Wednesday, April 30, 2014

There's no easy way out.....There's no short cut home....

I spent the weekend with a long-time friend of mine 2nd shooting a wedding.
On our way home - in all silliness we started talking about movies and inspirational music that went along with some of the cheese of the 1980's.  Now, all kidding aside-  some of those moments did have an!!!  But upon further depth you realize there in many many cases a struggle of fighting for yourself, fighting for others and being who you are.

Being who you are, doesn't come easy and it does involve FIGHTING!

The title of this blog is from the song we were playing on the phone during Rocky IV.  Rocky is going through everything in his mind of everything that happened from the moment he became a fighter/boxer up until that moment that his friend was killed.  It shows a good comtemplation of everything that brought him to that place of a decision to FIGHT for what was right.  In the movie - you see towards the end of that moment....he sees his friend falling and sees himself falling.  It is with great respect where I can say - I feel that pain! :)

It is in that darkness and in that decision making that we press forward to be ourselves and keep the passion a-flame to do this mission we have been put here to do.  For him, it was going up against a seemingably unbeatable foe and sending himself through training to confront that foe.  How is this NOT like our fights in every day life?  We fight for our time, visions, dreams, friends,

I wanted to move forward today inspired....and I pulled up images from March (right before After Dark)...and pull out a couple of images that spoke to the distorted darkness that we can all deal with.  We feel our reflection is contrasted against the dark and light...and the boundaries we have set upon us does NOT free us - it simply keeps us in a place sometimes of bondage. Your reflection matters in how you see yourself.  You cannot be FREE to create if you have a distorted view of yourself or how you have perceived yourself.  Put on a new pair of glasses to correct the distortion...see yourself for the beauty within...and that contrasted with LIGHT.  Make a point to see the LIGHT in your image - not just the darkness.

There is no EASY way out.....(letting yourself go, letting yourself BE - it is worth the FIGHT)
There's no short cut home....(the journey you must walk) 

Peace out.

Model: Carrie Sumner
Lyrics/Song by Robert Tepper, from the motion picture Rocky IV.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The REGISTRATION is live!!!! - your time to shine!

My first RETREAT for the Creative women !!!! This is open for all creatives that want to jump-start kick-start re-start and be inspired. ♥
#encouragement #womensretreat #livethedream



---leave empowered, inspired and with renewed strength of mind/body/soul/spirit.

---leave refreshed & peaceful.

---leave ready to take flight with your purpose in life.

---leave with creations you have hand-crafted, written or made in your time with other women.   
These are your tokens, your awards – your tangibles.

---walking a “whole” creative journey using all the tools we are given to create.   
(including: writing, photography, crafting & other tools)

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Take my Hand"................

"Take My Hand" - inspired by the Galveston Beach this morning as we stood and watched wave upon wave come in.  The surf wasn't just the one wave coming in to crash - there were about 5-6 simultaenous waves that came in all curling around each other.  The beach was scattered with the weeds of the this great bulbous texture mixed with greenery. 

The challenge for you now:  Where are you going in the next 3 months?  Where is your art taking you?  Who is holding your hand?  Who is the partner that is taking you on the journey?  No matter how much ALONE we feel - we are not alone.  So I'm taking the hand....and walking forward!

I feel that in some ways - the girl on the left is walking forward facing backwards. Not in a way that stops her walking - but looking behind for anything coming up to pull her back. Both girls move forward, both with missions to do going in the SAME direction.

~Pink Light Images~
Galveston 2014
"Take my Hand"


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When the storms wake you up.....

Part of our journey we shared in Saint Louis this year was impending tornados that apparently came through the city and caused alarms to ring in our hotel at 5:30am.  I had just gone to bed at 4:30am working on backing up all of my images onto an external hard-drive and making sure my laptop was a bit more cleaned off.  I was enjoying the last few moments I had in my room with the roomies asleep and the darkness filling the space. 

At 5:30am...and crazee siren went off and said there was a tornado warning ...and that we needed to proceed immediately to the basement.  I woke first confused....was this a TEST????

No, it was not.  I scrambled around FREEZING cold cause it was chilly in there...and digging for my shoes cause I figured wherever I was going...I would want shoes, a light jacket, the hotel room key and my phone.  At first, I was just going to laugh it off and hide in the bathtub, but mama Jane insisted that her phone said this was all legit and that we needed to leave FAST! 

I'm not a morning person. 
I'm not a nice person with lack of sleep.
So I was angry.

Not at anyone.....................

We got to the basement....and about 60 seconds later...the warning had passed.  We walked through passageways like ... THIS - you know tons of skylights, windows and things that break when tornados come through.  The entrance to the basement was down the stairs and through a door...whilst passing through atriums, sky lights and more.  You can see how that might have fueled my anger.
 I should have just crawled into the bathtub i'm thinking..................

We make it back to the room and make insanely loud sobbing noises because the tornado has robbed our sleep and we silently pay homage to our 5:30am wake up call with a funny pictures. (Thanks to Rachel Frank)  I love these ladies. Through the madness of the storms - we still found much laughter.
We also had a casualty of war....when the sirens were hitting Rachel lost a nail in the

Morning came fast...and so did our checkout time....we awoke around 10am and I was just like OH CRAP!!!!! we have to check out!!!! I got a late checkout by a miracle and we spent the next 3 hours singing, packing and getting ready to say good bye. 

In my moments of "despair" I figured in order to laugh at myself later - I would "save" my camera gear before I left the room for the tornado .  Mind you, the window is RIGHT THERE and so are the curtains.  I merely scooted it around the table...and abandoned it.  *facepalm*  Notice the dissaray of the stuff...and the forcibly thrown shoes and props around the floor.  Yes folks....
Here is what I did when I left the room....
I found that we could have a good laugh....and being that my whole season this spring has been NOTHING but freaky deaky storms every time I travel...I had to do nothing but laugh...and pack...and sing En Vogue all that morning.  When they say FREE YOUR MIND and the rest will follow?  For realz yo.

For fun moments...and waking up moments....I relied on my sense of humor to give you what I call..."Fashion-ado"....or "Rachel-nado"....because our room did look like a tornado anyways.  Such great fashion to be had and much fun to have followed those 4 days at after dark.

And this my the beauty out of may be ANGRY....frustrated....a little delayed....but you are guaranteed to have laughs and stories to tell for the rest of your life.  I wouldn't take that back for anything.

But there's MORE.

Because apparently the storm system was ongoing.....I was at the airport for my flight and we had THREE warnings of tornados while there.  Every time I turned around...there was a warning and telling us to get away from the windows.
I should have been a storm chaser, in another life.

Thanks for letting us fly out....even with all the tornado glad that the system passed so I could get home for Adventure part 2. :) 

I end this story with WILL have storms...........
you WILL have delays...............

but find a way to laugh - it always helps. :) We did!

This was my "i'm so mad at that tornado for waking me up at 5am look"............
Thanks for reading everyone.............

What the latest funniest travel story for you? <3


Monday, April 21, 2014

Ode to Union Station!

So, as you know by now - I attended what we did call the LAST after dark education experience.  A place where you can make your OWN experience what you want it to be.  A place where you are challenged to not just take but GIVE of yourself at any given moment.  BE a part of something.

Because it was my understanding this was the FINAL after dark I wanted to put into play a few concepts that I dreamt up....and one of them I dreamed up during a class session.  I believe I was in one of Brian Demint's classes and I thought to myself.....

What can I do to show homage to this space? UNION STATION? 

We all know and love the grand hall - but the grand hall was all tore up from the floor up.  My lovely arch was guarded by ropes and walls were missing. :(  But every day....I walked in and saw something unique - and perhaps no one else saw....


Did any of my other fellow after darkians see this madness??!!!  It was golds with highlights of reds and shading of blues and blacks.  I thought to myself - what about this homage to the carpet?  What would THIS look like? 

I jotted down a few ideas....and approached Dena Demint about it.  I was like hmmm...and she was like hmmmm!!!!  And then I found Erin and talked to her at one of the adventures wandering around the hotel.  She had this PERFECT golden dress that matched up with the concept perfectly!!!!  This was kindof a secret project I put together to show my love not only for after dark, but an inspiration of the hotel.  We have been taught many times over to be inspired and follow through with your ideas be it a success or a failure.  I definitely wanted this to be a success!  I didn't care how tacky the carpet looked - how could I make this amazing!!!???!!!!

Erin hopped in with her ideas and styling...and we got the makeup done to mimic the flowingness of the flooring.  We left out the reds on the face because we made her lips red.  By the end of it all - I felt this glamourous feel to it and the flow of Erin's modeling plus the styling made it super duper fun.  I am still working on finished artwork for these pieces - but as you can see - the ideas were formed....and I'm executing with full-forced-passion!!!!

Here is a close-up of the work Dena did.
This was sooo amazingly fun to not only BRING ideas to After Dark - but concieve them on site with wonderful teams of creatives all over the hotel.  It turned out SO COOL and I look forward to the final series I'll be doing for this homage. :) 

Was anyone else truly inspired by spots in the hotel?  
Share your thoughts and inspirations!

Love Jen

Photography: Pink Light Images
Model: Erin Leigh Pribyl
MUA: Dena Demint
Styling: Erin Leigh Pribyl (dress)
Location: Union Station Hotel, St Louis MO
After Dark Education

Friday, April 18, 2014

The art of self-portraits during self-portrait class - with Brooke Shaden & After Dark.

Ok! so one of the things we got to do at not only Creative Live but at after dark was SELF mind you - I have notes somewhere about everything Brooke taught us about shooting the "self". :)  What is the ART of telling our story? LOL  Good question!!!!

Ok, so like I said in previous posts on Facebook - I wanted to take all of Brooke's classes that I had never previously being underwater and one being SELFportraits. :)  I remember seeing the fun that everyone had in past classes and thinking I should probably do it - or i would regret it. :) 

We started in the special hallway upstairs that looked out over the archways of the grand hall.  It was such a shame the grand hall was under construction, but you could still enjoy the archways of the ceiling. :)  We went through the location...the thoughts...the whys....the hows...and the lack of tripods and how to think about using stuff when you don't have a tripod.  :)

So we were taken to a room with lots of storage and old christmas did have an eerieness and quietness to it...along with crazee darkness.  I know that in some cases using a long shutter would do the trick...but good lordy what about focus!!!! :0

A good number of people were positioned here.  For good reason i know! Look at it!!!  But I felt that I couldn't get enough thought time or thinking into what i really wanted with the time i i moved on....I moved to the storage room with all the crap laying see what i could come up with.

This is me trying to set up the shot to get the luggage cart in there.  Without a tripod I felt my angles were waaaaaay off...and I wanted to act like i was flying a bit on the i moved the camera!

as you can see, complete miss!!!!!!!!!!!! heeheheheeehh
I found (IN THE DARK) mind you - a desk semi-across from the luggage cart and attempted to move my image over there.  It helped a lot - and then with my long (probably 10 second) shutter I waved my see what I could get.  I honestly had no idea what was in focus...but being at 24mm...i figure...WHATEVER!!!! hahahaahahah

Yes, i only shot this about 2 times...before i got the look that i wanted.  Kinda looks a bit more like daylight now....even though it was night-time. :)  I wanted to feel like i was flying and/or moving in some way...because I felt this whole season of just movement forward....and pushing I was happy with this shot as I ended the first phase. :) I then moved on.....
I liked the curves of the stairs - but wasn't sure where to put myself or position myself.  Again, no tripod...and the tiny tiny one i brought couldn't hold the camera anything but straight.  I think I ended up propping it up on something in my purse....then making sure it didn't slip by letting the lens/filter rest on the concrete. :)  I thought to myself....why don't i just run down the stairs to that window and balance on the beam.....SURE??? THAT IS EASY RIGHT?  noooooooooooooooooo

Sure, my arm is flying - but what does that tell me?  NOTHING!  It was a really narrow staircase with high steps...and running up and down wasn't super super fast....:)  I thought to myself...head down...and moving...this is SOOO not me. :)  Maybe this is the me going up the stairs in real life...but really, i don't hide that often.  So I did it again....and thought to myself - why don't i just run up the stairs...and smile! :)  That sounds easy right? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I already told you - this was narrow and curved...meaning the stairs were EASY to trip on....and i had a hard time looking UP to shoot....notice, i'm still looking down...and then i thought...ok no wonder people didn't choose THIS for their portrait! HAHAHAHAHAAH  I tried it one last time....running UP the stairs....and looking at the camera....and this was my final image. 

Yep folks, that is about IT!  Class was literally ending....and I needed to get it done.  This was the last image I took....and I got my smile...and I got my running...and I didn't fall! :)  I came real close though....ya had to time how far to run downards before running back there you results from Brooke Shaden's "self portrait" class. :)  I think if I had more time to think even more...I would have re-visited the junk room and found a corner to say something...but honestly?  

I like the idea of flying on a baggage cart...and running up the stairs without looking...I think they portray me in a way I have not seen put into picture. :)  

When was your last self-portrait? 
What would you want someone to know about YOU that you are afraid to tell?
Tell it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

AFTER DARK Education - huge blow out, the LAST of the last and embracing new changes.

Dear God, what is Jen talking about now? :)

I'm talking about the little big thing we call AFTER DARK.  A place where I have thrived and challenged myself as an artist and business person.  To grow within and move forward to my future.  I have met people that have changed my life for the better and have accepted me for being myself and my art as unique and completely UNIQUE to me.

I have been encouraged, disappointed, enlightened, enraptured and ENJOYED every minute that After Dark gave me.  I feel that every single emotion I could name I might have felt before, during and after.  I know that they had been announcing the END, but I think most of us know.....

it is only the beginning.

I have to thank a huge number of people that I just can't list off here....I've met great models, designers, photographers, artists and more at this place.  I have been truly taken aback at how I could find a place to feel like I fit into this crazee art world....and push myself beyond my greatest limits.  I truly can be my biggest obstacle.  The obstacle of comparison and the obstacle of fears have plagued me in the past....but I say....NO MORE!!!! :)

I am home after about 2 weeks of traveling - and I have barely any edits to show for it yet...but I can tell that this will be some of my most inspired work yet.  I truly believe that I'm here for a reason and I've met the people I meet for a reason as well.  I'm truly thankful to you all - I know you don't know this - but i am! :)

Thanks to the naysayers & questioners.
Thanks to the believers & the encouragers.
Thanks to the darkness & light.
Thanks to the light makers & shadow creators.

You are inspiring.

New posts to come...and I'll work through them one by share the back stories, ideas & concepts....or not....BAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

SHOCKING Sidenote: 
I also took it up a notch with everything I've learned.  I literally SHOCKED a few people and inspired quite a bit of laughter and amazement.  I can't wait to tell the stories. <3

I love you guys.
 Images and ART to come.....................