Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 for 2012

Well, it's the end of 2012 and in about 12 hours, 2013 will begin.  I'll be starting the year off pretty well - going on a nice vacation and then to the annual ImagingUSA photography conference (Atlanta this year!).  This year I'll be joined by my boyfriend, Damien, who hopefully will be handling some of the more business-y parts of the business so I can focus on creating beautiful images.  But that's next year and there will probably be blog posts on all of that as it happens.  It's still 2012, the world didn't end, and I'm going to share some of my more memorable photographs and moments.  There isn't really any order to these, just times throughout the year that I enjoyed.

At the beginning of 2012, I got a job at Bella Baby Photography.  This photo, admittedly, is from just a few weeks ago, but it's one of my favorites!  I absolutely love my job and I'm excited to get my camera tattoo filled in sometime in January or February of 2013 as a way to mark a year of making my living as a photographer.  I got the tattoo outline done as a graduation present to myself nearly 4 years ago when I was finishing up my Bachelors Degree in Photography.  2012 was the year of finally paying my bills with my degree and there's no better feeling.  It was also very exciting to learn about newborns, newborn photography, and gain confidence in a new field.  I love babies!

ImagingUSA 2012 was in New Orleans!!  NOLA is officially one of my favorite places that I've visited and I REALLY want to go back someday.  The whole city was fantastic to wander around in and the cemetery I visited was gorgeous.  In a few weeks I'll be attending Imaging 2013 in Atlanta and can't wait to find exciting places to photograph there as well.

Senior pictures!  I didn't have as many seniors this year as I had hoped but the ones I did have were great.  I've known Anna's family all my life (I remember going to the Big Knob Fair as a child and her being in a stroller!) and it was exciting to see her grown up into a pretty young lady who also has an interest in the visual arts.

My last shoot of 2012 was with my sister Christiana and her friend Olivia.  They were among my first models when I became interested in photography, what? 8 or 9 years ago.  They were such good sports going out in the snow and taking pictures just a few days ago.

Promo shoot with Children of October.  They're one of my favorite local bands that I've been photographing them for years and we finally did a proper shoot recently.  It was a beautifully gloomy day that had perfect atmosphere.

My cousin David got married!  This church was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in.  I photographed 3 weddings this year and my confidence has definitely grown.   I used to be a bit apprehensive about weddings (I often was too nervous to enjoy myself) but I have more faith in my abilities now and had a lot of fun.  Hoping to shoot more in 2013 and keep improving!

More seniors!  I had 2 sets of twins this year, and it was fun to try out different things with each set.  Alex and Josh have been family friends for most of their lives and we had an adventure at the park where they, being 17 year old boys, were completely ridiculous.  We managed to get photos that both boys, their mother, and I were all happy with, which is an accomplishment in itself.

What's a year without concerts?  2011 did not get to see Beaver County's annual Rock in the Suburbs but it returned in 2012 with some great local bands.  This is the singer from The Legendary Hucklebucks, who are indeed legendary and pretty amazing.  Definitely fun to photograph!

I don't do much nature photography but my boyfriend and I had a lovely photo adventure at McConnell's Mills in the fall and I rediscovered my love of reflections.  It's nice to be able to relax and shoot for fun.  That's the point, isn't it?  I do this because I love it.

This shoot was hysterical, we had so many stares from passerby.  Rose is beautiful, of course, and so sweet and fun to work with.  Toby was a trooper of a dog and I bought him ice cream as a treat.  Hoping to be photographing her and her (hu)man again sometime in the next month or two.

Trix!  My favorite lady.  She's gorgeous inside and out and we always have the most fun, relaxed shoots.  I love working with her and am so lucky to call her my friend. <3 2012="2012" 2013="2013" be="be" because="because" better="better" did="did" enough="enough" feel="feel" had="had" have="have" i="i" in="in" more="more" not="not" p="p" there="there" trix-time.="trix-time.">

This was no doubt my most emotional shoot of 2012.  Zaac was the first NILMDTS baby I photographed and his parents are fantastic people.  They invited me to come photograph his 2nd birthday party this year and we went skydiving!  I must admit it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life but I'm so glad I did it.  It's certainly a celebration of life and knowing that what you have is precious.  Hold on to what is dear to you while you can.  Here's a happy 2013 and growing as an artist as well as a human being.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Children of October - horrorpunk promo shoot

As many of you know, Children of October is one of my favorite local bands.  I've been shooting the many variations of this horrorpunk group for 5 years now and we FINALLY did a proper promo shoot instead of just the miscellaneous group photos before or after shows or while just hanging out.  Timmy and Rick are now joined by new member Dave, who was by far the most excited about getting pictures done.   We had fun and I dug the enthusiasm. 

They came over to my house where I had the studio set up and we started with standard headshots (in order below: Rick, Dave, and Timmy) and group photos. 

Then we moved outside to my backyard.  It was a pretty dreary day - overcast and damp - which worked perfectly for us!  The natural light was gorgeous but still gave a gloomy atmosphere.  I used my favorite 50mm f2 lens to keep Timmy in focus while letting Rick and Dave be slightly softer in the background.

I then had the guys go back inside in to the basement, while I stayed out in the cold and photographed them through dirty windows.  It was a weird idea, but turned out pretty well.

Since it's December, they wanted to do a Christmas card.  We switched out the black background for white, the moody lighting for bright and cheery, and black hoodies for sweaters.  I'm going to let them do what they want to that and post a picture on Facebook once I see the final result, so keep an eye out!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sardonyx High School Rock Challenge 2012

So, about a year ago, I photographed Sardonyx Production's first High School Rock Challenge.  (See photos from that here).  I was asked to come shoot again a few weeks ago, which I did with pleasure.  This year elena dee photography was even a sponser!  The winning band gets a free promo shoot.   It's pretty nifty and I'm definitely excited to work with the winner, and hopefully a couple of the other bands - some of them were awesome!  I am disappointed in Diesel's lighting this time around though, as I know that they have a fantastic system and they only used blue gels the entire night.  It was way too boring for a battle of the bands.  But I got some cool black and white conversions, and I love b&w anyway, so it worked out.  On to the exciting stuff: the photos!

The 1st band was Half 'n' Half.  They were a pretty decent rock band.

Next up was Lucky Strikes.  I rather liked them.  If I recall, they were a hard rock/metal sort of band.  At the very least, the drummer had a sweet Sex Pistols shirt and he gets points for that.

Mike (owner of Sardonyx) sitting between two colleagues.

Wendigo, a sort of punk ish band.   I got really excited when they started because the girl said they were going to do a song by The Distillers (one of my favorite bands) but then they honestly didn't do a very good cover so I was rather bummed out.

From the Ashes was a pretty sweet metal band, I really liked them.  They were one of my favorites of the night.

The Options were almost country, but I surprisingly quite liked them, and the judges did too, because they won!  She has an excellent voice.  We're going to set a promo shoot for the band, I'm definitely excited.

Second Empire - winners from last year.  As I may have mentioned last time, I really enjoy them.

Split Resistance I think came in second.  They were an interesting sound, almost jazzy metal.  Their drummer is insanely fast, I could hardly get a picture!

Restricted Highways.  Not sure how I felt about the vocals, but they were pretty decent.  The bassist's Christmas sweater was pretty ridiculous.

KEVLAR was the winner of the Erie High School Rock Challenge and came to play the Pittsburgh show while the judges debated the winners.  They were pretty sweet, definitely deserved to be winners!