Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seniors and the Sunroom

This is Janelle. I did her senior pictures today. She's my 7th - 2nd referred - and I should have another soon. Today was pretty gloomy and rainy, but we still definitely got some good shots. My "studio" at the moment is wonderfully ghetto - my white paper backdrop is getting a bit dirty and torn and the sunroom where I shoot is jam packed with boxes of my dad's. There's barely enough room, but it's great.

It might not look too pretty, but I really am so thankful for my sunroom - the light there is absolutely phenomenal and I don't know how I'd get by without it. It's completely unnecessary to use any lights at all in there, though occasionally (such as in this photo) I'll use my speedlight. Once I get my Alien Bees and softbox (Christmas presents, hopefully!), I'll be able to set up in either the room adjoining the sunroom or the furnace room as well and that way both the white and black backgrounds can be used without having to tear down between sets. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Today I got a 27 inch iMac!! I've been saving for it since graduation in June, so I'm very excited to finally make the purchase. It's an amazing machine, very fast and powerful. I should be able to do some great editing on this.

I also just sold my first senior picture prints this week, which was very exciting! Dani came and picked up her prints and Janet's should be here in a day or two. Very exciting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What I've been working on lately

It's been awhile since I last updated. I graduated in June and have been doing some freelance work including something a little different from my usual style lately: SENIOR PICTURES! Dun dun DUN! The one to the left here is my lovely cousin Meghan. Some moms are a little worried that I'm too edgy to do senior portrait, but I do a decent job. Yes, some of my images may be interesting looking than your average portrait studio senior portraits, but who's to say that's a bad thing?! Not all kids want the cookie-cutter photos that so many of the major studios in the area offer.

I've also been doing some promos for local bands such as Sunday Morning (a No Doubt tribute band) and Ohio metal band Resistance 13. Photographing bands is very, very different than photographing high schoolers, but the variety keeps my perspective fresh. Sunday Morning especially was a challenge because we were attempting to keep with the No Doubt aesthetic. Mimicking their style was definitely fun and the singer, Courtney, is a graphic designer so I provided her with images that she then made into a flier, seen below.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Preparing for Graduation

Graduation is in less than a month and so of course I've needed to shoot for that. Band promo pics were my goal this quarter and I had two shoots this week - Downfall ( and Ozo Remedy ( I'll be photographing Tripshod, New Shores Burn, and Dethlehem within the next couple of weeks. Bands are a little more difficult to schedule than models because of the number of people. It's definitely worth it though - these shoots were very different and very fun.

Downfall's shoot was at this burned out shell of a hut in the back woods of Ambridge. I used almost entirely natural light, though supplemented with flash occasionally when were funky shadows. Ozo Remedy's was more formal and we shot in a video studio one of the band members works at. It made me really want a studio of my own, so if I don't get a job right out of school, I think there's a very good chance that the old storefront will be rennovated.

I also recently redesigned my webpage - Today I'm going to order some promo pieces for graduation - buttons! They're going to be awesome, I can't wait!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today I got a LensBaby Muse from my Uncle Jeff for Christmas. (Yes, we all know it's March, but it's still my Christmas gift.) I suspect I can use it for some portraits and whatnot, and who knows, maybe I can get some amazing music photographs out of it! Can't wait to test it out - Saturday will probably be the best day to experiment because I'll be downtown and also at the Children of October show.

Speaking of testing, I used my K20D for a shoot last Wednesday. The model was Mary Beth and I just adore her. Here's a sample:

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Buying a K20D

Due to issues with my beloved Pentax K10D (the mirror flipped up and when I got it back from being repaired the same thing happened and I had to send it out AGAIN), I've just placed an order for a K20D. I'm hoping the K10 is fixed properly this time, of course, but I know I'll always be a bit paranoid about it and have been lusting after the K20 for ages, so yesterday I made up my mind to upgrade. I'll probably use the K10 for shows and the K20 for shoots and important shows. You know, ones I get paid for, or Rock in the Suburbs or national acts. That sort of thing. The K10 will be more everyday and the point-and-shoot I bought in January will be for sticking in my pocket when I go out and I can stop using it for shows.

Because I'm graduating in June, it's important for me to have a back-up camera. I took this quarter off which is why I've managed to survive without my K10 (as much as a I wanted to work on my portfolio) but if something like this happened while I was in school or had a would be disastrous. So my new K20D will be here in 5 business days and I can't wait! The K10 should arrive sometime this week as well...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I've just returned to Pittsburgh from Phoenix, AZ (which is about 60 degrees warmer than home) where I was attending the ImagingUSA photo conference as a student volunteer. While it was definitely not a vacation, I had a good time and learned A LOT - amazing Photoshop techniques I can't wait to try out; some ideas for weddings and portraiture; as well as that fixing my camera should be covered under SPS/PPA's insurance policy.

There was a portfolio review that, sadly, I didn't get as much out of as I would have liked, but did meet some interesting people. One is a portrait photographer from my home town of Moon Twp - interesting that I went all the way to Arizona to meet her! I also met the founder of AfterCapture Magazine, which I absolutely adore, and some of the photographers who looked at my portfolio were pretty cool. My reviews were a mixture of "your work is wonderful" and nitpicking. I was most pleased with being nit-picked, because it reminds me to fix small details and also lets me know that overall my work is decent far more than just being told that is. If they're looking at the tiniest things to correct I must be doing something right.

I shot almost 2 whole rolls of color slide film on the plane home today, so I have to go to Photo Depot and get them processed tomorrow!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Good and The Bad

The Good: I got a flash (and a new camera case) for Christmas - it's the Pentax AF549FGZ, which is far too complicated of a name, so from now on it's going to be referred to simply as The Flash. It'd be great, except for...

The Bad: My camera broke on Christmas and it's currently off being repaired. I won't get it back for a good month or so, which is quite a setback.

The Good: I'm taking this quarter off, so I don't have to worry about actually HAVING to photograph and can spend time editing instead.

The Bad: I don't have a camera to take to ImagingUSA, though I'll probably be buying a point-and-shoot for the trip. This will also allow me to take a small camera with me when I don't want to lug my Pentax around. It'll be helpful for ideas and sketches.

The Good: ImagingUSA is next week!