye color and let the skin stay a tad on the yellow side.  This one had NO lightroom done to it - I opted to use FILL instead of the other method to see what would happen.

You know?  There is a tip, tool and technique for a lot of stuff...but you gotta figure out what works for you and the image.  I'm happy with this...because not only did i get the rolls to look kinda cool - but I added one of my textures from the Creative Live journey in the seminary!!  I have to say, it turned out REALLY WELL.  A great ending AND starting point to new ideas. :)  


---you get the ideas hammered out quicker than say the DAY OF your shoot.
---tweak the lighting, the props and post-editing to see what will work.
---bring about NEW ideas, different than what you started with.
---helps you SEE yourself differently (removing "you" and focusing on the character)
---and then? more fun for everyone! - if you are comfy in front of the cam, your clients will be too :P

Creating homework: A way to push yourself BEYOND your limits.

I don't know about all yall other creatives....
but sometimes you get "in the zone" creating for a lot of other people and you tend to let YOUR creations fall to the curb and be forgotten.

This year is a year of REMEMBERING!

Let's pick back up our ideas and visions...and ASSIGN OURSELVES HOMEWORK!!!!

I cannot say that I create every day - but every day IS an opportunity to create.

Today, I'm about to launch into a project that is hands-on and creating a prop for a future shoot.  But I also thought - WHAT CAN I DO TODAY in creation mode in the photography world???

I am re-visiting my Creative Live images again.  You know, the kind that keep calling you back...saying "come plaaaay with meeee" :)  Well, i stopped in through a journey of ideas into the image of Jane Love on the floor in the old abandoned seminary.

I wanted to play with some feathers that I've had for a while and make an interesting piece that says something else besides what I would consider normal.

I've been striving to push myself since Brooke's classes - and see what visions I can create what dream worlds can be concieved.  So far, I'm just playing - I'm learning - I'm growing.  Time management can be a mind suck when it comes to being an artist as I've just spent 2 hours distracted.  But out of this quick distraction I found some fun, ideas and future dreams.

Join me in welcoming another image into the family.................

and then, GO CREATE YOURSELF some homework!!! <3
show it...see it....think about it....write about it!

here is mine

Free flow writing.....

What a troubled and oppressed lady this is.  She is surrounded by clouds of dark and light and she struggles to find flight.  It seems as though she has fallen asleep and taken notice that someone is watching her.  What is she thinking? What will she do next? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

the dream of CREATIVE LIVE.........part 3!!!!! - DAY ONE WORKSHOP

Our day began....EARLY.

As most filming things I'm sure, you have to arrive to be sure you are setup for the filming of the show and we had breakfast available to us as we stood freezing in the building.  Amazingly enough - the main room we were in with the school desks was the warmest room in just about the whole building!

I remember being in awe of just being there.  The AWE of the drive from the Creative Live studio to the on-location filming for Brooke's classes.  There are soooo many more trees that I can dream of there in Seattle.  So TALL in fact...they just blow me away! I wished I had more time to really capture them!  Or take a walk in the forest.  I know now, I should have come in a day early. :) 

The first day is truly a bit of a blur.  I remember being really cold and I remember the greatness of the things I saw on the drive.  But would you believe - I didn't take one picture on the way! :)  Some of us got a tad car sick on the journey over so I know that I had to take a few minutes to warm up and "chill" at the same time to be ready.  Breakfast was pretty darn awesome...and soon it was time to be ready for filming.

day ONE - group picture! before it all began!

The crew was pretty awesome - they work really hard to get all the shots they want/need to capture the entire event.  Their challenge was just as great as ours:  working with the space they are given!  As photographers we are given that challenge often.  You have lighting to consider, posing and positioning of everything needed for the whole.  I appreciate that.  The additional challenge they have is the AUDIO.  So, if things were or were not broadcasting - they sure-fire did their best to fix it fast! God bless them!!!! :)

our lovely school chairs!!!!

Our introductions came way later into the show because we were needing to be on time.  So Brooke jumps in and just starts going.  I just love her presence and her ability to teach.  You can't help but not learn something - even if a small thing - from her as she talks about creativity, inspiration and life.  

For my clothing, I chose to wear layers that would hopefully keep me warm yet also reflect who I am inside.  I think I'm probably misunderstood in so many ways that maybe even I don't know.  I have this persona on the outside of "hey look at me" but in reality - I just like to be myself and not be noticed and "blend in".  It doesn't always work out that way though.  Now, thankfully Brooke sees me for who I am.  I love it when people "get" me a little quicker than trying to peel through the layers.  I have that gift too - I like seeing directly into someone's heart.  Given time, I'm sure I would have eventually gotten a better picture of a lot of people - but I'm kinda closed off sometimes! :) I just am.

Brooke picking one me - i had the scarf on ONE side because i didn't wannt cover my mic. SO COLD!

But in respect of opening up quickly - I gave everyone HEARTS with the sayings on them about love and hugs.  I had the idea to give something in thankfulness before the show even began - so I tried to hand out as much as I could before the show started.  I had forgotten how much it could mean for someone to hold an OBJECT in their hands and say THANK YOU...and AWWWWWW! :)   It was a great wake-up-call for me. :)

Brooke picked on me a bit for the show as we were given homework to complete BEFORE the filming. I was trying to pick 3 images that I loved the most and 3 images I liked the LEAST in my whole portfolio.  There was a moment where I didn't know WHAT she was going to ask - but I felt that I could communicate it so much better with just me and her asking and me telling.  It was like she was teacher and I was student and I was called on in class. lol!!!!!!  I can't thank her enough - she has a GIFT for helping me to open up about my passions.

Jane Love and I - i still can't believe we made it there together!!!!
Day 1 concluded and we drove back to the hotel.  I felt sooooo carsick though that I missed the trip to the vintage store and looking at props and goodies.  I stayed in for a bit at the hotel and just had a good time chilling and talking to the model Jane.  I have to say - day ONE was a great wrap. <3  There was soooo much more that went on - but you can buy the class on CREATIVE LIVE.  It is worth it.

Andrea having to describe a picture blindfolded - Jane modeling, Brooke picture-taking :)

stay tuned for part 4!!!!!!!!!!