Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Musings

5 Women I have a blog crush on in this moment:

  • Liz Lamoreux at Be Present, Be Here. Always gentle and inspiring. I really, truly cannot wait to meet her in person in October.

  • Susannah Conway. Unravelling Goddess and my daily beacon of light and inspiration through Instagram.

  • Brene Brown at Ordinary Courage. I just finished her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and am now am fast becoming a mega fan.

  • Mia M. at These Tender Hooks. The most amazing pen-pal a girl can have and a truly gifted artist.

  • Amanda at Kind Over Matter. Daily inspiration paired with gorgeous photos. Plus she has just enough rebellious spirit in her to keep things fun.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Picture Inspiration

I am participating in Picture Inspiration which started this week with Tracey Clark. I am looking forward to the weekly prompts in order to help me keep up with my photography practice. Participating in Picture Fall last year seemed to help get me out of a creative funk and I am hoping this will do the same. It seems to slide if I don't have inspiration or a project I am working towards. This first week it is all about starting out with the focus on ourselves. Self portraits are definitely challenging for me. The first is taken with my iPhone and the second with my Nikon.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Did you know?

Did you know have a terrible habit of switching blogs or deleting them all together? I did the same things with journals growing up. I don't own a single one. They were all torn up and disposed of. In fact the only journal I currently have is the one I started last Fall. I made a promise to myself not to do that anymore. I now feel that small pieces of your past can be kept and stored away if only to remind you how far you have come. I've never been much a saver until recently when I started to appreciate the value of heritage and family treasures.

Something you also may not know is that two years ago I finished up a very challenging Project 365. I blogged it all. Every single day. I took a new photo I started it with a curiosity to learn photography better.  By the end I definitely succeeded in sharpening my skills. Although, the task and discipline of taking a photo every day is not something I ever want to do to myself again. I put too much creative emphasis into most of the photos and ended up getting burnt out in the end. It felt forced and not nearly as fun. But I made it through and now I have a beautiful time capsule of daily photos for one whole year of my life.

So here is my former Project 365 site and all my photos. I hope you enjoy the journey! It was quite a ride!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Finds

Etsy has quickly become my absolute favorite place to shop and browse. I love supporting other artists and finding unique things. Here are a few of my recent acquisitions.

Tea cozy from Knit Storm

Lace Necklace from White Owl

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Round and Round

I think writing out my Life List has really given it momentum. I cannot believe that I have crossed off yet another item. All in less than 4 months time I have checked off 4 things! That means I need to dig deeper and start adding some bigger dreams to the list. Maybe I'm making it too easy on myself. Or maybe writing down my intentions helped give them flight. Whatever it is, it seems to be working for me on getting them done.

Yesterday just happened to be my first ever Pole Dancing class. You'll remember I almost crossed it off my list a few months ago. Please overlook the grainy iPhone shots. They are just my proof that I was there. That I did it anyway. Even though I was extremely nervous about making a fool out of myself. My friend who was supposed to come with me canceled at the last minute which upped my anxiety just a bit more. For half a second I thought about bailing. I love to try new things just not so much when they involve coordination, dance steps and going it alone. But I did it anyway.

I'm feeling sore and little bruised today but I know this is something I can go back and learn more from. It can teach me how to unwind that tight protective rubber band of a ball I have wrapped around my facade. It can teach me to feel the music and move with it. It can teach me to laugh again. Plus there is absolutely no argument on how awesome of a workout it is! My arms tell me so.

I want to send out a special thank you to Allison from Ophidia Studio for hooking me up with a free session and teaching a kick-ass class! I hope to be back very, very soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Art Journal Love Day

Double posts for today! Dirty Footprints Studio is hosting an Art Journal Love Day party which started on Valentine's Day. There are also some pretty sweet prizes being given away so make sure to hop on over! I thought it was the perfect motivation for me to start in my art journal. So that I did.

Here is another from a few weeks ago which just happens to nicely fit in with the theme. I am feeling a lot of love and gratitude lately and it must be coming through in my artwork.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is...

The taste of sprinkles on your fingers.


I had the pleasure of working with Tamara from Tamara Kenyon Photography last month to shoot a Boudoir session as a birthday/Valentine's surprise for my husband. Finally today I got to reveal the photos to him, and believe me the anticipation was killing me! I think he was beyond pleased! The photos turned out gorgeous and I felt completely at ease the whole time. This coming from someone who would much rather be behind the camera instead of in front. This is another one of my favorites from the bunch and will be gracing the walls of our bedroom soon. Yes, I am actually quite comfortable linking photos of me in my underwear for the world to see because they are so beautifully and tastefully done. (Sorry Dad!)

All of this reminded me though of how much of a portrait photographer I am NOT. I don't enjoy shooting people and it is something that most definitely does not feel comfortable or second nature to me. It gives me that much more admiration to those who can. There is an art about it and an even bigger learning curve. For that I am grateful to those who have a passion for people and sharing their stories. If you want to see Tamara's behind the scenes commentary check out her blog, She wrote an awesome summary and posted some photos of her setup too.

If this entire experience wasn't enough, as a bonus I am officially checking another item off my Life List! I feel pretty confident in saying that these qualify for a glamorous photo session. Check!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Artistic Roots

My mom took this picture for me last month and sent it to me when she heard I had started painting again. This is one of the very first paintings I ever did in high school. I do know that when I created this it wasn't original. I must have been trying to find inspiration in another artists work to learn. I couldn't even tell you what artist it was. I took art all 4 years and really to this day do not know why I did not pursue it beyond that point. I think I was lost for quite some time and hopefully am finding my way back to art. I had the most amazing art teacher, Mrs Godwin. She introduced me to the world of paint, color and photography. I literally spend hours in the schools darkroom developing prints. I hadn't really thought about it until recently how much of an artistic life I have had yet never fostered. I say it is time to start discovering those roots again and letting them flourish. All they need is a little care and love to grow again.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love is... Pampering yourself

For Mocking Bird's February Project Twelve.

Monday Musings

5 Things I am grateful for in this moment...

  • Connecting with the sweet Rebecca last week. My side of the conversation is now up here.

  • Having a family that loves me for me and allows me to be who I am without shame, guilt or secrecy

  • Being married to a man who believes in me and sticks by me even in the most difficult of circumstances

  • Finding that my passion for art and creating has been re-ignited and still thrives

  • The fact that the 3 piles of cat puke I found this morning were all on the tile and NOT on the carpet. (yes it really is the little things in life)

Happy Monday!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Love is...

For Mocking Bird's February's Project Twelve. I know this shot has been done many times before, probably overdone. Everyone has to do it at least once. Today just happened to be my turn.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Their Own Words. An interview with Rebecca Murphy.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca from SimplyRebecca & Rebecca Murphy Photography this week for my first ever blog interview. It was so much fun to get to know her in this way! Not only is she an amazing portrait photographer but also a thoughtful and inspiring blogger. I hope you all take a moment to visit her site and send a little blog love her way.

Looking through your galleries I can really see the special moments that you capture for your clients. If you had to describe your photographic voice, what would you say it is?

I get so much energy from my clients, from the moment I walk through their door. I really think finding a way to fit in among them, as opposed to leading them or posing them,  is my route to capturing them honestly. Above all else my wish for my work is to bring them back to a real moment, almost an ordinary moment they could have on any day, so that they feel connected to that moment as opposed to connected to the experience of being photographed. I hope that makes sense. I like to become as invisible as possible.

You seem to really love photographing animals, dogs in particular, have pets always been a part of your life?

I do love photographing dogs! To me they are just like kids, and I say that in the best way possible! They are spontaneous and usually single minded and I just sort of hold on for the ride. I have been around animals since before I was born! We almost always had a dog or cat and I have relatives who have had horses, sheep, goats and chickens as well. I think animals bring out the best in us, or in me at least. I am blessed right now to have too fur babies, a mutt named Abigail and a Mastiff named Logan. Logan is highly photogenic, whereas Abby is more like me and tends to stay away from the front of a camera. Photographing Logan in the last year and a half has been such an inspiration, and its what lead me to add dogs to my portrait client line up. They are now some of my most favorite sessions!

You also have a gorgeous Etsy shop selling fine art prints and jewelry! Any other hobbies that we don’t know about?

I’m a girl with many interests, that’s for sure!! Ha! I find so much of the world to be fascinating I just can’t seem to help myself by sticking to only one or two things. Besides photography and jewelry I really love reading, traveling, being outdoors, and doing a little bit of yoga from time to time. I also kayak and horseback ride whenever I can. My main vice is definitely photography though. I could spent HOURS learning about and playing with new lenses and stuff. I have a long wish list of equipment I’d love to own someday. Taking photos puts me back into the moment I’m living so quietly and so intimately, its kind of like meditation in motion.

Can you tell everyone in your own words about the new e-course you are launching this month?

Encapsulate was originally dreamed up as a type of photo session for my family portrait clients, but logistics kept it from every coming to life. The idea never gave up though, and now it lives as an e-course for everyone to create a time capsule of images for their own family. I was remarkably lucky to have a mom that took a ton of photos when I was a kid, during normal everyday activities. What she gave me is a real window into my own childhood. I don’t have the best memory, so those photos are like a time machine, giving me back all those years I’ve kind of lost. I see so many parents with these great little dslr cameras or even point and shoots and they hardly ever use them. Or they only use them to take smiley, posed photos on special occasions. There is so much more to childhood than birthday parties! This course is about simply, easily, and quickly mastering the art of the snap shot, so every kid can have a full picture of what their early years really looked like. We start small and work our way up and by the end you have a full time capsule of childhood memories waiting for your baby someday.

What do you hope participants of the Encapsulate: Time Capsule E-Course will walk away with?

I kind of hope they walk away with at least two things: the first is a really rad set of photos that will give their children the chance to know what their life was like back before they can remember. Since we have different focuses each week and we build up from one week to the next its very easy to make the transition from not shooting at all to shooting effortlessly every day, and those photos will be more real than any posed moment they’ve ever shot before. And the second thing, aside from the physical awesomeness of the time capsule itself, is a real sense of pride in how much effort they put into giving their children the best childhood they can. The parents that are being drawn to this course work hard to give their kids great childhood experiences, and now they will even be giving them a way to enjoy those experiences again years down the road. I talk a lot about how significant the details of those early years are, and once we pull them all together, every parent should be able to see and feel just how full their baby’s life really is, thanks to them.
What about someone like me who is past the baby stage? Is this course still something I can benefit from?

I really think if your child is anywhere from 0 to 18 you can use the information in the course to capture the most significant aspects of their life. I tend to use the word "childhood" a lot, but youth works too. High school years might not be as filled with toys and stuffed animals, but instead there are sporting events and cars and other hobbies to document. Especially as we are in a way "trying on" adulthood around that time, the aspects of ourselves, our awkwardness and hesitation are so important to capture. I think I have far fewer images from that time than I do of my younger years, but I wish I had more (I always wish I had more). By then I was into photography myself, so I think my mom let me take over the job of documenting. I should have done a better job!

What is one famous (or infamous) family you would love to spend the day photographing and why?

Oh man, hard question!! I actually have to say that I can't pick one, it'd have to be two: my mom and my dad's families when they were little. Neither of them have a lot of photos from that time, at least not a ton that I've seen, and since I try to just be a fly on the wall as much as possible anyway, it would be an opportunity to see how they and all their siblings were together. How my grandparents interacted with them, what their home was like, how alike I was to them as a child and how different we were in those stages. I think a little window into their childhood would be wonderful and fascinating and revealing in ways I can't even imagine.

You seem to have a really great relationship with your family. What is one of your best memories you have growing up as a child?

Another tough one! I do have a pretty close relationship with my family, though its harder now as adults when we each have so much going on in our separate lives. Probably one of the best memories I have from growing up comes from the summers we used to spend on the coast of CT. My grandparents would rent a beach house and we would go live there for a month, my dad coming down on the weekends. It was all beach all the time. I loved it, except for the jellyfish and horseflies! I can remember my older brothers taking me with them down the to corner shop where they sold tons of candy. We were allowed to get a couple of things and I loved those long flat jolly rancher candies. I would lick them until my tongue was cherry red and even a little sore! It was such a grown up thing to do, to talk on the side of the road down to the store, it was an adventure. My older brothers took good care of me, kept me safe. That's a fun time to recall.

Who are the top three photographers that inspire you to keep shooting?

Hmm. I have to be honest, even though everyone says her, Annie Leibovitz was totally one of the photographers who started my passion. Her early work for Rolling Stone was so revealing and intriguing. I wanted to be just like her, still do kind of. Chris Buck is a fantastic photographer who I was totally obsessed with for a time. His shots are highly inventive and thought provoking. If I were at all into planning out shoots and composing the photo itself, I'd do it just like him. Nowadays I don't keep up with too many child photographers, just my friends. But the one who I can't seem to get off my google reader still is Tara Whitney. I am so in love with her nonchalance and the way she sees beauty. She's very popular and she totally deserves to be.

I've talked a little here about picking a word to focus on for the year ahead. I know the internet has also been abuzz with the topic lately. Did you pick a word for 2011?

This tradition did seem to light up the blog/twitterverse this year didn't it? I am all for it. I picked a word last year too and it totally helped shape everything that happened, both consciously and subconsciously. This year my word is "faith". 2011 is going to be a year of continued growth driven in large part by my own deepening faith in myself, my ideas, my connections with people, and my passions to guide me. I have always lacked a ton of faith and that trend has to stop. No one can give assurances to me other than myself. I have to have faith in my questions, as well as my answers, so I can walk this life fully awake and appreciating everything I have been blessed with.

Thanks so much Rebecca for allowing me the opportunity to get to know you better! Everyone please don't forget to visit her site and find out more about the Encapsulate E-Course!